Notions of A Brave New World
I think it’s obvious to the class that I don’t care for Huxley’s Brave New World. Maybe it’s Huxleys writing style, maybe it’s the entire premise of the book, but whatever is causing my dislike, I’m not going to draw my ideas out with a lengthy, essay-like presentation. Instead, I’m posting some bullet-point criticisms and questions regarding the novel.
In no particular order:
-If our genetic endowment is the product of evolution, and “culture” represents 200k (est) years of us adapting to our genes, why would humankind abandon the progress and technological advancements that could allow us to “transcend” our genes (see: transhumanism)?
-What actual benefit is there to have people conditioned to engage in mutual sex? Why not condition them to buy other kinds of sex products? Would that be too illicit for the orgy-ridden novel?
-Is happiness (or contentment) based on instant gratification as effective as deferred gratification? Why not both?
-Is change non-essential for happiness? Is happiness affected by change? Are we even capable of adapting to a changeless system of the same kinds of reward?
-What happened to adaptive behavior? Oops.
-What about “altruism?”
-Humans have struggled to evolve; can humans evolve out of the struggle?
-In absence of innovation, how would humanity adapt to the eventual scarcity of resources, or an international disaster?
-If the society could not sustain the things people were conditioned to desire, would a simple change in conditioning solve the problem?
-Is the stability of a culture necessary and sufficient for the survival of a culture?
-On what basis does (should) selection occur–the species, the group, the genes, or the individual?