‘The world will have to grapple with a range of problems in the future’
The world will inevitably change as time continues to expose the past’s perception of the future to the now. As the earth ages, generations to come adapt to the new world they perceive to be as It is near impossible for every parent to educate their young on everything they have ever learned; thus attitudes and morals are continually fluctuating. It is undeniable that it has already affected society it is evident throughout today’s problems that were never pondered upon by older generations such as the rapid advances in technology. The future can only change, and will encounter many dilemmas along the way.
Earth already has an overwhelming number of human inhabitants, and the world’s population continues to increase. Many people do not want to acknowledge the problem, but ignorance will not change the inevitable consequences of overpopulation. No animal species can exist without adequate food, water, shelter and other essential resources and humans are not exempt from this rule. When the human population exceeds the resources needed to sustain it, the same thing that happens to any overpopulated species; nature will reduce the population through famine, disease, interspecies fighting or a combination of either one. That reality has already affecting people in some Third World countries. Because of cultural, political and religious attitudes, almost no world leader is willing to acknowledge the problem, much less take the necessary steps to resolve it.
The underlying cause of almost every environmental problem in the world today is human overpopulation. Air pollution, water shortages, habitat loss, extinctions, and invasive species all are caused or intensified from having too many people in the world. Humans are unique among all animal species in having the ability to solve even a monumental problem like overpopulation. This awareness is existent in George Orwell’s ‘1984’, the effects of extreme totalitarian society have stripped society’s resources and forced them to live in a dystopian environment full of pollution and overpopulation. Such a situation of local overpopulation has existed since the dawn of humanity and is slowly becoming a global existential problem.
Technology today has transformed the world and changed how people live in their day to day lives. As advances in technology are generally perceived to be an advantage, it can enable the most malevolent evil. The realm of communications has likewise seen immense change. People are provided with new ways to communicate with each other, such as email and instant messaging which can pose as a breach of privacy if used for the wrong intentions. Documents placed on the internet are sources of information for the rest of the world, and will forever leave a digital footprint. Global positioning satellites allow us to track our exact location and find our way to various destinations; such accessible conveniences can alter the future in foretelling ways. George Orwell’s ‘1984, illustrates a dystopian society ruled by a totalitarian government.
This extreme realization portrays a government with absolute power, in which controls every aspect of human life using a number of dehumanising techniques. Orwell’s dark vision poses as a foreshadowing notice, which thoroughly explores the consequences of advanced technology and its misuse. As Oceania’s mechanical citizens are constantly monitored using microphones and surveillance, expunges their right to privacy and to make choices. It is clear that the innovations of technology could escalate out of control, leaving society with no defence against it. Thus, it will ultimately destroy humanity in the pursuit of absolute power.
The discovery of DNA has the possibility to lead to major social and scientific issues in society. With new advances in technology, there are increases in the consequences that the new technology will allow. It is evident in Andrew Niccol’s film ‘Gattaca’ that the more powerful genetic engineering becomes the more helpful and harmful it develops. The film depicts a society ruled by ‘genoism’, where your genetics decide your social class in the world with a stressed need for perfectionism. This depressing image where there is no determinism for fate or influence for ethical standards eliminates the right for freedom of choice, that people freely and obliviously exhaust today.
The consequences of selective breeding solutions are frequently addressed in past and modern literature. In ‘Jurassic Park’, a scientist exhumes and modifies dinosaur DNA to then create an island inhabited by dinosaurs. Consequently, the impact of unnaturally producing a breed that has been extinct for a long period of time threatened the rest of the human race’s existence. It is clear that such meticulous science created in the wrong hands has the potential to impact the world permanently.
Similarly, a frightening futuristic concept that threatens to dominate society is totalitarianism. The objective of totalitarian government is to limit and regulate every aspect of public and private life. George Orwell’s novel, ‘1984’, exemplifies a society lacking in freedom and expression. His fictional society in the year 1984 stands as a metaphor for a totalitarian society. Communication, personal beliefs, and national loyalty are controlled by the inner party which governs the people of Oceania in order to keep society from rebelling. The concept of also controlling the personal beliefs of the citizens promotes totalitarianism by limiting the form of any emotional or individual expression. The citizens of Oceania were forced to work long days which limited self-expression because they were too exhausted to do anything else.
Oceania, where protagonist Winston Smith lives, is ruled by the INGSOC. “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, the main party slogan of Oceania which makes clear that every action you make is all seen by Big Brother, the big leader. The Inner Party, controlled by Big Brother, dictates several aspects of the people’s life. As a society, Oceania are completely brain washed by the continuous propaganda which is based on false news, a new language which reduces the capacity of using words in a double sensed way named Newspeak and indoctrination, this newborn dialect empowers and respects INGSOC. The overall concept is designed to control personal beliefs of the citizens by limiting their form of expression. Essentially, controlling the communication aligns with the Totalitarian aspects of governing. George Orwell envisioned the lack of communication could possibly result to total dominance and control of the people.
As civilization moves toward the point where human life will be irreversibly transformed, it will also have to overcome the potential problems that are carried along with any advancement in technology and government. All of these possibilities portray a pessimistic view of the future which has the potential to accrue into tremendous issues of whom the world will have to grapple.