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Not your Grandaddy's Civilization

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posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 10:19 PM
If you watch the news for more than five minutes these days it isn’t hard to get the idea that the world as we know it could come to crashing halt at any moment. Even beyond the doomsday fervor that surrounds the impending date of 12/21/2012, just everyday events seem to be leading to some sort of breaking point. The impending sense of turmoil can sometimes be suffocating if you dwell on things for too long. I find myself sometimes caught up in thinking about what kinds of catastrophic ends the current world situation might come too.

From just a straight forward factual standpoint we seem to find ourselves at a crossroads of human history. All of the institutions that have defined the modern world for the last hundred years are coming into question. Our financial situation is as dire as it has been since what we call the great depression. Religious turmoil appears to be at a peak as the world’s two main religions come into conflict all over the world on what seems like a daily basis. In no less than a dozen sensitive political situations around the world it seems as if a full blown world war could break out at any moment.

From a personal standpoint, I find myself in an almost constant state of uncertainty. At almost thirty years of age, it seems as if the world I have been prepared to live in since grade school might not exist anymore. We all know how things were supposed to work. You went to college and you got a good job. You found the right person to spend your life with, you bought a house, and you settled down and had a family. After you put in your pre-requisite number of years, you retired and lived out your golden years on your pension, your savings, and a little help from Uncle Sam.

I think I was 23 when I first started realizing that the system that had worked for my forbears wasn’t going to work out for me. It was during the Clinton administration and economists had just started to worry about social security being there when it was time for me to retire. I remember wandering if I could opt out of the system if it wasn’t going to be around to help me out. Nowadays I find myself wondering if I am even going to have a job in the near future, let alone social security in the distant future.

So to recap, we find ourselves at the end of many things. The current social system of the working young supporting the retired poor is coming to a halt. The entire economic system of the world is coming unraveled for that matter. It may appear that we are headed for a global great depression and that WWIII is likely to break out at any moment. I would argue it only, “appears” that way. O don’t get me wrong, the world is changing rapidly. Despite what you might think about the Mayan calendar, what we are witnessing is not the end of the world, but the beginning of what I would label true civilization.

There are two things happening that most people don’t realize. I myself only became aware of these trends very recently. These two trends are the cause of all the turmoil we currently face. They are also the first steps in a profound change in the human experience. These aren’t new trends; in fact they have been around since the invention of the printing press. Technology has been doing two things to us since the invention of invention.

The first trend that I believe is driving all of our current global turmoil is technological unemployment. One of the main examples that are used for technological unemployment is the invention of the printing press. I think this is the first invention to cause any type of unemployment backlash. All of a sudden with the invention of the printing press, one of the most respectable professions of that time became obsolete. Once there was a machine that could reproduce texts quickly and accurately, scribes where no longer needed. The next great example of technological unemployment causing an upheaval I think comes from the invention of modern agriculture. Almost overnight, the world’s primary occupation dwindled to obscurity.

Some would say the advent of modern agriculture caused the great depression. It most certainly caused the mass migration of the world’s population from rural farms to the urban cities of today. Something else it is credited with is the industrial revolution. Technological unemployment led the world from an agrarian economy to a manufacturing economy. The advent of automation quickly causes technological unemployment in the manufacturing economy, which has lead us into a very short lived service economy and even now that is threatened by artificial intelligence and the internet.

The pace of technological unemployment as continued to speed up over time. I would even argue that it might be progressing at an exponential rate. There are many arguments made by inventor Ray Kurzweil about the exponential progress of technological development. It only makes sense that technology that develops exponentially would just as quickly make the work that humans are capable of obsolete. What we are witnessing today, would be called the knee of the curve in exponential terms. Technology is causing unemployment so fast, that we don’t have the ability to develop new job sectors to replace the jobs that are lost.

Did you know the invention of the mp3 player ended up putting over 70,000 people out work? Technologies employed by companies like Netflix and Redbox have literally closed down every movie rental store in my neighborhood. Before we even had a chance to fully realize the impact of those technologies, along comes the Kindle and the Ipad. Just yesterday the headline read that Barnes and Noble the largest book retailer in the world was forced to put itself up for sale. The sale of e-books has already surpassed the sale of physical books. We will soon be counting tens of thousands of bookstore employees among the victims of technological unemployment. Soon there won’t be any jobs left that machines, computers and the internet can’t do better than people and this is why we see the turmoil we see today. Capitalism, which has served us so well throughout the 20th century, just doesn’t work when there are no jobs. I’ll touch more deeply on this in my conclusion.

I would like to briefly touch on the second trend I see causing so much upheaval. This trend is also an offshoot of rapid technological progress and it also has been exponentially affecting us since the advent of the printing press. The world is getting smaller. All of the differences that we have be they religious, cultural, ethnic or even trivial are being brought under global scrutiny for the first time in human history. Distance can no longer act as a peace keeper. The miles and years of cultural isolation that have separated our nations since the dawn of what we call civilization can no longer act as a buffer.

What we see manifesting itself in all this geopolitical turmoil we face currently, is the inability for nations of the world to ignore each other. We are made aware almost immediately of anything of importance that his happening anywhere in the world. We are reminded with perfect recollection of whatever transgressions our neighbors may have made against us in the past. The internet and modern communications technology is forcing the countries of the world to confront whatever differences they may have with their neighbors. It is also forcing the more backward nations to confront themselves and their definition of normalcy in the face of the reality enjoyed by the rest of the world.

I’ve said all that to say this. The world isn’t ending. I have come to the conclusion that we aren’t really headed for a great depression like dystopia, nor are we on the brink of an apocalyptic world war. What we are experiencing are the birth pangs of civilization. Maybe the first true civilization actually experienced by human beings. It even makes sense scientifically if you look at the theories of physicist Michio Kaku. He believes that we on the brink of the transition from a Type 0 civilization to a Type 1 civilization. However the systems and institutions that we have employed thus far will not see us through that transition.

As I have stated above the rapid advancement we are experiencing in technology is leading us towards unprecedented technological unemployment. The economic stress that we face today is the result of capitalism breaking down. It is no longer able to function as the pace of technological progress begins to quicken. As we have discussed rapid technological advance leads to a period of unemployment. Capitalism is unable to function effectively without work being done, it breaks down the consumption cycle.

This becomes even more evident when you think about the ways in which capitalism is an enemy of technological progress. Take the oil industry as the primary example. If I invented a machine tomorrow that would provide all of the world’s energy at almost no cost and with zero emissions, I might be afraid of what the oil industry would do to me. Any energy technology that could replace oil besides being devastating to the oil industry would be significantly disruptive to the economy. All of those workers employed by the oil industry would overnight find themselves obsolete. They would no longer be productive members of society and would need to be retrained into some new industry that hadn’t yet been replaced by technology. Technological progress and capitalism have been locked in an epic struggle for decades now. Up until now however, capitalism has been able to slow technological progress down enough to create new industries that could absorb those victims of technological unemployment. Up until now if a person developed a disruptive technology or idea he could be isolated and the disruption could be discredited, squashed or at least delayed. I would argue that we are in the knee of the curve and technological progress is moving far faster now than anyone can hope to keep up with.

I read about new disruptive technologies being developed almost daily. Whether it be energy, agriculture, transportation or communication; new breakthrough technologies are coming at historic speeds. As technology progresses things become cheaper, abundant, more effective and more efficient. These attributes are the exact opposite of the current paradigms of our civilization; which is built on profit, scarcity, bureaucracy, and inefficiency. When I labeled this essay the birth pangs of civilization, what I mean is this; In order for us to transition into the birth of a Type 1 civilization the paradigms of our current civilization must for the most part pass away. We are currently experiencing simultaneously the death throes of our type 0 institutions and the birth pangs of our new Type 1.

In a type 1 civilization we will first and foremost be faced with abundance. Advances in technology will make all the necessities of life abundant. Clean water, food, energy, clothing and shelter will be able to be produced abundantly at almost no cost. Some would argue, myself included, that the technology to produce all these things abundantly and cheaply already exist. Unfortunately, our capitalist dominated world is not suited to deal with abundance. Our capitalist society thrives on the profit made by scarcity and for this it must pass away.
The other major theme for human society as we transition into a type 1 civilization is almost complete technological unemployment. We are quickly approaching a period in time when the most complex human jobs will be performed by machines and performed at a level that humans aren’t currently capable of matching. Teachers, doctors, lawyers, composers, actors and sports players are all on the verge of being replaced by machines. If you look you will see the beginning in all of these fields of the rise of machine intelligence and robotics.

You can see the dilemma that we face as our current economic models collapse around the globe. The one thing that could stir an advance in GDP, “technological advance”, is the same thing that is collapsing the economy. The world needs to wake up and realize that the way we have been doing things just isn’t going to cut it anymore. No amount of money is going to fix the system. And really we need to ask ourselves why we would want to fix the system. If you think about it, currently the majority of the industrialized world spends almost the entirety of their waking lives working a meaningless service job. There are some exceptions to this scenario, but for most of us, we spend 40-60 hours a week in food service, customer service, retail service or some other nonsensical field that is completely irrelevant to the survival of humanity. The rest of the world that doesn’t have the luxury of the sacrificing their lives to systemic capitalistic slavery, live in abject poverty, because they can afford to buy into the system.

In the near future the world is not going to spiral into apocalypse, although it may feel that way for a while. What is going to happen, whether we want it to or not is the passing away of all of our current institutions. While we currently cling to capitalism in order for us to fully make use of our technological advances, we will need to give it up. We will soon be forced to let go of our outdated ideas of wealth as a status symbol, profit and labor. We will also be forced to relinquish our antiquated attachment to nationality, ethnicity and religious dogma. The world we are quickly approaching will not suffer us to kill each other over irrelevant borders, perceived ethnic differences, or resources that no longer generate a profit. We will witness the birth of a true civilization and though it will be a painful process, humanity will be so much better for it.

edit on 6-8-2011 by wisintel because: Edit for spelling

posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 10:54 PM
reply to post by wisintel

Dear wisintel,

I do agree that the world will not end over the next thousand years. I do believe we will see better days again. I am 51 and at the end of the baby boom. As I entered the workforce the first waves of the baby boom (the beat generation and hippies) had all the jobs and we were in a recession. Things looked pretty bleak. The recession ended and I graduated graduate school just in time for another recession.

By the time I got a decent job, there no promotional opportunities because there were so many ex-hippies filling all the jobs above with 15 years experience. People my age waited 20 years to see the younger baby boomers retire and have a chance; but, when that happened we had the great recession and many of those my age were not sufficiently technologically savvy. Now, personally, I promoted during employment freezes and recessions, I always do the best when things are bad because that is when you have to actually hire people who can get things done.

I have paid into my retirement and social security for 39 years and guess what, I don't think I will get mine either and I put into it a lot longer than you have. My ex cheated on me, gets a lot of money and I got all the debt. I lost my house, I lost my Mercedes and my BMW (yep, I had the American dream). I keep a third of what I make, I will only get 1/2 of my retirement and my health took some big hits. Guess what, happiest I have ever been in my life. Don't count on anything in this world to be there when it promises to be, decide to be the person you believe is the best you that you can imagine.

It can look pretty bleak out there, I have seen it many times, I have slept on a bus bench outside because I could not get home. I have gone hungry (it is not fun). I don't have much anymore and will never be 30 again, my career is winding down. I am pleased with what I have done, with how I have comported myself and with my accomplishments. According to my doctors (who really need to get better at their predictions), I should be dead. Yet, I persist in being here.

I don't dwell on what might have been, it wasn't, it was what it was. I don't worry about what might come, what comes is what comes. I worry about who I am and if I am being the best me that I can, sometimes I am and sometimes I am not; but, I am always trying. I will not say that life is never easy or fun, I will say that life is often hard and trying. Still, being alive, determining what type of person we want to be and then being it, is the what it is all about. Sharing that with another, with a life partner is the best, if you find that joy.

On 9/11 in one of the twin towers was someone sitting on the toilet thinking about the charity even that he would attend that night, another person was sitting at their desk cheating on their taxes and another was trying to figure out how to see the other person without their spouse finding out. People in that building were thinking the same things as people do everyday at work. When those planes hit those buildings, they all met the same end and their plans evaporated; but, their history did not.

Here is what I am trying to say. The world will do what the world will do and it frequently does things that are not that good; but, we can only do what we can do. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't; but, it always pays off if it reinforces for us who we are.

I am not saying to not be concerned nor not involve yourself in making changes. I am saying, never lose hope, never give up and always remember that our lives are but a vapor, short and as meaningful as we make them. Personally, I am a Christian so I do not worry anymore; but, if I were not, my opinion would be about the same.

My best wishes for you and hope that you never see the worst that you can imagine and guess what, the odds are you never will see the worst that you can imagine, that means you might see some positive things that just might surprise you. Be well.

posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 11:07 PM
Very well said sir .. I couldn't agree with you more !
We are indeed approaching what Ray Kurzweil calls the "technological singularity" or what Michio Kaku calls a type 1 civilization .
The current systems we currently live in (political or economic) won't change by themselves and sadly something big will need to happen for them to change. I don't necessarily mean a war but it's pretty obvious that the politicians like the status quo and won't be on our side of the fight.
We need to move towards a more open government that really represents the people FIRST. As long as the corporation will have a bigger "freedom of speech" than us, we're making one step ahead and two backwards.

posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 11:15 PM
reply to post by wisintel

You can philosophize about every possible reason for the direction that our culture has taken and how America has changed but , until you go to the source of the this new direction and really examine it you will never know what is causing this terrible chain of events . At 62 , I have seen how it used to be . I have seen the turning points where we took a turn for the worst. I didn't put it all together until someone said to research '' Rex 84''. From that I found out what a Bilderberg , CFR and Trilateral Commission was and what their agenda consisted of . The Conspiracy Theorist , Tin Hat bunch , and later Glenn Beck tried to tell us but we had it too good to be concerned by such . There are those that still believe that there is no New World Order movement even after GHW Bush made his national speech calling for a NWO . I have heard many times about 10 families that controls the world . These exceedingly rich Jewish families are the owner of all major banks in the world including 12 privately owned our Federal Reserve . The World Bank and IMF are Jewish owned as well . The Rothschilds are the main conspirators in their world conquest the foundation of which was laid down 250 years ago by Moses Amschel Bauer before they took the Rothschild name . Having said that these Ashkenazi Jews are steering us to the point spoken of by the Bible in Revelations 13 where a one world government and money controls the world .The technology of today will facillitate the Mark of the Beast (RFID) chip and Internet to enable the strict control BUY , SELL or TRADE . The new world currency will be electronic called the SDR and therefore not available for use by the Christians who will not take the mark . We are talking about the Great Tribulation of the Bible . The coming war in Israel will be the Gog Magog war of Ezeliel 38 & 39 . This might not be the news you wrere looking for but if you actually investigate it you may find the not so fun answers you are looking for .

posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 12:58 AM
reply to post by wisintel

One of the most beautifully while also clearly stated ways of describing what is going on around us. Thank you!

Originally posted by SimonPeter
You can philosophize about every possible reason for the direction that our culture has taken and how America has changed but , until you go to the source of the this new direction and really examine it you will never know what is causing this terrible chain of events .

If you examine this source even closer... then you will be able to see how not terrible this chain of events will look from the other side. I find it pains me to see you believe the creator you believe in would allow this chain of events to happen without a *very* good reason.


posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 02:59 PM
reply to post by ErgoTheConfusion

Nay ! For I know the plan and I know the Lord . The events of this world point to Christ coming . Think how many have passed looking for the Promised One to return . We shall see . Still that day will be a great and terrible day . Loved ones as well as other people who will see Jesus but it will be too late for them . You will see this too. As for before the Lords return there will be many Christians that will have to give their lives up rather than take the Mark .There will be loved ones and friends that will take the Mark . Pre tribulation rapturist will be here with the rest of us per Matthew 24verse 31, 2nd Thess.chapter2 .It will be a great and terrible day .

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