i believe that the “iEverything” as conceived / outlined here by Reich is missing one of its key elements / effects:
The individual “human” becomes literally a node on a larger bio-technologic / cybernetic network. Especially as we accelerate toward direct interface between computer chip and neuron: Think “brain implants,” or direct thought-connection through the next generation of your “smart-phone”; instead of keyboarding in an internet search, just think it. Instead of logging into your “social network account” or Instagram / Facebook identity in order to “social network,” just think into it.
This larger network will have / has its own structural and functional logic, irrespective of what the “individual” humans believe about their “individuality.” It’s impossible to have a perfect analogy, but one way to think about what is happening and what the outcome will mean for humans, is to think of how the formerly “individual” single-celled creatures became organized by “evolutionary logic” into what we call plants and animals.
i don’t think it’s going to be about “time left to persuade enough people that [redistribution] is a good solution to economic problems.” The “redistributive logic” of the emerging network will “evolve” the “economy” of the emerging network in ways that work for the emerging network as it evolves. More or less irrespective of what any humans think.
Regarding the obvious accelerating ecological collapse that leads you to ask your question about how much time is left:
One of my e-mail signatures currently reads “We are witnessing a fascinating race between ecological dis-integration / mass extinction, and our vanishment into a beyond-human bio-technologic cybernetic network (evolutionary step beyond conceivable human understanding). Maybe both will occur at the same cosmic instant, in a hyperbolic singularity!”
In a previous version of this e-mail sig, i also included financial and economic crisis / meltdown / collapse as a third element accelerating hyperbolically toward singularity. i removed it because the ecological and cyber-network elements seem so much more “important,” but reading Reich’s essay i think i’ll try to work it back in, thinking about the “redistributive logic” of the “economics” of the emerging / evolving network.
Especially incorporating the suddenly emerging 3-D printing, “physical manifestation of thought” element that Reich includes here. i want to read Jeremy Rifkin’s most recent book on the “zero marginal cost” economy - which explores how the acceleration of cyber-networking and the emergence of 3-D printing will overwhelm / transform the “corporate” structure of the modern economy - and try to grasp more holistically how all the elements coalesce and “evolve” together into whatever this “beyond human” networked new “creature” will be / do if it does emerge / evolve, and does not die at “birth” with the collapse of the Earth’s ecology.