Our “Big Picture” predicament?…I dunno. Perhaps the harder it becomes to “predict” tomorrow, the farther back in history we go to ascertain trends… and certainly there’s a lot of bewilderment out there as to “what comes next”. The end of everything seems to be a built in Trope for humans. A certain romantic rush in entropy prevailing.
And of course nature shows us that things do come to an end but they also seem to rise again on the third day, or at least when the spring comes around again, or the next generation “grows up”.
Maybe most important thing to say is we can’t go back to how it “used to be”. While we are anticipating problems because of things being different from the past, we are missing how they could be different in the present and future. AFAIK best practice means we plow ahead, despite distractions, assuming it will make sense after the fact. Sometimes it works out; and/or sometimes things fall apart faster than we can build the new.
Generally the really big changes catch most prognosticators by surprise, this much is known. And before they happen, the quirky non mainstream voices who might, or might not, have predicted something out of the ordinary ….are impossible to vet for accuracy before the event occurs. Sure they can be identified after the event, but that doesn’t indicate they will predict the next unpredictable event.
I remember and you probably do too, that in the 60’s it was sort of normal MO to assume radical change could and would take place anywhere and/or everywhere. But it turned out change wasn’t a progression of step by step, point A to point B…with only one direction possible….
Instead change happened unpredictably….and process disappeared into an ever expanding set of variables…and kicked out some really concerning “side effects” too. Then later we got the ideas of chaos theory and “tipping points” to try to explain the non linearity of it all.
So now we know we don’t know what to expect with change, we don’t have the model to project everything from, and we have to do lean startup dance with reality.
Say we assumed “things will change”… as “feels right” tonight. Is our present understanding of capitalism, corporations, employment, government, going to change? We are “used to it” and there’s a certain constraint on the pace of change from various elements…but logically there’s really no particular reason to expect civilization to look the same in 30 years as it did 30 years ago.
Will employment as we understand it now look the same after the full effects of distributed communication have permeated our culture? We can see the transformation in education happening in time lapse before our eyes.
What if employment became a series of provisional relationships made possible by cloud? What if a corporation became mostly a very dynamic database…that didn’t really “need” employees as we think of them today.., but was more like a Hedge fund, with transient investment and some kind of narrowly centralized but broad in reach structure for decision making, and perhaps a “TaskRabbit” form of employment. (hmm sounds a bit familiar?)
What would government look like? Is there some present analogous cloud app? (Public Knowledge Exchange… hahaha)
The really big picture is that it’s impossible to actually model reality…and we don’t really understand the implications of change. “Evolution” and where we are “going” as a human endeavor or experiment, is still clearly set in the larger landscape of a mysterious universe. (And one where faith, hope and charity still seem integral somehow. Plus a bunch of crushing really nasty shit sprinkled around here and there. The parable of “The Wheat and the Tares” if you remember that one…it’s all mixed together)
Rather than finding the theory that predicts where we are going to end up, I still like Toffler’s Future Shock idea that the pace of change is a thing in itself we need to understand. I take the Lean Startup model as an attempt to respond to this present reality with continual innovation.