For me there is a sentimentality to the past, and having been a History major in college I have always held a kind of reverence for the study of history, no matter how flawed it might be due to the inherent prejudice of those who write it. In speaking to a number of young people today around the world (an opportunity afforded me by technology) I have found that several of them do not value history very highly. I wonder if that sentiment is accurate, as I obviously have had a small sample size of people I have spoken with. I also wonder IF it is accurate if it has anything to do with the rate at which technology and change effects our lives today?
I could understand how the pace of life today could effect appreciation for history IF indeed it does. I would think that it is much easier to appreciate where you came from when you spent a lot of time there then it is when you're in a state of almost constant flux, which we seem to be fast approaching in the world today.
I'm not lamenting these changes (well maybe I am >.<) as much as I am trying to understand them and cope with them, as one of those generations caught behind a bit. Did past generations deal with this on the same level as we might today?
I would imagine that the world moves faster today than it ever has before. At my work place, people used the same method of book keeping for decades prior to the time I became a book keeper. In the 8-9 years I have been in my job, we have already gone through 2 or 3 significant changes with regards to the programs used to accomplish our work. It has had a definite effect on work hours allotted, as when I first joined the company over 160 hours a week were allotted to an office that opened at 9 am and closed at 9 pm. Now the work hours allotted for the same sized store are around 115 hours a week for an office that opens at 8 am and closes at 9 pm. There are several changes in the works right now, where some stores are having trial runs with programs that will further diminish the allotted work hours. Obviously the initiative for these changes is to decrease cost while maintaining production. I just wonder where the breaking point is when industry focuses on the economic benefit of using technology to do more with a smaller work force, because in the process they create more joblessness. If every company and every industry functions this way, then the ultimate result will be a society that cannot afford their product because the unemployment rate is too high.
So I am not sure that doing more with less is always better.
The other place where technology speeds through our lives today is in entertainment. A large majority of the commercials on t.v. today advertise, phone, Internet, music, movies, television etc... and most of them are advertising faster access. Ha ha... just as I type this (of course I have my t.v. on) 3 commercials in a row have advertised technology products. Now if you want the best product you have to buy a new computer or a new phone every year. Are we out pacing ourselves? Have we lost the ability to enjoy what we have because we are constantly looking for the next better thing? I wonder if the speed of technology has made me and we as a society more materialistic than we have ever been in our past? These existential questions may be difficult to quantify or answer. Answers take time, and I wonder if we are moving so fast that be the time we get the answers to these questions that they will be outdated and no longer relevant.
Will we become computerised ourselves? Is our world heading in the direction of a kind of economic genocide, where by those who cannot adapt to the speed of technology today and heading into the future die off? Is the gap between the haves and have nots increasing? And is all of this the NEW natural selection? The NEW evolution of human kind? Are computers becoming MORE human... or are humans becoming MORE computerised?
I believe we are training ourselves, our bodies and our brains to function at higher speeds, and I would not be terribly surprised if our future is the stuff of Science Fiction. If the point of evolution is to increase survival, then the most efficient way to survive may be to become computers ourselves. It may be imposing to consider the possibilities. Humans have always been able to self determine their future because we've been the most intelligent beings. Will we be the most intelligent beings 100 years from now, or are we opening a Pandora's box whereby the technology we create becomes the apex life form? Are humans essentially the Gods of technology? And will the creator fall to his/her creation?
Too many questions. Simply the late night ponderings of a wayward bear. =)