A prevalence of certain types of genius at particular epochs in history—Jesus, Socrates, Buddha or Shakespeare, More, Marlowe, Johnson, and Milton —seem related to transitional periods between various social, ecological, political or philosophical conditions. We are clearly in such a period as technological advances increase at an exponential rate and global information, economics and travel erase borders and prove our complete interdependence.
Arts, while proving pleasure and meaning due to form alone, have generally provided synthesis, perspective and commentary prior to the collection of statistical or experimental data with the formal meaning always providing a universal element that transcends time.
This is no less true today. Whereas each artistic period flourished after technological or philosophical innovation (the piano, the printing press, the cinemascope) and whereas previous artist worked on the human condition from a local perspective and offered brilliant revelations on the human soul, artists now can paint on the canvas of humanity itself, utilizing the fluid technologies of the Internet, allowing each unique creative nature to render service to the world as a whole until we have created our most alive and fulfilled self-expression as individuals in a global culture.
The latest trends in network technology offer tools for solving global problems writ large. We have an opportunity unprecedented in history to affect change for the good. Improve health care, decrease poverty, and provide solutions to myriad problems simply by the intelligent connection of communities and resources.
While previous lines of demarcation between countries, ideologies, and economies become blurred; I suggest that similar lines between social and technological sciences and the arts are necessarily becoming meaningless as new vibrant arts emerge that provide once again perspective and commentary but in addition, real change.