Sunday, October 10, 2010

Reflections about 10.10.10

Today is October 10, 2010, which is the binary equivalent of 42. I was looking forward to this day, as 42 is the "Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything." Alas, my day was not fruitful in this respect, maybe we have to wait for another century for The Ultimate Answer. And then, the context could be very different, as human life may have few similarities with today's. Just think how life today compares to that of 1910, and how we now ridicule some aspects of everyday life then. If you still follow my train of thought here, what would people a century from now find ridiculous about our lives nowadays? Here are a few candidates, and only the far future will tell whether I am right.

  1. We drive cars ourselves. How inefficient and, especially, dangerous.
  2. We can pollute mostly for free.
  3. Water is essential, yet cheap.
  4. Nationalism.
  5. The amount of garbage we generate, in particular paper and plastic.
  6. Major projects are funded and conducted at the national level: space exploration, fundamental research.
  7. Smoking tobacco.
  8. Transportation centered on individual fuel engines.
  9. How religious people are.
  10. Circumcision.
  11. We tolerate a huge dispersion in standards of living across the Earth.
  12. Life-time insurance contracts between people of the same gender are illegal is many places.
  13. Private and exclusive health care provision.
  14. Immigration laws.
  15. Patents and copyright.
  16. Intelligent design.
  17. We kill sociopaths.
  18. We pay to put drug users in jail instead of taxing them.
  19. We need new flu immunization every year.
  20. TV and celebrity oriented leisure.
  21. That abortion needs to be an option.
  22. The catholic church can get away with child molestation on a grand scale.
  23. We use toilet paper and flush with water.
  24. We devote lots of resources to lawns.
  25. We prefer pumping expensive carbon into the atmosphere rather than using free solar energy.
  26. We expect physicians to know everything on the spot without looking it up.
  27. The USA is a country, while Europe is not one.
  28. Government officials are poorly paid and are expected to outdo themselves for the common good.
  29. The right to privacy is somewhat enforceable.
  30. Lawyers are powerful.
  31. Prostitution often involves sex.
  32. One needs to dress well to be respected (artists excepted).
  33. Few babies with birth defects are born.
  34. Farmers receive substantial subsidies, sometimes in areas not suitable for farming.
  35. Many people know how to spell.
  36. Rogue states.
  37. Invasive surgery.
  38. The belief that one needs to exercise to lose weight.
  39. The waste of time in commuting.
  40. Chemotherapy.
  41. We eat animals.
  42. How bad our lives are.


Anonymous said...

yes, i counted them...

Anonymous said...

Prostitution may not involve sex?

Anonymous said...

How bad our lives are.

EL, feeling a little depressed?

David Stern said...

Not all are true today in all parts of the world (e.g. killing sociopaths). I also didn't get the one about prostitution or "few babies with birth defects are born". Maybe EL thinks prostitution will only be a metaphor in 100 years? And no babies will be born with defects? Latter is better reworded to "Some babies are born with birth defects" then.

Economic Logician said...

Prostitution sex will be taken care of by robots or virtual machines. Prostitution will be about companionship.

More and more people with genetic defects survive into child bearing age, and the genetic material among humans becomes of lesser quality. This is compensated by medical progress, though.

Kaushik Choudhury said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaushik Choudhury said...

Nice compiled list

Vilfredo said...

Totally agree that our lives will be much better in the future. Doom sayers should just shut up. If you look at the past centuries, the standard of living has dramatically improved, and there is no reason this should stop. Many items on this list reflect this.

Great list!