February 3, 2018
Like a healthy millennial, I’ve been taking my horoscope every day like a vitamin. The astrology app I use has this line on their website:
“Astrology puts our temporary bodies in context with our universe’s vastness, allowing irrationality to invade our techno-rationalist ways of living.”
It’s irrational to make decisions based on cosmic alignment. Every science class taught me to only trust real, repeated evidence–and for good reason. Our ancestors did us many favors of trial and error. Thousands of years ago, impossible things were dreams. The fairytale of human flight, for example. But with some dreaming and technological experimenting, we now tell stories of humans in outer space. That’s a luxury. Young people can thank centuries of techno-rationalism for successful long-distance relationships, medical innovations, every comfort of living, and more.
In the past, most people reserved their dreams for after work. A lucky few could afford to pursue their dreams, but most ruminated on them after hanging up for the day the rational pursuit for survival. Today, we can be full-time dreamers and thinkers. I can think about, for example, what song I’d write if I wrote a song. And if I wanted to, I could record and publish one via the convenience of my laptop. Years of techno-rationalist knowledge gives me this capability. So every day, I look at cars and cellphones and I wonder what it’s all for. If technology is saving a minute every second, then the reason we’re saving time must be to pursue our dreams. So every day, I ruminate: what career should I pursue? What kind of relationships do I keep? What do I want to learn? Who do I want to be?
To answer these questions, there’s less real, repeated evidence I can trust. What career should I pursue? There’s some rational answers. What kind of relationships do I keep? Rationally, my parents and their friends may be my only models. Who am I? To others, I can be rationally reduced to my appearances, money, Instagram feed. But beyond techno-evidence and pixels on a screen, I wonder how I am a person with a story. I wonder about the story that will never expire.
If I write any story for myself, why would I want to be rational about it? There’s no time to waste! I don’t think the decisions Neil Armstrong made were rational. He was testing a dream. Cosmic alignment might be an irrational guide for life, but sometimes it makes more sense than pursuing a lackluster career based on sensible parental advice, or marrying for rational things like money. Or worse. If I can prepare for a vastness beyond a 9-to-5, one-track career to serve me and my ruminations, I’ll do it. Eager kids with the luxury to experiment can fulfill fairytales, so yes, I’ll try a dose of encouragement from the stars now and then to test some dreams. We’ve always thrived on the trial and error of them.
Can you tell that I’m an Aquarius?