The Times We Live In
I have just finished an incredible book by a man I consider to be one of the best thinkers on the planet today. His name is George Friedman, and the book is “The Storm Before The Calm.” With everything going on in the world today I thought it would be appropriate to introduce this book.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. I would like to change that. I disagree. I believe that the only thing that we have to fear is the unknown. With the worldwide fear associated with the novel Coronavirus infecting more than a hundred nations I believe a great deal of the panic surrounding this virus is more about the unknown than anything else. In our lifetimes, we have not experienced this type of emergency in our country.
This is where Friedman’s book comes in. He talks about two major cycles in the history of the United States: the Institutional Cycle and the Socioeconomic cycle. One typically spans eighty years and the other spans fifty years. In the 2020 – 2030 decade both of these cycles, for the first time in our history, occur within the same decade.
Today we live in highly polarized times. In my recollection, there used to be a time when two people, or groups, of differing political leanings could talk to each other. Now, it seems as if everyone is in their own echo chamber. The political parties continue to create “identity” groups and we are labelled with “derogatory” labels if we don’t agree with the other side, no matter what the side.
Most of you are aware of the challenges facing the educational community today. There is huge student debt, supported by federal government guarantees. There is elitism at the major Universities. There are professors who are grossly underutilized. There is almost too much happening. Into this world comes internet-based learning. This is the arena in which we are directly involved at Learning Without Scars.
Friedman puts forward a very interesting thesis regarding the future state of education. It is both timely and well worth the read. I trust that it will provoke some thinking for all of you.
The Time is Now.