1001 The Future is Now

It's the year  THREE THOUSAND ... (this blog is an extended version of my essay)

... and for us to understand our world, we have to make an effort to understand the past. We will never know our destiny, but if we look at the past, present and future as a continuum, our decision-making will be more far-sighted. 

Humans appeared two million years ago. Modern man - homo sapiens - emerged about two hundred thousand years ago and left Africa some seventy thousand years ago, while undergoing the Paleolithic Cognitive Revolution; this period - alongside human’s development of consciousness - heralded humanity’s fascination with superstitions and religions.

Early humans were hunters & gatherers, but about ten thousand BCE began the Agricultural Revolution; with clearing of lands, growing of crops and animal husbandry, this was the onset of anthropogenic (man-made) climate change. 

About two thousand BCE began the Age of Technology. Humans have lived in cities - or used wheels - for not much more than five or six thousand years. 

Around the time our modern calendar begins - at Christ’s birth - the Roman Empire was the dominant civilisation in the West. The fall of the Roman Empire brought the Middle Ages; about fifteen hundred began the Scientific Revolution. 

The Renaissance (the Age of Rebirth) followed and then - from the eighteenth century - the Enlightenment (the Age of Reason). 

During the last two hundred years of the second millennium humans underwent the Industrial Revolution. 

At the end of the second millennium mankind entered the Age of Electronics & Communication - the Information Age; boosted by the capacity to com­mu­nicate globally without delay and to access electronically stored knowledge instantly, mankind was able to bring to an end a crippling epoch of ignorance. 

Up until two thousand years after Christ humankind had been caught in societal models of ram­pant feudalism, religious fundamentalism, despotic authoritarian regimes, nescience and selfish profiteering. This fostered widespread inequality, poverty and unrest, which brought terrorism and wars and in their wake ruinous damage to the environment. 

In the past we have seen the rise and fall of many civilisations … how then could we effect continual peaceful growth for our society? 

Let us now, in the year three thousand, look at the past millennium with its dramatic evolutionary developments. 

When it became evident that biological, chemical and nuclear weapons killed indiscriminately, caused extensive environmental damage and ultimately threatened the survival of human civilisation, those weapons of mass destruction - and eventually war altogether - were outlawed. 

A growing problem in the beginning of the third millenium was climate change and finding ways to combat it. Eventually technologies were developed that freed the world of the need for destructive and unsustainable fossil fuel based consumption. 

Once the world had become carbon neutral in its energy generation and industry and governments had changed over to nature friendly, science based processes free-of-politicking that ensure a stable environment, peoples all over the world could concentrate on ecologically sustainable living.

At the same time advances in electronics, medicine and genetic engineering brought a boost in human health, resulting in a median age rise. This made it necessary to abandon the wasteful production of meat-based foods. 

Furthermore, abandonment of the proliferation of grass-fed beef in humans' diet through de-stocking of cattle ranches resulted in world-wide rehabilitation of grasslands, bush and forests, which helped ameliorate the effects of climate change

Today’s synthetic and vegetarian foods not only use ten times less energy to produce - they are more healthy and also lead people to appreciate life in its various forms, thus guiding man to be more peaceful. 

Abandonment of war, vegetarianism, re-focused, un-political religions, fair distribution of resources alongside the curbing of debilitating population growth enabled societies to focus on sustainable living and provided non-aggressive perspectives for humankind. 

These shifts brought about another Age of Enlightenment; furthermore, with the arrival of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Replicants (bio-engineered, bio-robotic androits), man’s perspective on his position in the world changed. 

Alongside this dramatic new paradigm - where man was exposed to conscious entities other than homo sapiens - a key requisite for the setting up of an urgently needed, efficient world-government was global multiculturalism, which brought - with its acceptance of equality among all ethnicities, tribes and religions - true universal harmony to our societies. 

Unrest, terrorism and war sprang from class systems with deprived, impoverished and suppressed under-classes. Those forces were successfully counteracted and eventually a classless society with a multicultural nature was established.

In 1785 Friedrich Schiller wrote a poem with the line “alle Menschen werden Brüder”, “all humans become brothers” at its heart. His poem, the “Ode to Joy” was used in a seminal piece of music, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

The Ninth is a symbol of freedom and joy, with Schiller’s and Beethoven’s mighty attempt to help humanity find its way from darkness to light, from chaos to peace.

Yet, while the Ode to Joy was adopted as the official anthem of the European Union in the twentieth century, it took hundreds of years for its vision to manifest. 

The necessity to channel development, growth, progress, the economies and technology into a framework of sustainability eventually was recognised, and as a result the model of our new society was based on Gross National Happiness (GNH), which emphasized the joy of living, instead of a growing Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which stresses as a priority the need for ever more consumption. 

For the first twelve millennia since human settlement an inexorable trend had been toward more development, growth of the economies and striving for ever-more sophisticated technologies. 

These developments brought world-society close to collapse due to disastrous climate change, worldwide wars with ever-more efficient weaponry and in particular, artificial intelligence that threatened to run out-of-control. 

The necessity to channel development, growth, progress, the economies and technology into a framework of sustainability was recognised, and the model of our new society was based on Gross National Happiness (GNH), which emphasized the joy of living, instead of a growing Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which stresses as a priority the need for ever more consumption. 

These developments fostered a stabilisation of the natural as well as the developed environments, with weight on recognition of the interdependence of all living things. This harbors well for humanity’s survival into the future.

Australia was a country well positioned to pioneer this new world order, due to its make-up of multiple ethnic communities under an umbrella of equality that built the country’s population with the help of well managed immigration, as well as its development of visionary, sustainable, yet restrained technologies.