A Pre-Mortem of Western Civ

John Brodix Merryman Jr.
8 min readApr 30

Why the cracks go to the foundations.

Our politicians prefer playing cowboys and Indians on the other side of the planet, while the country falls apart and puberty has been deemed a fascist plot. What gives?

We tend to look at all the problems in isolation, but the crazies seem to get the attention in all of them. Life is complicated, but we want the simple answers.

Dealing with the problems without looking into the causes is like a bandaid over a bullet wound. Yet most people can’t change the situation even if they know the reasons and those who could, most likely like it the way things are.

Yet it does seem the mother of all reality checks is in the mail.

Debt doesn’t matter, until it does and the bill is coming due. The party is about over and the hangover is going to be all too real.

So what is this reality we hoped to wish away?

Is it money, or matter?

Or just fear and greed?

Physics or biology?

The fact is, this world on the surface of this little orb has been evolving for billions of years, but few of us are willing to look much outside our own little shells. We have experts in all the various fields telling us how it is, but often it seems like a Tower of Babel and little actually adds up.

As a thought experiment, I will offer a description of this reality that the average twelve year old can wrap their mind around, though it might explode the heads of those with a lot of higher ed.

As these mobile organisms, our bodies have this sentient interface with our situation, which functions as a sequence of perceptions, that we refer to as mind, or consciousness. Its purpose is to allow us to navigate our world, gathering resources and avoiding dangers.

Consequently we have this sequential experience of time, as the present moves from past events to future ones. Physics codifies it as measures of duration. As Einstein explained, “What a clock measures.”

Though the evident reality, for those of us who don’t spend our lives in classrooms and conference halls, is that activity and the resulting change is turning future to past. Tomorrow becomes…

John Brodix Merryman Jr.

Having an affair with life. It's complicated.