I often wonder what people in the future will find barbaric about my life. We tend to look back on our ancestors with a mix of amusement and disgust: amusement that those poor fools managed to survive without things like toilets, electricity, and selfies; disgust that their lives were filled with things we find vile.
But are we any better?
Well there, a great title and quick article that describes what I’ve been feeling lately, well perhaps not just lately, but oftentimes I bemoan to my wife on the terrible state of things around us – from big things like the horrific traffic system, governments, religious systems, to little things like human habits, speech patterns, etc. I can’t remember half of what I complain/whine about.
She says it sounds like I’m complaining about everything, that I’m unhappy about everything, and always seeing the negative side of things. (I love that she’s such a nice person, who is nice to everything, unlike me.) Every single thing I touch and come across, I have some negative comment of its flaws and how it could be better, much better. It’s true, I do sound like this, which is really unfortunate because my mind just picks up on things, understand it, how it works (that happens immediately as usually it’s trivial), and I imagine how it could be better at doing what it is trying to do. Just a reflexive thought, as they say no hard feelings.
But the fact is that it’s true, alot of things could be better. The status quo is not good enough. It might be doable for now, if we don’t care about making it better, faster, cheaper, more efficient, more optimised, more elegant, more beautiful. It doesn’t negate all the effort we’ve taken to come this far. Motorised cars are a lovely achievement from horse drawn carriages (HDC). Yes recently I had this huge thought-process on horse drawn carriages. Looking back, HDC were obviously a stupid, inefficient, smelly, slow, expensive, inefficient system. I can’t even imagine all the horseshit in the streets – which the movies don’t show you. But how did we manage to get from HDC to motor cars? So many technological advances. If only, if only, we can learn how we took that step, examine it, and learn to make the next step, toward the next super technology. Not just self driving cars, but some radical new design, maybe flying cars (another separate thought process), maybe rocket powered, maybe anti gravity, maybe something I cannot even imagine today. And this will give us 10x, 100x, 1000x the improvement over the current system.
We have to make these jumps forward, we cannot forever stay in this crappy system of fossil fuel cars, traffic lights, human drivers, rubber tyres (did you ever see a horse carriage with rubber tyres? or a car with wooden wheels?), etc. As terrible as the horse carriage design was, that is how terrible the motor cars look to a future human being. Intolerably bad. Something that belongs in a museum.
If all humans just accepted the status quo, we would never move forward.
Here’s an article that describes how geniuses are sometimes similar to the crazies. Nice. http://nautil.us/issue/46/balance/if-you-think-youre-a-genius-youre-crazy-rp
Oh, and about that flying car thing, what the answer is not flying cars, but smaller aeroplanes?