30 Jun 2013

Ripples To Tsunamis

Times are changing. The future is even more unpredictable than before.

We are in a century where possibilities multiply and materialise even faster than before. The cross-pollination of ideas is accelerated and broadened even more. The reach and application of technology is exploding. Experimentation and open-mindedness are accepted and encouraged. Perceptions are more quickly adjusted as we get more exposed to different perspectives.

The future is even more malleable and volatile than before. We have more impact in our actions now.

Is this a good or bad thing?

We may be tempted to say the latter only. We could more easily spark off wildfires that destroy and hurt. There are more avenues for corruption out there. Outreach has gone to the global scale. We can instill poisonous ideas in people who we may not even see or hear in our lifetimes. 

We could also more easily impose our power on those weaker than us. Weapons, surveillance, media... technology has boosted their effectiveness, giving us more control over others and granting us more strings to pull as we watch the puppets dance. The playing field can be forcefully skewed in our favour. 

On the other hand, we could also set off water waves that can put out the wildfires that others have started. The same avenues can be used for education and dispelling of misconceptions. We can purge poisonous ideas and even substitute them with empowering positive ideas in those same people.

Instead of domination, we could instead use our power to foster cooperation and synergy. Technological improvements can also pave the way for greater connection and exchanges between people. Ideas ebb and flow with more ease. The remixing and creating of new ideas need not be bound by physical restraints. The playing field can be adjusted for a better all-win situation.

In the past, innovation and creation were slow. Ideas were less mobile, more stagnant. 

Now, new inventions and discoveries emerge by the dozens, reaching into deeper unexplored territories of ignorance. Ideas grow and multiply in greater abundance. Trends flicker and change rapidly. 

It's never been easier to amass power and generate ripples that reverberate beyond the small local circles. In the certain conditions, these ripples may even grow into tsunamis that could permanently change the world, sometimes in ways beyond what we imagined as plausible.

Be careful when you approach the water, but don't be afraid to go for a dip.