Future Generations Forum

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Copyright: These papers are protected by the authors' copyright and may not be reproduced or distributed without the authors' permission.

Welcome to the future generations forum, a hopeful and inspiring Web home for profound questions and lively discussion about our relationship with people not yet born.

Here you can read and think about questions such as these:
• Why care about future generations?
• If they could speak to us, what would future generations say?
• What are "egoistic hedonists" and how do they differ from people who care deeply about the long-term future?
• What sort of pledge can a caring individual make to act for the benefit of future generations?

In this future generations forum, you can read an interesting essay on each of these questions. Simply click on the essay's title (listed below) to read the full text. (You are free to download or print one copy for your own personal use, as long as you do not distribute the essay to anyone else.) Then you can submit your critique, questions, praise, or other comment using the simple form provided at the end of the essay. Your comments may then be posted so that other readers can benefit from them.

The World Future Society also invites you to submit an essay on future generations. Why do you care about future generations? How do you act on their behalf? What are your thoughtful views on some of the questions raised in this forum? What other fresh and important questions—about our relationship with people not yet born—do you wrestle with?

Simply send your essay to the editors and to Allen Tough [mailto:tough98@ieti.org]. Please include an introductory summary (up to 50 words) and a brief note about yourself. Be sure your essay looks at least 40 years ahead: shorter term essays probably fit better in one of the other forums.

In order to decide whether to post your essay in the future generations forum, a panel of published authors in this field will assess the depth, freshness, and significance of your ideas. Does the essay make an important contribution to understanding our relationship to future generations? Or does it inspire readers to care more deeply and to act on behalf of future generations? A powerful personal account of what motivates you to care and act is just as valuable to readers as a scholarly analysis. Both sorts of essays are welcomed here.      
Allen Tough

Online Video Classroom
by Thomas B. Albright
The "Classroom" can greatly improve education throughout the world for less than one-fourth of present costs. The students may see and speak to each other, but not touch. This avoids problems. The need to read to learn will be mostly eliminated. Social and exercise needs for students can be provided elsewhere. Guest students from other nations can be included.

Letters to Unborn Daughters: Exploring the Implications of Genetic Engineering
by Sarah Stephen

Genetic engineering holds many mysteries. A student author explores its implications by means of imaginary conversations between mothers and their unborn daughters.

Space Programs: A View from 2050  
by Thomas B. Albright
What will happen to space programs over the next several decades? The following answer was given by Jaclyn to her grandson, Flash Albright. Flash, as a freshman in launch school, had asked her in 2050 if he should pursue the space program for a career.

Four Urgent Requests from Future Generations    
by Allen Tough
What if future generations themselves were able to speak to us? Just what would future generations say to us if they could? If they had a voice today, what would they ask us to do for them?

The Story of My Descendant: 2025      
by Carl Isaak
This essay is a fictional account of the life of one of the author's descendants, his nephew Tyler. It features a short series of correspondence between the author and his nephew, purported to be occurring in the year 2025. The essay also includes a "day-in-the-life" story written by "Tyler". While much of this paper's the result of creative speculation by the author, some of the hypothetical events are drawn from the works of prominent futurists, including Ian Pearson, Malcom Wells, and Marvin Cetron. A full bibliography is available at the end of the text.

All About Evil                                                  Farsi Translation
by Wendell Bell
Although we live in a modern world dominated in many ways by the rationality of science and technology, age-old millennial beliefs in the supernatural, good and evil, a coming apocalyptic upheaval, and a day of judgment are still widely held throughout the world. Even among non-religious people, similar beliefs exist, especially in political ideologies. Focusing on evil, I contend that most evil is not the result of malevolent monsters or demented individuals. Rather, most evildoers are ordinary people, like you and me.

Making a Pledge to Future Generations
by Allen Tough
Faced with such overwhelming global issues, how can the individual bring them all down to the personal level? One solution is to draft a pledge—to write down the principles, values, and actions that are central to your life and your contribution to society.  Allen Tough presents his personal pledge in the hope that it will spark others to draft their own pledge. He hopes that the Future Generations Forum will eventually present a variety of these personal pledges.

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