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When Will the World Stand Still?

Somewhere along the way,life began moving faster than the speed of light.  Built gradually through the ages, the unstoppable machine named progress, a modern day manifest destiny into the brave, unknown future of science has picked up speed in the Information Age.

In today’s day and age, everything moves rapidly and no excuse, much less “the dog ate my Request for Proposal,” stands a chance.  Why didn’t you back it up on a flash drive?  Why didn’t you print out multiple copies?  Why didn’t you finish and hand it in before you went home with it?  The word, “excuse,” will soon be excised from the dictionary.

Food has become “fast food,” lunch hours have transformed into a run to the closest Jimmy Johns. Packages are shipped and received the same day, or even within hours.  Snail mail remains only as a formality.  Moore’s law asserts that technology, essentially, becomes twice as fast every two years. Amazon reports more E-book sales than ink and paper book sales.

Life is moving faster and faster on less and less.  Sleep is no longer a requirement.  In the same way coffee, the speed drug of the last generation has given way to energy drinks riddled with taurine, caffeine, so will energy drinks be superseded by the next wave of the newest wonder fix of the modern world. These latest and greatest energy booster enable us to ramp up productivity while simultaneously destroying capability.

Aches and pains are no longer a reason to worry, but simply one more than a reason to visit the pharmacy.  Pills, the band aids of today allow us to mask what ails us and continue living life unchanged. Sleeplessness is cured by a small blue pill, inability is cured by a small blue pill, depression is cured by a multicolored pill, what was once an excuse to put a book down and play soccer is now cured by an orange pill containing Dextroamphetamine and Amphetamine. There is no longer any reason to slow down, take it easy, or fall victim to inconveniences.

But, eventually, all “good” things must come to an end. Snowballs rolling down hills eventually either collide with trees or come to a rest. Rome eventually fell.  Airplanes must eventually land…  For now.

But is this what we really want?  To continue at the speed of light until there is no possible way to become any stronger, better, or faster?

Usain Bolt set new records of 9.58 seconds and 19.19 seconds for the 100 and 200 meter dashes, respectively. There must be some point of perfection where it is physically impossible to go faster.  But, to be honest, when that point comes, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Olympic Games began a Bio-Olympics league and allowed artificial blood, artificially augmented limbs, and literal lungs of steel.

What do you think?

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July 28, 2010 - Posted by | musings, writing | , , , , , , ,

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