This is the second instalment of The Jackpot Chronicles: Four Possible Post-Coronavirus Scenarios.
Force Majeure means:
a chance occurrence or superior force that renders a contract unenforceable and frees all parties from their obligations under it.
We are frequently told that there exists some manner of “Social Contract” to which we are implicitly bound by virtue of being alive. This implied Social Contract confers legitimacy upon the institutions that order our world, the national governments, the central banks, the miltary and police. And by extension certain communication outlets and media are endowed with a status of official curators over the narratives around institutional power. Read on
William Gibson’s most recent novel Agency, describes a type of “many worlds” tapestry of a multiverse as it exists after a catastrophe called “The Jackpot”. The main character’s POV takes place from within one of these “stubs” as they are called, which for some reason forked off from the “real” Earth timeline sometime after the 2016 US election.
Although Gibson doesn’t exactly strike me as a MAGA guy in real life, it is interesting to note that in the story, the “real” Earth timeline is one in which it’s implied that Hillary Clinton won the 2016 election (neither “Clinton” or “Trump” are mentioned by name anywhere in the book). However, it’s also the timeline in which a global thermonuclear war erupted around the Syrian conflict.
It is this outcome which the protagonists, some of which are covert operatives from our future, are seeking to nudge the other stubs away from. In other words, it’s classic William Gibson, who’s enduring quip “The future is here, it’s just unevenly distributed” has probably garnered even more relevance of late.
Last night I made the mistake of putting Ben Hunt’s The Long Now Part 2 on a tablet and brought it to bed to read. My kid had an early morning soccer practice at school today and the plan was I’d read this before turning in early. By the end of it I couldn’t sleep.
It articulated something I’ve been grappling with for so long, so clearly and so lucidly that it got my mind racing. I’m sure you all know how it is when you’re galvanized by an idea at night. You lie there in bed with your brain completely overclocked, scribbling in a notebook beside the bed. I ended up padding over to my office and emailing Mr. Hunt around midnight and he gave me permission to attach a PDF of the The Long Now Part 2 with the email I’m sending my list. It’s also online at the EpsilonTheory website.
From the very opening line, I should have known I was in for a sleepless night….
As some of you may know, I run a small boutique audiobook publisher called SpokenTome.media and the first few audiobooks we did were by socio-economic commentator Charles Hugh Smith.
We just finished three more of Charles’ books, so it was an opportune time to have him back on for another podcast.