There is one thing that everyone in the population shares: Fear. Fear can take many forms to focus on a particular paranoia such as nuclear destruction, climate change, fear of foreigners, etc. But why do we have this desire for fear? A recent Rolling Stone article about our “age of fear” notes that most Americans are living “in the safest place at the safest time in human history.” (PBS) In our world today, not only is household wealth on the rise, but also the average lifespan and education. Violent crime and extreme poverty are at an all-time low since 1991. (PBS) Before our current technology and social media outlets, rumors and press coverage would fan the fires. But now, in our age of technological advances, the three F's race instantly through entire populations. Those three F's: Fears, fads, and fantasies. Do you remember the clown scare back in 2016? Everyone was on high alert for anything to protect themselves from the clown. Two years later, we now have a new fascination that scares us.
We’ve all heard of robots, but have you ever thought of androids? What I mean by that is something that looks and acts completely human, but is in fact a machine underneath. Some examples that come to mind are Terminator, the androids from Ridley Scott's Alien series, and the new synthetics in the video game Fallout 4. In the Terminator series, the robots know that they are in fact not human and are intent on destroying their creators. In the Alien franchise, the androids know that they are not completely human, yet are co-habitating with mankind, and the generation three synthetics from Fallout 4 do know they are not human, yet yearn to be. Though many argue of the possibility of "killer robots" (Terminator, robot warfare, HAL 900 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, etc.), does this mean we should not explore the possibility of having robot companions? That we should allow fear to dominate a possible prosperous future? I think not! I firmly believe in this line from Theodore Roosevelt’s first inaugural address, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." We should not allow our fear to destroy a possible better future, but we should also proceed with caution.