I think the thing I'm most grateful about is that I have time to play a role in working out how we find our way to the other side of this puzzle, that with luck and health on my side, I can get to enjoy the better world of 2020 or 2030, and beyond. It's the people who are leaving the world at this point who I feel most sorry for – that they have to leave feeling that the society they in whatever way helped build, serve, help, entertain, is right now being defined and projected as something so bitter and angry and divisive.
Because we have to make this right – we can't allow this toxic combination of media, political, social, economic and technological conditions to endure. It ignores billions of acts of kindness and learning.
How can all the good work that has been done over so many years, so may centuries – the tiny steps along the way that were made by so many people to understand how best to learn and act – be overriden and ignored by a media, political and economic system that can be so aggressively coerced to project bitterness and frustration in such a scattergun way? How can so many people's voices, so many people's rights, be ignored? How can so much fundamental understanding and enlightenment be thrown out of the window, for a soundbite, a million likes and a bit of ad revenue?
It's also clear to me that we're in an era applying a very aggressive form of capitalism. Those who are in corporate jobs aren't giving them up any time soon, because the alternative outside is now a lot less attractive than it was before. The public sector is being squeezed and starved. Academics have to work out how to make money, rather than to learn and teach. And the technology industry is concentrating power, in ways that are very dangerous. And for anyone who has chosen or been forced to work outside the system, the amount of oxygen in the air is right now very thin. The economic system is without doubt concentrating wealth on the few and cutting off the oxygen supply to everyone else.
The way back that I'm focusing on with the Stamp is to recognise how every experience can bring understanding, how every effort that someone makes to share understanding, or convey an observation, or make someone feel better, helps build something new.
So let's climb out on top of this crazy maze together.
Mark Charmer. London, 21.1.17.
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>> Introducing Stamp.io.1, our technical and research process <<
>> The Stamp, Stockholm, Sustainability <<
>> Monkigras 2017 <<