This year is now starting to loom large. It is the year of the Mayan Prophecy. It is a quadrennial election year in the U.S. Some astrologists say it is the beginning of the Age of Aquarius (song come to mind, anyone?). It is a year when the incredible economic uncertainty that currently exists will take a direction one way or another.
I have said for several years that this year might well be one of the most disruptive years in America in my lifetime. The reason is it could be the year when those who see the world through the filter of the 20th century – those who think with the legacy thinking of the last century – will come up against those who realize it is time for new thinking to address the problems of the 21st century. There are issues and problems of this century that did not exist, or at least were not understood, in the last century.
[Please read a recent blog post on Some Disturbing Thoughts About 2012.]
There is no question that the great debt deleveraging of the world will continue. As I wrote years ago, debt would, has and will continue to be a four-letter word of the first degree.
The technologies and connectivity of the Information Age have now ushered in all the shift of the Shift Age. Almost everything is in some state or rate of shift. Change is being felt more viscerally than ever. You cannot get out of the way of it unless you assume the ostrich position.
As the column below suggests, even a scientific axiom, thought to be a foundational truth of modern physics, is being questioned.
I hope to provide you with some thought, guidance and context on all of this in subsequent issues of this newsletter, my ongoing blog, and new books coming out in the next 15 months.
Stay open, be adaptable, for these are times of great change.
It was one hundred six years ago that Albert Einstein stated that the speed limit of the cosmos was the speed of light – 186,000 miles per second. The speed of light, the “c” in the equation E = mc², has, since Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, been accepted as a fundamental axiom of science. It has been one of the foundations of quantum physics and much of scientific endeavor ever since.
That is why there has been such an uproar over the findings of a recent research project on neutrinos conducted at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research. Neutrinos – sub-atomic particles – were measured as traveling a distance of 450 miles (720 kilometers) 60 nanoseconds faster than it would take a light beam. Even this miniscule difference raises the possibility that the speed of light is no longer the upper speed limit of the universe. Einstein himself once said that if you could send a message faster than the speed of light, “you could send a telegram to the past” [It is a commentary on the speed of the last century’s pace of invention that Einstein used the word telegram, but that is something for another column, newsletter or even book].
So the science-fiction possibility of actual time travel as well as longstanding ideas about cause and effect might now have to be reconsidered. The most published quote in reaction to these findings came from a theorist from CERN, Dr. Alvaro de Rujula: “If it is true, then we truly haven’t understood anything about anything.” He went on to say: “It looks too big to be true. The correct attitude is to ask oneself what went wrong.”
The group that reported the results is the Oscillation Project with Emulsion Tracking Apparatus, or OPERA. The OPERA group agreed with Dr. de Rujula and said it has published the findings in order to have them scrutinized. The findings are so astounding and fundamentally hard to accept, the hope is that they are either confirmed by another experiment, or that some yet-to-be-found flaw in the measurements of the experiment can be found. One hundred years of scientific endeavor, training and thinking have been called into question.
Is this a moment akin to finding out that the earth revolves around the sun or that the earth is round? Is this one of those times when universally-accepted scientific thought is proved wrong? Is this one of those moments that decades and centuries from now will be looked upon as a breakthrough threshold of science?
Given that it was the OPERA group that is asking the question, we have to say, sorry, folks, it isn’t over until another scientific team sings. If these findings are corroborated, then it will most likely be in 2012. What if it is corroborated on 12/21/12, the date that the Mayans said the world as we know it would change?