November 30, 2016

10,000 Year Plan

"Our long term plan is like our short term plan, only longer."

Humanity should think about developing a plan longer than the next election cycle. We don't need 5 year plans, we need 5,000 year plans. Preferably two of them.

A solid 10,000 year plan would go a long way toward figuring out where we want to go with this petri dish known as Earth. I love the idea of thinking ahead 7 generations, but how about extending that to 500? Supposedly we are the smartest creatures on Earth (and the known Universe according to some), so we should be able to get our big brains together and do this thing.

In order to reduce the chance of repeating the thousands of years of blind bumbling that we have been experiencing so far, we should come up with an overall plan for humans (and everything else) on our shared petri-planet home. Surely, considering the importance of my proposal, we can get some consensus towards a set of common goals and outcomes.

Like survival at first, looking at our increasingly grim short term prospects.

Then we can proceed from there and start planning for things like ridding the environment of human-created radiation produced during our misguided experiment with nuclear energy. That alone is a project that will take thousands of years. We should have one of those already, shouldn't we?

Next in The Big Plan we can look out over the next few hundred years. Where do we see ourselves as a species? What do we want to achieve in this time? I for one would like to see something more substantial than the planet's first trillionare.

A lot can happen in one year, let alone a hundred or a thousand. We should have a plan to help direct where we are going. Many of us can imagine a better world, and if we can imagine it, we can achieve it. We can put it in the plan.

As an ex-teacher I know the importance and the challenges of planning. It will take a different way of thinking to extend our imaginations past the next election, or our own brief existence. But we do care about our kids, don't we? And their kids? And theirs? And so on all the way up the line?

We have already had many thousands of years to get this thing right, and it feels like we aren't quite there yet. Let's get The Big Plan started.

How do you see humanity developing over 10,000 years? The glorious possibilities are endless.


  1. What an expansive idea crafting a plan for 10,000 years! I never really thought about it. Maybe because the immediate needs seem so pressing. What I see as helping us is for the corporations to stop dictating how we live. They could dissolve, cease to exist. I like your idea of starting with cleaning up the mess we made of nuclear energy.

    Just when you posted this, I got an email that has a couple of quotes that relate directly to this thought. Here they are.

    From the Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge

    "People in this civilizaton are starving in the middle of plenty. This is a civilization that is going down, not because it hasn't got the knowledge that would save it, but because nobody willl use the knowledge."

    Idries Shah

    "The future depends on our understanding who we are, and how the past has made us so: what is unchanging about Human Nature, and what we can and must change to face a world that is far differenct from our ancestors' world."

    Quote from "The Human Journey" website and the article titled, "What does it mean to be human?"

    Linda, you will like that site, they rely on anthropology and other sciences to form ideas. I'll forward in email what I received.

    1. Terri,

      Great quotes and links. So much good stuff, so little time. I am looking forward to getting snowed in this winter.

      It does seem like we have the knowledge to implement a wider ranging vision for our planet. We would have to give up most of our current ways of thinking that are narrow, self-serving, and focused on short term gain. For instance our cultural obsession with "winning" and vanquishing all opponents. Nature cooperates, and we will have to as well before we can get things together.

      I like the idea of long-term planning, while understanding its limitations. I would suggest we put the cessation of war as one of the most urgent of goals. We should consider its elimination over the course of one or two thousand years, although immediately would be preferable.

      Thanks for the juicy comments and emails.

  2. I'm not sure if planning does anything. As far as I can work out society is governed by autopoiesis and there is no group or person in control. Consunerism works by selling little hits of dopermine and this is what is distorting our world, people will get very rich off the back of this. I meet a lot of 'very clever' people and they have no clue how such a complex society is organised. On a deep level we need a change in consciousness and this will change the autopoietic processes to improve society.
    Despite the serious problems in the world life is getting better for us humans, despite the doom mongering in the media.
    Bottom up change is what is needed to really change things.

    1. Alex,

      The word of the day in our house is: 'autopoiesis'. Looking up that word has led to some very interesting discoveries, like having to give up the limits of linear thinking when trying to understand reality.

      Also, that in an autopoietic system there are no discardable parts, therefore society should have no disposable individuals or it should be considered diseased.

      Any solutions we come up with have to work according to not only the parts, but more importantly, the reality of the whole. I think we are getting better at realizing the state of the whole, but it is a slow process.

      A number of revolutions are occurring, the most important being the revolution of consciousness. We are moving away from the material toward the spiritual, and that will change everything one individual at a time.

      One reason to limit the news is that they rarely speak of the infinite beauty of life encapsulated in each and every moment. Thanks for the enlightening comment. I can see the direction of my winter research more clearly.

  3. I'm challenged to understand the concept of "autopoiesis." A good challenge! I'm challenged to be able to pronounce the word and to spell it. Shows my linear thinking is well established. I was intrigued to look the word up as soon as I read Alex's comment. I get it in a general way.

    I'm with you Gregg, so much to learn, so little time. I hesitated sending all that for that very reason. Because of the internet, especially, and so many books and information available to us, we have to pick and choose. We can not learn it all.

    This site continues to be a treasure trove of fresh ideas. I love it here and the community that shares. Very stimulating, quite challenging in a good way.

    1. Terri,

      We love treasure troves of ideas, in spite of my negligence in responding.


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