The human today lives with a flawed worldview, just as we did in the pre-Copernican era. And, just as with the Copernican Revolution, that worldview will be changed in very fundamental ways, will alter much of the way we currently live as well as our basic beliefs, and will probably occur with as much volatility and turmoil as when people had to stop thinking that the earth was the fixed and unchanging center of the universe. Except, this time the change will not take the century or more that the Copernican Revolution took.
The new revolution has already started. It is all about time and space. It will come to be known as the Einsteinium Revolution. And it is happening now because of the Communications Revolution.
From the very beginning of human history, we have been on an unrelenting quest to eliminate the tyranny that time and space impose on our communications. The first way early hominids communicated was by pointing and pantomime. That meant we could communicate with each other only when we were in the same space at the same time. But, step-by-step we went through an evolutionary process to overcome that limitation. When we had a voice box, we could extend the range of our communications by shouting. We learned how to send messengers on foot to get a message to others, and we used smoke signals and drums to extend our range more. Then, communications progressed to visual and audible signals such as flags or trumpets used by sentries who communicated to other sentries posted within sight who, in turn, could communicate to the next sentry and the next until the message got to its destination. We learned how to paint symbols and representations of events on cave walls so that others could see our messages at some point in the future. Written languages and then the printing press allowed us to span time even more.
The progress from such early efforts to destroy the tyranny that time and space exert on our communications has been non-stop to the current day. Think of it: the printing press, books and pamphlets, the telegraph and the Pony Express, the postal system, radio, all the way to email and instant messages using text or voice accessible anywhere at any time. So that today, almost everyone in the world has access to multiple devices that let them obtain or broadcast information from one to many, one to one, many to one and many to many, without regard for location or time. So now, for all practical purposes, we can declare that the human has won the challenge they have confronted for tens of thousands of years: time and space no longer limit our ability to communicate.
This is a really major achievement, not only because it has taken so long to attain, but also because along with being able to walk upright, communications is a fundamental differentiator of the human being versus all other living things. Without time and space exerting so much influence on our communications, the way we relate to time and space will begin to change – that change is showing up in relatively minor ways already. In the aggregate, the impact is becoming more formidable each day.
The change in the way we experience and relate to time and space is the necessary first step in the changed worldview we will adopt. We will stop thinking of time and space as two separate things, and gradually imbue into the way we see things the real way that time and space exist, as Einstein proposed: a single continuum.
Think back to the Copernican Revolution. Even if we were insightful enough back then to understand that many of our fundamental beliefs and ways of doing things would be forever altered when everyone in the world jettisoned their earth-centric worldview in favor of a vastly different understanding of the universe, would it have been possible for even the smartest among us to predict what the Post Copernican world would be like?
There is a parallel question today. Even if we accept that humans will eventually see the world vastly differently because of the rejection of our currently flawed sense of time and space, is it possible to predict what the new worldview will be? Is it possible to be accurate in predicting how our religious views may change … our basic premises in how to structure society … our standards of success … our core ethics? It probably isn’t possible to answer such questions with any degree of accuracy today. It’s hard to even imagine such a new worldview. But, we can come to one conclusion that is certain: the human worldview is going to change and the process and conclusion of that change will redefine what “disrupt” really means.