April 16, 2020
In case you hadn’t noticed, things have gotten real weird recently.
There is a curse. They say: May You Live in Interesting Times
—Terry Prachett, Interesting Times
Times are nothing if not interesting at the moment. People keep talking about this being the “new normal” (aside: I have developed an extreme dislike for that phrase!), but I can’t help but wonder if thinking that this is the way life is going to be from now on is overly simplistic. Yes, some things are likely to be markedly different in some ways; people may travel less, working remotely may become more prevalent, etc, etc, but at a very basic level, I’m more of the school of thought that daily life will return something that, for better or worse, resembles the way life was. I’m thinking (hoping?) more pendulum swing than seismic shift. I guess that could be an overly optimistic—or maybe even shortsighted—view, but it helps me make more sense of where we’re at and where we’re headed, so I’m going to go with it for now.
Also, contrary to what you may have heard, “may you live in interesting times” isn’t really a old Chinese curse.
Update (5:20p.m.): I just read Kottke’s far more considered—but far less palatable—assessment. I don’t want to believe that things will be that extreme, but can definitely see parts of this becoming the norm.