Future Culture

Futurist Writer Lei Kalina writes her tongue-in-cheek musings and ramblings on the growing worldwide phenomenon of the growth of the Future Culture in the 21st Century

Future Culture In The 21st Century

Future Culture In the 21st Century

Futures Studies, Foresight, or Futurology , according to Wikipedia, is the science, art and practice of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them. Futures studies (colloquially called "Futures" by many of the field's practitioners) seeks to understand what is likely to continue, what is likely to change, and what is novel. Part of the discipline thus seeks a systematic and pattern-based understanding of past and present, and to determine the likelihood of future events and trends. Futures is an interdisciplinary field, studying yesterday's and today's changes, and aggregating and analyzing both lay and professional strategies, and opinions with respect to tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Electric Shock Therapy For Internet Addiction


There's bald Homer, motherly Margie with her towering Tara's Bulba hairdo, Bart , and the whole Simpsons family gang all tied up in what's called as an electric orgy, undermining Dr. Monroe's aversion electric shock therapy. "Now don't you touch any of those buttons," the doctor tells Homer, but the dude is adamant, or just plain clumsy. And so the whole Simpsons family get a dose of electric shock circa 21st century.

It could be funny in animation, but it's not funny at all if it happens in real life. Worse, if it's happening in the 21st century.

Might as well go back to the Medieval Age.

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Reuters recently reported that such has been happening in Linyi, Shandong Province, wherein controversial psychiatrist Doctor Yang Yongxin, also known as "Uncle Yang," ran a boot camp called the Internet Addiction Treatment Center at Linyi Mental Hospital. Electric currents were administered by Yang to some 3000 teenagers who were believed to be guilty of their "internet addiction."

So Yang reportedly went on with said electroshock therapy for Internet addiction, electrocuting teenagers for some time, in line with the Chinese government's campaign against the excessive use of Internet by teenagers, flocking Internet cafes which were more known as "web bars", and consequently "hurting their studies and damaging family life."

All these until the Ministry of Health put a stop to it.

"Electroshock therapy for Internet addiction...has no foundation in clinical research or evidence and therefore is not appropriate for clinical application," as posted on the ministry website www.moh.gov.cn.

Further, Yang and his colleagues at the said boot camp were nowhere being "qualified psychotherapists", that the young patients were sent to the hospital "by force and prohibited from outside contact". Further , more than two hundred organizations were said to be "offering help" for the young Chinese seeking refuge with Internet over-use, away from heavy parental expectations.

Meantime, China reportedly boasts of having the world's largest Internet population, with almost 300 million users by yearend of 2008, as reported by the China Internet Network Information Center.

Newsoffuture.com , on the other hand, said that Chinese economist Lin Yifu estimates some 1 billion mobile phone users in China by year 2020, up from 449 million users in October 2006. Mobile phones are now regarded by industry insiders as "the new laptops."

The website's projected year 2020 report said that China reaches the 1 billion mark for mobile phone users by January 2020 , three times as many as 15 years ago.

The said report pointed out that India , projected to have 910 million users by year 2020, will be adding most users each month, and will most likely overtake China's total number of mobile phone users until year 2030.

China will have some 400 million Internet users by year 2020, the report further stressed, " and their impact on the Internet has been noticed significantly over the last years. One reason for this, a part from the number of users is the number of English-speaking Chinese, which has increased to almost match the native English speakers in the world."

The 2020 report further said: "The market for mobile phones in China is bigger than Europe, US and Japan combined and about 80% of the Chinese population now has a mobile phone. The worldwide use of mobile phones will most likely reach another significant mark later in 2020, when passing 5 billion mobile phone users, about 65% of the world’s population."

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