It is rare a viral phenomenon with keywords "selfie" can be the starting point to ponder the big lines and our moment in history. So let us seize the opportunity.Columnist Sondre Ulvund Solstad
Sondre Ulvund Solstad is phd in political science and international relations at Princeton University. He was in 2018 appointed as a Woodrow Wilson Scholar for outstanding research in the public interest, and is published in a number of Norwegian, chinese and international magazines.Last published posts
The "ten year challenge" is really means something? If we lift our gaze: What is the difference between before (2009), and now (2019)?
One of the four parents that before would lost her child to disease or hunger no longer does it. In just ten years we have created a world with a quarter fewer such tragedies. It is difficult to imagine a greater difference.
the World's balance of power has changed. In 2009 the us economy, the world's largest and had been there for nearly 140 years. Adjusted for purchasing power parity is now China largest. Where has the economy and the defence budget doubled in the last ten years.
ten years ago we were hopeful about a treaty on climate change in Copenhagen. We have little faith in such an agreement in Katowice. Annual emissions have increased by 15 per cent. The technology that maybe will help us have been better: the Cost of capturing CO2 from the atmosphere is reduced by over 80 percent. More think climate change is serious and man-made problem than before. Norway is 0.4 degrees warmer.
People's thoughts of love and marriage has become more open. We were in 2009, the sixth country in the world to introduce gender-neutral ekteskapslov. Now is gay marriage legal in 28 countries, including the united STATES, where a third of the population have changed the meaning (including Barack Obama). In India homosexuality a criminal offence before. It is not now.
In 2009, spoke of Obama in Cairo and said that the "bridges between people lead to action". In 2019 was the government of the united STATES closed because of a wall.
We communicate in new ways now. Instagram and Snapchat didn't exist in 2009. When was 28 per cent of australians visit social media on an average day. We didn't have the world in your pocket: among those who acquired a new phone that year bought only three of ten a smartphone.
ten years ago presented the scientists proudly, a computer such as through short text messages and under certain conditions could be one of four judges to believe that it was a man. Now we do not know anymore whether we are talking with people or machines, over text, social media or telephone (in each case in English or chinese). Machines writing poems and making movies for us now. They also run car.
more importantly: 800 million people have gained access to electricity. Over 500 million have gained access to clean drinking water. 400 million fewer living in extreme poverty.
These numbers are mind-boggling. But for very many people, very many places, clean drinking water, electric light and enough food to live a new reality.
It is tempting to write off the "10 year challenge" as the latest version of a long line of excuses to post pictures of themselves.
But another interpretation is possible. Perhaps this is an effective way to create or participate in the reflection of a visual culture. Reflection on how things have changed over a longer time, and not necessarily only in a negative way. Perhaps this is popular right now because many of us feel we need it.
far from all the important changes taking place in the Uk or the world between 2009 and 2019. But they are important, and they are great.
In it we stop to reflect a little over the last ten years, they can – in a nyhetsbilde dominated by the short-term and negative - to be useful to remember, think on, feel on. Before the world rages on.