Fascinating Times: A  Social Commentary
Mal Fletcher

2020Plus, 2012 (available on Kindle)

 

"Comprised of almost 50 editorials and articles written by Fletcher between 2007 and 2012, the essays look at a broad spectrum of ethical questions facing society today, many of which have been created through the introduction of new technologies."

First up I need to declare, for those who may not be aware, that Sightregularly runs essays written by social commentator and futurist, and leader of the international think tank 2020Plus, Mal Fletcher.

In fact, many of the essays which are included in his new book, Fascinating Times: A Social Commentary, have appeared on Sight's website over the course of the past few years. But even for those who have read everything we've run, there's still plenty of discover in this anthology.

Comprised of more than 40 editorials and articles written by Fletcher between 2007 and 2012, the essays look at a broad spectrum of ethical questions facing society today, many of which have been created through the introduction of new technologies.

Subjects covered in Fascinating Times ranged from a look at the effect of Facebook on our personal interactions to the debate over the definition of marriage, the issue of human trafficking, 'affluenza', and the problem of youth violence and gangs.

The essays are linked to events happening at the time they were written - everything from the death of Michael Jackson to the recent revolution in Egypt - and while Fletcher is often writing from a London-based perspective mentioning specifics related to the UK context, the issues and ideas he tosses around are relevant - and will remain so - to anyone living in the Western world today.

The book, which is only available in electronic form, comes complete with a study guide which each essay accompanied by a series of questions makes it a terrific resource for small groups looking to delve into any of what are essentially universal subjects. (In the same vein, there's also a comprehensive bibliography and online media resource section which provides a mountain of further information for those keen to look deeper into an issue).

Regularly appearing on the BBC and other TV and radio news programs in Europe and Australia, Fletcher brings fresh insight to emerging contemporary issues. Informed by his own Christian heritage (Fletcher was venturing into the world of social commentary as far back as 20 years ago while he was the national director of Youth Alive Australia), his writings are an accessible way to approach some of the big questions facing society today.

Follow the link to buy this book - Fascinating Times.