Doom and gloom can be an easy trap to fall into. After all, does not misery love company? Well, obsess negatively if you must, but I do not. I think that this is a most wonderful time to be alive.
The Last 100 Years
Let’s take a look at just a few of the advances over the last century. To start with, we had this thing called the Industrial Revolution, the catapult for all to come. Municipal electricity and the telephone were great advances. Then we have readily available automobiles (the horseless carriage, in the vernacular of the time) soon followed by the airplane, television and walking on the moon. Of course my personal favorite advancement during this time period was in-door plumbing.
The Last 25 Years
My youngest daughter, at age 18, has no conception that we ever lived without the Internet, much less computers or 3,147 television channels. Cell phones are ubiquitous. GPS is readily accessible. Digital everything. But, remember that even within this very time frame, pocket calculators and LED watches first became economical to everyone.
The Technological/Information Revolution may make the Industrial Revolution look like a hiccup. The rate of technology turnover is at an unprecedented level and appears to be only getting faster. People are living longer, coupled with a much higher quality of life.
Ray Kurzweil, technology visionary, is planning on living forever and not in the “so far, so good” sense. He believes that if he lives responsibly, in the near future, medical science will be able to fix him before he breaks permanently. Kurzweil is a brilliant human and his opinion is not to be taken lightly.
It is not only reasonable, but also highly likely, based on the march of technology, that within 20 years we will be able to derive ALL of our energy needs from solar power. That does not factor current advancements in electric, wind, geo-thermal, hydrogen and nuclear technologies. Also, nanotechnology and robotics have some really interesting aspects.
So if you are worried about global warming and even if that concern is valid, the greater likelihood is that we will stop greenhouse gas emissions much sooner than the end-of-the-world guys would have you think.
Any technology that can be used for good can also be used for evil. I expect that there will be bad uses of technology, but I think that the good will outweigh the bad overall.
I know that there are those out there rooting for the Christian Apocalypse or the Mayan 2012 calendar end of the world, but I think that in the foreseeable future they will be disappointed. By the fact that we have not managed to nuke ourselves into extinction yet says some good about us.
You know what my biggest worry of all is? It is the possibility that Americans are so fat, dumb and happy that they just don’t care about what happens. Apathy could be our biggest enemy of all. This is a threat and we need to be cognizant of it.
I know that the only constant is change. Because of that, I know that life should continue to get better for all, but realistically, it will be a roller coaster ride. Hey folks, change is never easy, even if it is for our benefit.
So be of good cheer, the odds are overwhelming that the best times are coming.
Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!