Culture Shock Therapy: “What shall we do with a time machine? Steal, of course”

Ryan Brusuelas

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When I approached a group of 5-year-olds at a family reunion, I decided to ask them what adventures they would partake in if they possessed a time machine.

I expected an answer of imaginative and elaborate schemes involving dinosaurs and flying cars, but the group quickly came to a unanimous decision: “Rob a bank or something.”

Thinking about the emphasis that our parents’ generation had put on making money, and less about ethical decisions, I have to wonder how this next generation of time-traveling-bank-robbing brats will turn out. Unless you live in Berkeley or France, philosophy and ethics seem to be a thing of the past. Capitalism rules all. “Go to school – make money.” This mantra has been echoing for the last couple generations, and as our technology races ahead of our ethics, I suspect that this may not be the best time to turn kids into aggressive money-grubbing capitalists that think the world is just a life-size Monopoly board.

The school system produces a mass assembly line of human computers. The hardware is a human body shell, with moneymaking software, corrupted in its design (it must run on Vista). But, the ghost in the machine is producing us so fast that there is no time to challenge the system, just like no product questions its maker. The algorithm is to make money under any circumstance, and if that algorithm breaks down, the person is looked upon as faulty. The line between right and wrong is blurred, as the main goal is to make more money and be able to answer the question: “So, what do you do?”

It’s pushing kids through a streamlined education system of canned information, in order to produce moneymaking robots. And, to make more money is a goal that cannot be satisfied, because it has no clear end; we are chasing our tails.

After considering the moneymaking mantra that most of us consciously or unconsciously follow, it’s no wonder that those kids I talked to would want to use a time machine for financial gain.

The words “making money” have become synonymous with survival of all levels: economic, social placement, identity, etc., and if all children by nature question, “WHY?” for every statement, can we not give them more challenging questions to train them for all of our future? Why place them on the same empty path of money searching and collecting real life Monopoly pieces that we know leads to little satisfaction?
 

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