August 4, 2020

My Future Self Paid Me a Visit From 2040

Future me paid myself a visit.

He feels some feelings I can't yet feel.

He says truths I can't yet utter.

He sees some realities I haven't yet imagined.

The best I can figure is that he was from the year 2040. And no, they haven't yet cured baldness. But he did have some great stories. I'm gonna laugh a whole lot over the next twenty years.

But it was a sobering conversation. I can't tell you all the topics we talked about. Some you wouldn't care about. Others are too provocative...for now. He did tell me the crazy idea I had a few months ago would work. I'll tell you about that crazy idea next month.

Now for the part of our conversation that pertains to you..

1. Nostalgia for what isn't coming back.

A world of two agreed-upon realities isn't coming back. It was nice to live in a world where everyone got their information from a few trusted sources. From those 2 trusted sources you were either "for" or you were "against". 2020 finished the fracturing that had already occurred years before. From here on reality was multi-varied.

2. Excitement for what will change.

In this multi-varied reality something new would happen. History would not repeat. The winner wouldn't write the textbooks, make history fit their propaganda, and start the cycle over again. This cycle interruption created what he called, "The Great Returning". 

He said that leaders in thriving countries were evaluated for their ability to guide growth and develop wisdom. Generating growth and developing wisdom were equally valued because both were necessary to lead people through all the disruptions.

He shared some truths I can't yet utter:

1. Social media surfaced an honesty: You can't beat biology and evolution.

He didn't want to get into this one too much. But he said a lot of the issues society was fighting about were finer points that would work themselves out. Part of the returning to wisdom he mentioned was that our institutions stopped telling others who to be. We learned that human dignity wasn't a zero sum game. A lot of the lies of industrialization that made work the main driver of someone's identity were replaced with a more honest assessment of natural desires.

2. There's no moment of a utopian arrival.

Technology wouldn't save us. No aliens were going to appear. Religions would look different than they do now just as agriculturalism changed them before. It was up to us in the complexity of life and doing hard things to build and rebuild step-by-step as we always have. He reiterated that human life advances in many small steps and unexpected leaps. He reminded me the world changes not from top down systems but transformed micro-communities.

He could tell my wheels were turning. He went for more clarity. So he said it this way:

"Work is shaped by industrialization. 

Religion is shaped by agriculturalism.

In 2020 neither have been fully shaped by the internet but that would change."

He went on...

He described some realities I haven't yet imagined:

He said most of how we use the internet right now is like the first time a human species tied a stick to a rock and had an axe. The internet was going to continue to change everything and we had barely tasted what was to come. It would be as different as that early human with a very rudimentary tool compared to our ability to split an atom. He said these changes came with pains, powers, and advancements.

Much of the extremist leadership of the left that over-imagined goodness and the extremist leadership of the right that over imagined badness continued to exhaust itself in struggle. Then leaders began to emerge to pick up the pieces and guide to wisdom. They guided from a timeless wisdom that knows the evil potential within a human is real but so is the potential for good.

Future self took me back in my mind to being 20 years old, sitting in a college class room and so sure of so many things. He reminded me of how much I had changed the last twenty years. He reminded me of how much I was sure of that ended up not being true. He said that would happen again. 

He did tell me what wouldn't change. He said I would still be as obsessed as ever with how people grow. And I would still be bald.

If your future self came for a visit what would they say? Let your imagination lead.

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