The world is becoming a very unstable place, and the pace at which things are changing all around us has become absolutely mind-numbing. In fact, change has become one of the only constants in today’s world. Once upon a time, people in the United States could actually make 20 or 30 year plans and feel confident about achieving them. But now, nothing is stable anymore. The financial crisis showed us that some of the biggest corporations on the globe can collapse in a single day. The events of the past few weeks have shown us that entire governments can be brought down in a single week. We live in a world where there are now very few “guarantees” that you can count on. One of the only things that is guaranteed is that technology and information will continue to grow at exponential speeds. This year, the total amount of information produced on electronic devices around the globe is projected to be more than a zettabyte. A zettabyte is equivalent to one sextillion bytes. In other words, imagine a one with more than 21 zeroes following it.
Many of the things that we take for granted today didn’t even exist a few short years ago. Facebook has only been with us since 2004. YouTube has only been with us since 2005. Can you imagine a world where those two websites did not exist?
We live in a world of information overload. Once upon a time it would have been possible to go to sleep for a decade and wake up and everything would still be pretty much the same. But today if you were to do that you would be in for a case of severe culture shock.
Do you remember when you could buy a set of encyclopedias and the information in them would still be good a decade or two later?
Well, things do not work that way anymore.
In fact, most of the articles on this website will be obsolete a month from now.
In today’s world, you really have to think twice before you say that something is “not possible”.
A few months ago, it was absolutely inconceivable that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would declare to the world that he has “spent enough time serving Egypt“.
Yet here we are.
One week the government of Tunisia seemed perfectly stable and the next week it was toppled.
Do any of you out there still think that you can make realistic “plans for the future” in today’s world?
The Tipping Point Has Passed: Sweeping Change at Hand