willingness to make up stories when we do not understand things fully, and
most tellingly, to become afraid of where that understanding might lead.
Whether we lived hundreds of years ago in a tissue of contradictory religious
beliefs, or thousands of years ago under broad unknowing skies from which
the gods seemed to descend to punish us; whether we live now in Silicon
Valley or struggle to get by in a corrugated shanty on the far edge of Cape
Town, individual human beings have always had to, and still must, find their
way through a fog of stories that other people want us to believe. These sto-
ries have always taken semi-ridiculous forms, which everyone is then made
to believe, and made normal by the powerful, the rich and the influential:
strange religious superstitions, fraudulent religious leaders, power-mad politi-
cians, and most sadly of all, all of those once original and precious authentic
religious revelations now turned into manipulative mis-information, by those
who wish to profit by our confusion.
Confusion may be one of the great hallmarks of human history, but so is
misinformation. We have always, collectively and individually since the dawn
of conscious time, been seriously misinformed, either scientifically or psycho-
logically or religiously; most especially misinformed as to what really contrib-
utes to our happiness and where the limits of our knowledge lie.
The only thing we can be sure of, and this truth is now being crystalized by
the crazily self-magnifying power of the internet, is that human beings have
a foundational difficulty in having any real conversation with the unknown.
With or without an internet they are always supplying easy answers too early
in the process before they ever have the experience, the understanding or
even the right to know what is actually happening. From a collective point of
view this dynamic grants an evolutionary advantage of course, as a portion
of any given population will at least have got the possibilities right ahead of
time by mere chance, thus ensuring survival of the species as a whole, but it
is has disastrous consequences from the point of view of individual human
Our foundational difficulty is that we human beings find it difficult to live
with what cannot be yet understood, with what we are powerless to under-
Letter from the House - 3