Hey there, guys!
...too many posts to comment on each of them, despite the fact that I don't think my comments would be of any special importance, given the fact that this thread is geeting more interesting everyday, and I'm also more interested for read than write.
But the thing I would like to mention is: many years ago I had a nice book that commented about what the author considered to be a single and unavoidable fact. And these fact was: if the human kind wants to make it to the next evolutive level, it has to develop what he called "Consciousness Of Beehive" ...not in the figurative sense that the people commonly uses to refer to some kind of societies where a community is layouted similarly to a community of ants or bees, but more in a concrete and real sense of beehive. He stated that if we can't reach such thing, we'll not make it up to the next level.
I can't remember the name of the book or the author. I had these wild period where a couple different books crossed my night table each week. Anyway I've stored pretty well the info, but without too much metadata!
The thing is, I think there was something right with these concept... and at some point the world seemed to work towards such a direction, except that at some point everything was perverted... you know, the normal order on the world beehive resulted too altered... by far too much for any reasonable measure... the queen bees abused their power, the drones felt in drugs to make their lifes more supportables, and the intermediaries felt in extreme greed to fill their pockets!
So... are we the society of the future portrayed on the cover from "Cars, Ships, & Airplanes"? ...no way! ...we are the crappy society that you can watch in an episode of "The Office"... you know, everybody watchs his ass, etc...
We are not even there in the K-Scale... don't be fooled... this is a poor joke from what an advanced civilization would be. And I'm not beeing pessimist, but maybe a bit crude. Try to place our actual world into an episode of "Star Trek", and just try to imagine it, just try. We would be some kind of shame zoo, or something like that... you know, if our destiny is travel along the stars to find a Mother Earth's replacement, we are loosing precious time and resources with each TV, each car, each motorcycle, each reality-show, and each loosy unnecessary thing that is produced by means of resources that we would need to exploit to discover how to produce antimatter for cheap in good quantities, how to suspend human life for 5 years without brain damage, and all the rest...
I share the concepts with VP: I also think that there is another 10% pushing real hard in the right direction. The problem is that masses were probably never more stupid than today... to put it in perspective.
But still, I don't think we are facing the EOTW at 2012. Let's face it: we are a real plague for this planet. A plague worst than cockcroaches for this earth. And plagues are, for any means, anything but easy to kill.
Just my 6.626068 × 10-34 Cents!