Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Does It Seem Like Things Are Speeding Up ?

In his 1970s book “Future Shock”, Alvin Toffler notes that if you were to take the time that human beings have been in existence (about 50,000 years) and divide this time into 62-year average lifetimes, you would get 800 lifetimes.
Of those 800 lifetimes:

* 650 of them have been in caves.
* It is only in the last 70 lifetimes that humans have been able to communicate across generations.
* It is only in the last 6 that there has been the printed word.
* It is only in the last 4 that we have been able to measure time with any accuracy.
* It is only in the last 2 that there have been electric motors and gasoline engines.
* Most of the technology that we are so familiar with has been brought into existence in our lifetime.

I had a chance to see this rapid transition first-hand in the late 1960s when my newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, sent a reporter and a photographer (me) out to interview a man whose son - Astronaut David Scott - was training to walk on the moon.

When the father was born, the Wright Brothers had not perfected controlled powered flight and - within one lifetime - his son was going to be the 7th man (of only 12) to walk on the moon. As Commander of Apollo 15, Scott also drove Lunar Rover-1. Yikes.

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At Sun Dec 02, 09:18:00 AM , Anonymous Paul - ShadowofDiogenes said...

"Future Shock" was (and is) a great book !!


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