American Society in 20 years

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by apendrapew, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. apendrapew Oral defecator Registered Senior Member

    Right now, we're at a unique time in human history, which I attribute highly to industrialization and technology. For millions of years, we've inched our way ever so slowly to the next age in technological advancement. (Stone Age, Bronze Age.... Information Age)

    Because we're now officially in the Information Age, information can be shared so quickly, science and technology are advancing faster than ever before in human history. Think about how our world has changed in the past 10 years; how our society has changed.

    My concern is that it's all happening too fast and it doesn't seem like anyone is in control. Nobody knows what's going to happen in the next 20 years or how society will be different. There's just so much uncertainty all the while the stakes are so high.

    What's up.
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Evolution will always bring changes, some good and some bad. It is up to the society to make certain that ethics are set at high standards and that constant monitoring continues. That is why there is a FDA and other similar agencies that review drugs and other things before they are allowed into the general population to have.
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  5. ic0n612 Registered Member

    i think America is going down the shitter...
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  7. In 20 years natural death will have been conquered and the sail-boat of humanity will be on a heading straight for a war like no other.
  8. apendrapew Oral defecator Registered Senior Member

    Are you saying we'll be immortal in a sense? Elaborate

    I agree in believing that in 20 years, people will be living far too long, but I doubt we'll have immortality in 20 years.
  9. False_Peace Registered Member

    We wont. The idea of us being immortal in 20 years is perposterous.
  10. apendrapew Oral defecator Registered Senior Member

    Preposterous, yes. However, with given time for technology to evolve (20 to 30 years), technology will enable us to live for as long as we want. While technology will let us live forever, most likely, government will intervene and put a cap on it for everyone's benefit.
  11. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

    Hmmm conquering natural death....I don't see the technology being here for 50+ years. Computers and nanotechnology might advance to the point where we can start looking at brain dumps around that time.

    In 20 years there will be 100+ year old people all over the place, the question is will they be able to lead productive happy lives or will they old be a drain on society?
  12. Deadwood Registered Senior Member

    I think our prime minister (Australia) was talking about encouraging people to work up to 70 or so. Since people are living longer, and with an aging population there are less tax payers to pay for the pension, welfare etc.

    Additionally, science and technology aint going to slow down for you. I suggest you learn how to cope and deal with change, and fast (no pun intended).
  13. Canute Registered Senior Member

    It's curious how the more 'advanced' societies get, and the more technology we develop to make life easier, the harder we all have to work.

    Our clever solution to this problem seems to involve working frantically hard to become even more advanced and to develop even more helpful technology. The self-contradictory idiocy of this seems to go unnoticed in politics, probably because governments need more and more income tax revenues to keep the whole thing from falling apart as it gets more and more out of control. State education has therefore become the indoctrination of future tax-payers and workers and no more.

    All imvho of course, but I've been watching it get steadily worse for a long time now. Unfortunately I can't figure out how to stop it. I've considered terrorism but I'm not up to it. Perhaps a global economic collapse might work.

    Better still if everyone just refused to play the game.
  14. voice of reason Registered Senior Member

    A good site that discusses this type of thing:

    I'm 23, I'm not sure if immortality is in the cards for people of my generation, but it is definately going to happen. Aging is an engineering problem: we haven't figured it out yet but we will soon (definately in the next 100 years or so I'd say).

    Nanotechnology and advanced imaging technology (beyond MRI's) are the enabling technologies for immortality. It could happen much quicker than you intuitively think it will, read about Kurzweil's view on the "singularity".

    Believing that immortality will never happen or that it's thousands of years away is completely ignorant given the mind blowing progress we've been making in just the past few years.
  15. voice of reason Registered Senior Member

    I hear this argument quite a bit and with all due respect you're just so completely wrong it's laughable. Have you ever seen The Frontier House ? We spend far, far less time working than we have in the past.

    People always long for the "good old days" but thats just a myth. In fact the "good old days" really sucked. I spend about 10 minutes a day cooking (I love my microwave), even back 20 years ago I'd be spending much more time. Certainly some people choose to work long hours for financial gain, but thats not an indictment of the system but rather the individual. You could get by today by consuming less. Modern innovations definately save you time.. if you don't think so I encourage you to wash your clothes by hand and cook everything from scratch.
  16. Canute Registered Senior Member

    I admire your optimism. Personally I'd rather move on than stay stuck forever in this life. Still each to his own.

    My anthroplogy is based on the work of Marshall Sahlins (University of Chicago). Here are a few bits.

    “Sahlins used field research to argue that ‘primitive’ societies enjoyed a great amount of leisure time, satisfied material desires and survival needs with little difficulty, did not work very hard, and consciously chose subsistence economics. They deliberately did not accumulate surpluses”

    Sahlin found that aboriginal communities in Australia (studies for several months) worked three hours 45 minutes per day average. The Adobe bushmen of southern Africa work on average a fifteen hour week. Only 65% of the population worked at all. ‘One man’s labour among the bushmen will support will support four or five people'.

    Today in the US only 5% of the population feed the rest of the country thanks to technology. But in primitive societies those who provide food free the rest of society to not work at all. In our own society, in which there is virtually no sharing, the non-farming 95% are not freed from work; they are strapped to some economic machine other than farming to produce the money they need to pay for food.

    A common misconception is that promitive societies survive at onle the bare minimum of existence. …Aboriginal and Bushmen hunters keep bankers hours, notably less than modern industrial workers. They eat as much for pleasure as for sustenance..

    In primitive societies the people choose not to produce at maximum levels. Incredible as it may seem to us ‘there is a conscious disregard for the notion of maximum effort from a maximum number of people’. ‘Labout power is under-used, technological means are not fully engaged, natural resources are left untapped. The work day is short. The number of days off exceeds the number of work days’.
  17. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    Very interesting Canute.

    No wonder then that we are always amazed that ancient people could build huge and intricate structures. We are thinking about this problem with our own mindset. Namely that we never have time to do anything because we work so much and have other obligations. These 'primitive' societies were civilized to the extreme. They had so much time on their hands that they could spend an extreme amount of time on cultural activities.

    I also read something recently on the stone axes that the early humans used to make. It seemed that they were too elaborate. They could have made much simpler ones who would function just as well. Is it then so simple that they just had plenty of spare time, and could spend as much time as they wanted on making stone axes more complex as was functionally required.
  18. Canute Registered Senior Member

    Very good point. I hadn't really thought about what such labour intensive and functionally overspecified artefacts implied about their leisure time and spare capacity.
  19. BigBlueHead Great Tealnoggin! Registered Senior Member

    Primitive societies have not developed the rather complicated system of debt-slavery that our societies have...

    In any case, the present troubled times in labour represent a slow but steady improvement over the original economic model that we inherited from Medieval Europe, which was an economy which evolved to simultaneously support and protect itself from the roving biker gangs that made up the royalty/nobility at that time.

    Eventually we'll have those hunter/gatherer types beaten, 'cause we'll develop robots to do all our work for us; it may be that in a few hundred years all the work you'll have to do in your entire life is to fill out forms. (People will complain about having to fill out forms.)
  20. captainkynan Registered Member

    I think from the time the world was flat to the time it was round would have been a short, and very scary , time. Everything's relative. change now is fast, but so is life. Horse and cart to steam would have been a huge change but life was plodding along without a phone of gps, very slow, nonetheless very scary for the sceptical...
  21. apendrapew Oral defecator Registered Senior Member

    Okay, what about technologies that are going to shape society in the near future?

    For an example. Technologies that shape our society: cell phones, computers, internal combustion engined cars, steel, internet, telecommunications, lasers, magnetic/optical storage.

    Technologies that will shape society in 20 years are going to be: heh, implanted cell phones (Metal Gear), massively parallel analog (perhaps DNA) computers, HSS (Hypersonic speakers), nanomaterials (ultra strong, lightweight, and intelligent.) Maybe hydrogen powered cars (if they're not obsolete). I think the technology that will make them feasible will also make them obsolete. Impanted diagnostic chips, space colonization.

    So living would be even faster paced. Perhaps society will split into those embracing technology and those who refuse to implantation. (On a broader scale than what we already have because technology will become so extreme. People will be forced to decide, immortality or no immortality..)

    How would people be different? Would they be more intelligent.. have lower attention spans?
  22. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    in one word- The ERA of WETWARE
    read some cyberpunk book (Neuromancer adviced) to see a small glimpse of the close future
  23. apendrapew Oral defecator Registered Senior Member

    Couldn't find it anywhere. What is Wetware?

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