A vision for the future

This is one of nearly a thousand foresight statements shared by people from around the world. To return to the Voices of the People home page, click here. To do a refined search of the Voices of the People statements, click here. To submit your ideas to this online archive, look to the upper right corner of this page, click on "Share Your Prediction" and fill in the pop-up form.

Name: Brad Foley

From: Australia

Bio: Internet user

Area of Expertise: Research Scientist/Illuminator

Topic: Community/Culture

Headline: Connection Will Tear Us Apart

Nutshell: The ability to surround ourselves with only the opinions of people we agree with could lead to the increase of mutually incompatible subcultures.

Vision: People tend not to listen to viewpoints different from their own (and to actively seek out justification for their prejudices). Without skills in evaluating the credibility of competing claims, more people are likely to drift into extreme, irrational and divisive beliefs.

Even today, Islamic, Evangelical Christian, and Jewish fundamentalism are all on the rise due, in part, to the ability to get connected with others anywhere with the same beliefs. Despite the best efforts to educate people, Creationists still trumpet their disinformation as fact. Child pronography rings propagate on the net.

One of the biggest challenges we'll face as a global society will be teaching people to respect others of very different beliefs, attitudes and lifestyles; and to sift through the mountains of sensationalistic disinformation that's out there.

Of course, the Internet itself will be an invaluable tool in this (re)education, but the local community and state schooling will be crucial in forcing people to interact with "The Other."

Date Submitted: 11/11/2004

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