That Thing Going Around

So, now there’s that thing going around. And if we are going to stay alive, we’ll need to be nice to each other. Doesn’t seem possible.

I’ve got my work cut out for me. I’m the lead behavioral scientist with The Secret Society. Don’t tell anyone. If they ask, we don’t exist. I’m only telling you what I’m going to tell you because it’s driving me crazy. So, wish me luck. Everything depends on it.

Ready? Here’s the story.

I’m Simon. That’s not my name, but you can call me Simon. It sounds like a good name for a scientist and we can’t tell the story without giving me a name. So, it’s gonna be Simon.


We’ve got data. Lots of data. Most of it from your cell phones and computers. And conversations captured by your smart televisions. We know things but that doesn’t mean we can make you be nice. Yet, somehow we’ve got to do this. The Society is counting on me to create a workable plan.

I did the work. Crunched the numbers. I understand, pretty much, what is happening. But it takes more than math. There’s a creative aspect. Options must be generated and evaluated and morphed. What should we CONSIDER doing?

No matter how outrageous, I considered it. Give up on the world and start over. Do nothing. Tweak a few rules. A massive propaganda campaign. Putting stuff in the drinking water. I have a small team of nerdy, smart, goody-2-shoes geniuses. They helped. Well, at least a bit.

As it turned out, there were no good answers. But doing nothing—even though it made my list—wasn’t actually an option.

So, here’s what we did.

We allowed a racist self-absorbed genocidal maniac to take control of the American government. He was guaranteed to disrupt everything and cause a horrible amount of suffering and death. We knew there would be enormous suffering and death under ANY scenario, so even though this was unacceptable, we accepted it.

The upside, and the purpose behind the whole thing, was to accelerate the end of the fossil fuel economy. People now stay home. They don’t much use their cars or fly anywhere. They don’t operate as many factories and fewer things are purchased or produced. And the population itself will soon be shrinking. Sharply.

So, yeah the apocalypse is here. But the Earth will continue—diminished but not destroyed. And the species won’t go extinct. At least not in the short term.

The Secret Society bought us all time. Let’s not screw it up again. Simon says.