The future of humans

I worry about our future.  I wonder if our machines will become more natural to us than our own humanness. I see it time and time again and more and more all the time.  People ignoring one another in public. Turning the other way. Looking right past a person, almost denying someone’s existence.

I see people on their phones. Talking away to some distant person, ignoring the one in front of them. Be it the checker who’s bagging your groceries, the person at the counter of the post office, your dinner companions.

I see these space cadets walking down the street, in the street, eyes cast down on their little box of insanity. Ignoring the real world of real people, real streets with real cars on them. Engrossed in some distraction on the screen, some vitally important game or text that cannot wait. People endlessly texting or tapping or something or another. Thumbs flipping away, eyes glazed over, mind placid and unchallenged.

star trek borg race Star Trek Exhibit at Queen...

star trek borg race Star Trek Exhibit at Queen Mary Spruce Goose Dome, Long Beach Ca, Feb 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are an instant generation. Our ancestors were forced to have patience. Life generally works that way. But we humans have perverted the system. What used to take time and hard work, now takes an instant.  The minute itself stretches and contracts depending on the situation. We are a race that can spend hours upon hours, slack-jawed staring at a screen and still have a hard time waiting 60 seconds for a convenience store burrito.

A sprawling clearcut of old-growth forest stre...

A sprawling clearcut of old-growth forest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How much have we lost already?   We of the quick and convenient.  That human knowledge passed down from generation to generation. Homespun talents. Hardscrabble necessities.  How to grow your own food, how to darn a sock, make a quilt, pluck a chicken.

And knowledge of a more ancient wisdom: The healing power of plants, the power of belief and living at one with the earth instead of against it; as if it were some sort of adversary. The power to walk in the woods without making a sound or leaving a trace.The wild arts. How to make a fire, how to live off the land.

I know its easy for me to say; to judge. Do I have any of these practical talents? Not really. Beyond my urbanized knowledge of plants and animals through books and gardening in my backyard, I am pretty much useless in the real woods. If I were stranded alone in the true wilderness, the odds would be against me.

A young boy living on an East Cipinang garbage...

A young boy living on an East Cipinang garbage dump, Jakarta Indonesia. Picture taken by Jonathan McIntosh, 2004. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our human civilization, our very existence is dependant on  “progress”. Always upward and onward. Always a new hill or people to conquer. A mountain to climb, a resource to be exploited. We have colonised, revolutionised and lost our sights and priorities, maybe even our collective minds as we rape and pillage and steal from the future generations, who will have no choice but to try to live in the mess we’ll leave behind.

We have lost our way. We are losing our humanity. We are losing our collective soul, we are losing ourselves.  And it is ourselves who we need to conquer not nature.

This reckless attitude we humans have taken toward nature. This need to be dominant over nature, this very human need to conquer no longer serves us as it once had. Nature is fighting back.  All the lies and ad campaigns can no longer hide this from us.  We are “progressing” ourselves right down the road to extinction. Is this our future? Many believe it is.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems the one’s in charge on this planet are in race to use up what is left and get it all before everyone else can.  Our beautiful Planet Earth has become a commodity, for sale to the highest bidder.  But our planet, our mother, belongs to us all.

We are being sold out and generations upon generations will hate us for it. They will ask why.  Why did we just sit back and let this all happen? What will our answer be?

  Strawberryindigo.

“America was once a paradise of timberland and stream but it is dying because of the greed and money lust of a thousand little kings who slashed the timber all to hell and would not be controlled and changed the climate and stole the rainfall from posterity.”       **Don Marquis (1935)**

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23 thoughts on “The future of humans

  1. I found this post of your and I have to add this. I have a landline house phone. It is a very old style kind. I have kept it and actually use it. The other day one of my children had come over for a visit, which these days the kids have no idea what a real housephone is. So I dialed the house phone with me cell, and to see the look on this childs face was just too funny. So I agree, technology has taken some values out of our families, the teachings of how to survive is just not there. I dread to see what would happen if the world shut down for a day. I could survive.

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  2. I take a lot of music classes at the community college, and what you’ve described is what I usually see – a lobby full of students, no one talking to each other, all plugged into some electronic device. But today a group of dance students were actually talking to each other. Interesting that the students who most have to live in and be aware of their bodies were the ones making real contact with each other. Gives me some hope that face-to-face communication will not die out completely.

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    • Hello Heart to Harp. That’s wonderful, I too have hope for the future. I think we all just need to remember from time to time to unplug and get outside…..Maybe we can do a live Podcast in the woods. haha. Seriously, I believe it is up to all of us to make sure human commmunication stays human and humane. Great to see you! 🙂

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  3. If you threw me into a wilderness I wouldn’t last one day. I know how to make a fire and rudimentary knots but I have no clue how to really survive. I am indeed a product of the times.
    You’ve echoed my thoughts, SI. I have to drag the electronics from the dinner table. I see it all around me. I too have become more focused on my phone and its beeps and twitters. But I’ve given up Facebook and have never done Twitter. I try to keep texting to an as needed basis. I don’t watch much tv. Blogging is about the only thing I do that’s not as real as I’d like. And right now I’m here instead of spending the day off with my husband. But I enjoy my “virtual” relationships so I’m going to keep this!
    But I would like a simpler world. Everything is moving much faster than me. But I’m a cog for now. I am going hiking later this week and hopefully won’t get lost for too long. lol! Loved your post and as always, you’re making me think!

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    • Hey Beckie: I’m here “virtualizing” away talking about “getting back to nature” and all that, while the laptop hums, I tap along with the TV in the background and slurp up a huge bowl of chocolate ice cream. I would like however to go to a kind of summer camp resort retreat for adults in the woods, with hiking trails and a lake and woods, with arts and crafts and a big bonfire at night.
      It would also be nice to sit on a nice pristine white sanded beach on a warm breezy day being served exotic drinks by a tall well muscled native dude and just take it easy and with lots of naps in the sun and never burn my too white almost sickly pale northwestern skin….whew that was a sentence….

      thanks for thinking..that is brave. I’d never do anything remotely like THAT….Great to see ya! 😉

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      • Great to see you, too! I will take your “wilderness” trip any day! Tall cool drinks by the pool with a cabana boy and a book are my fave. But I would like to go on a retreat, as long as they have sheets! But never a nudist retreat. Sag city is best kept under wraps! 🙂

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        • I am proud to say that I have been invited to a nudist retreat not once but twice and I turned down both invitations. What I have found is that people who invite others to nudist camps are ususally not just sag city but are totally annihilated mega-metropolises. ( say that fast 5 times)
          One thing about cabana boys is that you can take the boy out of the cabana but you can’t take the cabana out of the boy. 🙂

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  4. It takes just one person at a time to slow down the process, to not give in to the cell phone, the I-phone, the I-pad and to make do with face to face communications rather than an abbreviated way of life to hurry on to the next multi-task we just gotta attend to for the life of us.

    This is no life.

    I like to live in the present, not the future where the newest doodad wants us to constantly be focused upon. Enjoy the NOW. It is really the only thing we truly have control over and can enjoy once we realize that.

    Articles like this help all of us focus on what is really important.

    Thanks!

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  5. Then again…. there are the bright spots. I like what I’m seeing in the younger generation: their concern for the planet and each other. The locavore movement, stuff that WV farm writes about and it’s spreading from coast to coast.

    There’s a neat website http://www.dailygood.org/ that highlights some of the good stuff. One of my favorites was when they documented how a neighborhood reclaimed an abandoned parking lot. Tore up the cement, built a community garden, including fruit trees.

    Honestly, it’s not ALL bad……

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    • Hello Gunta: I appreciate your postiveness, it is encouraging and makes me smile. Yes, there are bright spots and I have hope for the future because of this. I do what I do in my own little way to help. Sometimes focusing on what is negative can help bring about change in the positive direction.
      Rachel Carson wrote about some negativity, but her famous book helped the world be a bit better.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comments and for adding to the converstion. It is always nice to hear from you! 🙂

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      • I certainly don’t mean to knock the folks who are crusading to right the wrongs and I do what I can in my own way, too. I was merely hoping we could also nurture the good and not overlook it. I get too depressed if I focus only on all the bad stuff. (and it’s always nice to hear from you, too!) 🙂

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        • Hi Gunta: You are so right, we should nurture the good. I get where you are coming from, read some more of my posts and you’ll see just how positive I am…. it’s all good, don’t fret, You don’t have to explain yourself. I understand and respect your comment and agree with you. I can hardly watch the news anymore, Yikes! 🙂

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  6. ahhh, we could be singing in harmony…..I remember when I started chatting and then IMing and my mom was confused with all the conversation going 10 different ways.

    I remember walking on an errand and passing someone who said “Hello!” just as they came up to me. I was surprised but responded “hello” only to have them look at me disdainfully and then go on to say “some idiot just thought I said hello to her” and then noticed the blueray on her ear. Idiot indeed.

    When I get a text from someone that is long, I dial them and often it goes unanswered. Why the need for the space? Why not direct communication? What have we become afraid of?

    And we end up marrying people we can’t talk to, raising children we don’t know and sometimes don’t want to claim, and not taking responsibility for our actions and how they affect others.

    Man, I am beginning to sound like my parents!

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