Evolution Shift
A Future Look at Today
May 12th, 2006

A Truly Great Question!

“The future, what’s that?”

-Belisario, one of a group of hunter-gatherers who left the Columbian jungle to join the modern world

This was the “Quotation of the Day” from yesterday’s New York Times.  It was lifted from the remarkable front page article about the Nukak-Maku and that a group of almost 80 of this Stone Age tribe wandered out of the Amazon jungle, declaring that they were ready to join the modern world.

The Nukak-Maku are clearly unprepared for their new world.  “The Nukak have no concept of money, of property, of the role of government, or even of the existence of a country called Columbia.  They ask whether the planes that fly overhead are moving on some sort of invisible road.”

Now that, and other parts of the article gave me a sad sense of loss on behalf of humanity, but that is not for this post.

“The future, what’s that?”    What a question!  What purity!  What it says about how tribe has been living for centuries- without a concept called ‘future’.  It strikes at the heart of being a futurist and of a blog with the tag line: ” A Future Look at Today”.

If I had to declare a religious or spiritual orientation, it would be Buddhism.  From that vantage point the obvious answer is that Now, this Moment, is the only time there ever is.  The past is a collection of memories, of stories, and the future is a projection, and both are illusions.

Well Belisario, this new world you are entering looks at where it has been and calls it the past, or history.  When this world looks ahead to what might be and where it is going, it calls that the future.  It  seems that people in ‘civilization’ are very concerned about the future; planning for it, what it has in store for them, what it might look like, what they want to do with it and in it.  That is where a futurist comes in.  As someone who looks around clearly to see what might be shaping our future and looks ahead and predicts how it will develop, I help serve the needs of ‘civilization’ as they wrestle with planning their future.

Belisario, as someone who clearly only knows this moment, the Now, stay there, you’ll be fine.

“The future, what’s that?”

Anybody want to post an answer for Belisario?


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