Credit or Loan About Wellness and Salient Features – Importance of Credit
Credit for the phrase, Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future, is sometimes assigned to Niels Bohr, occasionally to Robert Storm Petersen and often (by Americans) to Mark Twain. In fact, the original author of that quote remains unknown and that’s just fine. Most predictions from a century or more past were, of course, not very good. There were few forecasts of moon landings, computers or AI, nuclear weapons or widespread revulsion against Confederate statues and flags. What more, nobody came close to predicting a president like Donald Trump.
Accurate predictions about the future are indeed difficult. The more complex and nuanced, the less likely the prophecy will turn out, at least in plausible form. Predictions do not survive travel through time. A pity, in a way, that Nostradamus proved to be a charlatan and that mediums, seers, clairvoyants, soothsayers, oracles and crystal ball readers are as spuriously bogus as prosperity gospel preachers.
OTHER THAN PRAYER, NOTHING FAILS LIKE credit
Could anyone a mere six months ago have predicted what our country has become today, what with everyone wearing or arguing over masks, the economy teetering on the brink and well more than half the population working at home or not working at all?
Furthermore, who knew what turmoil, division, and uncertainty Americans would be enduring less than four years since that tragic night of November 8, 2016, yet another date that will have to live in Infamy? Not likely.
Anyone who forecasted the extent to which the U.S. has descended into an acrid, malodorous toilet bowl condition would have been prosecuted for disturbing the peace. No, not even a pessimist of Hieronymus Bosch’s imaginative powers could have envisioned such a dark and ghastly turn into chaos, even at a distant date, let alone within a single presidential term.
Nonetheless, the wisest and most eloquent women and men, the very best among us, should be encouraged to apply their talents and insights to positive sketches of how things could be–and how to get there. These labors would be worthy exercises if only to console us now and amuse our descendants in the future.
What might you conjure, if only as a mental exercise, if invited to offer a prediction for inclusion in a time capsule?
At the end of this essay, you’ll be invited to offer one or more predictions for America a century from now. First, however, consider a few prognostications from a speech in 1888. Perhaps doing so will get you in the mood to try your own hand at the task. It may seem easy, but only if you don’t mind being wrong.
Credit DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF THE PRESS
A truly great American, illustrious and celebrated in his time but unknown by most today, gave a speech in the early days of 1888 in which he ventured a few future scenarios. The topic of his predictions was the duties and privileges of the press. You might want to look up and read the full toast from the Police Captains’ Dinner. Do so and you’ll appreciate why he (to be named below) is so acclaimed today by the few who know of his work and cherish his memory.
The address commenced with a description of how relations between states used to be, when the nations of the world were ignorant and provincial, when populations were separated by walls and barriers of language, of prejudice, of custom, of race and of religion, and were met only as enemies.
Important changes took place when movable type was invented, and civilization was thrust into the brain of Europe. Paper and books followed and eventually, nations began to exchange thoughts instead of blows. There followed trade-in facts, of theories, of ideas.
Newspapers came into being and exchanges became plentiful and cheap. Peasants became citizens of the world. In America, the prejudice of locality–or what the speaker called mud patriotism, abated and the Nation became unified. The people became American in the best and highest sense. This, he declared, is one of the greatest things to be accomplished by the Press in America-namely, the unification of the country-the destruction of provincialism.
In summary, he credited the onset of the same ideas, the same events, the same news, carried to millions of homes every day, as a great and splendid object.
And he offered a few predictions. Well, except in three cases, not so many predictions as prescriptions for addressing social troubles extant at the time of his address to the police captains in New York.
LOOKING AHEAD credit
One of 3 predictions was as follows:
We have now sixty million of free people. Look upon the map of our country… There you will see a territory large enough to feed and clothe and educate five hundred millions of human beings.
Not so far off the mark as of 2020 (330 million). This population prediction probably would have been much higher if he could have foreseen the fact that twelve additional western states (including Hawaii) would enter the Union in less than a hundred years.
A second prediction was interesting but, rather general:
This country is destined to remain as one. The Mississippi River is Nature’s protest against secession and against division.
Well, we’re still one–no secessions since the Civil War that he, as a Colonel who led troops into several grim battles, knew too well, but we might as well be two, given the great divides among the people that now exist.
I seriously doubt he would have expected division between those who favor unity, science, face masks, truth, and equal justice, and those who support a leader who promotes division, superstition, freedom to infect others, prejudice, alternative facts, and favors for the unearned privilege.
His third prediction, also more a prescription, was a call for an International Court of Justice. Such came to pass in 1946 after World War ll. This court is now the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN).
We call that nation civilized when its subjects submit their
differences of opinion, in accordance with the forms of law,
to fellow-citizens who are disinterested and who accept the
the decision as final… Each nation defines its rights and its
obligations; and nations will not be civilized in respect
of their relations to every other, until there shall have
been established a National Court to decide differences
Finally, in his short speech to the police chiefs, he expressed hopes for the Press of the future, that it would:
… bend its mighty energies to the unification and the civilization of mankind; to the destruction of provincialism, of prejudice-to the extirpation of ignorance and to the creation of a great and splendid patriotism that embraces the human race… the Press should appeal only to the highest and to the noblest in the human heart.
What a great idea. Alas, while we do have media outlets that strive along these lines, there are some (hello Fox News) that do just the opposite of what the speaker hoped for.
No doubt you realize that the speaker who delivered that address at The Police Captains’ Dinner in 1888 was Colonel Bob Ingersoll, the inimitable Great Agnostic of his day.
MY OWN PREDICTIONS credit eligibility
I have five predictions, all optimistic. Even if convinced the sky will fall on July 18, 2138, my 200th birthday, I wouldn’t include that information. These are bright side prognostications. What good can come from fostering dread about the future, even if we are doomed?
Swami Donny hereby goes on record that there will be:
Nearly all 500 million Americans in our 51 states. Yes, DC will be so recognized shortly after the election of President Biden and an overwhelming Democratic majority in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.
Widespread recognition of the importance of the vital minimal daily requirement for 23 units of the mental nutrient DBRU equivalents. This advance alone will create and sustain REAL wellness lifestyles of such high quality that the average lifestyle for men will rise to 108; women 115.
No gay Americans. No lesbians, either. Furthermore, no Black people or Hispanics, but not because America will have become totally homophobic or racist. There won’t be any straight or White people, either. Such distinctions will be irrelevant, unnoticed, and of nearly no consequence.
Americans are going to be intermingled, intertwined, and enlightened, and there’ll be numerous sexual preferences (which in fact there always has been) that only a pervert would be at all inclined to pay attention to such. There will of course still be primary males and primary females, but not will make much of a fuss about such things.
Recognized rights for and love is shown to all animals. Those of us living today and before us will be viewed as rather barbaric and uncivilized for having eaten and mistreated animals as we do. However, future Americans will be understanding and forgiving that we are at present, and thus a bit compassionate about our benighted if dreadful customs.
We just didn’t know better. Few citizens will experience the abuse and traumas that lead to the common had behaviors of our day–bullying, raping, plundering, and the like. Whole foods, plant-based diets will be the norm, though insects will be featured on menus, as well.
No Vatican, save as a museum. Religions will be out of business–credit
customers are gone, icons scrapped, dogmas discredited and bankruptcy declared. Credit the advance of science, vastly improved educational systems, and the secular embrace of cosmic meaninglessness for these advances. The latter will have been bolstered by recognition and appreciation for the fact of this short existence, enabling most citizens to imbue their precious time with joy and satisfying meanings and purposes for this life, the only one we get.
There is so much more it would be nice to know about the future, but I’m not going to overplay my predictive talents by going even further out on the proverbial limb.
The only thing we can be sure of is that the future lies ahead. Good luck.