I used to assume there were people in charge who knew what they were doing, who planned how things in society should work. As I got a little older I got more cynical, believing these people were trying to keep the rest of us dumb with shoddy schooling and mind-numbing entertainment, in the hopes they could get away with whatever it is powerful people are always trying to get away with.
Then as I got even older I realized that the people in charge are as clueless as the rest of us. [… O]ur society just kind of happened over the years and it’s always on the verge of coming tumbling down. Nobody really knows what they’re doing or what they’re talking about.
If you can get over the sheer terror of that thought, it’s actually quite liberating.
–Nick Bradbury on ad hoc societies.