It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Futurists from the 20th century predicted that labor saving devices would make leisure abundant. According to the great economist John Maynard Keynes, the big challenge would be that…
“For the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem — how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.”
— John Maynard Keynes (1930)
Fast forward almost a century later.
Things didn’t quite go as expected. This quote from a modern researcher captures the current ethos:
“Rather than being bored to death, our actual challenge is to avoid anxiety attacks, psychotic breakdowns, heart attacks, and strokes resulting from being accelerated to death.”
— Geoffrey West
Rather than inhabiting a world of time wealth, we’re inhabiting a world of time poverty. Rather than feeling the luxury of time freedom, we’re feeling the burden of constant hurry.
How did things turn out the exact opposite of what we were expecting?
More importantly, will the pace of life keep accelerating? And if it does, what are the implications (ie — can most people even cope)? What should we be doing now as knowledge workers to prepare for this future?
So, I spent over 100 hours reading the top 10 books related to these questions across the disciplines of sociology, technology, physics, evolution, business, and systems theory.
Continue reading… “Google Director Of Engineering: This is how fast the world will change in ten years”