This is a follow up to my initial post on 21st century thinking – a lecture series that I am developing. I started yesterday with a caution — folks in the future will have very different values than we do. But what can we say about these values?
One thing seems rather clear. The 20th century saw an explosion of creativity around basic living. Yes, yes, it was also an incredibly destructive time. It was also a time when universal education opened the doors for many to build careers based on knowledge rather than brute strength. In the west, social mobility became the norm rather than the exception. And we basked in an every growing amount of consumer delights.
But the odd thing is that while we did this, we still had only a vague idea where all of this new stuff was coming from. Most of us were not engaged or only marginally engaged in this creative process. Things just arrived. Man just happened to make it to the moon.
BTW, this disconnect produced some amusing results. For example, the moon deniers. Folks who could not believe that mankind could actually have shot a rocket to the moon, with humans setting foot on its rocky terrain and coming back. They believed it was all a conspiracy. And the fact that the incredible creativity required to make this happen was so far removed from what average folks were capable of added some credibility to the deniers side.
It is only recently that mankind has begun to ask the question, where do new ideas come from? What is intelligence? What is creativity? And we are starting to find answers to these question sand more. We are just beginning to understand man’s intellectual potential, as well as our limitations as a species.
This makes one rather optimistic that in the next century, we will be able to use this new knowledge about how we acquire knowledge. Stay tuned! I will pull the curtain and show all the core value that produces our creativity. That is next!