Almost nothing has changed for thousands of years in terms of the human life comforts. What has suddenly happened in recent decades that has led us to a sudden breakthrough in all spheres of life? Communications, transportation, computer technology - these are just a fraction of the whole new world that is opening up before us. What is behind this incredible leap?
"Time is money" is a famous American saying, which originated from Benjamin Franklin - one of the "founding fathers" of the United States. The meaning of this statement is that every service or product a person buys includes a time factor characteristic in its price. This can be the time spent on generating the product or service, or, on the other hand, the actual time saved by the product for the individual.
Nowadays, however, the rules of the game have begun to change - day by day, the balance is getting more shifted - we are witnessing an increasing rush of our lives rhythm, when our usual definitions of time are losing their meaning, and what previously required a lot of time is now consuming less and less of it.
This is simply the result of living in the days of Moshiach, in the starting point of Redemption.
The enormous prosperity and wealth available to an increasing number of people in today's world is the direct result of the enormously rising time-efficiency in particular. In fact, the more we can produce in the shorter period of time, the lower are the production costs, which means a rapid growth in production, employment rates and all the participants' incomes are rising, also rises the consumer demand. As a result the entire long chain from raw materials to the consumer products upgrades.
Consider the large factories that produce food, textiles, building materials, and other industries that manage to produce huge quantities of products within a fraction of the time compared to traditional production rates that previously required, roughly, several months to produce a similar quantity of products.
The same groundbreaking time-efficiency revolution has also led to a spectacular reduction in distances. Hence goods are now exported and imported from anywhere around an entire globe, and thus sold in increasingly large quantities. And we haven't even mentioned the high-tech sector yet.
Briefly, to sum up, most of the 5,700 year period of world elapsed with virtually no major change in the life comforts: no electricity, no advanced technology, and almost no progress.
And then suddenly, about seventy years ago, comes the seventh generation, and the world, awakening from its sleep and dizziness, accelerates with every passing moment, gaining even faster and faster momentum, effecting virtually every branch of technology and industry without exception. Such changes, unprecedented in their scope and speed, have never been experienced by mankind before. Here are just a few examples of such transformations:
Illumination for an hour is ready to be used after 30 seconds of charging
Illumination. In this area we are witnessing an entirely extraordinary progression, which fundamentally differs from what it was in the past. Nowadays, illumination, which compensates the absence of light during the night, seems to us a completely organic (and extremely important) element of our life, but, as it is clear, that it has not always been so simplistic. For example, 3,000 years ago it took about 50 hours of hard physical labor to produce enough oil to light a house for one day. More recently, around 1800, it took about 6 hours of labor to make one wax candle. And by 1900, that time had dropped to 15 minutes of labor to provide a light for a quarter of an hour.
Nowadays, thanks to the use of electricity and LEDs, one thirty seconds of work provides us with a whole hour of light. Once you think about it, the change that has occurred is almost miraculous. The change from over 50 hours of manual labor to a thirty-second machine work seems beyond comprehension. Just think about the time that such technological leap saves.
Communication. A hundred years ago, the opportunity to communicate with someone on the other side of the world was a massive headache for dozens of people and took several months at least. Letters sent by mail were delivered by ships, an expensive and also dangerous method. Then the world switched to all sorts of devices, but even after the invention of the telephone and the development of the necessary infrastructure around the world, it was still quite a complicated process, and extremely expensive, by the way.
For example, until recently, a phone call from Israel to India or the U.S. was about $10 per minute. What can I say, today a similar call to a stationary phone costs a few cents. And all this without all the extra difficulties that were once the fate of our ancestors.
And of course we haven't even talked about Internet communications and instant messaging applications, which have virtually entirely negated communication process over telephone wires, thanks to a system of satellites that fly around the world and allow effortless communication almost anywhere in the world.
Transportation. It's hard to think of anything more time-consuming than the old-fashioned forms of transportation that were in use, and quite prevaled in the world, about 70 years ago. It seems ridiculous today, but up to that time, horses were still used in many places to get from place to place "quickly". The automobile, which was in its early development stages, was not yet publicly available in most countries of the world. Moving between continents was a long and tedious project by sea, which was also not very safe. Land travel between cities and countries was by train and could take days and sometimes weeks. Regular air travel was new to the world and therefore very expensive.
Today the world has become a "global village". The automobile has become an accessible and natural basic necessity in every family ("not a luxury item but a means of transportation"), public transportation has developed enormously, linking parts of cities and countries, and air travel has become much cheaper, more regular and practically hourly.
Space travel has also appeared, and it will soon become public as well. Ships and other types of ships are now much faster, more powerful and safer, and therefore much better adapted for long and enjoyable journeys. And apparently this is just the beginning of the transport revolution, which promises us numerous new inventions, such as autonomous vehicles operating without a human driver, vacuum trains (the Hyperloop project) operating on high air pressure and able to cover long distances in a matter of minutes, and other upcoming inventions. All this facilitates enormous time efficiency and economic advancement all over the world.
Computer Science. This relative innovation has managed in almost no time to become a completely integral part of our lives. If you think about it, it is, after all, a real miracle, only apparently natural to us. Back in the middle of the last century, what was then called a computer was equipped with a processor with two transistors. The transistor is, in fact, one of the key components of modern electronics and the main component of the processor. Back then, Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel, projected that advances in technology would make it possible to increase the number of transistors in a processor every year. By 1971, the processor had 2300 transistors, quite a leap in 15 years. If we go back to today, we find that by 2021 there will be over 16 billion transistors in a notebook computer with an Intel processor!
That means that every home laptop today has a processing power of several billion times greater than computers that existed less than a hundred years ago. At the same time, their price has fallen by millions of percent. We're talking about developments in quality and quantity that are simply hard to comprehend.
In fact, in all areas of life, changes are happening much faster now than in the past. We see how things that previously required much effort and a considerable amount of time are now becoming available without any particular effort and within a very short time. In fact, it would probably seem untrue to say that a month has now become the equivalent of one hour. Chasidism says that during the process of Redemption, the supernatural will reveal itself to us as natural, and thus accessible to the human senses.
The impossible becomes real
We are witnessing the fulfillment of this prophecy before our eyes. If we take a closer look around us, we realize that time limitations are rapidly losing their existence, that in terms of the possibilities we obtain, a month narrows into a day and an hour into a minute. Time is becoming more capacious for us, allowing us to perform in a few hours actions and tasks that previously would have taken months.
Sometimes, regardless of all these innovations and changes, you may get the feeling that all this is a completely natural progression of events and that nature has simply arranged it that way.
But let us not be deceived, it is necessary to understand clearly that this is not the truth. Such a false sense is nothing more than the tricks of the contradictory spirit within us, the "evil spirit" that inspires nonsense and tries to hide from our eyes the revelation of Redemption unfolding before us. All of this is nothing more than the fragments of exile signs that still hold on to us, in the moment before we move on to Redemption.
All we need to do is "open our eyes" and see that the changes in the world represent one of the fulfillment of the Almighty, who hides Himself in natural way of life, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe King Moshiach SHLITA says: "The world is already ready for Redemption."
All of this is happening precisely in the seventh generation
Since the Lubavitcher Rebbe became the head of Chabad, the world has gained a new, much higher rhythm than before, accelerating more and more with the advancement of the seventh generation.
And every technological innovation - becomes another manifestation of just one more of the world's messages to us: "Well, here is the Redemption, coming here and now!"