Monday, March 22, 2010

Time Is Right

The title of a new Feelies’ song (much on my mind since last Friday’s outstanding concert) seems an apropos entré to this brief shout out to Time magazine’s recent special issue highlighting “10 Ideas For the Next 10 Years.”

In 10 brief essays by leading thinkers, researchers and analysts (many from the New America Foundation), Time offers a fascinating overview of how America stands with one foot over the threshold of the new century, as well as some prognosis for the coming years. Overall, it’s a thought-provoking, remarkably optimistic and reasonably centrist (well, just left-0f-center, it is Time, after all) analysis of the United States’ evolving place in the world economically, politically, culturally and militarily. It holds a mirror to our recent history, and highlights key impulses already at play in our society or now percolating just beneath the surface.

The introductory essay, in particular, “The Next American Century,” by Andres Martinez, puts a surprisingly positive spin on our current national sense of society going to hell in a hand basket. It’s followed by thoughtful pieces on “Remapping the World” (bad borders and realistic means to minimize their ongoing detriment in light of current and future challenges), “Bandwidth Is the New Black Gold” (revealing how bandwidth issues will soon affect us all), “The Dropout Economy” (the future of work, education and social constructs in light of the growing libertarian impulse in America), as well as essays on U.S.-China relations, growing “white anxiety” in our increasingly diverse nation, and what it means to live in the “post-trust” era.

All worthwhile reads. Whether you go old school and pick up a copy at the newsstand or read them all online, spend 20 minutes with this Time.

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