THE PERSISTENCE OF TUNNEL VISION
Is Humankind the ultimate outcome of the Earthly life processes?
Will it be prettty much “business as usual” for our species for the next century?
By casting aside the blinkers provided by thought-patterns which have, over the millennia,
become embedded in our collective consciousness, the arguments presented
herein permit a resounding “No” in response to such questions.
They are here approached by bringing to bear ideas that arise in various
disparate disciplines, each of which can contribute important pieces
to the great jig-saw puzzle from which a rather revolutionary
new picture of the future starts to emerge.
Important features of this new vision include the proposition that Humankind may well have been
superseded by a new and higher life-form before the next half-century has elapsed.
The outcome for our species could be dire, with extinction on the books. On the other hand,
if we are fully aware of the kinds of natural processes going on in the background and
play our cards right, we might just come out laughing.
In either case it would seem to be inevitable that whatever human societal conditions may exist
at the end of this century they will bear hardly any resemblance to those
pertaining today and are probably unimaginable.
Tunnel vision, by which, in the present context, I mean the very limited propensity for we humans
to think broadly and in terms of exponential change, has us trapped in the present.
Governments prepare detailed plans for provision of pensions at the end of the century using
linear extrapolations with the tacit assumption of no major change from the status quo.
Certain academics, even some physicists and IT gurus, write articles and books that
purport to provide meaningful visions of the future but are, for the most part,
merely bland embellishments of the present.
Tunnel vision has served us adequately in the past. For most of our history the scope of human
knowledge has necessarily been limited. Apart from the vagaries of the climate there was
usually no significant change even from generation to generation.
The agonisingly slow processes of genetic evolution held sway.
Tunnel vision was then of no consequence and incurred no penalty.
But now a new evolutionary process has arisen. It is that catalysed by human imagination.
It is changing our lives,our environment, at a rapid and ever increasing rate.
For the most part we all pay lip service to this remarkably rapid kind of change.
To be sure, in the developed nations it is all around us, staring us in the face.
But still, at heart, we find it extraordinarily hard to shake off the old mental habits of narrow focus and linearity.
“Unusual Perspectives” is an attempt to help redress this problem by means of two antidotes,
eclecticism and the full acceptance of exponentiality
They may, at times, seem hard to swallow, but that is true of many good medicines.