In the age of discovery Europe had become aware for the first time of the existence of great thinly-settled areas capable of taking up a population exceeding that of Europe itself; a land full of unexplored resources, not only of gold and silver but of the other commodities of commerce as well. These resources seemed inexhaustible, and indeed on the scale on which the society of 1500 moved, their exhaustion and the saturation of the population of the new countries were very remote. Four hundred and fifty years is farther than most people choose to look ahead. (Wiener 1989 :45)
WIENER, Norbert. 1989 . The human use of human beings: cybernetics and society. London: Free Association Books.