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Weekly commentaries on current issues. Commentaries are posted every Monday, in English and Spanish. Please, read our previous commentaries in the Archive section.
The imminent future, where we are now immersed (whether we like it or not), seems to welcome us with three perhaps unavoidable dangers: ignorance created because education has not yet been adapted to the new reality; closed minds, hearts, and wills against “unknown” ideas and people; and acritical acceptation of massive hallucinations based on virtual reality.
Let’s briefly explain each of those “dangers”.
First, traditional institutions focused on education, such as schools, universities, and even churches, face difficult challenges adapting to a new reality where mostly everybody has instant and unlimited access to information, so many students literally know (or pretend to know) more than their teachers.
Such unfortunate situation affects all levels of education, but those most affected are adults, because there is not yet an educational approach focusing on reinventing yourself so you can find the meaning and purpose of your life, and not only learning new knowledge or finding a new, better job.
If we add to that challenge the undeniable fact that the traditional generation gap is now not a gap, but an abyss, many parents that not only are separated from their children, but they don’t know what to do with their lives, because they can’t even communicate with their own children. Few, if any, current educational opportunities address that existential situation.
As a result, a growing number of adults become less and less educated day after day to face the future, because they can’t understand it and they don’t know how to prepare for that future. So, what do they do? They seek refuge and solace in a long-gone past, recreated in their minds to escape from the future. Consequently, they close their minds to the present, the future, and others.
Closing ourselves to others and to the future is not restricted only to adults and many young people live now physically or virtually isolated from other, because they want to escape from the world and because they reject the world. We surely live in a hostile and dysfunctional society, but closing our minds and hearts may not be the best solution.
Then, to growing ignorance and growing negative detachment (in both cases, acknowledging real reasons to escape from reality) we should add yet another element: virtual reality. Not in the sense of new technologies, but in the sense of living within a hallucination, a holodeck, an universal hologram, a matrix of sorts, by consciously chosen by us.
Virtual reality (VR) is progressing at such a pace that it seems that only Artificial Intelligence (AI) can follow the growing speed of VR. Regardless, each new day we are closer to the point where all interactions between us and our friends, family members, coworkers, and total strangers, will be done through VR. We will soon be sharing a massive hallucination.
We will face a future of uneducated, closed minds, living inside their own hallucinations. But let’s be honest, is that something that is going to happen in the future, or is it already happening now?