Carl Sagan’s Prediction Of Today’s Society From Two Decades Ago Comes True

Posted by on February 1, 2017 in Sci-Tech, Science with 0 Comments

By Jess Murray | Truth Theory

This week, a very specific passage from the famous astrophysicist, Carl Sagan, has caught everyone’s attention on Twitter.

In 1995, Sagan published a book titled The Demon-Haunted World which warned readers about the dangers of pseudoscience and scientific illiteracy, whilst he suggested to his readers that they should learn to think critically and skeptically. But now those passages that were written over two decades ago are suddenly true of today’s world.

The accuracies include occurrences such as a decline in manufacturing jobs, politicians refusing or being unable to represent the public interest, people feeling hopeless about politics, and revolutionary technology that only seems to improve the lives of 1% of people. Together with this, Sagan predicted that the public will become intellectually incapable of distinguishing between what makes us feel good, and what’s actually true, hinting towards today’s media issue of fake news.

Some reports have likened this to the way in which people perceive horoscopes. Linked with a concept known as optimism bias, horoscopes owe their success to the fact that people see what they want to see, with no real links to reality. This means that although humankind as a whole can be quite pessimistic about the future of society, they will be generally optimistic about their individual future prospects, which is similar to the way in which people are interpreting Sagan’s predictions.

A cognitive neuroscientist from University College London, Tali Sharot, told TIME, “You might expect optimism to erode under the tide of news about violent conflicts, high unemployment, tornadoes and floods and all the threats and failures that shape human life. Collectively we can grow pessimistic – about the direction of our country or the ability of our leaders to improve education and reduce crime. But private optimism, about our personal future, remains incredibly resilient.”

Further in the passage of The Demon-Haunted World, Sagan talks about the dumbing down of media content. He says, “The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.”

Relating to this and cognitive bias, scientists believe that when people are presented with a scarily accurate prediction of the future, such as Sagan’s 1995 account, humans are all wired into being drawn to the details that confirm the existing beliefs about the world. So in this way, relating an old prediction of the future that was written by a well known astrophysicist merely reaffirms what people already believed about today’s society.



Read more great articles at Truth Theory.

Tags: , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.

Send this to friend