I often feel like there are two aspects to looking at the future. The first is expectations and the second is reality.
When we think what the future is like, we usually look at the social , political , technological, aspect. Having said that what do we expect from our future. I believe that the human race is at a crux in history. We are on the brink of machines getting as smart as we are (Technological singularity,Von Neumann, Ray Kurzweil) , we are in the position to create a DNA and boot it up (Craig Ventner’s Synthetic genomics), we are on the brink of getting access to new energy sources, 3D printing anythng from food to machines and organs..
This ia all good but what do we expect from the future?
I ask myself, given that we are heading towards a future of massive technological advancement beyond our parents’ wildest dreams, a brave new world, how do we catch up. History does not give man a very clean track record with respect to ethics in the face of technology.
Since the invention of nitro-glycerin and dynamite, well even gunpowder at that, any technology was weaponized. Not withstanding the experience with the explosives of the first world war, that did nothing to stop project Manhattan when there was fear of the USA being kick in the nuts in WWII result: Hiroshima and Nagazaki. The scale of the A & H bombs power made Oppenheimer say “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds!”. Extrapolate to today, unless we become a bunch of scientists, vegetarian tree huggers and stop bickering over oil, fix global warming avoid methane leaking from the tundra and manage to get all our shit together, then we will be at peace…. well maybe not.
I cannot shake off the idea that the future will have more of the present in it. Although science popularizers like Micio Kaku and Ray Kurzweil always play up the role of technology and science deep in their heart they know their’s is a sales pitch.
We carry too much legacy, we have too much inertia, religion, xenophobia, racism, disease, militarystances, mega corporations to have a clear look at the future my vision is always clouded by these factors. Sounds negative ? Well I temper my expectations.
I do have a great deal of hope for the future, I know that humans have a wide spectrum, while we can sink amazingly low our past shows we can climb to soaring moral and technical heights. I believe a healthy and positive future revolves solely around education of the next generation.
Training our kids to be smart and knowing how to face the problems left from the previous generations including ours might be the only hope for the human race. Avoiding fostering militant ideologies is going to be the real hard part. Everyone wants smart kids but if they push their faiths and obstinate ideologies down to them it won’t do any good.
Ideologies need to have checks and balances because they are both our biggest driving forces and possibly major players in our demise. Well fingers crossed, whatever, HEH! this would have been one hell of a ride