Sunday, 22 March 2015

Things we’ll never achieve

There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will. 
Albert Einstein, 1932 - source

It’s a dodgy game predicting the future, especially if claiming that we’ll never achieve something we’re currently trying to achieve. Peace for example, although maybe we are not really trying with that one.

Medical men once thought it impossible to travel in an open carriage at thirty miles per hour for example. They used reason to reach that conclusion Yet there may be some things we’ll never achieve because they really are impossible.

Interstellar travel – the distances are too great.
Immortality – terminal boredom steps in.
Rational politics – we are not rational.
An end to conflict – conflict may be necessary.
Full employment – robotics.
Equality – maybe inequality is necessary.
Democracy – doesn’t work with hierarchical societies.

And so on. Yes prediction is a dodgy game, but I’m sure there are some things we’ll never achieve simply because our imagination and expectations so easily outstrip reality.

What they may be I don't know, but something tells me we are hitting the buffers of our own nature. I think we'll opt for illusions instead. Perhaps we already have. 


Sam Vega said...

Do you think we could ever achieve giving up achievements?

Demetrius said...

Every football season many thousands buy season tickets in the top four leagues. By the end of the season large numbers will have seen their sides win only a minority of the games they play at home. It is inevitable and relatively predictable. One of life's great mysteries is why they buy.

A K Haart said...

Sam - no, it's an achievement we'd never cope with.

Demetrius - it's like gambling, a few good games keep them coming back.