Manny consider that 2016 was a simply terrible year and regard it as quite the Hollywood blockbuster. Look at all the BRAND experiences that changed the face of our geopolitical landscape this year – Monsanto, ISIS, Vaxxed, Syria, Climate Change, Global Warming, Climate Change Hoax, Climate Challenge, (Make up your mind J) EU Debt Crisis, Refugee Crisis, Brexit and Donald Trump to name just a few. Some regard 2016 as a mass clearing out of the Music and Film industry. Others perceive this year as a science fiction classic with technology advancing faster than our perception of time.
in 1916 families sat around the radio together each night to listen to the news of the First World War, we met our friends at the local Nickelodeon for the Saturday matinee, listened to Enrico Caruso on the hand cranked Victrola, ordered from a Sears Roebuck catalogue, grew our own vegies, navigated by the stars, shopped at the local five and dime store and if we were rich enough installed the newly invented toggle light switch into our home.
Fast forward to 2016, and we live via an endless suite of APPS. We live in a collection of clouds where we locate, communicate, collaborate, store and manage our lives as long as we have a phone, laptop or tablet and most importantly a decent Wifi connection. We grab our news via our Twitter feed, meet our friends on What’s App, listen to our music on Spotify, order anything we need to buy on line, while learning how to grow our vegies and track the stars via Google. We filter and program our life experience via a seemingly unlimited range of mediums and applications.
The calling cards of 1916 have been replaced by a Tinder profile. A loaf of bread cost 1 pence 100 years ago yet today few people buy bread due to gluten intolerance. A local postage stamp cost 2 cents and today Australia Post is struggling to survive as few people use the postal service anymore thanks to technology. The 40 hour working week officially began in 1916. With more and more people running their own enterprises working from home via the ease of technology, the notion of a 40 hour working week no longer seems relevant. 8% of 1916 homes had a telephone. While 30% of AUS households still have landlines, the number of active mobile devices has exceeded 7.19 billion in 2016 – more than the total population of the earth. The first supermarket in the world was opening in the US in 1916. It’s fascinating to observe that in 100 years the business model of the supermarket is rapidly declining and morphing into an on-line experience with a move back to local stores with a more village like community lifestyle being planned.
So what does any of this really mean? To me I see us cycling back to old ways with creating backyard gardens and the return to local communities. Technology has enabled us to break free of so many previous socio cultural notions. Yet nothing can replace the physical energy exchange between people. Nothing can replace the electro magnetic energy exchange between our bodies and the natures of trees, mountains, oceans, deserts and stars.
When we look back over our lives, at the chapters in the book of our lives that have already been written, it becomes clearer that, as Freud, said, the future is a blank page.
As the architects of tomorrow, we choose. We can either let circumstances provide the plot, or else define the plot ourselves in our imaginations and write the text as the future becomes the present. What will you choose to build? What will you write? What will you create?
You could say that each of us are in some ways like Robert Frost’s wet dream: two paths diverge in a wood and we’re considering our options on taking the path least taken.
Edith Lovejoy Pierce said “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called “Opportunity” and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
As we are a smaller part of something bigger and we never know what is coming, I wish you unrelenting excitement in each word that you choose to write in 2017.