What the hell? Seriously. We are so awesome. Look around you.
Let's start on a fundamental level. We are nothing but animals. We are biological beings that, provided you accept the idea of evolution, have grown at a rapid rate. Compare your body to that of a simple bacteria. It is where we originated from, but for some reason, we have so vastly evolved beyond it that we have achieved exceptional amounts of communication between each other. We have achieved the complete and utter bastardization of our environment for our own gain. Most importantly, we have achieved conscious thought.
I want you to picture yourself right now. You are sitting at a computer, most likely in your home. Pull back a little. You're likely in a neighborhood, or perhaps an apartment building, with identical shelter units that humans use for both safety and happiness. Each of these homes is exceptionally constructed and has electricity, heating and a constant water source. Compare that with the living conditions of a bear or a deer. Bears don't have shit. They make due. We just make everything.
Now think of how large of a scale humanity reaches. We have, quite literally, conquered Earth. I like to make a comparison to nations. Imagine if, let's say Greece, conquered the world. You'd be like, "Shit. Greece is powerful." Humanity has conquered the world on a species level in such an excessive way. Why? Is there a powerful being that created us and put us here to run amok? Or have there been just so many coincidences that we have become some sort of super powerful species? Think of another bear. If you found out that bears somehow learned to carve wood in artistic designs simply to enjoy their aesthetic qualities, you would flip out. But we have that. We love art. But what other completely ridiculous things do we have? Tons. Think of sports teams. Tens of thousands of humans gather in a giant arena to watch exceptional physical specimens of their own species compete in entirely trivial physical activities. What about grocery stores? Bears struggle every day to find a decent food source. They must hunt. We have grown so far beyond that, that we have an infrastructure in which food is gathered in massive qualities for us all to, simply and conveniently, acquire in exchange for another ridiculous concept - currency. Think of every activity that humans do as an objective, animalistic quality, and you will be completely blown away.
Yes, compared to bacteria, animals, and even Earth in general, we are absolutely a massive presence. But while we are prominent, we are also nothing.
The universe is big. Like, really big. Like, you can't possible comprehend just how much shit is out there. There is no way in hell that we are the only sentient beings. But with all the random occurrences that led to our existence, how can we be sure that other living things are even remotely similar or conducive to our understanding of life. The very idea that another galaxy has different rules in terms of physics, gravity, biology, elements et al, means that our existence could potentially be entirely unique. Or maybe, the opposite. The scale of universe is so massive, that there could potentially be infinite recreations of our exact selves. There could very well be another humanity, or maybe more than one, that are in different stages. But we just don't know. We can't. But should we? Bears don't know shit. They don't even really know their own existence. But we humans are currently using an absolutely massive piece of ridiculous technology (the Large Hadron Collider) in order to find out if a particle, that we THINK exists, actually does, and if it does, it is a key part in the origin of mass in the universe (the Higgs boson). Wow. Really? Do we need to know this? Regardless, we're trying to find out. Meanwhile, bears are just doin' their thang.
But if we're trying to find this out sort of stuff out right now, what's next for humanity?
We are at a crossroads in humanity's existence. In the future, humans will look at our era and say that it is when everything changed. Why? Communication. Epic, widespread communication. It started with the telegraph. It evolved with radio. But it is this Internet thing that changes humanity forever. It really does. It is entirely instant communication to, conceivably, any other human on the planet.
Think of Christopher Columbus. He did his whole "Discover America" thing in 1493. That is roughly 500 years ago. A long time compared to our individual lives, but not a heck of a whole lotta time compared to humanity, Earth and the universe in general. Back then, he was looking for another route to China and stumbled upon this land that his people didn't even knew existed. He found people that he, or anyone else back in Europe, knew were alive. Humanity was still meeting each other. And it took a shit ton of time to get there. A couple of his voyages took almost a full year, because he used a boat, and boats suck. Now, if you want to go from Spain to Cuba, you board an airplane. An extremely heavy, giant piece of metal and stuff that essentially, due to its geometry and ridiculous speed, air doesn't know what to do with it so it just lets it fly. Both literally and figuratively. And the whole plane ride is maybe 5-10 hours. You can leave after breakfast and still get there in time to watch House.
But back to my original point: Communication. Chris Columbus (I can call him Chris. We were tight.) said "Hi" to these indigenous people for the first time without ever knowing of their existence before hand. Humanity was extremely split. Not anymore. If you want to speak to someone half way across the world, you can log on to your computer and fire them an INSTANTANEOUS message that they will read immediately.
I want that to sink in.
The Crusaders. Cleopatra. Genghis Khan. They all did their own thing. Sure, they knew other people in their area, and had trade routes and such. But did any of them belong to a forum discussion in which they extol the virtues of marijuana with others from all over the world? Well, Khan was but he got banned.
But in all seriousness, we are a time where humanity has become entirely interconnected through widespread, instant communication. Not only is that a huge event in itself, but it has ridiculous implications for the future. The sum of human knowledge is now being shared from every corner of the world. Society will continue to evolve, and now at a much faster rate due to the interconnected nature of humanity that has only very recently become significant.
200 years ago, the French Revolution happened. That changed a lot. But Marie Antoinette barely knew, and certainly didn't IM George Washington. How will our advancement, both on a society and biological level, shift now that we are more than separate nations, but also an interconnected species that know how to use tools, think consciously about ourselves and our existence in a massive universe and on an essentially dominated planet, and communicate between each other on a massive scope.
The Middle Ages were 1,000 - 1,300 years ago. Compared to our society now, the Medieval lifestyle is entirely ridiculous. But who could have predicted that 1,000 years later, humans would be doing what we are doing now. Now, with virtually all humans capable of communication with each other, we will continue changing. I don't even want to think of what we will be doing in another thousand years. And to think, we're simply animals, just like bears. But awesome.