FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Approaching a New Paradigm

John Petersen of the futurist Arlington Institute believes that the world will undergo such upheavel over the next few years that we will emerge into a new paradigm that will challenge our most basic assumptions about technology, the economy, politics, the environment, and even spirituality:

The new world, as in all paradigm shifts, would not make much sense from our present perspective. Never having seen group larger than a clan, a hunter-gatherer contemplating the future would have been hard-pressed to envision a world that included people living in towns and villages. Similarly, the future that may arrive with 2012 would necessarily seem strange in the context of most of our upbringing.

Petersen believes that powerful forces are gathering to bring about explosive change within the next five years -- change that will be the most profound and disruptive since the arrival of homo sapiens on the planet:

Perhaps we are about to experience another punctuation in the equilibrium of human evolution. Patterns from the past suggest that the time is right for another one. The question is, are we ready? If the change that seems to be forming on the horizon is anything like it appears it might be, then all humans will need to move into a new mode of living and thinking in order to survive the transition.