Envisioning the Future

December 9th, 2010 • Kate

thumb_XVI_CVRAs you should know by now, Julia Karr‘s been counting down the Sixteen Weeks to the release day of her debut novel XVI with a tour around the blogosphere. This week, in response to her Kirkus review which asked “How did the situation get so broken?”, Julia blogged on Janet Fox’s website about several current trends that, if left unchecked, could easily morph into the dystopian politics of XVI’s world. A sampling:

The vise-grip that media has on nearly all westernized nations. If it’s on TV or the Internet – it must be the truth. A viewer chooses their channel of choice and believes every word that comes out of the mouths of the talking heads that continue to shape the beliefs of their listeners/watchers. At some point in the future, there may not be a choice of channels, but just one news source backed by wealth, which runs the government and through them, the media. (I do worry about this!)


Relinquishing freedoms in the name of safety. Such as: GPS trackers planted in our babies so that if they are kidnapped we can find them. And, then not taken out because, what if, as an adult, we were lost or kidnapped? Sounds like a good idea, right?

It’s hard to read this and NOT think about the recent Wikileaks concerns, with various governments trying to shut down the free flow of information. I also regularly read the blog Free-Range Kids, that hopes to impart a little more common sense to today’s parents, who always seem ready to believe the worst possible scenario, rather than letting their kids live their lives like we did.

Is it so hard to jump from pre-schools refusing to hire male teachers or news outlets warning us that child pornographers “could” use the new video camera Barbies to find victims to an assumptive future where girls are chipped and tattooed “for their own safety”? I think not.

I’d like to keep any possible dystopian future in great novels like XVI, and not in my reality. How about you? And if you haven’t already, go read Julia’s whole guest blog and enter for a chance to win XVI!

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5 Responses to “Envisioning the Future”

  1. MysteryRobin Says:

    Just offering something to consider. My cousin was abducted on a walk with her mom. The mom let her run out ahead, somebody grabbed her out of an alley. She was found and is alive, but is not ok by any stretch. She was brutalized.

    My neighbor at 13 years old and 5'10" was nearly abducted walking home from school. She was chased up and down a street by car, back and forth, back and forth, till she found a way through some trees and away from the guy. He was later caught, but had taken other children. I would GPS my kid in a heartbeat.

  2. Kate Says:

    Robin – I'm sorry for your cousin, but I'm concerned that the wave of parents worrying about a worst case scenario is taking childhood away from children. Yes, bad things happen, but in general, they happen in rare circumstances, not as everyday occurrences. And kids who are taught how to take care of themselves are the ones, like your neighbor, who are going to be able to get away if someone looks suspicious, rather than just doing what an adult tells them.

  3. Tracey Says:

    My husband and I debate the pros/cons of this sort of thing all the time. It's probably no wonder dystopians are so popular. Technology is moving faster than our ability to make good choices about how to use it.

    *off to read the blog post*

  4. Shannon Says:

    What happened to talking to our children? Honestly, this whole new "I want to be my kid's best friend" astounds me. I am their mother first and if we are friends along the way, great. But, they are works in progress and I only have 18 yrs to mold them into civilized human beings.

    I have a 12 yr old and a 10 yr old. The middle schooler got a cell phone purely out of convenience since I would call the school and ask for a note that said "meet me in the pick up line" and he would receive a note that said "cherries are red."

    I talk to my children about sex, but I have to caveat the conversation with "don't talk to you friends about this because their parents might not want them to know."

    I talk about stranger danger to my kids all of the time. And yes, I teach my kids to NOT live their lives in fear and I refuse to live in fear also. It's not easy, but the independence I have given my kids in small doses is the thing that makes them hold hands in the Mall. they are smart about looking over their shoulder and knowing who is there.

    I would not GPS my kids. It's playing into the hands of the bad guys, IMO. I'd rather spend the money on Karate classes for my kids. Self-defense classes empower them. The GPS says, "I'm scared and I don't know what to do."

    Oh, and when I was in 4th grade my friend and I had a car follow us to school. My friend told the office and we both gave a description of the people and the car to the police. Turns out, they were prowling for kids. So, I know that fear very well.

    Rant over. 🙂

  5. Matt Says:

    1984 came and went with nary an Orwellian cloud in the sky.

    We will be fine.