The Freeway Blogger, who has put over 4,000 antiwar banners on freeways, branches out a bit, thinking long-term about the grandchildren of our grandchildren.
Corporations and politicians are fond of telling us that “Children are the Future.” They’re not: they’re the present. (Look down, or check in front of the TV.) The future is a little bit more abstract than that. It will be populated by our children’s grandchildren and their children and grandchildren and very few people are asking us to think about them, least of all politicians and corporations.
One organization that actually is dedicated to this sort of long-term thinking is the Long Now Foundation, described here by Michael Chabon. Although trying to project an arc for the next 10,000 years is probably a bit heady for most, it’s good to know that someone’s doing it. For me, just getting people to think a couple of generations ahead is radical enough.
Too often short-term gain and self-interest trumps the long-term good. Look at Wall Street. They live and die by next quarter’s earnings, even if what they do to pump up the coming earnings is detrimental to the long-term health and stability of the company. Subprime was a great short-term money-maker. Then it imploded and brought down the economy with it. Businesses that genuinely think long-term wouldn’t have made those mistakes because they would have seen the dangers and have been focused on other things besides quick money.
I interviewed him on June 26, 2008.