Random Thoughts 44

最終更新: 4月13日

Brave New World

This is a dystopian[1] novel written in 1931 by the English author Aldous Huxley and published in 1932. It describes a future in which for the civilized world there is no disease. People are created in test tubes and life basically seems centered around pleasure. The pleasures seemed to be one way of discouraging people from thinking critically; they are a means of conditioning and controlling people.


I first read this book in 1964 when I was in high school and I have reread it several times more over the years. In that time the changes I have seen in society often seem as though the world is steadily heading towards that dystopian future. Genetic engineering and manipulation of DNA have become realities. Increasingly drugs have become so commonplace that some communities have legalized them. The legalization of marijuana in some places is an example of that. In Brave New World there was soma, a psychedelic drug given to everyone to keep them passive and satisfied.


Computers and smartphones today provide users with countless games and diversions. Wherever we look around us today most people seem to be glued to their smartphones, lost in their own little world. Like individuals in the future, it seems that more and more people today are primarily concerned with amusement and diversion rather than critical thinking. True, smartphones do more than just provide amusement; they also can be used to obtain information about current events and just about anything. So in fact, the problem is not the smartphone itself, but the way it is used. It can be either a source of knowledge and understanding or an addictive source of infinite pleasure.


The story in Brave New World takes place in the year AF (After Ford) 632 which by our calendar would be the year 2540. That is more than 500 years in the future. In view of the huge changes that have occurred in the past 50 years and the speed at which they continue to occur, I would not be surprised if the world becomes like the one described by Huxley.


If you would like to learn more about this book I recommend reading the article in Wikipedia about it[2].

[1] ユートピア(理想郷)の正反対の社会である

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World

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