Three centuries ago, disease was what shortened most people’s lives. A century later, disease was still a major reason for people living on the average twenty or thirty years shorter than we live today. A century ago, the Spanish Flu claimed more victims than WW I and the war in the Soviet Union that was being fought at the time.
Today, technology has extended lives and holds the promise of extending lives to centuries. But if you listen to the doom-and-gloomers, humans as a species may not exist a century from now. I don’t believe it because I know the Bible says Christ will reign for 1000 years in Jerusalem.
Each generation complains about having tough times. But we live at a time when we often produce those tough times. People choose to use drugs that can shorten their lives. People choose to drink in excess that can shorten their lives. People can work themselves to death. Depending on where a person lives, starvation and disease and forced slavery are the least of a person’s worry.
When I was a kid, hippies were promoting a back to nature movement of living naturally with others that wanted to live communally. They thought that if they rejected the modern world and lived off the land, they would live a better life. But they either realized they needed technology and returned to the modern world, or they stayed hippies and lived almost like the Amish do today. You might know someone you would consider a hippy. But they wouldn’t be able to live as long as they have without the advantages of technology.
Unless you live where vacinations aren’t admitted, you are physically protected from diseases that have killed millions a people thanks to vacinations. Clean water is available. Electricity keeps millions of people alive and cars are the reason why we don’t need to ride horses or bikes. Food is more pure now than it was a century ago. Diseases that used to kill multitudes are becoming more rare, thanks to medical technology.
I remember nearly half a century ago when I was running for secretary treasurer of the eighth grade. I said we needed more computers. A friend of mine told me we didn’t need computers. That was 1970. I thought they were capable of more than they were capable of. Today, computers are so common that it is strange if someone hasn’t used one.
In the future, people will consider us primitive. If it took us less than 70 years to go from the first flight in a powered aircraft to landing on the moon and less than 80 to go from records on the Victrola to compact disks, we might take less than 70 years to go from landing on the moon to establishing a mining operation in the Kuyper Belt or possibly exceeding the speed of light and reaching other solar systems in a matter of months and not lifetimes. Instead of going to the grocery store to buy food, all you might need to do is load your food replicator with sticks, rocks, and water, tell it what you want, and in less than a minute you will have food that tastes better than real food.
Technology is something we don’t need to fear. We are adaptable creatures. Embrace change, if it is for the better, and master it instead of be at the mercy of it. AI might sound intimidating today. But as long as we can control it, we will come out ahead and be ready for new technologies. Don’t be behind the bus of changing technology. It won’t stop for you all the time. It will keep on picking up speed until you are a distant blur if you don’t get on aboard.