Into the Unknown

It’s Okay To Be Uncertain Of What’s Happening And Where All This Is Going

by Caitlin Johnstone edited by O Society March 31, 2020

There was a kids’ game show on Nickelodeon in the early nineties called Get the Picture where contestants would be shown an image  obscured in some way, slowly made more clear. First one to guess the image correctly got the points.

That’s kind of how our whole situation feels right now. No one really knows exactly what’s going on just yet, and those of us who are interested in figuring it out are intensely peering at the screen trying to make out what we’re looking at. We’re all shouting out guesses, but that’s all they are, unless of course you are an actual scientist who studies this sort of thing for a living.

Coronavirus Narratives: Nextstrain

The picture’s still unclear, and no, Mike O’Malley hasn’t chimed in with the correct answer.

There’s so much going on right now as this new virus works its way through world populations, and so much is still very uncertain. There are individual issues coming up which we can shake our fists at, like massive bailouts for corporations and governments implementing dangerously authoritarian measures while refusing to adequately provide for their citizenry, but a full picture of what’s happening and where this is all going remains unclear.

There’s this weird dynamic in conspiracy and anti-establishment circles where everyone wants to pretend they know exactly what’s going on, and those who express uncertainty tend to attract less interest and attention than those who claim forcefully and assertively to have a crystal-clear HD perspective of The Big Picture.

This dynamic leads the rise of many professional fringe pundits who don’t actually have much going for them other than the ability to communicate in a confident tone, and it’s created a very confusing information ecosystem during the current pandemic.

And today I’m just writing to say it is not only okay to simply not know for a bit, it’s the only honest place to begin…


If You Believe in Nihilism, What Do You Believe?

It seems like some of the conflict and stress people are expressing–at least in the circles I move in–stems not only from perfectly valid concerns about the future, but from a general discomfort with not knowing exactly what’s happening. We know from our experience that understanding what’s happening gives us more control over our fate, so not fully understanding can make us feel out of control. It can feel threatening. It can feel like a very stressfully urgent matter that we come up with an cohesive “How It Is” understanding of what exactly is happening.

You don’t need to put that extra layer of stress on yourself. If you’re seeing a mountain of disparate and conflicting information about which you can’t form a single unified narrative right now, that’s okay. That’s what we’re all seeing. Some of us are just more honest with ourselves about this than others.

It is true that we don’t yet fully understand this new virus and can’t predict exactly how destructive it’s going to be. It is also true that people are experiencing a frightening amount of financial pressure. It is also true that authoritarian government policies are very dangerous and might not be rolled back once implemented. You don’t need to come to any hard-and-fast conclusions which unify these disparate truths right now. You can just not know for a while and watch the picture become more clear.

Things are going to get stranger and stranger, just because for a while now that’s been the only consistent pattern I’ve been able to discern in the way things are moving. This time last year we Russiagate skeptics were congratulating ourselvesfor getting that issue right, but the only reason I and others were able to do that was because things were moving in a predictable fashion, and the establishment was reacting to it in a predictable patterned way. Now more and more often the only consistent pattern to be seen is the pattern of unpatterning, and all I can say about the future is that it’s going to get a whole lot stranger. Maybe worse, maybe better, I don’t know. But definitely stranger.

Coronavirus Is God’s Vengence Because Homosexuals and Freaks

Uncertainty can feel scary. Humans tend to be pattern-seeking, predictability-seeking animals, so the disappearance of reliable patterns can feel like our whole world is falling apart. But it’s an illusion. Our society has been insane since before we were born, and our patterned behavior has led our species to the ecocidal, omnicidal, oppressive and exploitative status quo we now find ourselves in. Unpatterning, in and of itself, is neither threatening nor helpful; it’s just change. What matters is where it all goes.

And we don’t know where it’s going. There are powerful people who believe they’ll be able to capitalize on the changes and shore up more power for themselves in the chaos like they’ve done many times before, but the kingdoms of those powerful people have themselves been built upon patterns and reliability. There is only a certain amount of unpatterning that these empires can withstand.

There is so, so much more to humanity, and to the universe itself, than most of us realize. We are capable of so, so much more than the pattern-based forecasts of our future behavior have predicted. I am uncertain of nearly everything at this point, but of this one fact I have become absolutely convinced: we most definitely have it within us to surprise ourselves on a mass scale. I’ve seen too much to believe otherwise.

So it’s very possible that things will end up getting better in some as-yet unpredictable way. It’s also very possible that things can get worse. The only bet I personally would avoid putting any chips on is things ever going back to normal, because “normal” is gone for good.

We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

23 thoughts on “Into the Unknown

  1. I would ask any agnostic.

    What if I told you I have scientific and other research methods that if they were ever used logically? It would prove no creator god or goddess, ever worshiped by any human? Are real. And ANY religious belief based on these creator gods and goddesses? Are all false as far as their belief in their god and goddess they have worshiped.

    Though here is the paradox.

    I can also use spiritual beliefs by others and even Abrahamists? To prove? Any god or goddess? Mass worshiped by humans, for long periods of time? Could in fact? Be real.

    Though on the flipside?

    I could use the science of the Big Bang to prove there is a “god”, depending on how you want to define the word god.


    1. And though I know the use of agnostic in this case? Is your discussing the idiots on Faux News etc and the harm it is causing to all of us. What is really stupid is? As long as the Fox viewers keep believing that BS? Nothing is going to change them. ONLY IF Handjob Hannity and the rest? Actually live up to the Patriotism to the Country, instead of their Patriotism to Trump? And stop the madhouse they started and created.

      This is why NOTHING will change with the Trumpsters or those who want to keep raking in the billions off of their peddaling the BS they do on Fox. I was watching an interview with Bannon the other day. He even admitted as much as those who watch Fox News, or do Briebart or any of the ones he runs or others like him run? Are so gone they will believe anything and they use that to destroy what they consider the bad government. The Deep State government Bannon and his kind want to destroy and he admitted it? Is the one that helps the poor and harms the rich. That is why they use Fox and stations like that.

      But on the flipside of that? I watch NO CNN, MSNBC etc regularly either. I learned from my librarians? YOU want the basically most truthful news YOU can get? AP. IP. Reuters. Sure they do get it wrong? But time after time? YOU want honest NEWS with real facts and truth? Those are the news organizations YOU want to get your news from.

      The crews ie Fox, CNN, MSNBC, ALL of them do not care about really telling us the truth. They are in it for the money. Sure MSNBC has Rachel Maddow whom I watch on YouTube and she knows her stuff. She shows YOU all the evidence and then has YOU make your mind up. But others? No thanks. Actually the real truth came that you got more accurate news from the likes of the Daily Show and others than you ever will from the others lol.

      But Faux Nitwit Newsless? IS the worst of them all in my book.They have even proven that Fox uses subliminal messaging in their crawls and their background graphics as well as editing videos to change the whole point of view. Project Veritas is another great example of people from the extreme conservative scum who do this too and been busted for it many times doing so but they do not care, they will not stop. For them? It is anything to destroy the Dems and Libs and piss them off. What a freaking miserable way to live.


    1. Democrats war on the poor? Excuse me? I gotta pick my butt up off the ground from laughing so hard at what you said. When will Republicans STOP projecting all their evil on Democrats. Yeah, I keep forgetting. Repugnant people always blame the other people for all the things they do. Sorry, I forgot that is how Trumpsters and Republicans and Conservatives work.

      Oh BTW. I an a registered Independent. Always been, always will be. And? I have voted in all my elections, even local. How about yourself?

      You want to know what is really, really, really funny? You know how you all slam the “libertards, socialists and commie Demoncrats”??? Well, most of you also proclaim? YOU are a Christian. Now that? Is really funny.Want to know why?

      Well if you had actually picked up a bible and read the words of Jesus? You would realize? Not only was he a liberal? He was also a socialist. I guess you must worship a different Jesus than the one in the bible huh? Funny how an atheist? Has to tell you what is in your bible and what your Jesus said huh? As usual lmfao.

      And if you really want to debate this atheist on your bible and Jesus? Have at it. Go for it. That is? Unless you really want to make yourself look more stupid than you already have made yourself look to be.


    2. What is really, really funny? As an atheist? I love Christians? Who actually LIVE up to the words and teachings of their Jesus. What is really funny? Out of the thousands of Christians I actually call a brother or a sister? Only three? Are Republicans. The rest? Mainly Democrats and the rest Independents.

      But? Those Repugnant Christians who spew lies, hate and death in the name of Jesus? Twisting his words around? Harming other human beings with their vile Non Christian ways? Those I do hate, those? I stand up to and give right back unto them? As they? Give unto me and all the others they harm.

      And trust me little dhfabian….I have been getting into the face of the Roman Catholic Popes, Cardinals, Bishops, Archbishops and all kinds of ChristoTaliban Pastors of Hate for probably longer? Than YOU were a gleam in the eyes of your parents. Without ONE OUNCE of fear for those freaks. So hey YOU want to be civil to me? I will be civil to you. YOU want to meltdown like the snowflake I know a little troll like YOU are? Well let’s play. Just make sure your mommy is around to change your diaper after, wipe away your tears, and give you a bottle and put you down for a nappy nap. Cause this 60 year old man? Is not afraid of an idiot spewing bullshit lies about Democrats on the internet. Or anywhere else.

      Cause YOU could not walk one tenth of a mile in my shoes without YOU curling up and crying.


    3. Here is what is funny.

      Let’s take how you morons meltdown so much over the word Obamacare.

      YOU are probably too stupid to know this. BUT? All Obamacare is? Is Romneycare. The same exact health and insurance plan? A REPUBLICAN had going in Mass. It worked great really. The only difference is Obamacare had a mandate. But? YOU morons who screamed about it? Were too stupid to realize once you signed up and picked your health care plan? YOU were not going to have to pay any fine for that mandate rule.

      But here is another thing. Romneycare? Was HEAVILY promoted by the Republicans. Romney actually ran on it during his campaign. So? Actually? OBAMACARE, A PROGRAM YOU ALL TRASH IN YOUR DISGUSTING PRESIDENT OBAMA DERANGEMENT SYNDROME? Is the same program a white man had going and was going to have passed if HE were elected President.

      Funny huh?


    4. YOU couldn’t even come close to the intelligence of Maddow. When you register with a GENIUS IQ like she has? YOU come back and run your mouth. YOU could not even follow one of her shows. But she would wipe the floor in any little attempt of a debate with YOU.

      Oh and idiot.YOU did not read what I wrote. I said I DO NOT WATCH MSNBC, CNN, OR FOX OR ANY OF THEM LIKE YOU IDIOTS DO. Hell I do not even have cable to watch that shit. YEAH I watch Maddow on YouTube but at least? SHE CAN PROVE WHAT SHE SAYS AND HER STORIES ARE NOT BULLSHIT OR LIES.

      Yeah I watch the Daily Show and Jon Stewart? Again? You WISH you had one tenth the intelligence that man has. Or the knowledge. And his human service and charity to others? Well he does not have to show that to anyone, cause it is already well known. How much have YOU donated to charities or given your time volunteering just for our soldiers like he has? How many times have YOU spoken before the Repugnants to get them finally off their asses and make them to make permanent the funds to help all the First Responders of 9/11? Tell me, what have YOU DONE to make the world a better or happier place?

      Compared to Hannity and Crew on Faux? Yeah I challenge their Truthfullness rating against just Maddow’s any damn day and? Even if she gets something wrong? SHE DOES COME BACK AND CORRECTS.


  2. It has always been an illusion, or a delusion of hubris, that we know and can control the future. When this surprise (which oughtn’t to have been one) has run its course, we will return to thinking we are in control.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The powerful rich and the powerful religious? They got us all dancing like puppets on a string fighting each other while they continue to burn the place down around us. We are nothing but Bloodsport for them. Funny thing is? They may be immune to bullets and the terror and horrors of everyday living for us poor people. But this virus going around? It don’t give a damn if you’re rich or poor, king or pauper, saint or sinner. That is why I kind of love it in a way. Viruses and diseases have a way of truly balancing things out. And while we little people live in the delusion that we know and control our future, though I certainly am not one, at least I know that when it comes down to it?

      All of us die.

      Personally? I just wish the ones who are causing all the messes, all the problems, all those rich and religious turds who rip off the poor so they can live “safe” in their million dollar mansions that are all buying those underground cavern protection systems? Don’t even read their own buybulls where it even says that even their caves will not be a safe place to hide.

      Not the good and kind and decent and honest people who are here on this rock. The ones who make the world a better, brighter and happier place. All the miserable ones who spread this crap on like Fox, or Briebart? All those rednecks for Jeebus pulpit pukeres screaming how we should have a civil war over Trump? Trying to get their puppets on a string to do their dirty work for them, just like the powerful rich have been doing since they created Christianity… control the masses like puppets on a string. When they wanted to wipe a certain group of people out? They got their Christians to believe it was all for the glory of their god and Jeebus and their eternal souls, and hey, then you got a religious war of people who would NOT NORMALLY go out and slaughter whole towns of people in the name of their god. They would rather be home with the wife and kiddies having a cookout with the gang and family if you know what I mean.

      And they hate us who took the red pills.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure Trumpster sure. How is that Rachel Maddow Derangement Syndrome and MSNBC Derangement Syndrome going for you? You Trumpsters know there is a cure for that and your Obama Derangement Syndrome, Clinton Derangement Syndrome, Democrat Derangement Syndrome and Liberal Derangement Syndrome. Yeah it is called a self inflicted, full frontal lobotomy. You Trumpsters should REALLY take the cure.


  3. Rachel Maddow became Infowars. She moved beyond the simpleton advocacy journalism of Bush lie peddling to tools. Now she was going to save the country. So she created a story out of whole cloth that reinforced her political beliefs and convinced people it was true.

    And it was all justified because the fate of the republic itself hung in the balance. Any day now, Trump would peel off a rubber mask Scooby Doo-style to reveal he was Putin all along.

    To do so, she devolved from what Glenn Greenwald called “this really smart, independent thinker into this utterly scripted, intellectually dishonest, partisan hack.”

    There’s a difference between being wrong once in a while (and issuing corrections) and being wrong for two years on both the core point as well as the evidence. There is even more wrong with purposefully manipulating information to drive a specific false narrative, believing the ends justify the means.

    In journalism school, the first is called making a mistake.

    The second, Maddow’s offense, is called propaganda.


  4. Clapper Confirms: “17 Intelligence Agencies” Russia Story Was Fake

    During congressional testimony Wednesday, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed that the story originally reported by the New York Times that “17 intelligence agencies” confirmed Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 election was false all along.

    Many people assumed at the time the story had to be fake because to add up to 17 agencies you would have to include some pretty tangentially related organizations, such as the Coast Guard (picking up Russian spies in rowboats?). Now we know for sure.


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