If you take the notion our planet is half-way through its useful life, if you believe our plant will crash into its start or experience a collision with an approaching galaxy – when don’t we consider for discussion that the earth has another 4.5 billion years to go. If we look at recent experiences, won’t 80% of the businesses in 5 years involve goods and services that don’t exist today? If you are skeptic, consider it as 50% over 20 years – either way, life as we know it now (society, education, industry, commerce, leisure, climate) will be different in the future. Unrecognizable to us, but ‘everyday normal’ to those who live 100 years from now, or 500 years from now, or 50,000 years from now – all of it is so tiny in terms of time comparted to the life span of our planet/environment, it causes me to wonder why most of us are living the life we’ve been living – patterned largely after the life of our parents, our grandparents, our home towns, our home countries …
Why can’t we leave our existence behind; why can’t we step into the future?
Seriously, we have – at best – a 100 years of opportunity to experience the 4.5 billion years of the future, so why can’t we step more boldly into that entire period equally well described as ‘after yesterday’?
Children seem to be able to do it easily, because they don’t realize they should hang onto, hold true to, some past they don’t know of fully understand. But we train them to cling to it, just as we were trained.
I interviewed someone recently who stated something I’ve heard many times – which I believe was once considered certainty, inevitable truth: past performance is the best predictor of future performance. I don’t buy that anymore. Perhaps, never did. Because what we’ll do in the future in any field of work or play or pursuit of cause, accomplishment or love or validation is solely the product of some decision we make, of a choice. Might be following a familiar pattern of past behavior (if we were delighted with that past) but I think it is more likely to be a product of what we want the future to be – and we often fail because wishing alone doesn’t produce results.
As my friend Simon Batcup says, “A wish without a plan is a nightmare”. He might not be the first creator of those words, but I’m happy to attribute them to him because he drilled that home in me. And I largely agree.
I believe our future will be – individually and collectively – completely unpredictable, 99.9% being the realm of the not-yet-imagined of which we can either play an active role or be bystanders. The future we own is a few moments in time that we either create for ourselves or simply accept. My preference is to do some creating, to boldly go where I’ve never gone before. It might involve leaping. It might involve a lot of failures, but I’ll keep falling and failing in an upward and forward direction.
It’s not the end of the world.
Probably just the middle.
Earth has been spinning here, rather ‘orbiting here’, for 4.5 billion years.
Primates like us, having evolved from whatever came before, started standing up about 200,000 years ago. Mostly everyone alive today have been here, been alive, for less than 100 years.
The ISDN digital fax machine has been here since 1986. The internet, as we know it now, in widespread active use for about 20 yrs. The world of social media since then …
Seems like heights of technological developments and science have been achieved – so little yet to do or discover that isn’t being invented/developed by boy-genius types in Silicon Valley – so where does it all go from here?
Right now is NOT the end of the world.
Or end of progress – rather, ‘technology and science’ is far nearer to its beginning than it is to its ultimate ending.
We should not be deterred by those who hug trees, hate GMOs and fear machine-learning and AI – they are small minded non-realists – people who fear a ‘different future’ simply because it does not fit cozily with their current or historical beliefs. In everything, not just religion – though that too.
Good morning, Mark. We still don't full understand the collective consciousness of birds, ants, or ourselves. I theorize it has to do with deep memory, shared intuition and individual drive.... perhaps this precipice humans stand on is about activating or reactivating these things.... , JB, Edmonton, AB
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