August 16, 2014

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Looking For The Attractor.

There’s a crisis in punditry. Disasters have become altogether too predictable. . . .

Nobody really believes that the leaders of the nation or the West in general can find their way out of the mess they’ve created. Not after all that huffing and puffing about climate change, transgender initiatives, Obamaphones, “getting engaged with your disease” and other varieties of trivial pursuit.

The Big Ticket problems they’ve pooh-poohed for so long are here. Food, energy, security and demography. In a short, the world of things. Boo. Your design margin has been canceled. Politicians are running for cover. . . .

That the current system is in flux is no longer in doubt. What everyone wants to know is where the attractor is. “In dynamical systems, an attractor is a set of physical properties toward which a system tends to evolve.” Where is the world going? Who is going to lead it? The conventional wisdom is that it was Barack or Hillary who would do the leading. But it looks more like no mas!

What punditry needs now is not someone who can interpret the past — that’s easy — but someone who can glimpse the further future. But even the greatest minds have no crystal ball. The mists of uncertainty shroud all. One can only repeat what Winston Churchill said: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Like the folks in Europe 100 years ago, I think we’re going to miss the Gay 90s.