The Advent of the Post-Modern Era
We are in the modern era, but it seems that in the near future this will shift to what futurologists commonly term the "post-modern" era, supposedly a world of dystopia or utopia. I here present a world that is neither: it is a continuation of our current world, though with many notable changes (that are not altogether complete) which help give pointers to the direction in which the world is going.
The Post-Modern Era breaks from the Modern Era in no particular event or Point of Divergence, but rather from a series of changes each of which are important but are not of cataclysmic significance. These changes take place in various contexts and can be categorized under "New World Order" (political), "Newly Under the Sun" (technological), "Crises Encountered and Countered", and "Reign of the Peoples" (social). These are by no means the only way in which the things can be divided, and generally they tie together to form a futuristic vision of the world that is moving together with all its parts in tandem rather than piece by piece.
The Stages of Civilization
The Post-Modern Era can be considered the sixth of the seven stages of civilization:
- Ancient Times (transition to next stage: Fall of Rome)
- Dark Ages (transition to next stage: Renaissance)
- Medieval Age (?) (transition to next stage: Industrial Revolution)
- Industrial Age (transition to next stage: World War 1)
- Modern Age (transition to next stage: various)
- Post-Modern Age (transition to next stage: completion of the Human Mind Project)
- Transhuman Age
- If there are any stages beyond this, we do not yet know what it might be.
In the post-modern era, more so than ever, we need to analyze the different underlying forces behind the push toward the future and its political, technological, and social differences from the present. We need, more than ever before, to understand how current trends and past events may foreshadow similar yet different future occurrences. We need to prepare for the future, because the time when we could sit back idly and let the currents of change carry us is about to pass by--now the currents are far swifter, far more forceful, and if we do not prepare for them, all too soon the tidal wave of change will drown us.