Some of you may not be aware that I have a second degree in ancient/medieval history. Not that I use it much, but it has formed the way I see things. When people ask how long it’s going to take before society does this or that, I say however long it takes. When talking about large groups of people, you have to look at the big picture.
Back in the beginnings of human civilization, approximately 50,000 years ago, updates in knowledge, technology, and behaviours could literally take generations. Groups of humans were small and far apart, so things took a long time to spread. And most of it occurred during times of war, invasion, or climate change.
As human population grew, the speed of exchange increased also, but as late as 1000 years ago, it could take 6 months for some of the smaller villages in the more remote areas of England to learn the king is dead, long live the king. Technology does speed up the exchange of knowledge, but humans don’t change as fast as upgrades in machines. And with each upgrade, there is a period where the old and new clash, whether by violence or stubbornness. It’s called being a Luddite nowadays.
There have been regimes or cults or religions that have risen, for good or bad, that have caused their opponents to wonder how the practitioners can not see how wrong it is. Think of large groups of humans as a herd. Once they’re head in a direction, it’s hard to swerve them in another path. But humans aren’t lemmings; they will NOT stay with anything that is harmful to them as a unit.
Today, information can spread with the speed of the Internet. The problem is that humans still don’t change that quickly. Unless you never read a paper, listen to a radio, watch TV, or surf the Internet, you can’t have missed the uproar when the Susan G. Koman Foundation dropped their contributions to Planned Parenthood because of the PP’s stand on abortion.
The news went viral. Thousands shouted “Shame, shame!” The Koman Foundation backed off and Planned Parenthood ended up with three million dollars, far more than they were getting from the foundation. The morale? In today’s world, you can’t demand change quickly. Tempers flare, fears swamp people…humans just won’t be changed quickly. But they can change.
In the future, the Koman Foundation will probably slowly reduce the amount of their donations until they’re aren’t donating at all. Planned Parenthood understands that they need to find someone who can replace that donation. And humans will go through more and more of these uproars because technology has finally outstripped humanity’s ability to change. All circling to the next major societal shift.
No offense, but I hope I’m not around. I’m too old and tired for all this uproar. But to you younger folks, I’m cheering from the sidelines!