Never have so many known so little about so much

In H.G. Wells's 1895 novella The Time Machine, readers encounter the Eloi – humans in the far distant future who literally know nothing.  All is provided for them; all is determined for them.  All is good until the Morlocks show up.

In our own time, knowledge is becoming superfluous to material comfort.  The need to understand cause and effect, history, precedent, and trial and error are optional, as technology is omnipresent, robust, and remarkably reliable.  The before times are fading from living memory and will soon belong to history nobody reads.  (Remember the library scene where books of knowledge crumbled to dust?  Or just ask a Harvard or Yale undergrad.)

The Eloi had transcended the need for ideology or philosophy.  They were content with the eternal present.  A causal glance around us reveals competing ideologies beyond counting.  What is coherent, evidence-based, and sustainable in this cornucopia of "truth" is irrelevant as those here in America enjoy access to material aid and comfort that make traditional definitions of poverty and wealth virtually inoperative.

It seems that that never have so many known so little about so much.  In areas where most of America resides, no one gives much if any thought to the seamless integration of so many moving parts that allow them to transport themselves to the grocery store, and get food – to utilize a myriad of appliances, utilities, technologies, and conveniences independent of their skills, education, resources, etc.

Most people, it seems, do not ever think about what would happen to their ideology and lifestyle after about ten days if the trucks, trains, and airplanes were unable to deliver untold tons of everything like clockwork.  Look at the behavior of the people in the face of a few days' disruption because of a snow storm.

Perhaps it is no surprise that a populace encountering a level of unprecedented material abundance would, after sufficient generations, act is if that abundance is like oxygen – it's just there, always has been, and always will be.  That belief will be put to the test.

In H.G. Wells's 1895 novella The Time Machine, readers encounter the Eloi – humans in the far distant future who literally know nothing.  All is provided for them; all is determined for them.  All is good until the Morlocks show up.

In our own time, knowledge is becoming superfluous to material comfort.  The need to understand cause and effect, history, precedent, and trial and error are optional, as technology is omnipresent, robust, and remarkably reliable.  The before times are fading from living memory and will soon belong to history nobody reads.  (Remember the library scene where books of knowledge crumbled to dust?  Or just ask a Harvard or Yale undergrad.)

The Eloi had transcended the need for ideology or philosophy.  They were content with the eternal present.  A causal glance around us reveals competing ideologies beyond counting.  What is coherent, evidence-based, and sustainable in this cornucopia of "truth" is irrelevant as those here in America enjoy access to material aid and comfort that make traditional definitions of poverty and wealth virtually inoperative.

It seems that that never have so many known so little about so much.  In areas where most of America resides, no one gives much if any thought to the seamless integration of so many moving parts that allow them to transport themselves to the grocery store, and get food – to utilize a myriad of appliances, utilities, technologies, and conveniences independent of their skills, education, resources, etc.

Most people, it seems, do not ever think about what would happen to their ideology and lifestyle after about ten days if the trucks, trains, and airplanes were unable to deliver untold tons of everything like clockwork.  Look at the behavior of the people in the face of a few days' disruption because of a snow storm.

Perhaps it is no surprise that a populace encountering a level of unprecedented material abundance would, after sufficient generations, act is if that abundance is like oxygen – it's just there, always has been, and always will be.  That belief will be put to the test.