Folks in 2112 will be appalled that we...?

We look at how things were 100 or so years ago and are appalled at the level of crime/filth/racial discrimination/ignorance/etc. The good old days pretty much sucked, in fact. I was just speculating what social behaviors/attitudes might be considered abhorrent in the not-too-distant-future, for instance:

Capital punishment
Gender discrimination
Smoking in public
Prisons (at least, as we know them)
Political debates consisting mostly of attacks on the opponent
The Electoral College
American Idol
Eating unhealthily
Adam Sandler movies

These are just examples; feel free to name your own. I also realized there might be a number of things which are considered perfectly innocuous today but could be considered socially unacceptable in the future, like for instance, driving a gasoline-powered car (even as a hobby).

Polls and other opinion-based discussions work better in the In My Humble Opinion f (IMHO) forum.

Off you go.

For some reason the first thing that comes to mind is fake tanning. Or even just the concept of sunbathing in general.

I disagree with some of the things on your list:

I don’t think they’ll find this any more appalling than we do. Passive smoking in outdoor environments is incredibly low risk.
If they’re shocked by that then virtually everything we do would make them pass out with the horror of it all.

ETA: Whoops, forgot smoking indoors is still legal in lots of places. Yeah, that already looks pretty bad.

No doubt we’ll get better at making low-calorie foods that look and taste like the real thing. Hence I doubt people of the future will look down on us for eating hamburgers and doughnuts – they’ll be doing the same.

If you mean that they’ll look down on us for allowing ourselves to get obese, there may be some disgust at how fat some people got, but increasingly science is moving away from the model of fat people just being greedy or lacking willpower.

I don’t see any reason to suppose censorship would become a thing of the past.

I think they’ll be appalled that we consumed vast amounts of non-renewable resources for trivial purposes (all those lights in Vegas, disposable plastic packaging for everything, etc)

Using drinkable water to flush the toilet.

You are making the same old mistake that wanna be futurists always make: you are assuming a linear extrapolation from current trends. In the real world trends are not linear, they oscillate. People 100 years ago found the rampant sexuality of the past to be abhorrent and congratulated themselves on how progressive they were because sexuality wasn’t even mentioned in polite company. Yet 70 years later the world was more sexually liberated than it had ever been in human history. People 100 years ago were proud that they were taming nature, bending the world to the will of humanity and bringing enlightenment to the savages. Clearly they were progressive. 100 years later they were castigated for environmental destruction and paternalistic, racist colonialism.

This sort of thing is typical of social trends. What one generation thinks is highly progressive the next generation is very likely to consider degenerate. You like to think that Gender Discrimination or the Death penalty or “Conservation” are no-brainers as being progressive, and that of course future generation will be applled that we have made such small steps in that direction. But there’s no basis for that belief, it’s just a prejudice. Just as we are appalled at the Victorian sexuality and colonialism that they considered to be so progressive and *obviously *laudable. it’s entirely possible that people in 100 years time will be appalled by the things we have arbitrarily decided are progressive.

Maybe people will be appalled that we squandered fossil fuel reserved dicking around with “alternative” energy sources and “carbon trading” that we knew were unworkable. They may be disgusted that we didn’t get the most progress out of the fossil fuels while we had them, opting instead to stifle growth and while having no impact on actual emmissions.

Future generations may be appalled that we gave proven multiple murder free accommodation and medical care while there victims received nothing whatsoever, Clearly the system where the perpetrator becomes a slave to the victims, to be worked, tortured or killed at their whim is much more progressive, and thank the Gods they don’t live in the barbaric days of the 21st century.

They may be appalled by the idea that women get paid as much as men despite the fact that women are physically incapable of working as hard in 99% of jobs. They may be appalled by the idea that we have permitted a society where women have to work for a family to be financially viable, when clearly that is not desired by women and is bad for marriages and children. They may be appalled that married women are even *allowed *to work. They may be appalled at the idea that men can be convicted of rape with no more evidence than the say so of the alleged victim.

And so on and so forth for every supposedly “progressive” item on your list. One thing history teaches us is that where is absolutely no way to ascertain what allegedly progressive trends will continue and which will reverse.

Or as Terry Pratchett said, “Modern times. In 200 years time they never look as modern as all that.”

You never see anyone using a toilet on Star Trek. 'nuff said


I don’t think it’s as much as a crapshoot as all that.
Sure there are things that seemed progressive in their day and now look outdated.

But there are a huge number of examples of things which were once progressive but are now the norm. If you extrapolate current social trends you’ll no doubt be wrong about some stuff – but you’ll be right about a lot of stuff too.

Women aren’t as physically strong as men, on average, but that’s not much of a problem in most jobs in the developed world.

While I’d be very surprised if most any of the things Blake mentions come to pass, and while a cite for that “99%…women…work” thing would be interesting (don’t hold your breath!), I think the tone of the OP, and especially of Blake’s reply, was so speculative that it’s a little unfair to ask Blake for a cite. It seems to me he was just riffing on the idea that “you just never know what people in the future will think”, not actually making specific predictions based on real facts as we know them today.

I, for one, think they’ll be appalled that we of the Elder Race wasted our time with such frivolous things as guitars, and that we had no Temple of Syrinx to take care of everything.

They’ll be appalled that we took things like electricity, clean water, and afternoons completely free of zombie attacks for granted.

I think you missed Blake’s point. People in 2112 might look at things from an entirely different perspective than ours. What kind of “jobs” will people be working at by then? For all we know, women may for the most part be unqualified. Or there may be a return to the idea of keeping women “barefoot and pregnant.” Don’t assume that progress is linear, or that we’d even call it “progress.”

They will laugh that there was ever disagreement on how to say the year. “Two thousand twelve? Hehe!”

Hell the OP seems to be of the opinion that the current country specific anti-tobacco mania leading to things like bans on outdoor smoking are a given. Is it?

Hell I have seen increases in smoking among younger people anecdotally, and there is apparently a giant increase in demand in some countries.

Maybe marijuana will become the socially accepted smoking material and everywhere you go people will be pulling on joints.

No, I stand by it. I understand Blake’s overall point, and it’s a fair one (though I think it goes too far in implying all future predictions are a crapshoot).

But the statement about women I did find to be a bit off. He said: “They may be appalled by the idea that women get paid as much as men despite the fact that women are physically incapable of working as hard in 99% of jobs”.

Now, in this context, it doesn’t make sense if he’s talking about the kinds of job changing in the future to favour men. Because that wouldn’t give them any reason to be appalled at us. What things that we do, would they be appalled by, is the thread topic.
And in our time, physical strength is not important for most jobs, certainly not in the wealthy countries where equal pay is seen as desirable.

…that we turned most of the world into a radioactive wasteland over who’s God was right, when they **KNOW **that L. Ron Hubbard is the one true God & Tom Cruise was his Prophet.

:smack: Still missing the point. In spite of you saying that you get the point, you clearly don’t.

Blake wasn’t stating as a citeable fact that in the future,“women can’t do 99% of the jobs a man does.” You can’t cite a possible future.

He was throwing it out there as a “future fact” that may be in common usage in 2112, as an example of how the future may be considerably less advanced from our current POV and sensibilities, and that they, in their “enlightenment,” might be appaled by our concept of “equal pay for equal work.”

He was pulling the old extreme relativism routine, where we are supposed to buy that calling slavery and oppression “progressive” is just as reasonable as calling freedom progressive. It doesn’t work because the more conservative/regressive positions aren’t simply morally wrong*, but their attitudes are typically based on lies and delusions. And it isn’t progress by any reasonable standard to base society on an error, nor does it tend to work well.
*often by the standards of those who hold them; such as early Americans talking about freedom and “all men are created equal” while holding slaves

Look, read the thread title. Now, in that context, parse the line “They may be appalled by the idea that women get paid as much as men despite the fact that women are physically incapable of working as hard in 99% of jobs”.

Your interpretation makes no sense.