When I first read that the event that started the First World War was the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenburg, by Gavrilo Princip, a 19-year-old Serbian nationalist, it seemed strange to me. I thought like this: a psychopath commits a murder and all the world pins it on the psychopath and lays into each other. Is psychopathy contagious, I wonder? If so, this was an outright pandemic. It spread to 45 countries and their colonies on both sides. Of course, when the subject is opened with the First World War, nowadays, discourses like “because Covid-19 spread to Germany it is accepted that it also spread to us” also come into my mind, but anyway, let’s stay focused on the subject. Our teacher explained to us that this was the excuse for it but that the truth of the matter was different, and I was sure that events like running amok would not be transmitted to the whole world, which was a relief. Of course, in those days there was no social media. No one could come out and a make a caption that said, “We’re spoiling the big game, the reason is economic”. It was normal for things like this to happen.
Now let’s return to the present day. Let’s approach the subject in terms of companies first, and then people. Yes, companies are currently trying to cope with the economic crisis as well as the pandemic. Yet if you were following the global developments, a big economic crisis was already expected. That is, dark clouds were already gathering, and they were all going to rain on us, but we didn’t know how much rain we would get or when. It’s just that the pandemic has caused us to get a large amount of rainfall in a short time. On the other side of the issue, economic growth is no longer sustainable for our world, because we are destroying natural resources at an exponential rate while nature can only replenish itself at a linear rate. Perhaps it would be beneficial to stop and slow down. If we can slow down economic growth sufficiently, we can allow nature time to repair itself. So how will people earn money, then?
After summarising the situation that companies find themselves in, then, let’s now focus on people a little. Nowadays, people are discussing whether working from home on social media will be the new normal. We will see, but all these experiences have in fact only accelerated an inevitable change. A few days ago, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that after employees’ quarantine measures were lifted, they would also be able to continue to work from home. Time will show us how much of the global labour force the change will involve, but in theory, there is no need to go to the office to do “office work”. Production is another matter, but before going there, I want to draw attention to a more important dimension in which the change will affect people than working from home. On the one hand, the slowdown in economic growth, and on the other, the fact that artificial intelligence is increasingly able to do more work, reduce the future need for a workforce and will continue to do so. That is, while the number of employees and/or the length of time that they work decreases, their competencies will increase. More precisely, only those who are able to adapt themselves to these developments will be able to participate in working life. So, in what direction should we improve ourselves? If you haven’t watched it, there is a speech by Jack Ma that includes forecasts about what we should teach our children. You can easily find it on the internet. I recommend that you watch it.
Without considering the restrictions of technology and costs for a moment, I would like to present two alternative pictures of “the world of the future”. These restrictions always change over time in any case. For example, there is still a mass media, but social media is at least as powerful. Perhaps over time, everything that is “mass” will complete its life cycle. I seem to hear some people asking, “what about mass production?” Indeed, we were coming to the subject of production. Imagine that if we had the knowledge in hand, we could print all the tools we needed with an advanced generation of 3D printers. We live in nature and we engage in enough agriculture to meet our needs. We also contribute to society with our humanitarian side. How would you feel about this? This is my utopia. Your own utopia is probably different, but when we listen to our hearts, all out utopias contain a harmony for all living things. Of course, it is also possible that we could be heading towards a dystopia. People live in cities and breathe polluted air. The problems of unemployment and even famine have become even more widespread. Nature is depleted, and as it has become depleted, diseases have increased. Economic growth has reached a peak, yet the gap between rich and poor has also increased further. Since only those with enough money can feed themselves healthily, the rich and the poor are regarded differently from each other. They have become like two different races, and just like the conflicts experienced in the age of feudalism, there are uprisings. No one has security of life. Even if you are rich, how free can you be in such a world?
While wondering whether we are heading towards a utopia or a dystopia, I hear, in a part of my mind, the vibrato voice of Cem Karaca from a media player left switched on: “Bindik bir alamete gideyoz kıyamete” (We’ve boarded the omen [train] and we’re heading for Armageddon). Knowing the existence of danger is a splendid motivation for uniting for a common purpose. My aim is not to frighten you, but to remind everyone that we can all contribute towards building a world that will transport humanity to a utopia. At 7th Science, we are working for this change to transport all humanity to a utopia. By liberating ideas, hearts and potentials. How? You can watch a 3½-minute short video on our “Who are we?” page. All the details are there.