Guest Post By Lee Crain
What does the future hold for us?
Change is a constant and for the human race, it is accelerating in about every metric of human existence that we can see.
The human race has created much of its current existence unconsciously, by doing everything we did in our past that has brought us to this present with little or no thought to what the ultimate consequences might be.
For example, consider the consequences of the one-child-per-family policy in China:
Countless, somewhat thoughtless actions in our collective pasts have set powerful forces in motion and they are in the process of creating our future.
Why? Because of the predictability of human nature and the demographic cycles of the human race.
Lately, I have been studying some key, human demographic cycles. (Demographics: statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it.)
These facts, and others like them, affect all of us because they create the conditions of our world.
Demographic cycles are HUGE predictors of the future and what we see right now is that enormous forces have been set in motion that are going to simultaneously determine our immediate future and the conditions for our human existence for the next several decades. These cycles move through time, populations, entire nations, like giant waves, determining things as seemingly mundane as the condition of the housing markets, the sizes of homes people will buy, or what people will eat. With 7+ Billion people on the planet, every seemingly trivial thing now matters.
The entirety of the conditions of our existence determines the wealth or poverty of nations, continents, and ultimately, the entire planet.
As these demographic waves move forward in time, some people will be enriched, others crushed and destroyed, but most will never know what hit them. Unless people cease to exist, these demographic forces are all but unstoppable, and they will affect all of our lives.
If you're facing a wave, you have a choice: to go with it (maybe surf it) or fight it (a futility). So, it might be in people's' best interests if they began to do some research on human demographics to determine what likely lies ahead and how to prepare for it, because if you don't prepare, you are likely to be crushed under the wheels of these steamrollers.
Another way of viewing human demographics is to discuss them as trends. The trends of history have always created and shaped the future of humanity. Trends are the big waves. So, ask yourself, what are the biggest trends for humanity and the world right now? Are you on the right side of these trends? Because if you're on the wrong side of them, you will likely be crushed by them.
Currently, for intelligent Life on Earth, at least in the developed world, just about everything in our lives starts and stops with money, wealth, and politics. (Not an altogether pleasant thought but try living without money for a month or so and see what happens.) So looking at the trends of history involving money, wealth, politics, and the human demographics that affect them, is a very good place to start educating yourself about how the world has worked and is likely to work in the future.
My wife and I subscribe to numerous newsletters and sources of expert commentary and advice on many subjects. We can recommend some information sources that are highly educational, some completely free, others for a nominal fee, provided by educated, successful, expert, and altruistic individuals who want to educate people so they are not turned into "road pizzas" by the trending steamrollers of history.
Most importantly, don’t believe anyone one-hundred percent, not even us. Do your own research, make up your own mind, based upon your knowledge and experience, and the new, expert information you integrate into your mind. One size does not fit all. Each of us knows our truths but rarely do we agree with others about them. That fact does not make our own truths less truthful to ourselves. We simply agree to disagree with others.
There are many expert opinions out there. Many of them disagree. How can that be? My theory is that much like a group of blind people touching an elephant, each of them has a unique perspective that is limited. So, each can accurately describe that part of the elephant he can touch, and do it accurately, but each part is not the whole elephant.
What we look for when researching information is a consensus of expert opinions to educate us in ways that fit our needs and situation. We seek expert information from many sources. We encourage you to take the same approach.
And one last admonition: Don’t necessarily believe anyone’s predictions for the future, especially if they offer specific dates and events, i.e. such and such will happen in 2019; the S&P 500 will hit 2500 in October. No one knows the future, not exactly.
There are so many variables, some unforeseen (acts of God, for instance), that shape our world and our future. But understand that sometimes, the expert information that people provide is still valid and useful if you remove the prognostications about when and what will happen. We have read some truly valuable information that was unfortunately tainted by the predilection some people have for telling the future in precise terms. Based upon my experience, I don’t think anyone can do it consistently.
I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments.