People who try to make such predictions always end up looking silly, because social change always occurs chaotically. Science fiction writers are able to predict product developments precisely because product development doesn’t occur chaotically (for the most part). It’s easy to predict that computers will become smaller and faster. It’s easy to predict that high definition television will become cheaper. It’s easy to predict that some form of 3D television will emerge. But after WWII, predictions about the way people would be living in twenty years are laughable to us today. Even intelligence-community professionals were unable to predict the fall of the Berlin wall or the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The epigraph of Beyond Civilization is: “What would happen if we intentionally forged our social solutions in the fires of creative chaos?” This is exactly what I’m proposing in the New Tribal Revolution–an even greater degree of chaotic development than is presently occurring. It’s possible to make NEGATIVE predictions (and I’ve done that). I’ve predicted that IF there are still people living here in a thousand years, they will be living in a way that is fundamentally different from ours. I can make this prediction with confidence, because if people go on living the way we live, there will BE no people here in a thousand years. Similarly, I can predict that IF the world is saved, it will NOT be saved by old minds with new programs (no George Bush or Al Gore is going to save the world, no matter what wonderful programs they come up with). Because of the tremendous power of vision (which needs no programs to promote it), I feel confident in predicting that IF the world is saved, it will be saved by new minds with no programs at all (new minds being minds with a new vision of the world and of humanity’s place in it).

ID: 476
posted: 27 Jun 2000
updated: 27 Jun 2000