Arnt Gulbrandsen
About meAbout this blog

The miracle button

I read this a few years ago:

In Gurri's telling, High Modernism had always been a failure, but the government-media-academia elite axis had been strong enough to conceal it from the public. Starting in the early 2000s, that axis broke down. People could have lowered their expectations, but in the real world that wasn't how things went. Instead of losing faith in the power of government to work miracles, people believed that government could and should be working miracles, but that the specific people in power at the time were too corrupt and stupid to press the CAUSE MIRACLE button which they definitely had and which definitely would have worked. And so the outrage, the protests — kick these losers out of power, and replace them with anybody who had the common decency to press the miracle button!

So for example, Gurri examines some of the sloganeering where people complain about how eg obesity is the government's fault — surely the government could come up with some plan that cured obesity, and since they haven't done so, that proves they're illegitimate and don't care that obesity is killing millions of Americans. […] The general formula is ① take vast social problem that has troubled humanity for millennia ② claim that theoretically The System could solve the problem, but in fact hasn't ③ interpret that as The System has caused the problem and it is entirely the system's fault ④ be outraged that The System is causing obesity and homelessness and postmodernism and homosexuality and yet some people still support it. How could they do that??!

I read those paragraphs and cannot unread them. In my eyes, half the protests now look like secret or unknowing demands that someone should press the miracle button.

Someone's angry that mobile phones don't last for ten years: The manufacturers keep phone lifetimes short to boost their sales! Because they're evil! And when I read it, I think of the miracle button that the manufacturers don't have.