If you somehow went back 40 years, what would you tell people about life in 2015?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iBlazed, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. iBlazed macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2014
    New Jersey, United States
    Say that you in your present form accidentally fell into a wormhole and traveled back to your same town in 1975, and say that you befriended some of the inhabitants of that time and told them where you came from and they believed you. (No, you're not meeting your past self if you were alive then and you don't get to see your family). What would you tell the people about our lives in the year 2015? What would you have to say about our technology, medicine, popular culture, social norms, etc? I'm sure some people will have some not so great things to say about our time, but would your assessment of it to people in the past be more positive or negative?

    Mine would be fairly positive. We humans do some really stupid crap, but realistically we always have. We just didn't have the technology to record every single second of our lives as they occur. I would try to describe smartphones to the people of the past. I would tell them that we humans have given ourselves abilities that they could never dream of. I would tell them of all our new vaccines and cures for things and new medical knowledge. I would tell them how bad smoking really is for them, especially indoors. The world must have been a smelly smokey place back then.
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
  3. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2014
    New Jersey, United States
    Thank god. They had way too many fax machines and everything looked so 80's modern. :D
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I think one of the biggest changes since 1975 (and yes I was alive, but only just!) is communication. The concept of the Internet, mobile phones would be so hard to understand for the common man in 1975. Heck I can remember life before mobile phones for example. Life involved a lot of waiting for people.

    Life before the Internet? If you needed to find something out you headed for the library.

    What else I would tell people? Maybe about pollution and global warming? Or that the world won't end before 2015 in a nuclear war. If I could talk to some of the world leaders, i'd have plenty to say, but maybe save that for the PRSI threads!
  5. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2011
    Lucky Country
    1975? I would get out real quick!

    Now, if it were 1960 ....
  6. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Nothing. I'd use the information to my profit. Steve Jobs would have nothing on me. ;)
  7. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I'd tell them that the way they raise and treat their kids could get them arrested in 2015. :eek:
  8. TheMarikuru macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2014
    First: Make sure you don't vote for a guy with the last name Obama no matter when he runs. Second: We don't have flying cars cause big oil is undermining technology.
  9. Scepticalscribe, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Agreed. Oh, yes, agreed. A heartfelt amen to that.

    Truth to tell, I never, ever want to see 1975 again…….not even in my dreams, not even as a speculative intellectual exercise………

    Thus far, the focus has been on technological change.

    My background is different, as I'm from Europe. In 1975, Spain, Portugal and Greece were still fascist states.

    But that is not the only political change- the greatest political change has been philosophically, for the neo-conservative political, economic and social philosophy had yet to triumph politically - that only happened from the late 1970s - and transform utterly the intellectual contours of our world, because it would succeed in capturing the right to define how such a debate should take place.

    Well, then, if I were to be asked to offer opinions to someone, or many such someones in 1975, in that case, I would say the the future is both curse and blessing; that technology has transformed lives beyond recognition, above all in the fields of communication, the sheer scale of available information and entertainment, and mainly for the better, - see many of the above posts.

    And in social life; that is something I could not have begun to have imagined, as a kid in 1975, that nearly 40 years later, I would spend some evenings communicating with complete strangers, whom I have never seen, let alone met, and yet that we could - enabled by a vast and revolutionary communications network - communicate with one another on topics of mutual interest in real time.

    Likewise, strikingly noteworthy, the biggest single social transformation, will have taken place in the lives of women. Women's lives have been utterly transformed - or will be transformed beyond recognition and for the better - and yes, as a female - I remember vividly how constricted, restricted and limited a lot of women's lives were in 1975, in terms of rights, opportunities, income and ambitions…….at that time many of the Catholic countries of Europe outlawed divorce, and contraception, and as for gay rights, nobody knew what on earth you were talking about.

    Then, I would seek to remind people not to squander rights that they have, but to remember them and respect them. Remembering this means asking them to bear in mind that both management and labour need to recall that the workplace entails rights, respect and responsibilities on all sides.

    Labour rights would be hollowed out, with pensions, public health, and permanent jobs (and even trade union membership) a fantasy in some countries, to a degree beyond imagination in 1975. A work world of security and predictability would become anything but that.

    In many economies 40 years later, where privatisation has increasingly become the norm, and where the balance of power in the work world has tilted hugely in favour of management, as both employers and governments slough off the postwar contract, the changes in society and the dismantling of the postwar social contract would have been inconceivable.

    Citizens would become consumers, and society, would be seen in terms of atomised individuals, focus groups, and vested interests, and the axis of public policy would be encouraged to tilt accordingly. The common good will become seen increasingly, in some contexts, as something worthy of derision, and not something to be sought in public policy.

    I would say that the world is far easier explored and experienced and much better known and travelled, but that, for all of the information and knowledge at our finger tips, people are more fearful and far less ambitiously generous than they were in the 70s, when the generous political economic and social vision engendered by postwar conditions and enabled by the postwar boom, still held sway, and when the intellectual concepts and social values that buttressed it, went largely unchallenged and were not yet contested, because the Chicago School, and their supporters were only beginning stir and to make themselves heard.

    I would tell them that while their understanding of community has strengths and weaknesses, but that both will be considerably eroded in half a century, because a cult of individualism - with all of the plusses and minuses attendant upon that - will hold uncontested sway.

    (And that other parts of the world will look to other forms of identity and validation, not all of them to our liking).

    Above all, I would say to them that the confident belief in the inevitability of positive and progressive change, and the conviction that the western world, for all of its many flaws would be the engine for much of this, will undergo a profound and deeply disillusioning series of challenges and shocks between then and our era.

  10. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    I would destroy internet, is like the skynet. People are more lonely, isolated and depressed.
  11. iBlazed, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015

    iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2014
    New Jersey, United States
    Yeah God forbid someone actually comes and brings the country back to prosperity after an almost depression, advances gay rights more than any president before him, and increases access to healthcare and drops the uninsured rate more than any president before him. In all seriousness, can you imagine the horrific alternate reality we would be living in if McCain/Palin won 2008? It would be like in back to the future 2 when Biff Industries own everything in 2015 and the world is a nasty place. Obama's election had to occur for the good of the country.

    Apparently with a 50% approval rating 6 years into his presidency, he's doing pretty damn good in comparison.

    But let's not drag this into PRSI territory, especially since you're a newbie and don't have the privilege to post there yet. I wasn't really planning to make this a political conversation and I should have mentioned that in the OP. And besides, if you really did go back to 1975, would you really want to alter the future for everyone? You don't know if it would be good or bad. I would probably keep more low key and just tell a few lucky people what life in our time. Maybe if my iPhone gets transported with me, I'll pull it out and amaze them. But I would restrain myself with everything in me and not tell them to never EVER vote for Ronald Reagan because his economic policies will screw us for decades.


    Speak for yourself. :p
  12. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    I don't think I would tell anything to people. What would it change? The Middle-East (it was the number one priority in those times), the existing dictatorships in Europe, Kissinger's multipolar world?
    And I would not change the flow of life of my family.
    I would not do anything differently as I did in 1975.
    I would let it go.
  13. unclejamaal macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2010
    I would not tell them anything, I'd use my sports results encyclopaedia to bet on sports results for the next 40 years and become a billionaire :eek: And patent everything Apple related for the next 40 years so I would become the next Jobs. :)
  14. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    I don't know if this is where you got it, but that's what happens in Ken Grimwood's novel, Replay. It's about a man who dies in 1988 and awakens as his 18-year-old self in 1963, but with his memories intact. One of the challenges he faces is how certain he can be about what took place back then based on his recollections.
  15. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    BOHICA! Or depending on short term perspective BOHIC! ;)
  16. unclejamaal macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2010
    I was making a reference to Back to the Future actually :) but your reference seems strikingly similar.
  17. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    There's a device that fits in your pocket that lets you instantly access all the porn in the world for free. It's called a cell phone, but no one uses it to make phone calls any more.
  18. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    I'd tell them to enjoy the **** out of life because you don't know how much longer we're going to be around on this planet. Could be 200 years, could be 50. By 2015, the population realizes that we're an earthquake or two away from a nuclear reactor permanently changing life as we know it - amongst other things. Then I'd give them some easy stock tips so they can cash in and splurge on whatever makes them happy .. or brings them more problems :cool:
  19. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    "Everything is different, but the same...
    things are more moderner than before...
    bigger, and yet smaller...
    it's computers...
    San Dimas High School football rules."
  20. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    As you can see, Genghis very much enjoys Twinkies because of the excellent sugar rush.
  21. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
  22. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    A little tip: If you ever stumble into a wromhole, I strongly recommend you don't run around telling people you are from the future.

    I am really from 2153 and you don't see me ever bragging about it.
  23. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2011
    Lucky Country
    Well, you wouldn't would you - 2153 was such a lousy year!
  24. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    I think I'd say where I was from, or use some kind of anonymous call sign. Mention a few upcoming things. And then whenever a rag of a newspaper or other right-wing fearmongerer sits on their throne and proclaims we're all going to die from the latest minor worry I'll say "No".
  25. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Don't get me started. That's why I stayed here.
    I wish I could've made it to the 1960s, but I ran out of plutonium. :mad:

Share This Page