We need Weird….

Sinclair C5 1985

As we step tentatively into 2022, we find a world no different from the one we left in 2021, but perhaps after the break, it just looks stranger.

There’s something about posturing around Omicron security as we observe different approaches, from the cautious to the aggressive, with different aspects of our wellbeing the table stakes. NHS capacity, versus the economy, versus mental health, versus public services capacity in everything from education to bin collection. It’s a difficult call, and we won’t know which way the cards have fallen for a while. It’s also a precursor of things to come, as the other disruptors we know are coming limber up.

It reminds me of a need for “weird, ” for ideas and concepts that fall out of the mainstream, have conservatives choking on their kedgeree, but which point the way to what we may have to entertain sooner than we want, from working from home, to travel budgets, to minimum basic incomes as we get to grips with the realities of the impact at the intersection of technology and nature which leaves us humans in a hard place.

Old English wyrd ‘destiny’, of Germanic origin. The adjective (late Middle English) originally meant ‘having the power to control destiny’, and was used especially in the Weird Sisters, originally referring to the Fates, later the witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth 

I haven’t yet watched “Don’t Look Up,” but think I will have to – it seems so resonant. The idea of people being told there is an asteroid on its way to obliterate earth, and who respond with “meh!” It reminds me of any new departure that disrupts the status quo. There is the Rogers Curve of technology adoption going from tiny base of inventors, to around ten percent of early adopters before we hit the wall of demanded evidence of the early majority, and the denial of the late majority. Then there’s social media of all stripes – around one percent of original content creators, another ten percent of those who engage with it and discuss it, and the remainder who just consume it.  Just about any model of change shows the same. Resistance to the weird.

Right now, I’m all for weird. If we want more evidence that if we want to survive, yet alone thrive, then continuing compound stupidity may not be the best approach.

For 2022, bring on the weird.


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