I stumbled across this article recently on the concept of Ark-Head (as in Noah’s ark) as a common way in which people are responding to the growing number of catastrophes we hear about:

“We’ve given up on the prospect of actually solving or managing most of the snowballing global problems and crises we’re hurtling towards. Or even meaningfully comprehending the gestalt. We’ve accepted that some large fraction of those problems will go unsolved and unmanaged, and result in a drastic but unevenly distributed reduction in quality of life for most of humanity over the next few decades. We’ve concluded that the rational response is to restrict our concerns to a small subset of local reality–an ark–and compete for a shrinking set of resources with others doing the same. We’re content to find and inhabit just one zone of positivity, large enough for ourselves and some friends.”

This is definitely one of the most common responses that I hear from friends and family these days; there’s too much to hold and we can only handle so much, so let’s just focus on something within our control. It basically narrows our concerns down to a hyper focus on single issues that matter to me.

I think what is most interesting is that this seems right or reasonable. People are tired, have limited capacity, and problems seem too complex. There’s also a whole section in the article that talks about how world saving solutions now come across as too naive or idealistic and I believe this is a really important point (maybe I’ll jot down some thoughts about that later). But right now I just want to notice that this ark-head approach has really become a dominant reaction and that I think that’s a problem.