Did you know we are in a golden age? There are plenty of doom-and-gloomers lurking about, and certainly no shortage of people fostering a culture of fear. So it may not be on your radar, but it’s true.
Luckily, the world didn’t end on December 21st. One interpretation of this “end” is not an ending at all, but a beginning. Some believe that the end of the Mayan calendar marks the start-date of a new era for Earth in which its inhabitants will undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation. But I choose to see December 21st as the close of a Golden Age and opening of a Platinum Age.
Remember the Enlightenment? A time when people got excited about educating themselves? The printing press had just been born, and people began to rely on reading and on their own human experiences and observations to inform their actions and behaviors. The scientific method was born, and monarchies began to fall. So exciting!
Much like the printing press, the Internet has given people access to more information than they’ve ever had before. It puts us more in control of what we read and when we read it. We’re more educated than ever before, and education leads to innovation.
This excites me so much. My kids are living in an era in which, according to the Spectator, there has never been “less hunger, less disease or more prosperity. The West remains in the economic doldrums, but most developing countries are charging ahead, and people are being lifted out of poverty at the fastest rate ever recorded. The death toll inflicted by war and natural disasters is also mercifully low.” Read the whole article: Energy is abundant, people are living longer, and global inequality is on the decline. These powerfully peaceful inspirations aren’t just neat little nuggets for hopeful parents. It’s good news for business–because the future is bright!
Here are some fun predictions for the future from Popular Mechanics. How might they impact your business?
- People will be fluent in every language with Google and DARPA competing for instant translation
- Bridges will repair themselves with self-healing concrete
- Digital “ants” will protect the U.S. power grid from cyber attacks
- Scrolls will replace tablets
- Passwords will become obsolete
- Data will be measured in zettabytes (What exactly does a zettabyte look like? Well, if each byte were a grain of sand, the sum total would allow you to build 400 Hoover Dams.)
- Contact lenses will give us “Terminator”-like vision
- All 130 million books on the planet will be digitized
- Supercomputers will be the size of sugar cubes
- One of us will celebrate a 150th birthday
Those are my top ten, but this article—like the other one mentioned—is worth a full read. Human progress is incredible, isn’t it? We should’ve been called homoinformaticus–although, “sapien” means wise, so perhaps our wise utilization of information has already been accounted for in our name. Whatever we’re called, we are magnificent. I can’t wait to see what else lies ahead for us.