Exploring the future of humanity

Let’s face the facts: we live together on a pale blue dot, on a planet located in a spiral galaxy somewhere in an ever expanding universe, and we have limited natural resources. The societies we have developed over the last few centuries have caused human suffering on a local and a global scale. Last but not least, we are slowly exceeding the carrying capacity of our planet.

In this story I will introduce my vision for the future and explain the basics of how got where we are now.

Let’s start with the basics

We all live together on this planet we call Earth and we all need food and water to survive. In order to survive more comfortably, we decided to form tribes and live in societies.

A society is a group of individuals that share the same geographical territory and that adhere to the same rules, created by a certain authority. The rules of society will be called the societal operating system from now on.

Societies can either be local (within the same village or city) or global (we all share Earth as our territory). I intentionally skipped the national level because I don’t believe that nation states with fixed borders are a good idea.

Apart from rules, most societies develop a set of expectations that govern the social interaction between its members. It’s possible to live within a society and not share the same expectations, but people often voluntarily adapt their behavior to “fit in” and create a sense of belonging. The expectations of an individual will be called the personal operating system from now on.

Our modern society

From the moment we started living in tribes, we significantly increased our chances of survival. Collaboration, along with other improvements to our way of living, caused our population to grow into the billions.

There are several operating systems for society. We have experimented with feudalism, capitalism, communism, and all kinds of hybrid forms. However, they all have failed in one way or another. We are still fighting wars and are exceeding the carrying capacity of our planet.

The reason why our societies are so destructive: on a personal level they are rewarding greed, competition and rivalry. Our personal operating systems were programmed to accept that we can get ahead of others and by killing them or lying to them, or by misusing the common resources.

A future on planet Earth

The way I see it, there are 3 scenarios for the future:

  1. We continue to search for ways to live in social harmony, but deplete the natural resources of our planet.
  2. We start living within the carrying capacity of our planet, but risk tension between socioeconomic groups.
  3. We redesign our operating systems to create sustainable societies that are characterized by social harmony and abundance.

Obviously we should pick option 3, but that’s easier said than done. If it was easy we wouldn’t have wars or scarcity.

How to move forward

Fundamental change is needed. We need to carefully redesign our societal and personal operating system so we can thrive as a species. In upcoming posts I will explore personal operating systems for the future:

Hope is the most importing thing right now. It may seem daunting to move away the status quo, but it’s possible if we want it.

“get ready, prepare yourself to act, and look forward in hope”

Thank you for reading!




my story: https://noahpierau.github.io/

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