Is the Human Race going backwards?
I was a child of the 80’s. Of the space shuttle and the real Star wars between the Soviet Union and the U.S.A., of technological leaps in computer technology and Concorde. What happened to the advancement of the Human Race?
Where’s my hoverboard?
You’ve heard it a thousand times. But back in the 80’s it all seemed possible. If progress continued at the pace we were going, our human race could look forward to a life of leisure, with all the mundane tasks automated by robots. We’d be lounging in white jump-suits in our moon-based penthouse by now. Fast forward to 2017. We last put a man on the moon, our greatest ever achievement – 45 years ago! Concorde, the worlds last supersonic airliner, was decommissioned 14 years ago, and the space shuttle’s last flight was 6 years ago. Sadly, the only technological progress of late has been the connecting of PC’s (the internet) and the reduction, than expansion of mobile phone size. Screen technology has developed to the point where there is no discernible distance to the human eye. Where do we go from here? Is our thirst for progress really quenched with Rover Landers?
What happened to the American Dream?
The 1980’s was the decade all of my favourite film franchises first appeared. Star Wars, Rocky, Top Gun, Terminator, Highlander, Predator, Robocop, the list goes on, and on and on. This was a positive, colourful era of the Action Hero and the pursuit of happiness.. Boundaries were pushed, risks were taken, people thought BIG! (excuse the pun). Nowadays, film-making has become far too unsure of itself, and like us, overcome with anxiety and afraid of risk. Now we get templates, prequels and endless CGI sequels. We’re all out of ideas. Just look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
No more (Guitar) Heroes anymore
There was a time, before virtual Guitar Heroes, of REAL guitar heroes in proper bands. Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Brian May, Mark Knopfler, Dave Gilmour. The 80’s was the era in which technique peaked, of timeless concept albums dripping with blood sweat and talent, before it became cool to be terrible at guitar, before Nirvana and Oasis. Back then skill was admired before we got into DJ’s and copy and paste editing of looped samples. Guitar gods were worshipped for their skill, not their behaviour. Today, bands like Coldplay are often touted as being ‘The Best band in the World’. Really ? Coldplay ?! Even buskers like Jake Bugg and Ed Sheeran are making a name for themselves in the void. It’s become so easy to produce and promote music that even I can do it, and that’ s the problem. Back then, you only got noticed if at least someone in the business thought you had shot, now we have no quality control whatsoever.
The Golden Age of the Video Game Arcade
From a blip on a screen to the SEGA AM2 hydraulic cabinets of Out-Run and Afterburner. The 80s really was a technological leap. Today we have Unreal Engine and a string of identical FPS sandboxes and FIFA updates. Games aren’t built from the ground up anymore, we no longer have technology barriers to hamper us, we no longer have a British gaming industry with 17-year-old bedroom geniuses in 911s, and games are all the worse for it. See The Golden Age of The Video Game Arcade for much more.
We used to be explorers, crossing frontiers. We used to discover new things, or create them if we couldn’t find them. Now we have Big Brother, Kim Kardashian and the X-Factor. We’ve become self-obsessed armchair couch potato critics with fake eyebrows. We create our Instagram brand in search of recognition. We want money for nothing. Celebrity is created by appearance or infamy, not on achievement.
Further to the above, why even bother to work in the first place? Wouldn’t it be much easier to get the Government to support you, then blame all your problems and lost opportunities on someone else or some fake illness?
It’s become all about the Money
Putting a man into space. Putting a man on the moon. Developing new technology for the good of the planet. Money used to sometimes be a secondary concern, a means to an end. Nowadays, all our decisions are driven and controlled by money. If somethings not profitable, we no longer do it, we no longer push boundaries, we no longer even bother trying.
The impact of the Internet
With the advent of the Internet, we lost our innocence, our filter, our protection and our real social network. With this new virtual community we longer have to leave our homes, resulting in social decay, child obesity, even terrorism. Human communication was replaced with a click. Research was replaced with googling. Knowledge was no longer needed, it was already out there, posted by someone else.
Where do we go from here?