December 31, 2016. By the time this post is published, it will already be New Year in many parts of the world. But here in east coast America – the country which provided the final punchline of the string of bad news that 2016 brought in, it rings in within 5 short hours.
If you view the world as a giant lab, 2016 – among its other features – served as a great tool for an experiment in human cognition.
It served as one of the greatest litmus tests in identifying the delusional from the rational;
It smoked out en masse the implicit racists (in all races), the implicit misogynists (in both genders), homophobes & fundamentalists and ripped away their masks, better than even any IAT (Implicit Association Test) could;
It showed the startling similarities viewed in real time/real life in the anti-rationality, anti-fact vitriolic conduct of followers of ALL extreme ideologies across the spectrum and reaffirmed the horseshoe theory in political science;
It revealed the apathetic, the cowards, the hypocrites, the ignorant, the ones who can’t/don’t/won’t partake in critical thinking and especially revealed the personality-disordered among strangers and non-strangers alike, including among those we thought were our friends & acquaintances, better than any psychological tests could reveal;
It also brought out the best among the hopeful, the eternal optimists, the genuinely concerned & empathetic and those who fight for human rights, environmental rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, animal rights…..
Yes, it was a year when many well-known & lesser-known or little-known perished in large numbers globally through natural causes, accidents, shootings, terrorist attacks, wars, bombings & drone attacks…
But all in all (for me at least) 2016 will be looked back upon as the year that most efficiently separated the wheat from the chaff – when it came to human values & ethics.
(The above words are taken from the thoughts I shared this morning with my friends on Facebook. I was thinking not just of the results of the US elections, but of the Nice attacks, of Aleppo, of the deaths of many beloved musicians, authors, performers, artists and also of our continued helplessness or apathy as we continue to carry on as part and participants of this world. While Trumpism revealed a lot of ugliness in the US, I hold to contempt all those who voted 3rd party too or showed apathy while claiming to be liberals (humbug!), given the precarious situation we were heading to; especially the ones who voted for Gary Johnson – a fella who didn’t even know what Aleppo is, and STILL won the numbers needed that could have helped swing the race!
In some ways, true, the stable among humans may be the majority, but in other ways, the way we treat animals, the environment and are helpless/indifferent to injustices across the board, I wonder…..we may be outwardly “stable” yet we go along with the flow of the many injustices, no? What else are we to do? Live off the grid? (and I truly admire those who do.)
Within our small spheres we can live kinder lives, but at least this year my tolerance for the apathetic, the racists, the cruel, the narcissistic & the deliberately dumb who flaunt their repulsive ill-informed swagger has completely depleted away and I have no qualms of ejecting, nay, slaying the chaff away from the wheat.)
If you thought 2016 read like one long obituary, you were not incorrect. Here is Wikipedia’s full list of those we lost, and this is just December. You can click on the prior months in the list. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deaths_in_2016
Here’s the shortened version of Tom and Hubert’s hilarious sketch on 2016:
On a “light” side, here’s a link to a slideshow of the most stunning space photographs taken in 2016: https://www.wired.com/2016/12/stunning-space-photos-2016/#slide-1
Onward Ho! And away we go!