The lack of electricity and murder rates that were off the chart are just two ways the medieval world both astounds and fascinates us. We often find it difficult to understand what life was really like in such a world. But what about our society, what will perplex historians of the future? Here’s five things I think they will find difficult to fathom.

1. Why we didn’t act on Climate Change.


For decades we have produced vast amounts of research that our actions are changing the climate of the planet. There is ample evidence that these actions will have drastic consequences on human life as we know it. However despite this knowledge, the powers that be plough ahead burning ever more fossil fuels contributing to our demise. If humanity survives historians will undoubtedly ask why. We will be up there with the Romans and Mayans but we will be have a special chapter all to ourselves entitled ‘the idiots of history’.

2. Our use of the Internet.


We invent an amazing tool which revolutionises human interaction and life. What do we use it for? Making cat memes, looking at porn and trolling each other. Enough said.

3. Reality TV.

Idiot Box_02

How is Kim Kardashian famous? Future generations will be astounded that we paid people vast sums of money to allow us watch their vacuous inane lives.

4. Coins and Banknotes


Banknotes and coins are going to become obsolete, eventually being replaced by smart phone wallets or at the very least bank cards. Give it fifty or a hundred years and people will be mystified at the idea of carrying around lumps of metal and paper in your pocket. Surely it was really heavy and awkward? Were people not mugged all the time? What happened if you lost it? (That said if the worst projections on climate change are correct we could be back to bartering).


5. The world before the electronic communication.

PhoneToday we chat on facebook, whatsapp, twitter or whatever your having yourself. Prior to about the late 1990s everything was face-to-face, on the phone (and not the mobile kind) or even by letter. Books will be written about this strange world where you randomly and uninvited called over to someones house to see if they wanted to hangout.

Have I missed anything? Have you any additions?

5 comments on “5 ways our lives will baffle historians of the future

  1. marketcompass on

    Fin, this is a great list, but I’d suggest that your timing might be a bit conservative – my 13 year-old daughter thinks most of these things are pretty weird already.

    I would add North American urban sprawl to the list as well; I think that people in the future will wonder why we organized our urban space in ways that are energy inefficient, socially exclusionary and often unattractive to boot.

    • Irish History on

      Yeah for sure… Sprawl is pretty shocking as is the destruction of often very nice architecture to be replaced with horrendous structures.

  2. frank on

    Half the population of the “greatest nation on earth” are unable to understand the concept of universal health care free (or very low cost) at the point of use.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *