Consider the general periods of Western civilization (i.e. Neolithic. Bronze, Iron, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Middle, Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, Industrial, Modern). I think it’s safe to assume that our “modern” period will, at some point in the future, be given a different, more appropriate moniker (calling the 21st century “modern” in the 23rd century would be rather silly). When our period is aptly named, a short synopsis of our civilization is sure to be described as well. The future civilization that names and describes our civilization will most likely do so, in large part, by comparison (i.e. our period to theirs). Since we are not privy to the exact nature of future civilizations, our period’s name and description can only be guessed at in a contingent, somewhat logical manner. Despite the shortcomings, lets tap into our prescient 6th sense and post some likely candidates.
Here’s an optimistic, though rather tongue-in-cheek, example:
The Age of Pollution: 1850 – 2050 (some overlap with the Industrial Revolution).
An age of great social upheaval, technological coming-of-age and general untidiness. Science trumps religion for the first time. Rampant celebrity idolatry. Genesis of androgyny. Abhorrence of pollution, though not enough to curtail hedonistic lifestyles. Ignorance considered hip, except for Straight Dopers. People generally friendly, despite growing paranoia. Global immersion of beachfront property, pandemic asthma and the extinction of frogs ultimately gives impetus for the great mid-21st century pan-societal exaltation: hmm, guess it’s time to do something about this mess, thus marking the end of this period.
The Age of Resentment: 2050 - ?