Saturday, January 15, 2011

What will be unacceptable in 50 years?

Ta-Nehisi Coates has been trying to imagine how, about 150 years ago, an American culture could celebrate the ownership of humans. That is unacceptable in America today. Times change.

Assuming we continued the historic trends of the past hundred years [1], what will be unacceptable fifty years from now?

I listed three ideas in a comment ...

Grappling With Genosha - Ta-Nehisi Coates - Personal - The Atlantic

.... What things do we love that will be despised in fifty years?

I eat pigs. I think that will be unacceptable in fifty years.

Coates loves football, a sport where brain damage is a normal outcome. I think that will be unacceptable sooner than fifty years from now.

We imprison and kill people with disabled brains. I think that will be unacceptable fifty years from now...

Any others?

[1] Of course this is simply a thought experiment. If the trends of the past century continue, humans will not be defining acceptability.


Martin said...

What's the problem with pigs?

John Gordon jr said...

I suspect by 2070 we will eat "meat", but it won't come from living animals. It will be manufactured and it will be energy efficient. It will be seen as increasingly immoral to cause animals pain, or even to eat them after a painless death.

This will be in proportion to how close to sentience they are. So fish may be an expensive luxury, but steak from a living cow will be immoral.

Pigs are the closest to sentient of all the animals Americans routinely eat. That's why I listed them first.

John Gordon jr said...

Oops, I meant 2060. Sorry.