Joe Rogan had Tristan Harris (the guy from the Social Dilemma) on his podcast a couple months ago.
At the end of the podcast, Harris reads the nearly 40 year old forward from from Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death regarding the difference between Orwell’s 1984 dystopia and Huxley’s Brave New World dystopia, and it’s a little mind blowing.
“Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.
What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.“
Harris read this quote in regard to, obviously, social media. 40 years ago this guy basically predicted exactly what seems to be happening. Social media is dominating our lives and we’re happy to let it. We know it’s ‘bad’, but so many of us are so deep into this cycle of addiction that we don’t even care, myself included.
Harris said kids now are the first generation fully growing up with this ‘addiction’ and it obviously has affected younger people more than older people. He suggested it could basically lower the IQ of the country’s future working class by X%, and that as a country, we’re literally going to be dumber and worse at solving problems than generations before us. It’s not exactly Idiocracy, but a similar idea.
I don’t know what should happen or will happen, but I find this stuff fascinating. Is this beginning of apocalypse? Probably. 2011 was not that long ago yet it was unimaginably different than today. What’s 2031 going to look like?!