I was struck by this passage in Iain Banks’ last book, The Quarry 2013 Published by Little Brown, paperback by Abacus 2014
It seems to me to encapsulate what we have learned about Forest Gardening and Permaculture. That there are no quick answers. There are small actions you can take which would make a difference today, but long term solutions take time and are incremental….
And this relates to Independence Day how? Rob Asks
Hol rolls her eyes. ‘Via Jeff Goldblum defeating the entire invasion of earth with a bit of viral code on a clunky old laptop delivered by a purloined bad-guy space fighter and the
piloting skills of Will Smith. Star Wars and Lord of the Rings indulge the same fantasy only a little less outrageously. We all know it’s total hokum, but deep down it’s how we’d really love all our wars ended and our problems solved, with something as trivial but as crucial and absolute as a few lines of code or a shot down an exhaust port or the dossilving of a ring in magma, and I’m saying it’s very similar to this belief that if only we can find the right person, our mythical other half, all our personal issues will be sorted. They’re both examples of miraculist thinking and they’re both bollocks. As if the belief that some new piece of kit is going to change everything, suddenly and for the better. As is the belief that some new political theory will magically transform us into nicer or more productive people.’
‘You sound very disillusioned’ Ali says nodding.
‘So who would choose to be illusioned?’ Hol asks.
‘Well…’ Pris says.
‘OK Ali says. ‘I meant bitter.’
‘What I’m saying’ Hol says again, just starting to sound tired or at least as though she is struggling to be patient, ‘is that there’s never the equivalent of one little switch in the human psyche that can be thrown; there is no single line of code that – if only it were rewritten or corrected – would make everything OK for us. Instead there’s just the usual slow but eventually steady progress of human morality and behaviour, built up over millennia; instead there’s just the spreading of literacy, education and understanding of how things really work, through research and the dissemination of the results of research through honest media.’
Haze makes a noise like ‘Phht!’
Everything’ Hol says ‘- print, radio, television, computers, digitalisation, the internet – makes a difference, but nothing makes all the difference. We build better lives and a better world slowly, painstakingly, and there are no short cuts, just lots of improvements: most small, a few greater, none…. Decisive.’