From one era to another

The world is on the brink of transitioning from one era to another. Many eras have characterized human evolution and later social evolution but the defining characteristics of the two eras discussed here are those of unbounded growth and sustainability.

The first era is characterized by growth. This can be growth in population, the number of people in a community, geography and even the entire world. This growth can be economic activity encompassing the number of material things you own (houses, cars, computers), the number of calories you consume (steak, fish or fried potatoes) and the kind and frequency of activities you undertake (cruise ship travel, skydiving, geocaching). This growth compounds when you combine the number of people with the number of things they consume or the kind and frequency of activities they undertake. The important aspect of the first era is that growth is an integral part of progress to the extent that our money is based on growth, our economy is based on growth and even the very idea of a good life is based on growth.

This is all well and good if we lived in an infinite world. If presently inhabited parts of the world were faced with collapse due to the human overburden, then uninhabited parts of the world would relieve the pressure through mass migration. New resources would become available to continue the immigrants’ expectations of growth while the old world would be relieved of the excess population which started to make life there uncomfortable.

The second era of social evolution is defined by our infrastructures, institutions, values and beliefs changing to account for the finite world we live in. It will be defined by dismantling the idea that growth is good. The beginning of the second era will wrench growth away from our population, our economy and even our values and expectations. This will not be easy but it will be accomplished. The only question is whether man kind will have control over this transition. Will we be able to plan and execute towards the change or will nature force this change upon us?

This blog will explore these changes wherever they may take place and discuss where change is lacking or obstacles to change exist with emphasis on pragmatic solutions to implementing changes to a sustainable human civilization.

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