Monday, September 6, 2010


Twenty-five or fifty years from now, what do you think we’re likely to look back upon with as much dismay as we now look back on racial segregation or the absence of Medicare or the lack of recycling? That is, what now-prevalent attitudes, institutions or practices will people then have come to regard as backward or benighted?

To try to envision and identify such societal evolutions is a way to define for ourselves what “progress” means, not scientifically or technologically, but humanely. How will more of the world’s people grow more enlightened, behaving in ways that contribute to the general welfare of the planet, whether to their neighborhoods or to the ecosystem at large, and cause less harm?

Succinctly said, how will a society that is more benevolent and less malevolent manifest itself in the next generation or two? What will be some distinctive indications and features of such progress?