Saturday, October 11, 2014

All Aboard and All But Bored

If you and I see a freight train going by, we shrug and think no big deal. We may feel inconvenienced if we have to wait for one to go by at a crossing; we may be a little excited if we’d put a penny on the track, but for the most part, hey, a train.
If folks had seen one go by in 1814, God only knows what they’d have thought it was. It might be interpreted as a fire-breathing dragon or one of those horses from the apocalypse. The noise alone would likely scare the daylights out of them.
It took us millions of years to get to the Hunting/Gathering Age.
Then, it took around 590,000 more years to get to the Horticulture & Agrarian Ages.
From there, it took a little less than 12,000 years to get to the Industrial Age
From the Industrial Age to the Information Age only took about 260 years.
The gaps between the ages have gotten progressively shorter, from millions of years to just over half a million years to 12,000 to 260. Things are changing fast. The progress that used to take a thousand years will soon take only ten…or two…or, what time is it now?
Everything necessary to build and run a railroad was right here on this planet, under the very noses of our hunting and gathering ancestors. All the physical elements were there, they just didn’t know how to isolate, manipulate, and distribute them. They were there, but no one noticed. What else might be right here, right now, under our very noses without our being aware of it? What will the folks in 2114 laugh at us for not knowing? (Hey, for all we know, we’ll still be alive to laugh about it, too.) It’s easier to believe that anything is possible than it is to declare anything impossible.

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