I don't blog so much here at Cobb as I used to. That may or may not change. I've been going through some nasty stuff. Maybe more on that later, probably not. It's personal.
I have been spending less time on Facebook and more time on Quora. Quora is that social artifact that comes closest to my design of XRepublic. I am much closer to the ability to build XRepublic than at any time in my life, but here's what I'm thinking today. You see, a lot of the new followers to my comments at Quora have Asian names, both East Asian and Indian. It is reminding me about something I used to talk more about - The Emergent.
I am very close to taking for granted that there will be no global catastrophe in my lifetime. But even if there is, I have a high degree of confidence that a lot our current knowledge will be preserved. Perhaps not instantiated in a sustainably real society, but preserved. So my worst case scenario predicts monastic life Anathem-style.
As we are not faced with any global crisis at the moment, but crawling out of a financial depression in life's rocky road (we meaning the West, not including Greece so much), there remains an ample amount of hope. And humanity's good graces upon itself are sufficient to inspire the proper people to keep working in the proper direction. Good guys persist. And so lots of economists and others are predicting that in 50 years there will be a global middle class. There is one now but it's rather disjointed and just finding its feet like a newborn colt. But we will become connected and we will find our footing. We will emerge healthy, literate and able.
I expect very much that the next billion will follow, more or less in the footsteps of we, the Emergent of America. America's definition of the West, I think, will ultimately succeed and prosper. In that I guess I need to speak more about North America and a bit less about the chatting class of the US. I accept that a great swath of them have lost touch with reality. They'll find it under duress, so I won't belabor the point. But for those of us in the Emergent middle class, those of us who have found within the past two generations an adequate amount of higher education and profitable employment, we remain close enough to duress to not lose touch. That means a great deal. And so now I will presume to communicate my lessons at that level as I have finally met, in my early 50s, that amount of confidence that allows me to consider more than just my community, state and nation, but the world itself.
Cobb now speaks to The Next Billion as a stoic survivor in the United States. Hopefully with wisdom appropriate to the peacetime in which I have lived my life. I know something worth preserving, that is the good life one can attain in today's global infrastructure at the level of the middle class effort. It's a good place to be and I would like to continue to discuss its ethics, values, pleasures and dangers.