And now for some deep thoughts: The Best of all Possible Worlds.
I believe that we are living in the best time period there will ever be. It is quite easy to empirically prove that this is the best time humanity has ever experienced. More education, less starvation, lower child infant mortality rates and best of all, toilet paper. That’s all good stuff.
But what I am saying is, that this, even counting the future, is the best time to be alive. In fact, if you are under 30, the best time to be alive, well, I’m sorry but you missed it by … that much.
The thing is, people my age, have lived through a period of change that I do not think the world will ever see again. I grew up with three television channels. The Atari 2600 was the greatest christmas gift there will ever be on Christmas day for a child. You could get today’s child a new Alienware gaming rig worth three grand and they might be kind of excited. But honestly, kids these days have grown up with computers, iPad’s phones and wonders the like we could not have imagined when we little. The greatest electronic wonders of the age are “nothing new” or special to anyone anymore. Much less kids who get their first iPhone for graduating kindergarten.
Now, I know many people are thinking “Well, but won’t people that are now young, when they are fifty think they are living in the best possible time, or all time, even the future? I don’t think that they will because I ask you - What is left to discover?
Interplanetary travel? Admittedly, that is, of course where the next frontier is. But do you really want to go to another planet? Do you really want to leave Earth? Do you want to leave your loved ones behind and go to cryosleep for 20 years and wake up somewhere else and be a pioneer?
I don’t want to be a pioneer. Do you know what pioneers lack? Endless toilet paper. And wifi. And cheap energy. And supermarkets. And the next Avengers movie.
In the future, the only thing we are going to see, is faster, better, cheaper, glossier, cooler stuff - that we already have.
Tell me, do you want to be more plugged in than you already are? Are implants that keep you plugged in all the time so you don’t even have to wear google glasses or hold a tablet or phone really that revolutionary? Is that leap in technology going to hold the same wonder as going from a Nintendo Gameboy to an iPad? Is that leap in technology going to anywhere near as exciting as going from 256kb floppy disks to one terabyte USB sticks? As exciting as going from EGA graphics to high def?
What will come down the line for books? nothing as exciting as Kindle, I promise you. What will come next for televisions? The next huge leap will be holographic TV, which I admit, is probably the most exciting thing I can think of. Will that be better than going from 3 channels from my youth to On Demand movies, Game of Thrones, Top Chef, the best 3d movie ever made in Avatar or the other technological leaps in viewing that have occurred in our lifetimes?
Think about it. If you were ten and had already experienced the internet, iPad’s on demand movies, the clean energy revolution that is still picking up speed, and all the modern conveniences - already at your very fingertips - can you imagine your future changing as much as someone who has been alive the last fifty years has experienced?
Sure, you could say, well, what about the people who were born in 1900? Look what they have experienced! True. But those people were not comfortable with the changes that happened when they were fifty and less comfortable with the changes that happened when they were 80. From social changes to technological changes. All of it was scary.
The information age is the greatest age of humanity, and a lot of those people were terrified or didn’t understand it.
I submit that we are living in the most interesting time period of all time. In the future, things will be easier, better, cleaner and we will continue to advance. But all of those advances will not make as much of a change in the average first world person’s life as all that has happened in my lifetime.