about the universe forum commander Shop Now Commanders Circle
Product List FAQs home Links Contact Us

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Golden Age

This is Steven Petrick Posting.

I may have said this before, and if so I apologize for the faltering mind caused by age. It has been one of the things I have thought on.

I lived in a "golden age".

This is one of those things that normally historians will define (Pericles rule was "the Golden Age of Athens" for example). But I can look around and see that I lived in one.

When I was a young lad, Dr. Salk created a vaccine against polio. I grew up with no fear of it. Shortly before World War II Penicillin was developed, and for much of my life it was a cure for many diseases. While I lived under the threat of nuclear war, it never came to pass and "The Wall" came crashing down. I was born and lived in a "first world country", have never known starvation, had a car and drove many miles, and flew many miles. Saw man land on the moon and watched the Mars exploration robots, not to mention the increasing power of computers from clunky programmable calculators to wrist watch calculators to computers that sit on my desk, and let's not forget cellphones.

Much of this I can see coming to an end.

Not only is AIDS epidemic, but due to sloth and corruption many strains of diseases are now immune to penicillin making the risk of a pandemic greater again. Islamic fundamentalists in Africa are preserving Polio (not as a weapon of attack, but as an example of the power they hold over their people by calling on the ignorant not to get vaccinated) just when it was on the verge of being wiped out. Within my own country I see daily signs of the education system breaking down creating the barbarians that are attacking the empire from within. Increasingly (although this has always been the case somewhat, now it seems far worse) our political leaders are not squabbling over how to lead, but who should have the power, fiddling while Rome burns and barbarians mass both within and without.

I do not fear for myself, the collapse of the Golden Age may not be complete until after my time on this ball of mud is past, but for those who come after me I often quake in my boots.