Thursday, May 17, 2007

What "Obvious" Attitudes Are Going to Die by 2050?

I'd like to ask everyone reading this to leave a comment, even if you're not the type to usually leave a comment. Spread the word to other people, too.

There's a scene in Woody Allen's movie Sleeper in which Woody, having come out of cryosuspension in 2173, asks for a health food breakfast of wheat germ, organic yogurt, and mashed yeast. The doctor recoils -- this is health food? What about hot fudge, red meat and cigarettes? She's told that in 1973 those foods had been thought of as unhealthy -- exactly the opposite of what they now know to be true.

For our purposes, let's pretend it's 2050. Your grandchildren are visiting you in the Post-Geriatric Life Extension Community in which you live, and you're torturing them by talking about "the old days". You mention some attitude, some way of thinking that everyone took for granted in the first few years of the 21st Century. The children recoil in horror! "Ewww, you old turtle-faced grand-unit," they say. "How could you people have believed that was true? No one thinks that way anymore!" You shrug your recalcified shoulders and say "We all believed it was true back then." They roll their eyes.

What do we "know" to be true in 2007 that will turn out to be completely false by 2050?

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Patrick said...

It's only fitting that I go first. I think the idea that we're are/are not responsible to help our fellow human beings oscillates over generations. After years of it being "normal" to think about betterment of all people, the pendulum started to swing back toward a more "I got mine; you're on your own" attitude around the time of the election of Ronald Reagan. I think that attitude is peaking about now, and the pendulum is going to swing back.

So I think the grandparent in our scenario said something like "We walked past the homeless people on the side walk", and the grandchildren of 2050 said, "Your society thought it was all right to have homeless people on the streets? You didn't help them? You stepped over them as if they weren't there?"

ellagood said...

that hot fudge, red meat and cigarettes are bad for you.

C.T. Pope said...

you guys made cloning illegal?