The feeling that things are inevitably going to get worse

[ Thu. Jan. 1. 2009 ]

The artist and composer responds to this year's Edge.org question: What will change everything?
 

[PHOTO: BRIAN ENO/EAMONN MCCABE]

What would change everything is not even a thought. It's more of a feeling.

Human development thus far has been fueled and guided by the feeling that things could be, and are probably going to be, better. The world was rich compared to its human population; there were new lands to conquer, new thoughts to nurture, and new resources to fuel it all. The great migrations of human history grew from the feeling that there was a better place, and the institutions of civilisation grew out of the feeling that checks on pure individual selfishness would produce a better world for everyone involved in the long term.