Crow here. On cold winter nights when it's more comfortable on a perch here in susan's living room than outside flying, I enjoy alternate history, ie, whether or not there were higher human cultures before yours that, like Atlantis, sank beneath waves both literal and figurative over the course of the millennia of human existence. I also like reading about how humanity might possibly develop and where you might go as you move inexorably into the future. Often the most difficult place to be is in the present.
Avoidable human misery is generally not caused so much by stupidity than by ignorance, especially ignorance about yourselves. You inhabit a global civilization in which the most important elements - transportation, communications, medicine, protecting the environment - depend on science and technology. Yet things have been arranged in such a way that very few people understand those subjects. Media programming is generally focused on the lowest common denominator with the result being that study and learning can be seen not only as unnecessary but undesirable. It's not only sad but dangerous to have an uneducated majority in a modern democratic society.
There have always been power elites whose main interest is in manipulating the populace and if you're desperate enough you become all too willing to abandon reason and skepticism. People in general are very susceptible to believing things that are in their own self interest so when powerful corporate structures determine that it's more profitable to deny something they hire people willing to deride the science or history:
'How can you say there's global warming now that the east coast is covered in 6' of snow?' If the population in general had been exposed to even a modest level of scientific education they'd know that weather systems are both complex and chaotic. A small change in global ocean temperature can cause unexpected and likely unwelcome results.
'The government plan for single payer insurance is a plot to take away your health care.' Little or no mention is made of the fact that every modern industrialized society has had great success with government mandated health insurance for the past 60 years.
'Regulation of large banks will mean you can't get a loan to send your child to college or to buy a home or anything else.' The history of general economic growth and what allowed for the largest expansion of a comfortable middle class came from the regulations established over banks after the Depression.
'We must let bygones be bygones and not bring criminal charges against the last administration.' The trials at Nuremberg were a lesson to the world that there were serious consequences for those prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany. All they did was to invade sovereign nations who were not a threat to them.
'We have to continue war on an idea (terrorism) in order to protect you far into an undetermined future.' Now anybody who isn't aware of my old friend President Eisenhower's final address to the United States warning of the dangers inherent in the military-industrial complex has probably spent too much time watching television rather than reading.
Yes, I enjoy immersing myself in alternate possibilities but I still understand the difference between fantasy and reality. These are just a few brief examples of how ignorance is disseminated to the population at large and I wish more people would spend their time reading and talking to one another like you do on the nets.
It's too nice a day to stay inside so I think I'll shake the dust off my wings and go to see if my friends the swallows are back from Capistrano. By the way, have you ever seen squadrons of geese returning north? I'm going to have to ask them if they fly commercial on their way back.