The Structure of Problems

There are a number of different ways a problem might present itself. For instance, it might show up suddenly, and you only have a short time to react to it.
On the other hand it might also be visible for a long time, and you've got a lot of time to prepare to deal with it. It doesn't really matter if you do it now, or later, as long as you do it before it hits.
Then we have the problems that you can see ahead of you a long time before they hit, but which you can only affect by doing something very soon. Act now, or die in 10 years kinda things. Kinda like excessive smoking really.
Then we have the problems we don't see until they're just ahead of us, but we should have tackled years ago.
These are the really dangerous once, since when we give them due attention it's too late. Like standing on the rails of railroad, and looking the wrong way, while you somehow miss the train approaching behind you. Then you turn around and have a train poking you gently (fatally) in the face.

These last kinds of problems would be things like global warming for instance. If we do something now, it wont have effect until in a few decades. On the plus side, human life will continue it's evolution, which I'd venture to guess most people think is a good thing.

Brain food provided by Open the Future.

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