Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Future...

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Søren Kierkegaard

We live in a wonderful world, a terrible world, people are good/evil, giving and selfish.  We do wonderful/terrible things to the planet.  I am conflicted, you see.  I am a believer that our world is a part of us, and we are a part of it.  So I disagree with people who argue that humans are a virus that is killing the planet.  However, I also believe that things humans have done have had negative consequences for the planet, and that we need to be better.

“Is this a horrible future? Or actually a return to what we've always had in the past? Think of old villages. Everybody knew everything about everybody else. Strangers were intimidating and worrisome. This will be like the village our ancestors grew up in, only with 7 billion people.” DAVID BRIN

The future is a frightful thing.  However, some believe we've only begun a human renaissance, the technology will allow us to expand and grow and learn.  Others are less hopeful.  They see a world where humans are growing in intellect but not in maturity or wisdom. And some see the world as a presenting a case for human devolution.  Where the equivalent ignorance of cave men with few language skills possess cell phones and computers.  They believe the world is their oyster, without having a clue what that means, nor the intellectual desire to find out.  Again, we have a number of views.  Some thinkers in the 1800s believed that the world, by now in our present would involve space colonization, and various other big ideas, that have never come true.

“This is my long-run forecast in brief:

The material conditions of life will continue to get better for most people, in most countries, most of the time, indefinitely. Within a century or two, all nations and most of humanity will be at or above today's Western living standards.

I also speculate, however, that many people will continue to think and say that the conditions of life are getting worse.”   JULIAN SIMON

But the future is unwritten.  There is no destiny or fate guiding our hands.  Every single thing we build and create, we enter a new different place.  The journey to the future is walked by everyone who thinks new things. Architects, writers, artists, inventors, even politicians all contribute to creation of the new world.

"Solving the population problem is not going to solve the problems of racism… of sexism… of religious intolerance… of war… of gross economic inequality—But if you don’t solve the population problem, you’re not going to solve any of those problems. Whatever problem you’re interested in, you’re not going to solve it unless you also solve the population problem. Whatever your cause, it’s a lost cause without population control." PAUL EHRLICH

Some imagine flying cars.  Some imagine Artificial Intelligence and Cloning to have replaced humans in military and labor.  In some minds, war becomes a constant, rights are lost, and we are surrounded by chaos.  Some imagine dystopias ruled by the wealthy, or the otherwise elite.  I accept that all things are possible.  Perhaps, many things will combine, I obviously don't know the future.  In fact, my degrees from university are in history and political science.  So I am better at understanding events of the past than those of the future.  However, we cannot move forward for any length of time, and do anything positive, without a thorough understanding of the mistakes of our past.

“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.”  EDGAR ALLAN POE

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