forgive the politics...
...but this op-ed in the New York Times, by Gary Hart, really strikes me as a profound framing of what the future bodes. Regardless of your politics, you have to consider his list of challenges that the next president - whoever he may be - will face:
They include globalized markets; the expansion of the information revolution into places like China; the emergence of new world powers including India and China; climate deterioration; failing states; the changing nature of war; mass migrations; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; viral pandemics; and many more.
As a framing device, this is a brilliant list. We really are at a point in the nation & in the world where our politics have fallen far out of step with reality. Just consider, for instance, the stuff that this blog typically trafficks in - genomics, public health, infectious disease, science in general. To my mind, these are the things that will force our future, yet how often do any of them come up in political dialogue?
Viral pandemics, for instance, are a perfect example of what our politicians should be protecting us against - a perfect role for government, really, where the free market will be unlikely to react - yet how often does the topic come up?
Anyway, as I say, forgive the politics, but definitely worth a read.