Do you remember "Judge Dredd(1995)" a movie starring Sylvester Stallone? It has a story that takes place in about 3000 A.D. in which the majority of the population is under the control of the minority elite. Why? It is because advanced technology is monopolized by this minority. This is no longer a story that you can watch only in a movie. As someone once said, the 20:80`s society-20% elites monopolize all of the technology, authority, and the remaining 80% are controled by the small group of elites-will be coming soon. Perhaps, we are already living in the society. We may already have our directors. Who are they?
Computers- the strongest power of the 21st century Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, described a slave as a living tool. "Tools are lifeless or living things. For example, a captain of ship steers with a oar or uses a human. So, all of us possess tools that help human life. After all, a slave is a living tool." He thought that an object with artificial intelligence will rescue these slaves. Then, what about our reality?
Computers have the artificial intelligence mentioned above, and they have became very close to us in the present day. Through mass media such as television, newspapers and books, we acquire information about computers everyday. Our everyday life of meeting with people, shopping and studying can be done in cyber space. All companies and most individuals around us have their own homepages. Moreover, in Kangnam, many buildings have their names in the format of website addresses. Since these computer networks make people feel free about their expressions, most people predict that they will spread mankind`s long-cherished principles of freedom and equality, and eventually achieve a rankless society. But, in reality, we don`t find any of these features.
An easy example is the fact that when we visit most homepages, we conform to the regulations which the webmaster has made. Also, we are requested for certain conditions such as signing up for memberships, and clicking on to certain advertisements. Even though you are free to choose where to go in the internet, once you are in, you are regulated by private laws. Of course, space in computers make us more active than in any other mass media. Contrary to the other media forms which are one-way and center-concentrated, digital media is two-way and flexible. But, activity in cyber space is only active within a fixed frame.
English-we can not survive without it A student at Sung Kyun Kwan University filed a law suit against the university. It had disapproved his graduation because his major was Confucianism and it had no relation with excellent English ability. It is a good example of the bad effects of the excessive English boom. As mentioned above, computer network is the most important result of the 20th century and will be important in our future, too. But if we enter the internet for information, we find it difficult to search it because of a specific language. And among all of them, English is mainly used. Of course, English is an essential element in the globalization era. Countries that understand the current flow have been working hard to improve their English ability. For example, Japan recently has adopted English as the second national language. And in Korea, some universities have made a new system which does not approve graduation if students receive poor marks in English ability tests such as TOEIC, TOEFL and TEPS. But this is raising problems because it makes most people study English excessively.
A new influence-new leaders of the 21st century A new trend of ideologies is rapidly being spreaded by the development of advanced technology. Already in western society, environmentalists, feminists, religionists and people who work for grass-root movements are more admired than politicians. They will no longer remain silent or take a negative attitude. They do not have a purpose for authority like politicians, but they want many people to follow them like politicians. And they will acquire more rights than before. In the future, groups which have not come to power-minority races, women and disabled person-will gradually emerge in political range. Most people look at them affirmatively. But some people think that they can threaten our freedom. As in past, politicians can seize power under the pretext of national freedom.
In the past, the common goals of communism and democracy have divided the world into two with the same goal as rankless society. But in reality, it seems to be difficult to accomplish it. We expected advanced technology to make class and authority disappear. But contrary to our expectations, we have found that it can make another fresh power. By these facts, most people wonder if history is at a standstill when history must progress. But in one historian`s words "History progresses spirally" it gradually develops repeating the same process. Of course, we know that history can control us, but we can make continuous efforts to improve our lives. This is because we believe that our small efforts will make a little progress, and someday they will achieve our ultimate goal.