eve ewing on vs: the past is not a predictor of the future

eve ewing’s interview on vs (the podcast) is amazing. that show definitely came out the gate full speed. huge shoutout to andrew binet for pointing me to it.

one argument ewing made that has stuck with me sort of followed these main points (at least in my mind):

  1. looking to the past for understanding what’s possible (for better or for worse) is a reasonable thing to do.

  2. however, assuming that the past is a predictor of the future is flawed. why?

  3. because each moment is both similar and dissimilar to the past. and the primary difference between the past and now is that we are here this time.

  4. and because we are here this time, this is our moment and it is our responsibility to shape it.


in my own terms, thinking that the future will be like the past is the same mistake that industrialization (and most linear thinking) makes. industrial systems figure out what works at a moment in time and then build huge systems of infrastructure around that/those solutions. the problem is that change is constant. systems built on a solution that worked in one moment are destined to fail at some other point. even if just for the simple fact that a most (if not all) solutions implemented to their full extent change the system of which they are a part.

anyway, this line of thought has really made me think about what’s happening with 45, puerto rico and its unjust debt, and climate change. yes, we have seen what scenarios like this have turned out to be in the past. but this is our time and we can shape the outcomes.

the question for me is: what does it look like to shape those outcomes powerfully enough to make a difference?


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