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This chapter is from the book

A Threatening World

We are caught up not only in an increasing swirl of challenges and decisions, but in an increasingly threatening world as well:

  • A world in which we can no longer anticipate the knowledge or data we will need on the job, because we can no longer predict the kinds of jobs we will be doing.
  • A world in which powerful technologies are interfaced with simplistic thinking about complex issues: “Get tough on crime!” “Three strikes and you’re out!” “Zero tolerance!” “Adult crime, adult time!”
  • A world in which national mass media gain more and more power over the minds of people.
  • A world in which the incarceration of more and more people for longer and longer periods of time is becoming one of the largest industries, employing hundreds of thousands of professionals with vested interests in maintaining a large prison population: builders, architects, lawyers, police, federal investigators, prosecutors, social workers, counselors, psychologists, prison guards, and others.
  • A world in which privacy is increasingly penetrated by multiple invasive technologies: face-recognition software, DNA testing, e-mail review systems, credit card tracking, and auto-tracking systems.
  • A world in which global forces—subject to virtually no control—make far-reaching decisions that deeply impact our lives.
  • A world in which self-serving ideologies are advanced in expensive media campaigns.
  • A world in which increasing numbers of people advocate the use of violence as a response to real or perceived injustice.
  • A world in which increasing numbers of people willingly accept significant diminution of individual rights and freedoms in exchange for increasing police and governmental powers of surveillance and detention.
  • A world in which increasing numbers of civilians find themselves trapped in the crossfire of warring groups and ideologies.
  • A world in which both freedom and safety are increasingly diminished for greater and greater numbers of people.
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