2020-08-26 Dystopia

On Mastodon, @alcinnz started posting quotes from an article, that itself contains quotes of people that are being asked: “Are We Already Living in a Tech Dystopia?” The point being: if we are, we might not even notice. For – and this is how the article opens – in a dystopian novel, the protagonists also don’t know it. To them, it’s simply life as usual. And there’s always hope.

But this is how the human mind and time and generational shifts work. I go for a walk along the river here in Switzerland and I think the grass is green and the flowers are pretty, but then my father in law tells me he used to go into the wetlands along the river, where we have fields now, and he’d gather lilies for his mother. These wetlands are gone, and I don’t miss them because I never saw them.

I go on a walk with my stepdad and I see a handful of butterflies. Oh, how nice! Butterflies! So rare in the city. To think that people used to catch them with nets and pin them, collect them. Such a thing would be unthinkable today! My stepdad chuckles and says, yes indeed, hard to imagine. I did that, too!

When we loose 80% of our flying insects, many people don’t notice. The people that remember were young back then and they’re slowly dying. How often do they talk about the past that has gone? These days, I’m happy to hear that biodiversity in urban areas is high because of all the flowers my wife and I keep in our pots and gardens. But there’s the shadow that people don’t often think about: biodiversity in rural areas is low because of all the mono-culture. A few weeks of bright yellow rape bloom and an abundance of bees, and then the rape-seed is brought in and what happens to the bees? Nobody knows.

I think I need to read some books about how the past really was. There’s always snippets like the two exchanges above. I also remember my mother in law talking about getting sent back from school for wearing pants. No pants for girls! Perhaps I should read Stefan Zweig’s The World of Yesterday: Memories of a European.


Indeed. Thinking how I lived before smartphones (I used a map, as in a physical map, you’d get food ones in any gas station) and it’s hard to utilize such solutions again. Music is another... cassettes (I’d make my own mix), then CDs. I remember the first mp3 I listened to was star wars. I remember wanting my college to be on Facebook because only the cool ones got in at the time. I remember all these changes, yet, not how I changed.

Josh Rollins 2020-08-31 13:25 UTC

It’s Cyberpunk 2020… 😟

– Sandra 2020-09-01 20:20 UTC

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