It’s not something to say aloud, but I sometimes have a hidden desire to fast-forward history. I read a lot of projections and predictions about the future, some cynical, some knowledgeable, most admitting that we simply cannot know what is coming.
Except these few certainties like climate change, global competition for food and energy resources, and major economic crises.
Do you sometimes fantisize caressing then gently pushing a fast-forward-button, like the ones found on tape recorders, but instead of rewinding a magnetic medium holding a virtuoso Liszt recording it would unwind the future of our species and planet. You would just sit there in awe as all these events our meek and squeamisch leaders spell with their eloquence, as all these long overdue events just take place right before your eyes.
The disappearing of the Greenland ice sheet and the melting of the Tibetan plateau, the flooding of coastal regions from Lagos to Bangladesh, to Viet Nam, the extinction of ocean life, the increase in human population to 10 billion, the unprecedented deaths caused by famine, plagues, and war, ever-growing bandwidth and paradoxically, exclusivity of communication, the phasing out of the oil economy and the many scandals in its wake, the fate of religion, the advent of nuclear fusion, global terrorism responding to bizarre unequalities our corrupt politicians will continue to defend with bullshit dressed in honey, increased suicide rates as some people start to realize the “infinite growth” scam is no way out of the human condition, dying out of entire cities due to lack of drinking water, a strong and capable resistance movement much like during the 2nd world war, the use of a rogue nuclear device and consecutive annihilation of a subcontinent, the coming and going of guru’s, prophets, and quacks, the re-invention of “work” and the return to a class or caste society.
You could see all this when you fast-forward to the end of the century, sitting behind your tape recorder letting your index finger play with the traces of dust on the -button while pushing it slowly. The number 2100 might be the end of your tape; it would stop with a characteristic jerk, so to speak…
We care to know – we care to know how it ended, and want to be around. Maybe that’s what drives change: fear that we won’t be around when the defining change will be made. I am tempted to end this piece with a moralistic remark or a quote of some admirable dead thinker. But we have enough of that already. I want to say that we don’t need to be in a hurry, that we may take our time, leave some pivotal events to our grandchildren, leave some of the planet unexploited even unexplored, sit back and relax. I want to say all that without being – moralistic.