Update 2019 02 14: Inserted link to ‘I Remember Babylon’. and appended addendum.
Arthur C. Clarke wrote a visionary short story, “I Remember Babylon” (published in Playboy in March 1960), that was an excellent prophesy of how and why the re-engineering of humanity’s moral and cultural standards was to be undertaken. His prophesy has come to pass…and then some!
Here is a link to Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘I Remember Babylon’:
Google has been around for 19 years now, Facebook for only eleven and Wikipedia for 15.
I have been around a lot longer; so have many other people, and, believe me — in case you are not aware of it — the world ran fairly well before Google, Wikipedia and Facebook had been launched. People where then so well-informed, it seems to me, that information overload was not as much of an impediment to enlightenment, whereby skepticism was a much-more valued asset than it is today. Consider, for example, that there is no teenager or anyone younger alive now in the world who can claim to have experienced any global warming at all.
Unfortunately, it appears that, the more we manage to substitute pixels for printers’ ink, the more we manage to abrogate the validity of healthy skepticism and a good measure of honesty that comes with it. Perhaps a case can be made that gullibility is treasured today far more than was credibility before the proliferation of pixels.
In spite of all of the enlightenment brought about by the Internet and its adjuncts, the number of people believing in unsubstantiated things appears to be on the rise. Quite honestly and objectively, I can assert without any reservations that during the last year I encountered far more people who believe in clear superstitions than I did in all of my 78 prior years of life experience.
Surely, Google, Wikipedia and Facebook cannot solely be blamed for the epidemic of superstitions that appears to have taken on dimensions that far exceed those that drove the market for indulgences to unforeseen heights before Martin Luther got around to thoroughly busting it. It is quite clear that ancient superstitions that had been laid to rest long before Martin Luther had a chance to scuttle them are being revived through Hollywood and other sectors of the film- and entertainment-industry, including the proliferation of cable-TV channels that appear designed to tear apart our social fabric and dismantle social traditions.
There is obviously a market for all of what is being promoted. It is also obvious that what is being promoted to further the brave new world of new-age moral and cultural standards would find no buyers if the demand had not been created for the new ideological wares.
Human and alien vampires, cannibalism, inter-species sexual relations, incest, chemtrails, mind-control through cell-phone antennas, mind reading, body modifications, tattoos, taxpayer-funded sex-change operations, “herstory,” God is a woman, man-made climate change, etc., etc…. The apparently endless variety of moral and superstitious aberrations prophesied by Arthur C. Clarke is being exceeded, by far, by what is being promoted now in the ideological market place. It boggles the mind to contemplate how what did happen in that context could have happened… against all common sense!
Take the prospect of mind reading. Mind reading falls into the category of paranormal activities. Millions of people quite firmly believe that mind reading is possible, that it is being done right now and that – of course – “the government” routinely engages in that nefarious activity. Yet, not one of those millions of “believers” has had the smarts to cash in on his convictions. Why doesn’t one of them get the enormous rewards in prize money they deserve to get? More than a million dollars can be had for proving that mind reading can and is being done: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prizes_for_evidence_of_the_paranormal
No, the prophesy expressed by Arthur C. Clarke in “I Remember Babylon” did not quite hit the mark. It considerably underestimated the extent of what human society was capable of doing to itself once it had succeeded in discarding common sense, and that’s where we are now. Indeed, “I Remember Babylon.” So, now what?
Arthur C. Clarke underestimated,– by a long shot – the progressive miniaturization of computing power and of the telecommunications industry, at the rate of about 40 percent per year (see Moore’s Law). He also did not anticipate transistors and fiber-optic cables, for which reason the importance of broadcasting via satellites is by far not as important now as he anticipated it would be.
Mind you, I don’t recall any futurist or science fiction author who predicted who much more important government/corporate censorship and indoctrination would become than what Arthur C. Clarke foresaw.
As a rough guess, I estimate that, as of now, what Clarke anticipated was underestimated by a factor of a hundred. There is no end in sight of how extensive it will become.
You have seen nothing yet, and the Trudeaus and Zuckerbergs of the world are in firm control of it.
Contemplate what John Swinton described, and multiply its influence and impact by a thousand, but that is just for a start.
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