21st century soma
A desirable future may not be attained if a discovery of a superficially benevolent but ultimately destructive invention is discovered and voluntarily or involuntarily disseminated. Such an invention may be a kind of 21st century soma, named after the Soma of Brave New World.
- Wireheading - or simply a cheap and powerful traditional drug epidemic could precipitate social collapse, or even warfare such as in the opium wars of the 19th century
- Virtual reality - or even contemporary computer games and gambling is addictive to the degree to causing a level of social disengagement particularly in young men
- Sex Robots - explored in Futurama could cause further social issues already existing the form of pornography causing a similar kind of disengagement