One of The Greatest Times in History

  • April 4, 2012 by Corbett Barr
  • 34 Comments

We are living in one of the greatest times in history.

Never before could you work from anywhere on earth, with people you’ve never met, on projects that can reach the entire world.

Never before could you raise money from hundreds of complete strangers based on a video shot on your cellphone and edited in an afternoon.

Never before could you contribute $25 to the prosperity of a hopeful business owner in an impoverished country halfway around the globe, instantly, from your desk, just because you felt like it.

Never before could you access any knowledge within seconds, start learning something within minutes and find community on any topic, anytime.

Never before was it so easy to fulfill the promise of “you can do anything you put your mind to.”

NEVER before.

There are so many reasons this is one of the greatest times in history.

How are you going to take advantage of this incredible time?

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Brett Kelly April 4, 2012 at 10:19 am

A part of me feels like we are almost *obligated* to not let the opportunity pass us by. Each advancement you’re alluding to represents a barrier removed, an excuse invalidated. We owe it to ourselves (and others) to make our mark, I think.

I’ve been blessed beyond measure and I want to, as much as I can, help other people make life a little better.

And the fact that I can speak to people literally anywhere in the world as easy as I can the people down the hall is batshit crazy.

Corbett April 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Man, I’m totally with you. I feel this incredible sense of “I’d be crazy not to take advantage of all this.” Like I’d be letting down humanity or something.

It’s pretty amazing how quickly we forget just how incredible each of these advancements have been.

Alexandre B April 4, 2012 at 11:52 am

Hi Corbett,

This is ABSOLUTELY TRUE ! When I was a child I wished born in the future but now, I’m so happy to be in my 20′s right now.

Internet lets so many things happen, that’s unbelievable !
That’s why my grand parent still doen’t get what I do for a living ^^

Cheers !
Alex

Corbett April 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Haha, I’m the same way. Plenty of friends and family don’t really get what I’m up to, but that’s fine. It makes explaining things more fun :)

Joe Wong April 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm

This year I finally decided to take advantage of everything you just mentioned. Starting a blog, or I should say “a blog that matters” is how I am planning on achieving my goal…thanks Corbett…

Corbett April 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Awesome Joe, congrats on the big first step!

Sheyi April 5, 2012 at 12:30 am

Corbett,

We are surely living in the greatest time in history.
The headline caught my attention and i started to brain storm about what you mean to be the greatest time in history – maybe the 9/11 but i was disappointed and saw that its something more significant.

Sheyi

Angela April 5, 2012 at 12:54 am

So true Corbett! We are living in such an incredible time! This is driven home even more, I think, to those of us old enough to remember what life was live pre-Internet. Some days all I can do is shake my head in wonder at everything we’re able to do. We’re blessed beyond measure, and you’re so very right, it does almost feel like we’d be letting down the team if we don’t give it our all and make as much of a difference as we possible can! Thank you for inspiring me! ;-)

Corbett April 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Ah yes, life “pre-Internet.” What an age that was, I barely remember ;)

Sarah April 5, 2012 at 1:27 am

I love this! Totally true & hugely inspiring. Thanks for putting it together like this. It’s going to become the thing I read when I run out of energy & need an inspirational kick! Thank you Corbett!

Paul April 5, 2012 at 3:15 am

To be aware of what’s happening, and NOT do anything with everything we’ve been given is borderline irresponsible.

However, it’s EASIER escape into technology than it is to use it to bolster our superpowers.

However, we all need reminders. And your question is on point…

Will we take advantage of this opportunity? As Brett said, excuses are moot.

For those that understand and know what time it is, let’s roll…

Cole Bradburn April 5, 2012 at 6:42 am

Corbett,

Great to see this today, it’s a thought that seems to be spreading into consciousness and I truly believe it. Earlier in the month I found myself writing “Why Now is the Greatest Time to Be Alive – http://bit.ly/wE5L7M” and really owning it.

Think about this – if you have a laptop in today’s world, you have a printing press, a recording studio, a photography suite, a broadcast station, and your own tv channel. It is a great equalizer, and the world is waiting for us to rise to the occasion.

Joseph Ratliff April 5, 2012 at 7:23 am

You’re spot on Corbett.

These times are SO great in fact, that they are making people uncomfortable… because for once, they have no more excuses for avoiding the process of pursuing their passion.

No. More. Excuses.

The ball is truly in their court now… waiting for them to hit it back.

Jared M. April 5, 2012 at 7:23 am

It’s amazing how the internet has somewhat changed the social interaction between people. With twitter, facebook, linkedin, google+, blogging ect we now all have access to some of the greatest minds and inspirational people that we never would have had access to before.

It’s much easier to eliminate the bullshit and connect with people that are on the same path as you, no matter what that path is.

Right now I’m beta testing a private social community, much like Dan Andrews Dynamite Circle, but strictly for currency traders and the results have been phenomenal. The knowledge we share with each other is compounded many times over and we’ve ended up creating some pretty amazing stuff.

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca April 5, 2012 at 7:54 am

I totally agree, Corbett, we do live in a great time, and we have more going for us than ever!

Re: the amazement and obligation thing…

I think the best creations come when we stop being “amazed” by opportunities.

Appreciate them, yes.
Recognize them, yes.
Leverage them, yes.

For example, kids take iPhones + computers as a given, and because of that they start doing amazing things with them early.

And when I was young, my friends just kind of… assumed they could record their own voice on cassette, and so they did, at a young age, becoming young stars. :)

They were amazed for about 5 seconds when they learned they could do stuff like that, and then they were busy leveraging it to create more :)

Kimberly Houston April 5, 2012 at 7:57 am

This is so true. It amazes me that so many people still get caught in the trap of wishing and hoping things would get better — that they could leave their unfulfilling jobs and do something more interesting and aligned with their passion and purpose, etc. — but then don’t take advantage of all there is to offer online and elsewhere these days to make it happen.

I’m in my 40′s, and though many of my friends totally “get” how awesome the time we live in is for creating exactly the life and business you want, others are stuck in jobs that don’t bring them joy, and they don’t see any way out. My standard response to this is usually to say, with great enthusiasm, “Hey, why don’t you start a blog?! At the very least, it’ll give you an outlet for your passions, and a way to connect with other people who are interested in the same things you are. And you never know what could happen as a result of that.”

After starting my first blog in 2007, then another in 2009, and a third just a few months ago, I am all about the joy and satisfaction blogging can bring, so I feel like shouting it from the rooftops at times. ; )

Dave Doolin April 5, 2012 at 8:00 am

I’ve been teaching Rails at the Railsbridge workshops since last fall. Bringing more people into the programming “fold,” such as it is, so that they participate as players, not spectators.

It’s awesome watching a marketing team building their first web app. Using command line terminals no less.

When people ask why I live in the Bay Area, I can only say “I just like it.” The fact they had ask means they can’t understand my real reasons. It’s not just about experiencing the future, it’s about helping create the future. At this time, no better place.

Abigail Johnson Akingbade April 5, 2012 at 10:54 am

This is one of the greatest times but also one of the most violatile times in history. It’s all up to your perspective. The US is still in the midst of a recession and many project the US dollar will be replaced with a new currency in the coming years. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Our freedom and liberty are being taken away without our knowlege. Look at the controversial SOPA legislation. Food is very expensive. The US government has the right to lock you away without due process. The world governments are connected in a global economy at a alarming rate that the world has never seen before. Times are great but also this could also be considered the worst of times for many. It is all up to how you view the world. I just thought I should add this to the discussion because the world is not a rosy place considering all the things that are happening today. I have being reading how many wealthy people are taking back their self reliance and arming themselves for another financial global crisis and the imminent economic transitions that must take place due to the changing global interconnected new world.

Corbett April 5, 2012 at 11:38 am

Thanks for making my point :) You can choose to see today as doomsday if you like. I choose to see it for the massive opportunity it is.

Here’s a great video that illustrates more eloquently how our choices about how we view the world affect us, and why optimism is warranted right now:

http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_diamandis_abundance_is_our_future.html?source=facebook#_T1MInW2ua6t_facebook

Conni Biesalski April 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

By getting on a plane to Bali in two weeks to live the digital nomad dream ;)

By learning programming languages online.

By leveraging these great times to make my own and other people’s dreams happen.

By giving it a shot to change the world.

Thanks Corbett, beautifully written.

Jeremy or IHeartTravel April 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Totally agree corbett, the world is literally at our fingertips and that is every bit amazing.

I recently watched this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OIRZebE8O84

I can’t imagine living in a world where tools we have today, simply were not available.

We can have the world in our grasp, and I for one plan on using that advantage in anyway I can !!!

Scott Dinsmore April 5, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I freakin love this Corbett and I could not agree more. It’s almost an obligation at this point. We owe it to the world and it’s SO damn exciting!

Thanks for this.

Mickey Oddwin April 6, 2012 at 2:43 am

As my own blog grows, I’m taking as many bloggers/internet entrepreneurs with me as I can… you can’t put a price on raw talent!!! ;)

Martijn Reintjes April 6, 2012 at 8:23 am

Great post Corbett, I’ve been saying the same thing for a year now but hadn’t made a post of it, I used your format to write my own ideas. Great stuff, thanks!

Corbett April 6, 2012 at 10:21 am

Awesome Martijn, I hope it goes well for you. Cheers

Benny April 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

I often think the same thing when I’m watching an amazing athlete, watching a great movie, or reading stories of companies changing the world.

I think that I’m lucky to be able to be alive during these times.

We have so much available to us at our finger tips. We can connect so easy with almost anyone through social media.

It’s an amazing time and it would be a waste to not take advantage of it.

Élan April 6, 2012 at 10:35 am

I absolutely agree with this, and I think it’s all the more important to make the most if it because many people are not nearly as lucky.

Coren Smith April 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I agree. This is when everything is happening. So much change is going on, not only in society, but in the world itself. We are literally in a new world. The amazing energetic shifts that are happening with humanity and the entire world is fucking incredible and it is an honor to be alive and live through. It’s important to wake up, harmonize with nature, harmonize with everything that is going on, and really be at one with it all and do something! Now is a time when laziness is truly a sin; because not only is there a lot that can be done, there’s a lot that has to be done ~ on an individual level, and all the way up to a global and even cosmic level (here I’m also reflecting internally). People have got to get smart and get moving!

It’s important to see the big picture these days. If people don’t, then they are basically jerking off in the sand while this whole amazing and incredible reality is happening and changing around them. This whole thing to me is both macro and micro significant. It gets down to effecting us each individually, even physically to a cellular level, and even an internal level, boiling our blood and calling us to action. This magnifies out to the macro level, the bigger picture. Whatever you are doing, wherever you are, destiny is calling us all alive these days to something that is more than a mundane existence, but reaches higher, and is an important part in our evolution on Earth. This is an important time. It’s when everything is happening.

Derek Jensen April 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

Make mistakes, keep moving, and focus.

Jeff @ Digital Nomad Journey April 11, 2012 at 10:43 am

As Alexandre mentioned, I wish I was in my 20′s again, to start taking advantage of the Internet earlier. I started over 8 years ago at 29.

The opportunities are unbelievable, compared to what I saw as the traditional life path when I was a kid. Let’s hope this freedom of action remains intact for another 10-25 years at least.

On the flip side, we could say…..

Never before , was our privacy more invaded.
Never before, did our extra-curricular activities pose a threat to our livelihood.

Can you imagine 10 years ago, an employer asking what TV’s shows you watch, or what books are on your shelf?

The increasing need for employers to research a candidate’s social media activity is testament to this.

I believe though, the good far outweighs the bad, and we all need to strike while the iron is hot!

Abigail Johnson Akingbade April 9, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Thank you Corbett. I have not seen this video before. I’m going to take a look!

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