TED Conversations


This conversation is closed.

Breaking Away from the Dystopian Cliché

What kind of aspects, challenges, conflicts and/or problems would you like to exhibit and experience from a story depicting a peaceful, prosperous and abundant city/society/world beyond scarcity, money, war, poverty and human suffering, assuming it didn't turn out Dystopian, to make it interesting, engaging and immersive?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 14 2013: I have been assuming that we are half-civilized right now, even in Norway. It seems to be clear that civilization correlates with Cheap Energy, and the Industrial Revolution's use of it. If we were merely like the Romans , we'd still have Slaves, and Inequalities of all kinds.Luckily the energy problem is on the way to being solved (Thorium LFTR power, "Energy Cheaper than Coal" Prof . Hargraves) So when we are all the children of wealthy families, what then? We will have the Rich Kids problem of how to avoid becoming layabouts , drug addicts, etc. It is interesting that in the History of Science, so many notable contributors were the children of the wealthy and titiled, who were allowed to follow their interests. In the future, if money (energy) is no longer a problem, there will be plenty of people looking for excitement. An early psychologist, William James , wrote a book called the "Moral Equivalent of War" about the Existential Crime problem, and some contrived solutions. In the future it will likely be very much easier. There seem to be a great number of habitable planets to colonize,( or create) So it should be possible to solve several problems at once. Adventjurous types can do the colonizing. Social problems on Earth, could be harmoniously defused, by convincing Jews and Arabs, for example, that their true Homeland is some other planet, all their own,.. We would do well to encourage space travel anyway, since an Asteroid strike seems to be inevitable at some future date. Since space is measured in light years, it reduces drastically any need for all the people on Earth to become one big happy family, which they do not seem eager to do. But we could "finesse" it, hopefully without conflict, at least for a long time, by dispersiing peacefully.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.