Once upon a time not so long ago, we feared every time we stepped out of our cave. Later, our village. Now, our comfort zone. Oh we have them, all right. Each of us has gradually constructed them for our protection. Part fears, part lies; part desires, part dreams; part this book and that pundit.
We each live in our zones as snugly and safely as we can make them. After all, out there we have dinosaurs of terrifying new cultures and demons of frighteningly different people. The cast of terrors changes every few decades. But fear not, there is always someone to fear. At one time the British! the Red Man! the Confederates! the Yanks! the Huns! the Nazis! the Reds! Hussein! Ben Ladin!
It would appear our personal and national comfort zones are forever under assault. By those whose fundamental crime is their “otherness.” Right now Iranians fill the bill perfectly. But here at home, some of us have our own President as an “otherness” unlike anyone else who has ever held that office with violent Muslim blood out to bring our civilization down. [These folks have a good many allies in Washington, in the gun-toting survivalist communities out west, and on Fox News. But that is another story for another time].
Still, those threats to our comfort zones are at least visible. Say like the tribal marauders, ocean pirates, and highway men of old. But damn, if now the threats have gone under the radar. Consider for instance an entirely new breed of — the hacker. These faceless, conscienceless enemies are everywhere. But then so are our security cameras and GPS satellites standing against them. Toe to toe…technology to technology…the hubris of the hacker vs the hubris of the state.
You sometimes get the feeling your little comfort zone offers very little comfort anymore. We crouch in it — playing with our computers and their ubiquitous offspring — giving our attention to only what we want to, hoping no one notices us in here. At least not the bad guys.
But then who exactly is the bad guy? The cave man and the villager at one time understood the rules of the game. These days the rules keep changing. The faces keep altering. The plot keeps shifting. Our wondrous widgets here inside our comfort zones….? To our great discomfort, we soon realize they can only report the dangers; they can’t repair them.
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