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"It's too late."

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memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12

How many times have we heard the plea "if we don't do something soon it will be too late" yet we rarely ever admit that it is too late. Instead we keep looking around, seeing what's wrong and then looking at the future where these wrongs could escalate even further and then again repeat "if we don't do something about it soon it will be too late".

Them a decade later the same thing repeats.

So when exactly IS it too late? Never?

The other day I had a thought that maybe in many ways and in many areas it may be too late. The threats have been realized and the dark future is right here and progressing. I recently watched a comedy called "Blast from the Past" where a really paranoid father in the middle of the cold war was building a sophisticated underground atomic shelter in case the cold war escalates into a real nuclear war.. One night they were entering the shelter as a plane crashed on their house above and he thought it was a nuclear bomb, so he set the locks on his door not to let them out for 35 years (until the radiation subsides). Now when it gets interesting is when these 35 years pass and they get out.

Of course, there was no nuclear bombing, but to them the world they saw when they go out looked as if there really was some sort of a weird catastrophe going on these 35 years. Where their cute peaceful little house was now is a dirty street populated by prostitutes and homeless people. Now, for some technogeek futurist a vision of the future would be one where technology helped people live better lives not create the dark looking future like this...

Now look at the cities we are living in. Is this really right? We have more technology in our homes than ever, but are we really using it to make our lives happier? Relative to the past is this the utopian future or is it the dark future or if it is neither, looking at the state of things right now which seems to be the more likely destination? Will we in 2057 really live in a near-dystopian cities with centralized governments and/or unregulated corporate jungle (mafia in essence)?

And is it too late to change the course?

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User offline. Last seen 7 years 26 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-26
It's true that lots of the

It's true that lots of the ills of the world were avoidable, being man-made. Bad plans are invented and implemented daily, but so are good plans and so the battle is drawn. Thus was it always and so shall it always be. No-one can or should command the future, we do our best under the circumstances, and future generations must do the same.

Historians often lament the story of historical figures saying "he didn't live to see his dream come to pass, it was only after his death that..." and a description of the endeavor. But historians may at times wrongly assume a tragic disappointment, some people count the fact that the seed has been planted as enough. We'd all love faster progress or even instant results, but once we know an idea is propagating, that a strategic momentum for change is set in motion, that's a victory we can derive some contentment from.

It will likely take several lifetimes to reach some destinations, it's important to make peace with our limitations and see our life as a journey of small victories, the building blocks of big victories. Who knows how far we'll get, certainly give it full effort, but we make life an unpleasant trial if we're too emotionally invested in reaching a given destination by a given time.

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
I think "too late" usually

I think "too late" usually means "too late for the relatively easier solution". Yes, for some things too late is too late: species going extinct, works of art being lost, those kinds of things. But the things in "our little world" - DRM, software patents and such, those can always be reverted, but reverting is more difficult than preventing.

That gives me another thought: imagine some movie in the near future is made available only in strong DRM encumbered format. 100 years later, it is considered a classic, but most copies and readers for those are lost simply because media and electronics don't last forever. And making copies is infeasible because of the DRM... Then it will soon be too late for that movie!

Respect art - allow copying! Laughing out loud

User offline. Last seen 11 years 27 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-09
It's too late.

Nobody can answer that question, since it's all relative.

Too late for me means when there's no possible way that anything can be done to affect the outcome.... It's to late to get out of the road once you're hit by a bus.

That said, in terms of Free Software, as long as one person knows of the concept, and demands it, it won't be too late.

However, and here's where I've often had problems with the "adoption" arguement, I a lot of people think it's "too late" because they're not looking at the real goal, but a fake goal.

As long as there's a SINGLE person who understands the ideas of Free Software and can program then it isn't "too late" to be Free.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 2 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Kevin Dean wrote: As long
Kevin Dean wrote:

As long as there's a SINGLE person who understands the ideas of Free Software and can program then it isn't "too late" to be Free.

It wouldn't be too late, but it couldn't be considered finished either. I would consider it finished only when everyone is running Free Software because they have freedom and have this sense of freedom and the need of its preservation as common sense. And we can't have that without adoption of such an ideal and consequently Free Software.

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