The more things change...
If the more things change then more they stay the same, when are things really going to change?
It seems at times that nothing is really changing in the world. We still have war, poverty, disease, death and the entire spectrum of things that most people believe will be eradicated when we arrive at the ideal future. Will this ideal of a perfect world ever happen?
For all of the achievements of man, we seem to be stagnating. Computers are bigger, faster and more powerful but what has that really done to improve the life of an everyday person? Can a computer feed the homeless? Can it teach someone to read? Can it solve all our problems?
Picture courtesy of A. Currell from Flickr
Picture courtesy of Casey Marshall from Flickr
In fifty years we have been able to push the boundaries of technology and science yet we still have to vacuum our damn floors the same way. Yes the machine may be more aerodynamic, more efficient, more powerful but in the end you still have to use it the same way for the same result.
Sometimes it feels like we are on a ongoing Merry-Go-Round where the same issues and problems arise again and again and again. What will it take to really break the cycle?
In the following two pictures we have Americans out of work, desperate to find a new job.
In both cases we have people caught in a depression, standing on long lines in the hopes of finding a job. Why didn't we learn the lessons from the past and stop this kind of thing from happening again? I am sure that no one ever wanted another Great Depression but somehow it has happened again. We have cell phones, MSNBC, the Internet, computers and a million other technological wonders but somehow even with all our advances we have an economy that has ground itself to a halt. When will we get real change?
This idea of the more things stay the same has a further link with the Great Depression when you examine the administrations who tried to fix the economy. We can easily draw similarities between Roosevelt's New Deal and Obama's current recovery plans. In both cases improving infrastructure and public works projects were a key area in stimulating growth. Although many of the factors involving the economic slowdown and factors complicating the recovery are different, the current crisis seems like a place that we have visited before.
Man has evolved from using a club to kill another man, to using the power of the atom to kill millions of people at a time. All that has changed is the scope of the damage we can inflict. When will real change come? Will technology lead the way or is technology just window dressing at maintaining the status quo?