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Changes that will Influence the Future

Published by Peter Ramster in May 2012 · 14/5/2012 23:00:50

The modern world is seeing changes that are bringing a different place to live. As the young grow older, they will bring influences on the world that will change the face of society. The past forty years has seen a falling age of puberty. It is reported that one boy in 14 now reaches puberty by the age of 8, that girls are developing breasts up to two years earlier than previous generations. Childhood obesity is increasing. There seems to be an increase in narcissistic traits in children and adolescents. Many adolescents have an excessive need to be loved and accepted, leading sometimes to inappropriate relationships. The academic pressures put onto many children robs them of their childhood. Advertising puts unrealistic expectations on children and adolescents. What should be maintained at the level of fantasy is sometimes becoming desired as reality. Spiritual values are becoming confused and people are losing track of what they should believe in. Religion is losing its value and its appeal. Religious beliefs are no longer being accepted by many. Very few young people consider spiritual values or religious principles when making decisions and choices. Research is showing that young people are turning to pornography from a very young age and it is considered OK to watch porn. Values have changed over the past generations in relation to drugs and alcohol, as well as sexual relationships and cohabitation. Homosexuality has also become accepted whereas in the past generations, it wasn't. What does all this mean for the changing world. What will be the world we will see in fifty years from now? In many ways, the younger generations are not accepting blindly what they are told. They think… when it comes to believing religious teachings. They analyse… when it comes to sexuality and sexual practices. The are not so reticent to explore new boundaries as has been the case in past generations. Technology advances at an extraordinary rate. The changes will continue. Technological invention will continue. Medical improvements will continue, but all of these things can be used for both good and bad. Which will be the winner? What will the world be for our children's children? What is the future scenario for the world in the year 2100? When we look at the changes in the world over the past 90 years, they have been nothing less than extraordinary. Yet society and technology is changing faster than ever before. The changes that could take place in the next ninety years stand to dwarf the changes of the past ninety years. In short, the future could be beyond anything we could imagine, with the future liable to bring new developments that today we couldn't even dream of. Space exploration, space mining, new forms of transport, new social and sexual norms, technological and medical advancement, all stand to bring together something we might encapsulate by the term coined by Aldous Huxley… 'Brave New World'. The important question is, "Have we developed sufficiently, matured sufficiently as a race, and developed a sufficient sense of morality, to handle all of the changes made, the developments made, as well as the changes and developments liable to be made in the coming future?"

Neil Postman discusses the worlds of Nineteen Eighty Four and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death. He states:

"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us."

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