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DAVID SWIFT

THIS BRAVE NEW WORLD

Take twice daily for a healthy future.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE


Ever since our species began humans have speculated about the future. At first it was merely a practical kind of thinking e.g. where will I get food or shelter tomorrow? However that gave way to a more metaphysical approach to thinking. What will life be like when I am older? What will happen to me and my tribe? What does the great unknown hold in store? The science of studying the future or futurology has become a staple of life since the 20th Century. Art forms that deal in science fiction often look to the future and postulate what could occur. One such book is Aldous Huxleys Brave New World. The Novel was written in 1931, but it remains extremely current in the development of its themes. Set in London of AD 2540, the novel anticipates developments in technology, societal attitudes and the frame work of human life. The novel deals with many subjects that are poignant, especially in the context of the great technological advances seen in our lifetime. Issues around Globalisation, Promiscuity, Genetics, Drugs, Consumerism and Waste among others. This book will look at some of the issues discussed in Brave New World and relate them to current future trends to discuss and highlight what if anything can be done to better our society.

I CONSUMERISM

I do love new clothes


The act of trading between one individual and another has been an underpinning of human society ever since our species began. In fact the capitalist model relies on the buying and selling of goods and services. Trade could therefore be seen as ingrained within us all and has contributed to the advance of our species. However, consumerism is the ugly side of this human behaviour. Driven by corporate interests and the advertising industry we are encouraged to buy and consume more and more. In the pursuit of purchasing the best and latest items and services, we forget that this does not necessarily lead to happiness in life. A future with a consumerist culture run riot will inevitably lead to more individual unhappiness, increased debt, and an unstable volatile world.

society into consuming much more than they need.

Rhyme used to condition individuals within the

L PI

EVERY STATE R OF O LF M

IN D

Medica ing moods

In reference to the drug SOMA that is used extensively by the population

A gramme is better than a damn

In the last century or so, medicine has grown leaps and bounds in curing and even in some cases eradicating illness. These external diseases can easily identified and therefore treatments are sought. However, until very recently the problems caused by mental illness has been largely ignored and remained unidentified. One of the great advances of the last few decades have been to acknowledge mental health as important as the rest of the body. Clinicians have exposed this hidden problem and subsequently a whole host of drugs became available that has helped sufferers. However, a disturbing trend that may have implications on future generations is the over prescription of certain mood stabilisers. More and more individuals (many of which are children) are being treated by Big Pharma. After this gradual habituation generations to come may see the little white pill as the solution to all their problems. Whereas this type of treatment is more of a sticking plaster, and neglecting the underling problems will only lead to the disorder taking hold and a possible future dependance on these drugs.

The amount of children taking Ritalin doubles every two years.

Production of Ritalin has increased 500% in the past 5 years.

THROW

AWAY

Ending is better than mending. The more stitches the less riches

CULTURE

Partially due to the promotion of a consumerist culture and a sanitised landscape that hides the vast amounts of waste we produce, we have become oblivious to our impact on the world.

The efficiency by which we can dispose of the vast quantities of items we throw away has been a great leap forward in human healthcare. It has prevented disease and other health risks to spread amongst our population. However it has also meant we have become somewhat removed and ill informed about what happens after we put out the green bin every Wednesday.

Western societies have begun to try to change attitudes and recycle rates have increased, which is a positive step. Although consumers are still far removed from the processes involved in cleaning up after their lifestyles. Very few people know or care what happens after they hand over their broken phone to be recycled. Some companies have used this ignorance to their advantage by dumping vast quantities of recyclable material in poor countries far from our Western bubble. A possible glimpse of our future can be seen when googling places like Guiyu, China. There you can see the potential social and human cost if we continue on this waste binge.

Time passes but you live in the now. No one cares how we got here or where we are going. Sail along in a sea of ignorance and pay no heed for yesterday or tomorrow.

Living in the

N O W

A rhyme used to promote little thought for the past and present

Was and will make me ill

Technological and social advances have meant that we in rich societies live in one of the most comfortable times our species has ever seen. It is great that we can now enjoy more of life and enjoy life in the present, with little worry of the future. This, however, has had its downside. Living this way has resulted in individuals becoming less adaptable to change. In this volatile boom and bust world, some preparation for the future is essential. Saving for the hard times might seem alien in a world where items are plentiful and at our fingertips at the press of a touch screen, but in the words of Bob Dylan times they are a changing . An understanding of who we are can surely only be achieved when reviewing where we have been and where we are going. True happiness will only be achieved when you as an individual lead an analytical life looking to the past present and future.

GLOBALISATION
The homogenisation of cultures

L IS A

TI O

L G N

OBA

HAPPINESS HAS GOT TO BE PAID FOR


Capitalism through globalisation has done a tremendous amount of good in the world. Overall peoples lives has been improved, life expectancy has increased, terrible diseases have been eradicated, information is a click away, individuals social circles can now be global, among other things. However we have to also accept that all of these wonderful advances have come at a price. A price paid for by the neglect of the poorest and most vulnerable members of the global community. Globalisation has out-sourced most of our poverty to the East and South. While we continue to consume technology constructed by childrens hands we are oblivious to the pressures and poverty suffered by the majority of the world. Globalisation and corporate interests have also had a worrying effect for the future. A tremendous amount of wealth and subsequently power have become concentrated in the hands of the few. Although the internet was seen as the great equaliser, it has become appropriated, if not fully understood, by these interests.

All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects

SOMA

Recreational drug usage.


It would seem the prohibition on illegal drug usage has failed. The war on dugs, an extension of laws and attitudes prominent at the turn of the 20th Century, has made the issue more divisive than ever. In fact it has really only served to criminalise sections of society. It is true that drug usage should be discouraged as this behaviour can negatively impact those with chaotic lifestyles further complicating their existing problems. However people can take some of these illegal drugs safely and without much disruption to their life and whats more they want to take these substances. Therefore these substances should be treated in the same manor as alcohol, tolerated, regulated and taxed to help curb the negative effects on certain individuals, the health service and society as a whole. This has far reaching implications on future trends of drug usage. It is clear that the attitudes of large proportions of society are changing and becoming less negative towards drug usage. Simply criminalising the action does nothing to address the overall problem. Along side tight regulation of the industry, sensible and credible education should be enacted to provide information on safe usage and the potential dangers. Unless the correct actions are implemented there will be an increase in dangerous drug usage and future generations will suffer.

Genetic ulationmanip

No social stability without individual stability

The last pieces of the human genome were deciphered in 2003. Since then scientists have been exploring and identifying areas of the sequence that could have enormous benefits in the future. Gene therapy has the potential to help those with genetic diseases and illnesses to be treated at the genetic level curing not simply treating the symptoms. In fact, potentially, embryos could also be identified as at risk even before insemination takes place. These treatments could also be used to improve the human condition in general, making us smarter, stronger and faster. The future benefits to health care and human advancement are almost immeasurable. However, as advancements to these technologies continue there will be some issues society will have to address. Will future parents have the right to decide, how their child will physically look? What will be classed as a defect that could result in the selection or destruction of embryos? This technology may also fundamentally change what it means to be human. The richest in our society will have access to drugs and technology that potentially make them physically and mentally superior than the rest of society. Will further class divisions emerge?

PR O MISC UIT Y
Individuals have benefited greatly from dispelling the myths, prohibition and religious shame around having sex. It has made individuals happier and allowed people to enjoy and explore their sexuality. However institutional attitudes and education have not followed in step. So individuals attitudes towards sex have become more liberal, but their education about sex is stuck in the Victorian schoolhouse. This mismatch has had negative effects on the population as a whole, with increases in disease and unwanted pregnancies. This will ultimately have a negative impact in the future development of societies. To combat this generations to come will have to embrace sex education and become more open with their children.

"Ev er yo ne b el o n gs t o ev ery o ne el s e"

The Future Is Hard To See.

The Future Is Hard To See


This book has shown that the great technological advances experienced by our society have had a great impact on who we are and who we are going to be. These advances should be welcomed as it has in most cases led to a better way of life for the global community. However there is always a trade-off, be it in the form off great disparities between the rich and poor or the metaphorical minefield that genetic ethics throws up. The global community must learn to work together on negating the potential harm caused to individuals and society as a whole. We must join together and face the future directly, taking the great unknown on and prevailing as best we can.

Venture into the great unknown


Take twice daily for healthy future.

Photography & Text by David Swift