Now, a decade later, the society has grown even more complex and the possible new scenarios are even a bit more profound. Because they are so potentially big, the approaches for dealing with surprises need to be ever more agile, yet often they are not. To accept the idea that surprises are simply surprises and cannot be dealt with in advance, however, is to presume that people can't make a difference -- which is not the truth. Here are a few wild cards that could be on the horizon: 1. Spiritual paradigm shift sweeps the world. 2. Science is wrong -- it's rapid cooling. 3. New energy discovery comparable to the control of fire. 4. Cloned humans threaten everything. 5. Intelligent alien life confirmed.
much more powerful. In addition to a By John L. Petersen number of other organizations that How “Wild Cards” May embrace the same underlying prin- ciples, an organization in India, Oneness Reshape Our Future University, is emblematic of this possi- bility. Oneness — as defined in this context — is the internalization of the Good or bad, some wild cards may change not only the perspective that all life is not only con- nected to, but an integral part of, the way we live, but also the way we think about ourselves whole of reality. Everything is part of as human beings. everything else, and in particular, every person is part of everyone else. A few of the wild card scenarios I examined 10 years ago for my 1999 book, Out of the Blue, no longer appear so wild: a stock-market crash, ice cap breaks up, virtual reality Here are a few wild cards that could be on our horizon. Spiritual Paradigm Shift Sweeps the World moves information instead of people, terrorism swamps government de- Growing numbers of groups fenses. Other scenarios have not been dedicated to a fundamental shift realized but remain highly plausible in the ways humans perceive possibilities: a major information sys- themselves are popping up tems disruption, a new Chernobyl, around the planet. Most char- achievement of room-temperature acterize themselves around the superconductivity, and the politico- ideas of cooperation, interde- economic unraveling of Africa. pendency, and oneness. Indi- Now, a decade later, our society has viduals and groups empowered pri- grown even more complex and the marily by the Internet are rapidly Science Is PHOTO S.COM possible new scenarios are even a bit developing networks, driving a move- Wrong — It’s Rapid Cooling more profound. Because they are so ment within the business, government, The conventional wisdom within potentially big, the approaches for and education sectors that reflects this the scientific community suggests that dealing with surprises need to be ever growing complexity of connections the earth is warming rapidly and that more agile, yet often they are not. To and dependency. humans are a major cause of the accept the idea that surprises are sim- The wild card is the possibility that warming. Climate models project only ply surprises and cannot be dealt with this changing perception could accel- warmer temperatures. But a look into in advance, however, is to presume erate forward, facilitated by a still-under- the basis for the underlying theory that we can’t make a difference — the-radar spiritual movement that mir- now suggests that, historically, warm- which is not the truth. We, and the rors the trends in other sectors but is ing did not follow increases in carbon future, deserve better. growing much faster and is potentially dioxide; rather, it may well be that a
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