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tsuomela : amazement   1

Overcoming Bias: Eutopia is Scary
Pick up someone from the 18th century - a smart someone. Ben Franklin, say. Drop them into the early 21st century.

We, in our time, think our life has improved in the last two or three hundred years. Ben Franklin is probably smart and forward-looking enough to agree that life has improved. But if you don't think Ben Franklin would be amazed, disgusted, and frightened, then I think you far overestimate the "normality" of your own time. You can think of reasons why Ben should find our world compatible, but Ben himself might not do the same.

Movies that were made in say the 40s or 50s, seem much more alien - to me - than modern movies allegedly set hundreds of years in the future, or in different universes. Watch a movie from 1950 and you may see a man slapping a woman. Doesn't happen a lot in Lord of the Rings, does it? Drop back to the 16th century and one popular entertainment was setting a cat on fire. Ever see that in any moving picture, no matter how "lowbrow"?
history  psychology  future  future-shock  perception  fear  amazement 
january 2009 by tsuomela

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