PREVIOUS THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY|
July 3rd to July 7th
MONDAY JULY 3
God's biggest book of tricks
It has begun. As I knew it would. Yet, for all I could see... and all I could say about getting ready for life in a vastly different world, I still find it hard to adjust to the reality. One moment, we were all still living in an extension of the 20th century. The next, we were being catapulted right into the middle of the 21st. "Here," they said, "Is the genetic alphabet. We have finally cracked open God's biggest book of tricks. Now we know how it has all been done. We can do it too. Only better. Because we are so much smarter." What incredible arrogance. Suddenly, it is as if the whole world has turned into a dodgy sci-fi novel. Welcome (if welcome is the right word) to the new millennium.
TUESDAY JULY 4
Our changing world
Back in May, I wrote thousands of words about the rare conjunction of planets in Taurus. Many people read them. Some were critical. "What are you actually saying?" they asked. "You keep suggesting that the world is about to alter dramatically... yet you are not being very specific." I was being as clear as I could be. Yet I felt like Leonardo Da Vinci must have felt when he tried to talk to people about helicopters and parachutes, centuries before they were to become a reality. I knew I was looking at something real - and big... and very near... but I didn't fully understand it. I still don't. I'm boggled and baffled. But at least I am no longer alone. Everyone can now see, if they look, just how quickly our world is changing. Tomorrow, I'll try to cover some of the key factors.
WEDNESDAY JULY 5
Never mind Frankenstein food. We are now just inches from making our first full Frankenstein person. Scientists are also speaking, in utter seriousness, about a time in the not so distant future when we will be able to 'plant' a building and watch it grow. Billions of tiny, microscopic machines will manipulate molecular structures to create anything we like from earth and ash. These nanobots will make magic wands a reality! Meanwhile, our fridges will talk to us. They won't just tell us what we're running out of, they will order it from the store. And our washing machines won't just have ideas, opinions and personalities... they will even have religious beliefs! You think I'm joking? I half wish that I was.
THURSDAY JULY 6
I don't feel afraid of technology. I'm excited and inspired by all that it has to offer. Even if one day, science gives me the option to grow an extra head, I will feel more interested than horrified. I will though, want to know about the risks and drawbacks. And I shall be suspicious. For people are forever saying "This is safe" or "This is good for you". Then a while later, they say "Er... Did we say safe? Whoops, sorry. We meant dangerous." This tendency to launch new inventions without sufficient testing is linked to the desire to make - or save - money. We have got to become a little less obsessed with profit and loss if we are ever to evolve at the same rate that science is evolving.
FRIDAY JULY 7
Labour saving devices?
Science produces a new miracle every day. As fast as it does, we humans are becoming a bit like toddlers in a toyshop. We see all kinds of playthings. Yet we really don't know how to use them. Toddlers put everything in their mouths - or they try to make towers out of them. In our adult toyshop, we see every innovation as a chance to make money... or to gain power. We totally fail to see the higher, more valuable possibilities. Take, for example, the many labour saving devices that we now have at our disposal. We ought to be celebrating. We have machines that can do almost anything for us. So why are we not all working less hours, enjoying more leisure time, becoming more creative? People who lead such lives are not seen as the pioneers of a better society. They are starved of money and led to feel ashamed of being unemployed.
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