Image Source: Pixaby.com
Science & Tech Editor
It’s the year 2020, and humanity is at its peak. We’ve eradicated countless diseases and eliminated the need for survival. Now independent from the food chain, humanity has become the dominant species on Earth. With the rise of civilization over more than 2000 years and the evolution of humankind over more than three million years, we’ve been able to eliminate all the threats to our survival one by one.
Now it’s a rarity for a human being to struggle against the environment. We’ve tamed nature and her elements and can now block her out entirely. We’ve even left the crucible where our ecosystem evolved and explored the stars themselves. So, where’s the future? I see all the cutting-edge technology that we have, unprecedented rate of information transmission and creation and a drastically raised standard of living, and I don’t see the future. You’d think that once we no longer needed to fight to survive, whether it be against the elements or against ourselves, we’d simply evolve past it all. And yet here we are, not even close to being free of our struggle to survive.
In situations of existential peril, xenophobia, while deplorable, is more understandable. This situation also unfortunately begets unjust systems that oppress many and benefit few. In situations of survival these sorts of dynamics can happen because the risk is existential. It makes more sense to be afraid of anything and everything unknown when your very life hangs in the balance. And when it is nature versus us, human resilience is such that we regress back to our primal biological coding build by millennia of life evolving on Earth. Whatever this exactly is, is unclear.
What is clear is that we, humanity, are no longer in a survival situation lasting all our lives. We have the means to rise above simply surviving and turn to thriving. But these means are not universally distributed and they’re not getting any fairer. The dice of history rolled in such a way that Europe lead the world from the Renaissance up to the World Wars. And we still bear the marks to this day. The scars of the World Wars still remain, and the wounds of colonization still fester under dirty bandages.
So, where’s the future? Where’s the future where we as a species come to terms with who we are and evolve past it? All I see is people incapable of learning from the past and instead being trapped by it. All I see is endless arguing for the most fortunate ones among us and struggling for the less fortunate ones among us. Neither able to get past what keeps them down. Until we can figure out ourselves, technology is going to shape us without our knowing, pushing us in directions we neither want nor can fully predict.
If humanity’s greatest achievement was finding ways to ignore and meld nature, then it may well be those very things that cause its downfall. I hope the future comes soon, because it’s not here yet.
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol.49 Issue 10 on February 26th, 2020