In the midst of the most disruptive and devastating times in the modern era, we've been thrust into constant contact with those we hold most dear. Despite squabbling and stress (we're expecting our third child within a month), this extra time with my children is giving me cause to reflect on how they will adapt to our rapidly evolving civilization.
And I hope they learn quickly how to step back and get off the merry-go-round. They need respect for themselves, respect for others, and a healthy dose of irreverence for the institutions which are becoming laughably unable to adapt to the changing times.
I want to raise some proper punks.
I define punk as follows: being self-empowered, an individual who follows no -ism or ideology, who rejects forms of collective delusion.
For me this means all religious dogma, all forced societal norms, and even economic norms, can and should be disregarded if you do not personally believe the reasoning behind it to be sound.
This a difficult thing to teach a child without slipping into solipsistic narcissism. "Do whatever you want" is not the point, but rather "do what you believe to be right," which is a skill learned through years of difficult choices and practice.
Being a punk was, and still is for older generations, an insult meant to describe someone as stupid, inexperienced, and/or disrespectful. Ever since the modern punk movement however, people have begun taking the term and making it into something new.
In a society changing more and more rapidly every year, growing movements are sprouting up who are ready to chart their own path forward. Thanks to amazing progress in AI, computing, and technology in general, individuals are finding it easier to opt out of traditional lifestyles.
Punk rockers used to rail against the "establishment," but still went home to a rented apartment, ate processed food, drove mass produced cars, wore retail clothes, and were part of a thousand other nearly invisible systems of control.
Soon you'll be able to make your own energy, food, even 3D printed products, with access to humanity's entire collective knowledge base and with instant communication with anywhere in the world.
The gatekeepers are all falling like dominoes, and when we no longer need them, we can finally be free.
When I think of the world in which my children will grow up, I see so many things they will not have to do. Imagine it with me for a moment…
What if you didn't need a job or income, because you could provide for yourself?
What if we could live vastly longer, illness free lives, and even modify our own body or genetic code to our personal wishes?
What if the energy industry was completely renewable, or everyone could easily produce their own energy?
What if we didn't have to rely on anybody to live the lives we wished to lead?
The trickier part to imagine is what we will choose to do, when the choice is finally ours.
Being a punk is most often defined by what it's not, but when society no longer tries to define us, we will all have to figure out what defines ourselves. Then when we're all finally punks, there will be nothing left to rebel against, and none of us will be punks.
Here's to a future where my children will be the last generation of punks, the ones who help set us all free.