We're all searching for meaning
Monday, December 21, 2015 by Dave Winer

I read somewhere that people are searching for the meaning of life, but I think it's possible to find meaning in life, and this search explains all the trouble we have with existence at this point in the evolution of our species.

Until recently the meaning in our lives was survival. If we created a new generation of humans to follow us, that was enough meaning. So we went on having kids, and inventing new technologies that made survival even more likely. 

Until something happened. We crossed a line. The old way we defined survival no longer was the issue. We had medicine, and sewage systems, heating and air conditioning. Survival on the original terms was a done deal. So we went for comfort, and entertainment and drugs to distract us from the fact that our lives no longer had any meaning. We were just, as a friend put it, all waiting for the grim reaper. From birth. There was no purpose, no meaning.

That lasted a few generations, until survival of the species was once again an issue. It's forecast to be in the low 70s on Christmas Eve in NYC this year. Antibiotics aren't working. And people turn to extremism and hate to find meaning. We live with a dim future as a species, and therefore as individuals. None of our ritual changes. We're still living as if our existence could only be assured if we followed the now-obsolete strategies for species survival, burning forests, having more children, consuming more, with more people every generation.

We have a mission, to find ways to work together. But we are failing at that. We have all the tools we need, we just have to wake up from our evolutionary dream.