Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Trouble in Paradise

In The Matrix, the robots stuck humans in a synthetic 1990s. They could have given us paradise, but they found we rejected it: we couldn't deal with things being too good. And so the 90s it was: Pretty good, but not quite paradise.

Nathan Smith's excellent NBR editorial today reminded me of that [$]. He writes:
New Zealand is as close to the concept of paradise as any human culture in history has ever dreamed of living.
...Like the proverbial dog chasing a car, humans want paradise but don’t know how to live when they find it, so we invent or adopt problems to keep us happy. When this mind-set is scaled up to the level of the nation state, some funny things start happening.
...This is where the prime minister’s incoherent debate about fighting in Iraq converges with the inability of New Zealanders to enjoy the fortune of living in a paradise. We go out of our way to embrace other dilemmas to fill the void of having nothing to fight against because there’s clearly something so existentially frightening about living in a society that’s as close to paradise as humans have ever come.
Go and subscribe that such editorials continue to have a platform.


  1. That doesn't make any sense to me. Sure, humans might not be able to tolerate utopianism, but there's a lot of "real world" setups you could do that would be more pleasant than "New York City".

  2. Indeed. That's one reason I think it's good your lot do OEs on a regular basis: to experience life Inside the Asylum.

    Just don't screw it up too bad before we escape back down there!