No, it is not your imagination. The pace of change has become faster, because technological innovations are happening more rapidly. Every new innovation is the result of a combination of previous advances, so progress accelerates as we have more innovations to work with, more creative minds to work with them and more efficient ways for those creative minds to interact with each other. This means both the quantity and the quality of innovations grow at a combinatorial rate, which is even faster than the exponential progress of computer technology, driven by Moore’s Law.
It’s enough to stress you out and make you a little nuts.
But there’s a sunnier side to this go-go-go mentality and the rapid pace of technological progress. Innovations solve problems and satisfy human desires. Because of technology, fewer people die from disease or hunger; problems, mistakes and natural disasters are easier to deal with; comfort and leisure time has increased; lifespans grow. And these benefits are dispersed throughout the human population.
This is truly a marvelous time to be alive, and it is our technology that has brought us to this point. Far from “de-humanizing” us, new technologies free us to be more human – more empathetic, more caring, more joyful, more socially connected with those around us.
As a pragmatic optimist, I have to agree with a lot of this article.
This is an amazing time to be alive and one that holds out the greatest promise to change humanity for the better.
Perhaps the best in 10,000 years. It will not be a perfect world we inhabit but I really do believe it will be a better one.
It may just get a little worse before it gets a lot better. Sorry. That’s the pragmatist speaking.