Yesteryear and Tomorrow

We can ensure a bright future by being active

By Auren Hoffman

Pundits always think it "used to be better." Pundits are always longing for yesteryear when things were "simpler and purer." Pundits are always saying that there is a moral decaying of our society.

Pundits are wrong.

Today's society is many times better than America in 1700, 1800, 1900, or 1950. We don't have which hunts, there is no slavery, people have equal rights, disease is not wide spread, there is less poverty, learning has increased, people are better.

The pundits say people where a lot nicer in yesteryear and politics was more civil. That's a lot of baloney. Politics has never been civil -- in fact, politics is more civil now than it has ever been. It used to be that insults were even more commonplace, bribery was the norm rather than the exception, and constituents did not matter. In fact, Senators only started being elected by the people this century (before that, they were appointed by their state legislature).

Today is great -- and the future will be even brighter.

Technology is really revolutionizing the way we communicate. All the cliches about the world getting closer are true. But as we know, technology has a price and it is surrounded by a weighty dichotomy. On the one hand, technology can solve problems, prolong life, and generally make our world more exciting. On the other hand, tech can destroy our self-securities, interfere on our privacy, and cause havoc with our economy. Some people claim that a Brave New World of broad unsatisfaction that stifles creativity is on the horizon.

But we can work to ensure otherwise. We can ensure the 21st Century to be the first 100 years that are dominated not by politicians, warlords, or nobility but by engineers, builders, and problem solvers. With the advent of technology comes responsibility. We cannot let politicians who speak out of both sides of their mouth or bureaucrats who don't speak at all control the fate of our creations. We cannot let ourselves be relegated to a Dilbertesque mind where the inventions and ingenuity of engineers and scientists are used for nefarious purposes.

Entrusting our nation in the hands of problem-solvers will not only bring streamlined government -- we will also see sensible changes, a more prosperous nation, and more honesty in dealing with our problems.

Our nation is on an upswing and we are slowly becoming more prosperous -- but we need more. And though it won't happen overnight, we will have a greater government for everyone in the not so distant future. The advent of new technology and the ease at which information can be processed has pitted our entire societal evolution at a crossroads. 1000 years from now when students of the future look back in time, we have to ensure that our generation is not just some forgotten row in a historical database.

Auren Hoffman writes a weekly column called Summation ( He can be reached at