Defining the World


What is your dominant view of the future of the world?

Each of us has an identity and it may be complex and multifaceted. How we are composes just a portion of our world. The world as it is and how we view it, represents another set of forces to be dealt with. And it can come to be personal.

Competing Views

Our view of the world may dominate our thinking and our choices. Currently there are two largely competing views. Many themes about the world suggest an unimaginable developing crisis which might lead to an uninhabitable world and lead to the extinction of humankind. We see this view encompassed in dystopian novels. Perhaps there is a triumph or perhaps ultimate disaster.

In contrast there is a view that a very different picture is developing suggesting an alternative reality of a very different outcome. The view of the world being on the edge of destruction is one you are probably acquainted with. But if you read Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler you will get a stunningly different view. It is perfectly conceivable that we may mature and find abundance. Looking at human history shows us with considerable potential. We are yet to see if we will tip over the edge into destruction or reach a golden age.

Making a Choice

It is not my plan to pursue detailing of these different viewpoints here. I’ll leave that exploration to you. What you may see is that you find one or the other viewpoint particularly attractive. The one about doom is essential because we need to be concerned about what might go wrong. Such a viewpoint is essential to our personal safety and future and may lead us to the choice of working for stewardship of our planet and ourselves. It could lead us to fulfillment of our hopes and dreams. We have to ask ourselves which view of the world and the future we choose to embrace.

Even if we choose to believe in a dystopian future we are left with struggle. In fact, both alternatives involve struggle. We are, after all animals, and when we view the animals of our planet, all of them are struggling for a future. And out of that future comes their development whether it is some form of social development or genetically. What we choose becomes an identity and where we put our energies.

Belief Shaping Fiction

These views of the world help shape fiction writing just as does the identity of ourselves. Surely we have all read a dystopian novel which ends in disaster or leaves us at least with a feeling that we are close to an inevitable disaster. Maybe there is only a small hope at the end that the participants may manage to prevail in some distant future. Or do we lead them to triumph and personal fulfillment through the story and to the conclusion. We, as the writers, display ourselves in such a decision.

Is humankind looking at a looming choice? And what might that choice be? Is it beyond what we might have expected? The Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy (coming soon) provides a scenario.

What is the scenario in which you believe?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Alternatives to Reality



Do you believe in alternative realities?

Fertile Imaginations

Of course we are clever and imaginative creatures. We have the capacity to deal with things other than reality. We have imaginations and can explore alternatives. Such an ability is useful not just in what we call creative endeavors. It serves us in hard sciences as well because we think of things not yet established as fact or even functional.

Literature of various kinds are telling. For example we tell stories about ghosts and paranormal experiences. There are various ways to explain these phenomena and, in some ways, we need not define them. Hard science has not been able to clearly demonstrate the existence of ghosts but we believe in them anyway. We can theorize what they might be. One hard headed explanation would view them as projections of our thoughts, feelings and dreams. In that explanation they are merely our own creations and are not real.

Having an Open Mind

An alternative is to look at ghosts as a real possibility. They may be seen as an alternative form of existence of someone who has died or a different form of being which comes from the past with a mission. It also may be that our senses have specific purposes and they don’t include viewing some other forms of life.The possibilities are almost endless and enrich our lives. And there is no reason to be utterly dismissive. They may be alternative forms of reality and they certainly make interesting storytelling. Paranormal processes in general serve similar functions and are not easily dismissed.

Socially Based Aberrations

There are all sorts of realities which take shape moment to moment. Certainly we seek our own platform to help us maintain a stable position among our fellows. Some of the alternatives may be social. I was fascinated to see pictures of an incident in Cleveland a few years ago. A black couple was fleeing the police. Before it was over there were 73! police cars chasing them. Obviously there had been a distortion of what we ordinarily call reality.There was no need for that many police cars and in the end this unarmed couple was shot to death.

And there are larger social phenomena such as what occurred in Germany during World War II. Much of the population seemed able to ignore the existence of over 20,000 prison camps where millions were being murdered. That is just one example of what we may do in the social arena.

Creative Departures

The examples are highly variable and endless. And in the interest of order and stability we insist that we maintain a relationship with reality. In art of various forms we have the capacity to depart and view the alternatives in a safe environment.

What is your favorite departure?