Take more risks

Our world has never been safer.

Sure, there are wars and uprisings (with collateral damage) here and there. But generally speaking, not even a global pandemic can wipe us out.

We’ve become incredibly risk-averse. Industrial fatalities are far and few between. Most factories have become beacons of workplace safety. You can’t cross a warehouse without a hi-vis safety vest.

Step into a circus and no one but no one is doing any death-defying acts. There are no more wild elephants or proud lions or hungry tigers. No pouncing bears and crazy monkeys. Trapeze artists now always work with nylon safety straps and reinforced safety nets.  

Which is all good and well for occupational health and safety but atrophying when it comes to our culture. Movies, books, songs, video games, television shows, art exhibitions have become the same old, same old. Prequels or sequels or franchises or spin-offs from some panopticon flywheel of mediocrity.

The same old, same old takes up more and more of our attention and time and revenue. While the new is actively spurned and dissuaded, pushed further and further away. The new is disdained and discouraged not because of human nature (as humans we’re wired to seek novelty) but because algorithms work on what was and not what can be. Movies, TV, music, books, games and art shouldn’t just expand market share and revenue. They should expand possibilities. They should expand consciousness.

Instead we’re seeing culture on repeat ad infinitum. This is terrible for our minds and imaginations. This is crushing to our souls.

We need to take more risks. This is what we seek even if it makes us uncomfortable, especially if it makes us uncomfortable. The more that’s at stake, the higher the tension and the more compelling it becomes. We don’t want to see the safe trapeze artist when we can see someone fly through the air without a safety net below. When someone is willing to risk life and limb for our entertainment pleasure.

Taking risks is what gains attention. Don’t look at the data, don’t sift through the numbers. Break free and venture forth. Be bold.

Step into the unknown without preconceived notions and expectations.

Burn the map, set fire to the territory.

Blaze a new path.

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