What will future generations despise us for?

It’s obvious to us today that slavery is evil, and a scourge on the human soul. But to the people practicing it 200 years ago, it was an acceptable practice that had been around since before the written word. Racism and Antisemitism likewise are despised now, but for most white people, American and European, of my grandfather’s generation (He died in the 1920s), these were the default positions to hold. People engaged in horrible practices and attitudes do and have them largely because they don’t have much context for doing otherwise.

I’m sure my descendants will be embarrassed by stuff I did, but I can’t foresee what. Will it be my meat-eating? My indirect complicity in American foreign policy/exceptionalism? My reliance on fossil fuels? My rooting for the Washington Redskins? What are we doing that our grandchildren will be shocked that we didn’t know an better than to do?

Not directing this at you specifically, but from this generation’s practices and attitudes, 2 leap to mind. Eating “once-living” meat, after it can be created in labs, will be viewed as barbaric. We love to embrace virtues that create absolutely no inconvenience for us.

Second, the family values people who fight gay rights will someday be viewed similarly to those who chanted “segregation forever” in the 60’s. They are on the wrong side of history.

I think those who burned fossil fuels will be pretty high up there once the effects of AGW become too big to deny.

Slight derail, but I’m also curious what later generations will venerate about us. Like how people right now are favouring steampunk, or 1950s ‘chap’ culture, or the romance of the flapper generation.

They’ll venerate our venerating those things. It’ll be “retro-retro”.

The whole Todd Rundgren/Eddie Money thing.

I’ll be despised as the guy who won’t share the secret to immortality. People will be giving me dirty looks in the hoverbus and I’ll just smile.

Fucking up the environment has got to be one of them.

I’m curious if they’ll make the distinction between the two political parties as to which party believed in global warming and which party denied it for so long.

Radioactive waste. If we have living descendants who carry on any sort of historical understanding of the past, they’ve got power, so how we get our power now won’t bother people 10 generations from now, but leaving a bunch of rusting, corroded containers of radioactive waste in bunkers is probably gonna annoy people thousands of years from now, particularly if nobody can read the markings on them any more.

Here’s something they won’t despise us for, but they will be genuinely confused and unable to comprehend:

College history professor in the year 2285:
"Yes, class…it’s really true…Back in the 21st century, society treated everybody equally!
Weird, isn’t it?
I mean, yes, we have to realize that their medical science was so primitive that they didn’t have much choice…But still, they had already made some progress. They had started to understand their own DNA and they even had a primitive form of psychology.They knew that some people were criminals, yet they insisted on letting those same criminals out of prison, even after repeat offenses.
Their primitive experiments showed that males and females score differently on their crude tests of mathematical reasoning, and that certain races scored differently on standardized IQ tests.They just didn’t know why.
And so, if some radical had suggested using what we today know as standard DNA correction, they would have simply refused to listen to the idea.

Of course, they didn’t know as much as we know now, about how the weak the unimproved brain is until you fix it with our simple medical procedures. But even using the few facts that they had to work with, they ignored the results of their own experiments. They even accepted eyewitnesses as reliable testimony in courts of law!

We modern folks in the 23nd century of course can laugh at them, because we have real medicine.
We design our children properly from the start, of course!
So, starting with the newborn’s first brainscan, we know how they will grow up. Can you imagine putting Alpha children in the same classroom as Deltas? Well, back in the 21st century, the government not only let them sit together, they let them mate each other!!!

But let’s not judge the poor people of the 21st century too harshly…At the time, they thought their medical science was sophisticated enough , and so they didn’t realize how they were basing their weird social attitudes on simple ignorance."

Class dismissed. But as you leave, … try to imagine that in this same classroom, there once sat students from the 21st century, with brains so weak that they had to study hard and re-read the material several times before they learned it."

Global warming and how one political party succeeding in preventing any and all measures that could have been taken to alleviate it and why all of us stood for it.

The mass extermination of animal and plant species. That’s going to be a pain in the ass for future generations to recreate.

Gay rights will be an exotic topic but largely a non-issue since gays will mostly be weeded out once technologies like genetic screening techniques will be perfected. Gays and lesbians have already for many years had much fewer children than average, so quite naturally there are likely to be fewer of them in the future.

Also future history is made by the people populating the future. Since religious and conservative people tend to have a lot more children than liberals and non-religious, the right side of history may perhaps be a lot more religious and conservative than you imagine. The future may well despise us for polluting the institution of marriage by such things as allowing divorce and gay marriage.

Pretty sure sexual orientation isn’t an inherited trait.

(deleted double post)

  • [sits back and makes popcorn, to watch the fireworks] *

(On edit: but let’s not derail the thread too far, folks. I only have one package of popcorn.)

Yes, I am pretty sure that mass extinction and AGW will make all the other things pale in comparison.

Allowing shitty stupid people to breed and “raise” even more shitty stupid people.

Allowing the rise of the Islamic Wars, or whatever they will call this multi generational struggle we have gotten ourselves into.

I think “despise” is a pretty strong term. I think it’ll ultimately be viewed overall more along the lines of the way we view medicine practiced prior to the germ theory of disease. Barbaric, ignorant and harmful, but the best we had at the time.

I mean, we do have alternatives, but none of them, with the exception of nuclear fission, have the potential to replace the fossil fuel energy we currently use. Plus, the electric vehicles we do have are severely limited due to battery capacity issues.

I suspect we’ll be despised for our treatment of some group or animal who we may not even know we’re mistreating now.

That we so blindly developed the drone technology that enabled the Sky Masters, even now, to strike fiery death on any who dare venture into the Overworld without being Called to Upliftment first!

That and the AGW and habitat/biosphere destruction things.

ETA: And that some of us thought something so clearly as wrong as “race” mattered a damn. Or that some of us thought IQ tests were anything other than a sign of how good you were at taking biased IQ tests.