U.S. views of Technology and the Future

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National Survey

Pew Research Center and Smithsonian Magazine in February 2014, conducted a National Survey involving 1001 people regarding their feelings and thoughts on technology and the future.   The results show a real sense of optimism for the way in which technology may enhance our lives but at the same time there is also fear of the consequences these changes may make.  The Smithsonian describes the major finding as a “paradoxical view  – future technology sounds awesome, but it’s not for me”.    The questions are based on a 50 year time line and many questions are inspired from inventions in modern day popular sci-fi programs and books. In addition to the questions they were also asked for their own thoughts and ideas on how life might be different or indeed common place in 50 years.

Imagination or science?

These findings are purely the opinions of 1001 members of the general American population.   I  recently watched ‘Back to the Future 2’ where Doc Brown, Marty and Jennifer travel to 2015.  The depiction of destruction and the break down of society in the future plays on our fears that the government or science will in the future somehow fail to prevent anarchy or a ‘civilised society’.  The Terminator had a cyborg in 2029 coming back to assassinate Sarah in 1984.  I’m not sure about you but I’d be surprised if they worked out how to make cybrog like Arni in the next 15 years.  When Neil Armstrong in 1969 walked on the moon many people believed in 50 years time there could be colony’s living on the moon.  People felt like anything was possible now man has been to the moon.  We need this optimism for the future if we are to build a prosperous culture but I am also wary of things changing to fast.

50 years is not that long but when you see the effect of something like the internet and mobile phones on our economy and culture it’s a life time.

To read an in depth analyse of the National Survey click on the link below.

U.S. views of Technology and the Future by Aaron Smith

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