Following An Author

When I went to Literati for this class, I picked up a copy of The New Philosopher, which essentially is a periodical filled with philosophy related articles, essays, and art work. While reading this edition, I decided to read the cover article which was titled “Fake News,” and I decided that I would expand my reading list by tracking the author, Tom Chatfield.

Chatfield’s website has links to different articles of his that have been published, so I decided I would start by reading one of those, an article for BBC Future entitled, “What Our Descendants Will Deplore About Us.” I have always thought about future generations and what our actions would do for or against them, so I figured that this would be a good article to read. One of the first statements in the article reads “no matter how benevolent the intention, what we assume is good, right or acceptable in society may change. From slavery to sexism, there’s plenty we find distasteful about the past. Yet while each generation congratulates itself for moving on from the darker days of its parents and ancestors, that can be a kind of myopia.” I thought that this point was really interesting because we often write off older people’s prejudices, like your 97 year old great-uncle thinking that your black boyfriend is inherently bad, for example, as just a difference in the way “society” works. This has always made me wonder what kinds of things people my age might say when we’re older will have the same type of reaction. He also goes on and discusses other issues such as climate change and nuclear weapons, which are two things that have the potential to cause a lot of damage to the world that our future generations will live in.

Anna Fedder

Current sophomore at UM minoring in writing with an undecided major.

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