The Twentieth Century fascinates me. Perhaps it's because it is the most recent century that passed (unlike the 19th century that seems so far away, and the 21st century that we're living in), but it seems truly unique to me.
Just think about some of the events and inventions that the Twentieth Century witnessed: two massive wars (large enough to be called "World" wars), two totalitarian regimes that enjoyed popular support for many years that shaped relations between states of the world for decades to come, the abolition of a model of the Universe that seemed so accurate, the digital era that massively increased human productivity. We began the twenty-first century equipped with computers that can perform computations a trillion times faster than we can, that control airplanes and nuclear power plants (none of which we had in the 19th century). We were are the brink of destruction (at our own hands). We sent a man on the Moon and a machine on the Mars.
These are incredible achievemets (whether positive or negative). I'm very curious (albeit not without a sense of nervousness) to see what the twenty-first century will bring (the very first year of the twenty-first century will, unfortunately, be forever remembered because of the tragedy that swept the U.S. and the world). Will we have tapped into unlimited, renewable energy sources? Will we start living away from the Earth? Will the governments of the world turn into one or will Google run the world? Will we witness Singularity? Will we destroy all life on Earth?
Sometimes I think that the future won't be as momentous as the twentieth century was - after all, it's been eight years already and I don't see anything worthy of mention happen. Perhaps we, used to the exponential growth of technology on one hand, and humbled by human tragedies of the past hundred years on the other, feel we can't be surprised again (one of my worst fears when I was younger was to grow up and be out of touch with the cutting edge- you know, the way you cringe when your parents don't know how to use a remote control. Lately I've been revising my thougts on this- my generation, unlike that of my parents, has learned to adapt to rapid change and progress, almost taking it for granted, and I think this will ensure that I'm on top of what's happening and perhaps be able to beat my son at his favorite video game).