Why Future Generations May Consider Us Barbaric

Factory farming, eating meat, Internet porn, overprescribing antibiotics, obesity, the maintenance of nuclear weapon stockpiles: these are just some of the reasons that future generations may criticize the morals of our present society.

What's the Latest?


Factory farming, eating meat, Internet porn, overprescribing antibiotics, obesity, the maintenance of nuclear weapon stockpiles: these are just some of the reasons that future generations may criticize the morals of our present society, just as we object to yesterday's child labor, bear baiting, slavery, and oppression of women. Nick Bostrom, the founding director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford, UK, argues that our unpreparedness for existential threats most risks the ire of our children's children... "For Bostrom, the question is not simply how we deal with obvious threats; it’s whether we should take seriously even the slight chance of something happening that could end human life as we know it."

What's the Big Idea?

Perhaps even our manner of solving problems--assessing first the harm done to the economy by large-scale moral wrongs--will be viewed as misguided in the future. Indeed translating death and destruction in dollars and cents is a popular way of prioritizing which injustices should be addressed first. What we fail to see, according to Kate Raworth, an economist at Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute, is that "[t]he economy is nested within society which is nested within the planet, and these systems are all interacting with each other.” 

Read more at BBC Future

Photo credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less

This 5-minute neck scan can spot dementia 10 years before it emerges

The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.

Mikhail Kalinin via Wikipedia
Mind & Brain
  • The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
  • Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
  • The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
Keep reading Show less

How 'dark horses' flip the script of success and happiness

What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.

Big Think Books

When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.

Keep reading Show less