Many have tried to define the period in which we are living. Are we the Computer Age, the Information Age, Digital Age or post Industrial?
Phones are the size of credit cards, credit cards have replaced cash and money itself is now more theory than substance, more deity than currency. Post soul, Millennial, Generation X, Y and Z, we struggle to put limits on the time, so that we can analyze it and we fail because it moves and changes even as we attempt to understand it.
Whenever the American economy has shifted, leaving people out of work and giving more to automation, we get fewer people owning more, and less hope for the future, families fall apart, marriage declines, racial strife rises and along with it comes violence.
The blind ambition of capitalism was fine when we were an agrarian economy and a manufacturing one. Greed fueled incentives and expansion brought opportunities. But in the computer age, innovation fueled by greed comes at the expense of human resources and leaves vast numbers of people without jobs, purpose and hope.
You can tell the worth of humanity in a society by how it lives-- and dies. Men used to farm the land by hand and then we used big machines to do it and now we genetically modify the very seeds that grow our food, effectively making Soylent Green a reality.
We used to be bound by communities and now we are separated by the vastness of digital life and social media which allows us to talk at each other but not with our fellow man.
And we used to crucify men, burn women at the stake, shoot bullets and drop bombs on enemies and then we gained the capacity to destroy the world if we wanted.
And now we use robots to kill.
We are in a state of transfuturism, the belief that we can live in the future in our present time by thinking and doing as one might in that supposed future.
But what is our future?
Will we really obliterate ourselves or is that just fear, the nightmare of a civilized mind, the anthesis of our instinct for self-preservation?
So if Klaatu from The Day The Earth Stood Still was wrong and we will not destroy ourselves, then what? Maybe our future is brighter. Maybe we will get past our petty animal aggression and embrace life for the sake of it, minimize strife and not live off the lives of others through fiat currency and artificial boundaries based on superficial theories.
The future world we see in movies and literature is taking shape right before our eyes. One by one, the tenets of individualism are falling, and we accept laws, rules and traditions born of a collective thought, framed and focused by social algorithms and limited in character length. But must we plunge into a dark dystopian world, or can we shift our progressive hunger toward humanity and love? This would make a terrible sci fi movie but a great world.
So, buy your cryptocurrency, sync your cell phone to your brainwave pattern and store your memories on thumb drives so you can relive them again and again but do it with a sense of hope because no matter how much we innovate, we are still carbon-based, fragile and subordinate to our capacity to love.