I began this post about the “10,000 Year Beast” close to a month ago. It was meant to act as a tool to help me step through a thought experiment that would help me define my contribution – the meaningful contribution to humanity that will last 10,000 years.
However, I found my thoughts developing so quickly as I kept learning that by the time I would go back to finish it, I wanted to change all of it. Things seem to have stabilized now, and since I’ve put in the mental effort, I should be able to describe this fairly succinctly.
There are 3 key concepts that point to the “10,000 Year Beast.” There are assumptions associated with all of them, and I’m learning more about each, but I believe they pave the way for what could be a history-making strategy. These concepts are abstract and disparate, but I think they are fairly clear. Here is the foundational logic:
- Human power is increasing exponentially through technology. Despite this, quality of human experience has, at best, likely not changed significantly…and perhaps even been diminished. This creates a dangerous situation analogous to a disgruntled adolescent carrying around a weapon–as the power of the weapon gets stronger, and their angst becomes higher, it becomes more likely something devastating happens. This situation will become resolved when we achieve a much higher quality of individual experience–an achievement that entails a much more harmonious existence with each other and the ability to better wield technology for our purposes (as opposed to letting technology wield us).
Key point: advancement of the quality of human experience will not only better our individual lives, but will ensure humanity is able to pass through this dangerous period of history.
- Quality of experience is not solely the product of the individual’s efforts. It is highly influenced by the system the individual exists within. Key point: Changing our environment is most likely the quickest way to improving the quality of human experience.
- The strongest forces in our environment are the major human systems: Education, Government, Religion, and Business. You could think of these systems as species of “culture animals” that exist in the ecosystem with us. They came from a different time, and have evolved with us over our history together, but they are still the same animal. More importantly, as things are currently, they alone do not seem to be producing the results we need.
And while Technology may not have contributed to human experience significantly yet, it has created an opening in the environment that we can take advantage of. Key point: the most effective strategy for significantly changing our environment is to introduce a new “animal” into the ecosystem–an animal of the same significance as the other major human systems.