I read an interesting article today about the future. It was full of fascinating ideas regarding driverless cars, about health apps and apps to improve our lives, about robots and business opportunities and challenges in the future, and about how people will live well into their 100s, and beyond. The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to invade our homes, whether we wish it or not.
It’s all so fascinating, and a bit terrifying. According to the article, the world as we know it is entering a change as massive as the original Industrial Age, now termed the “Exponential Age.” Life as we now know it will be transformed, beyond what most of us can even imagine.
I’m still trying to get my brain around the possibilities of the future. Part of me is thrilled at the potential, and part of me is frightened of what lies ahead for mankind.
I watched the movie Excalibur this week, and was struck by the fact that the Knights of the Round Table had no real purpose once the kingdoms were united and peace reigned in the United Kingdom. They were highly trained fighting machines without purpose. The people of the kingdom were well fed and living in peace. And yet there was a terrible malaise. What was their purpose?
As I read about the future, I kept seeing the image from the movie Wall-E, where robots are taking care of the needs of grotesquely obese humans who no longer had to do for themselves.
If life becomes only about satisfying personal needs, without struggle or strife, what will become of humans? I immediately began to fear the worst possibilities: obesity, indigence, ignorance, purposelessness. Humans who have ceased to think or strive.
But then I thought, it doesn’t have to be that way. Perhaps mankind will rise to the possibilities of such a life…perhaps bridges will be built between all people. With everyone fed and educated, perhaps there will be no need for war. Perhaps mankind will then be able to focus on life, conservation, and rebuilding the world, where all can enjoy nature and one another, focusing on improving the world, not taking for ourselves.
I received a gift this year that says, “A narrow mind is not possible with a fat passport.” I love it! Travel broadens the mind, and the soul.
If we are free from the struggle of daily living, perhaps more people will have the time and opportunity to travel and meet people of other nations, other cultures, other mindsets, and truly see how marvelously diverse mankind is, and how we should cherish our similarities and our differences.
I am intrigued by the idea that we can unite and become one people without becoming homogeneous, that we can thrive with differences and meet our potential as sentient beings.
Public schools and universities have been focusing too long on the “survival subjects,” such as math and science, and neglecting the “developmental subjects,” such as art, literature, history, and music…subjects that broaden the mind and enhance our humanity.
Interestingly, the new technology could help level the playing field in education, making knowledge available and usable for people with disabilities and well as for people who don’t have access to the finest education establishments. No longer will people around the world be sentenced to whatever schooling is available to them. Everyone will have access to the knowledge available on the Internet.
How awesome is that? What new developments will result from having minds from around the world now being fed and given the tools to thrive?
Will there be a renaissance of philosophy and art in the future? Will we as humans again take time to stop struggling for attainments and entertainments and simply enjoy the aspect of being?
The annual Consumer Electronics Show is taking place in Las Vegas as I write this. Tom is there, and is overwhelmed by the potential represented by all of the products on show. I am intrigued by the electronics possibilities, but more…I am hoping that these promise a rebirth of humanity and not its decline.