Here is a TED presentation by Pete Alcorn. By combining an extrapolation of demographic trends which predict a population decline with historic trends he predicts that a new period of Enlightenment will emerge within 150 years or so. He says" Most of our cultural heritage has tended to look backwards romanticizing the past [...] Human history is viewed as this downhill slide from the good old days. But I think we're in for another change about two generations after the top of that curve once the effects of a declining population start to settle in. At that point we'll start romanticizing the future again instead of the nasty, brutish past." Alcorn says the coming period will be a transformation time which will bring risks. He says our challenge is to try to accelerate the turn and avoid rash decisions out of fear for the future."
I find this argument intriguing. I agree with the plea for looking forward and I am all for a new Enlightenment. My question is: can't we start right away? It seems a bit unsatisfactory to accept a perspective which implies that none of us will live to see the next enlightenment. Alcorn says how we deal with the coming 150 years will be important. Maybe we could accelerate the turn? Ok, how?