News - January 12, 2012

The year 2012

What will the new year bring? Are we able to see into the future?

Not long after the second world war, George Orwell published his prophetic classic 1984, envisaging a losing battle between a single man and a totalitarian government. Jules Verne predicted back in the nineteenth century that humans would reach the moon. The Romans studied the flight of swallows and the innards of fish for portents. So what about us? How good are we at predicting the future?
Will Greek commerce be based on the drachma again in a year's time? Are we heading for a new bank crisis, euro crisis, or who knows what kind of crisis, in 2012? Will our Wageningen institutes be up to coping with the economic recession? Will we in Holland still have the same government one year from now? Will we have a king by then, or will we still have our queen? Perhaps we'll find an answer this year to the new nature barbarism. Perhaps we'll learn to appreciate the difference between chronos and kairos, which the Greeks taught us. Chronos is clock time, while kairos is inner time, as you experience it if you relax. The time that really matters.
No idea. What I do know is that the geese will fly north again this spring and that the first swifts will announce the summer around about Queen's Day, 30 April, with their piercing cries (‘see, see, see', according to Dutch poet Guide Gezelle). And in the autumn the geese will return.