Generation 500, 2000-2025

Where is the ‘here’ that we have got to? You the reader and I the writer probably have a lot in common.

For a start, we can both read, and are used to reading in a variety of media: books, e-books, laptop, mobile text messages …

We both have access to the internet. That is huge. We have access to a world of information, music, video, text. All of the world’s newspapers are here, as well as the world’s largest encyclopaedia.

We probably have a mobile phone, which can do a lot more than make phone calls. It means that we are very rarely out of communication, wherever we are. The sense of being completely alone and out of contact is rare.

Speculating a bit further …

– We both probably live in rectangular rooms with rectangular doors and windows.

– Most of the food we eat is grown and possibly prepared by people we have never met. It comes from all over the world

– The clothes we wear are from a variety of fabrics, some natural, some artificial, also mostly made by people we don’t know

– We can travel by motorised transport: car, bus, train, aeroplane …

– Who do we live with? Most of us live alone or with a small group of others, in a city filled with people we don’t know. Through the internet we probably know more about someone hundreds or thousands of miles away than we do about some of the people in the next street.

– We use money, in either notes, cash, cards or numbers on a screen, as our medium of exchange. We obtain it by offering a very specific service, and we use it to obtain all the things we need and want.

– The fact of living in a particular country is important in some ways, but not others. It determines who we pay tax to, and how much, and defines and limits our personal freedoms. But again thanks to the internet, as long as we have access to a gadget to access it there is a community to meet and exchange with that is not limited by national borders.

This is the world of the generation that comes to maturity in the first quarter of the 21st century. To any previous generation, we must appear weird.

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5 thoughts on “Generation 500, 2000-2025

  1. Thanks for this Jane. I came across the blog by following the link from the website so I have not had time to read everything yet but I’ve read some and glanced through the rest and I found it fascinating and interesting.
    It’s a huge project to undertake and, to me, you have put across well the main points that are significant to you and I’m glad I came across it.
    Having lived through a couple or so generations and loving history as you do, I think this Generation 500 is a significant shift for us humans and, as we’re so influential, for everything else on the planet, including the planet herself.
    I have several thoughts on what is, and is not, happening in this Generation and one of them is that, as far as I can see, this is the first generation where technology is the pre-eminent means of communication and interaction rather than physical proximity: so, man made media rather than natural media.
    There are obviously benefits and disadvantages for the millions of us who use them and I’m sure we all have our own thoughts on whether the balance is positive or negative and it will be interesting to see how the second half of this Generation develops, or not, because of our reliance on all this technology. One thought I have is, what strains will our reliance on technology have on our relationship with the vast majority of humans in Generation 500 who are not yet using it as much as we are and maybe never will?
    However, my main concern is about the electric, magnetic and electro-magnetic bombardment we are all subject to every second and what the cumulative harmful effects of that are now, and will be, as this Generation plays out the next 10 years. Not only for us humans but for all organic life.

    • Hi Ken
      Thank you for your encouraging words!
      I agree that generation 500 is a significant shift. This generations project so far makes me see it as the potential flowering of the human race, an amazing time to be alive. So many of us are liberated, empowered, able to make our own connections, so many more than in any previous generation.
      Yes, it is true millions of us still cannot participate in the global community. However, having just reached generation 466, I can only celebrate the fact that so many now can. 700 years ago, most people did not have a good enough diet to fully develop as humans. They were physically and intellectually undernourished . The giants on whose shoulders we stand were a very small group of privileged people: those who had access to a decent enough diet to physically mature, and who were well enough educated to flower as human beings.
      And yes, I think the downside of this has been the electrical smog that we live in. Time will tell whether it is a price worth paying.

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