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Beautiful December

Now, when the garden awaits the return of spring
Now, when the silence is deep and blue
Now, when the winter has cast her spell again
Beautiful December, Beautiful December

Here, where the snow is as soft as a woolly lamb
Here, where the nightfall is deep and blue,
Here, where the stars are so bright, you reach for them
Beautiful December, Beautiful December

Child, may you sleep in gentle peace tonight
Dream of songs that rise on silken wings!
When you wake, enchanted by the snowspun light
Sing the songs that came to you in dreams,
Your beautiful December dreams
Learn English in December
This month's beautiful photo was provided by Paulette.

Marianne's 8am Monday 21 June discussion: Into the future

mheredgemheredge Posts: 50,183 ✭✭✭✭
edited July 30 in Science and nature
There is already a topic in the Forum discussing this topic, also commenting on whether the present is better than the past.

What do you think? Was the past better than the present? We talks about 'the good old days.' Somehow things always seemed rosier in the past. Nostalgia makes us think of the positive things from the past, perhaps forgetting the negative aspects of life back then.

https://www.psychreg.org/past-seem-better/
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/past-less-intense-than-present_b_987726

However older people may beg to differ and argue that life is better now: https://www.nextavenue.org/why-today-better-past/

Economics comes into it too. Although the rick-poor divide is growing, generally people are becoming better off. https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2017/12/05/worldwide-people-divided-on-whether-life-today-is-better-than-in-the-past/

And what about the future? Some things will be better, but maybe other things will be worse.

https://allmodels.plos.org/the-future-will-be-both-better-and-worse-than-we-imagine/
Progress tends to be seen as a positive word, so do you think the future will be better or worse than now?

This article is perhaps more positive about the future: https://www.forbes.com/sites/briancaulfield/2012/01/26/abundance-why-the-future-will-be-much-better-than-you-think/?sh=30c56a5e6e54

You might like to limber up for this discussion in the Into the future topic on the Forum: https://learnenglish.vanillacommunity.com/discussion/7302/into-the-future#latest
Post edited by Teach on

Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 50,183 ✭✭✭✭
    @Powerage you might find some of these links interesting on this topic.
  • PoweragePowerage Posts: 83 ✭✭
    edited June 12
    @mheredge

    I will try write about this topic once again, but I'll concentrate only on one aspect, which is the access to the knowledge. I will point out both positive and negative sides of this topic and at the end I will answer if the past was better in that respect than the present.

    When it comes to the knowledge, we undoubetely have the better access to it than our ancestors. Looking only at the Internet, we should say that no generation in the past had so eased access to the knowledge. If you are interested in cosmology or religion, all you have to do is to type in Google a phrase that you're looking for and all of the sudden you have the articles on particular topic from all over the world in front of you. And you don't have to listen any authorities, as our ancestors had to do. Think about it. In the Christian Europe there were no freely searching. You had to listen the authority of the Church in the matter of faith, because if you didn't, you were cursted. You couldn't say that you're an atheist for example. Today you can argue if Jesus existed at all and examined the both positions freely: the scholars who say that we have not enough evidence to say that Jesus existed for sure and the others who not only say that Jesus existed, but also add that we have strong evidence for his ressurection, which in their view prove that he was a God.

    Going further, in the past, let's say that in the history class, you had to treat your own teacher as a figure who had given you the truth, because you hadn't have any other options. And you believed to the rest of your life what you've been taught. Today is different because when your teacher says that during World War II Germans were killing people in the concentration camps by the gas, you can Google it if there was a gas in the concentration camps at all. And you will be surprised because you can find a book written by a survivor who say that although the offical version of history told us that Germans killed many people in the gas chambers, there were no chambers in the camps because technology that time wasn't allowed to it. You are so free in the access to the knowledge to the point where you can discredit the offical version of history or cosmology (there are sites where people show the evidences for the view that the Earth is only 6000 years old), and you can have the arguments for it. The positive aspect of it is that today you needn't to belive anyone in anything. You can check out almost everything by yourself. The negative side that is in the end you could doubt who can you trust. People who are strongly convince that Holocaust wasn't so terrible as it's present in the offical education system are as convincing as their opponents. The scientists who think that the universe had no beginning present you valuable arguments for that, but at school we all have learned about Big Bang, so who can you trust? You must deceide by yourself what is true and it can be also doubtful because why you trust yourself? Who are you? Is your opinion has the same value as the professors at the universities? Many people think so about themselves today and we often more enjoying to watch the convincing and entertaining youtuber who tell us about science then the lecture of boring proffessor of science.

    To sum up, most of today's knowledge has a little meaning in my opinion, but the present is better than the past in that respect, because I can be more educated than my ancestors if I will be careful.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 50,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Powerage said:

    @mheredge

    I will try write about this topic once again, but I'll concentrate only on one aspect, which is the access to the knowledge. I will point out both positive and negative sides of this topic and at the end I will answer if the past was better in that respect than the present.

    When it comes to the knowledge, we undoubtedly have the better access to it than our ancestors. Looking only at the Internet, we should say that no generation in the past had so easy access to the knowledge. If you are interested in cosmology or religion, all you have to do is to type in Google a phrase that you're looking for and all of the sudden you have the articles on this particular topic from all over the world in front of you. And you don't have to listen to any authorities, as our ancestors had to do. Think about it. In the Christian Europe there were no freely searching ???. You had to listen to the authority of the Church in the matter of faith, because if you didn't, you were cursted. You couldn't say that you're an atheist for example. Today you can argue if Jesus existed at all and examined the both positions freely: the scholars who say that we have not enough evidence to say that Jesus existed for sure and the others who not only say that Jesus existed, but also add that we have strong evidence for his resurrection, which in their view proves that he was a God.

    Going further, in the past, let's say that in the history class, you had to treat your own teacher as a figure who had given you the truth, because you hadn't have any other options. And you believed for the rest of your life what you've been taught. Today is different because when your teacher says that during World War II Germans were killing people in the concentration camps by the gas, you can Google it if there was a gas in the concentration camps at all. And you will be surprised because you can find a book written by a survivor who says that although the official version of history told us that Germans killed many people in the gas chambers, there were no chambers in the camps because technology at that time wasn't developed enough. You are so free in the access to the knowledge to the point where you can discredit the official version of history or cosmology (there are sites where people show the evidences for the view that the Earth is only 6000 years old), and you can see the arguments for it. The positive aspect of this is that today you needn't to believe anyone in anything. You can check out almost everything by yourself. The negative side is that is in the end you could doubt who you can trust. People who are strongly convinced that the Holocaust wasn't so terrible as it's presented in the official education system are as convincing as their opponents. The scientists who think that the universe had no beginning present you with valuable arguments for that, but at school we all have learned about the Big Bang, so who can you trust? You must deceide by yourself what is true and it can be also in doubtful because can you trust yourself? Who are you? Does your opinion have the same value as the professors at the universities? Many people think so much about themselves today and we often enjoying more to watch the convincing and entertaining youtuber who tell us about science than the lecture by a boring proffessor of science.

    To sum up, most of today's knowledge has a little meaning in my opinion, but the present is better than the past in that respect, because I can be more educated than my ancestors if I will be careful.

    I am not sure you mean knowledge @Powerage but more the access to knowledge. In the pre-computer days (which I can still remember), our knowledge was restricted to books or documents which we had to go and physically access. Now it is very easy, but perhaps there is sometimes too much information.
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