Does The Future Scare You? Read More!

We see it in the news every week. Some new horror story. A disease; the chance of a meteor strike; volcanic explo­sion; war; terror­ism. It seems like there are an ever increase number of ways for people to suffer or die.

Nuclear weapon test Romeo (yield 11 Mt) on Bik...
Is this your vision of the future? - Image via Wikipedia

Of course this really isn’t anything new. For several decades nuclear weapons was how we were all going to die and it was going to be caused by the commu­nists. When trains first appeared, people were genuinely scared that trav­el­ling at such speeds would be more than the human body could stand. The future is always more terri­fy­ing than the past.

It’s not hard to under­stand why. The past is known. The future is a mystery. Human’s as a species are poorly equipped to deal with the unknown. We are designed to live in small easily know­able areas surrounded by a group of people we can indi­vid­u­ally recog­nize. We resist change and we dislike the new. It’s built into our DNA. You should fear the future. It’s a survival instinct.

Thats why there are so many religion’s in the world. To help us cope with life’s myster­ies. Its why we invented science, to give us answers. And in some cases it’s why we write or read. Engag­ing with a fantasy world is a safe way to explore new ideas and concepts. It gives us an oppor­tu­nity to view them from a vari­ety of perspec­tives with­out actu­ally having to expe­ri­ence them ourselves.

I guar­an­tee there isn’t an end of the world scenario that hasn’t been writ­ten a dozen times in science fiction. There’s barely a science paper that hasn’t been scoured for new mate­rial. But it’s not just about the science or even the ideas. It’s about how the world, how people respond to those ideas.

People shy away from views that are radi­cally differ­ent from their own. They instinc­tively surround them­selves with people who have simi­lar expe­ri­ences to their own. Books are one of the few places where new ideas can be presented in a non-threat­en­ing way.

The world is infinitely large and infinitely complex. In order to survive we have to reduce it to manage­able concepts. But in doing so we run the risk of shut­ting ourselves off from many inter­est­ing possi­bil­i­ties. Does the future scare you? Read more. You’ll find that what­ever it is that scares you, some­one has thought of it and explored it before.

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?