John Naisbitt in his Megatrends books or Steven Levitt in Freakonomics have foretold the future or turned conventional wisdom on its head with their analysis of trends that others have overlooked. Russ Gerber, a Christian Scientist, published a May 25, 2014 article in Psychology Today that looks at the way dematerialism is revolutionizing health care as it has other fields. Wisconsinites interested in being up to date on the latest trends may find the article of interest. Read an excerpt below:
By Russ Gerber– Let’s try some word association. If I say messaging you might come back with instant, or texting, or SMS, or WhatsApp. In the not-too-distant past you might have said pencil-and-paper. If we went way back, to April 1860, when the Pony Express was new and considered the fastest letter delivery service ever, we likely would have heard that name mentioned with a bit of excitement. 1,800 miles in a breathtaking 10 days!
Speedy long-distance messaging was dependent on top physical horsepower and man-hours. Instant messaging was out of the question unless sender and receiver happened to be in the same room.
Those days are gone forever, thankfully, in large part because of dematerialization – to have less or no reliance on physical substance. Without a willingness to dematerialize the concept of communication we’d still be taking days rather than nanoseconds to chat over long distances.
Ever since I came across the word mentioned in an 1886 sermon, around the time it first came into use, I’ve noticed that in nearly every aspect of our lives where there’s been noteworthy progress it’s been accompanied by some degree of dematerialization.