In real life the most important issues are never determined by skin-of-the-teeth escapes, cosmic conjunctions of improbable coincidences, or cliff-hanger fights against impossible odds --- unlike the situation in thrillers, soap-operas, and other popular modes of entertainment.

Sorry, but if things get to the point of derring-do, then somebody has seriously failed to plan ahead. Reality works with far less drama, via the accumulation of small details. There's a continuous tapestry of choices to be made: a succession of probabilities, pushed one way or another, by human action and random chance. There are billions of individual decisions: to study and learn and teach, to marry and raise families, to work and create value. And there are societal choices: to encourage or discourage various modes of behavior, productive or destructive.

And overarching it all, there's the constant challenge that George Eliot explored in Middlemarch: "... widening the skirts of light and making the struggle with darkness narrower ...". Generation by generation, year by year, day by day, moment by moment.

But it's tough to make a best-selling novel, a blockbuster movie, or a top-rated TV show out of that sort of thing ....

(see also CelebrityHistory (8 May 1999), SocialRobustness (17 May 2000), My Religion (6 Nov 2000), ThreadsOfHistory (6 Jun 2001), LoomingDisaster (6 Aug 2001), LearningAndLosing (23 Dec 2001), ...)

TopicLife - TopicSociety - 2002-11-30

(correlates: My Religion, CenturyHence, HeadlightsAndDecisions, ...)