Insights · June 5th, 2012
This week I began a new book, The Social Conquest of Earth, by E.O. Wilson. Not surprisingly I find it quite mind expanding, marking up nearly every page, as few writers get to the essence of things like Mr. Wilson. His question in this book is, where did humanity come from, what are we, and where are we going? This is not unlike the question that I use in Futurist.com vision work with enterprises – where have you come from, where do you want to go and why do you want to go there?
To whet your appetite for this book, here are two money quotes from just the first couple of sections…
Humanity today is like a waking dreamer, caught between the fantasies of sleep and the chaos of the real world. The mind seeks but cannot find the precise place and hour. We have created a Star Wars civilization, with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and godlike technology. We thrash about. We are terribly confused by the mere fact of our existence, and a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life.
I will propose that scientific advances, especially those made during the last two decades, are now sufficient for us to address in a coherent manner the questions of where we came from and what we are. To do so, however, we need answers to two even more fundamental questions the query has raised. The first is why advanced social life exists at all, and has occurred so rarely in the history of life. The second is the identity of the driving forces that brought it into being.