Friday, July 16, 2010
Man made future
When people are thinking about how life will be in future, they are usually thinking of how our life will develop in a technical way. Shall we have houses completely guided by computers where, for instance, our meals are already prepared while we are yet on our way home? Will high speed trains connect the corners of the world? How will the newest telephone look like? Can solar energy solve our present energy problem? And so on. What these let’s call them “technical futurologists” always forget, however, is that our future is not determined by what we technically can and by our technical gadgets. If that were true, the Industrial Revolution would have begun already 2000 years ago. For wasn’t it Heron of Alexandria (10-70 A.D.) who invented the steam engine? No, what our future will be is not in our technical possibilities. Or rather, they are a limiting condition at most. What really makes the future is man him/herself. It is the way man deals with inventions and even more the way men deals with each other. In short: our future will be in our human relations and how we’ll socially manage the new technology. What will count in the first place is how we’ll go along with each other in daily life, whether we’ll continue to defend our personal interests at the expense of others, short-sighted politics, the presence or absence of racism, war and manmade poverty and the way we’ll use our inventions, etc. , so our social inventions. Not what is technically possible will make our future but what we’ll humanly make of it.