Tracking patterns as they emerge on several levels, across multiple disciplines, floats my boat. In this case, a boat filled with the reproducing parents of all the animals and plants that have existed. This boat would be a Noah’s ark filled with all the passengers of time.

Species evolution, societal transformation, individual ontogeny and personal lives unfold in waves. One current lifts that which is newest and most creative and carries that new item into the later lives of species and individuals. We call this wave neoteny. The other wave embraces what we’ve learned and draws the new experiences backward, informing descendants of the changes that have occurred. We might name it new experience, environmental influences or the effects of time.

We’re talking two kinds of new. There is the New Year’s baby. There is the passing year’s old man before the old year disappears at midnight. Infant and ancient trading the briefest of embraces. One brings the newness of creation, with no experience. The other offers vast new and unique experiences as it prepares to fade.

Manifesting as waves, these two kinds of new rock the dance of evolution, cultural change and individual growth. When storms come and the boat rocks hardest, we have interesting times.

Living in interesting times, we stand at the abyss. Over the next 10-20 years, our leaders, like anti-Noahs, will vote present as countless species file past them and pass away.

We linger at the chasm where experience and new ideas can trade places, where wisdom and creation merge. I’m starting to get the two confused. Endings and origins are feeling the same.


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