06 August 2009

Sorry Sir, the Status Quo is No Longer on Our Menu

"What is the soup du jour?"
"That's the soup of the day."
"Oh, that sounds good. I'll have that."

On the plane today, I was talking with a delightful doctor who, in reference to health care, said, "The status quo is not an option."

This seems to me the argument, inevitably, against choosing not to do anything. The status quo is never an option for the future. Things will change. The only question is in which direction we want them to change.

For instance, we won't double our population in cities and keep the same roads and reliance on cars, we won't be able to use the same carbon-emitting technology, etc., etc. If we try, we'll feel grief. But if we get the changes right, we'll emerge with something much better.

I get excited about the future in no small part because I think that this is not generally believed. My own sense is that the future - and not just of health care - will be either much worse or much better than people believe. If we try to stumble through with some patched up version of the status quo - it'll be worse. If we pull off the right kinds of inventions - technological as well as (and even more importantly) social - our grandchildren could be living in an amazing time.

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And for those of you wanting a great piece of commentary about the status quo, look at Jonathan Alter's piece in Newsweek.

1 comment:

wheelsonthebus said...

and if we don't? i shudder to think