Sunday, March 29, 2009

Betting On The Future

If you believe that the world wasn't created one second ago with us having a memory of a past that didn't really happen then you must accept that there is such a thing as history. If there is such a thing as history the question becomes what can we learn from history. The main lesson of history is that the world has changed. Whether it has been for the better can be debated, although for most people life has improved. What can't be debated is that if someone was transported through time from a hundred or a thousand or two thousand years ago the world would be nearly unrecognizable to them.

If we continue along this line of thought we may also surmise that not only has there been significant change but that the rate of change has been accelerating. The 1776 years from the birth of Jesus to theAmerican Revolution resulted in minor changes. It was still difficult to travel long distances and communicate quickly. Most people lived and died within a few miles of their birth. There was a small aristocratic class and the rest of the people worked their whole lives just to survive.

From 1776 to the beginning of the twentieth century there was an increase in the rate of change. The industrial revolution resulted in many significant inventions including the telephone, automobile, airplane, radio, and the electric light. These inventions expanded our ability to travel and communicate. Life was not just about work. Our awareness of the planet and our ability to experience new and different things greatly increased.

In the last 100 years life on our planet has changed more significantly than at any other time in our history. We have the ability to instantaneously communicate to any place on the planet and the capability of destroying ourselves through the creation of nuclear weaponry. We also have the potential to dramatically increase our life spans and reduce the amount of time we need to work to produce the basic necessities, food, clothing, and shelter, that we need for survival.

History has taught us that we are progressing. Our lives are improving. Unquestionably, this is a difficult time and there is plenty of fear and confusion. However the probability is that we will figure it out and in fifty years from now we will be living in a world that is nearly unrecognizable from today. Although there are those who can make a case for armageddon, that's not the way to bet. If you bet on our destruction you lose either way.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great way to look at the future. Instead of micromanaging our daily feelings, we should use a broader perspective to not only evaluate our direction but to keep our attitude positive. This was a helpful post.