Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Very Serious Future! A Modest Recommendation

When a futurist predicts as imminent some incoherent or non-proximate outcome (superintelligent-AI, profitable geo-engineering techno-fixes, medical breakthroughs promising eternal youth, uploading info-souls into holodeck heaven, outer-space diaspora as an escape hatch, nano-abundance on the cheap, faster-than-light travel, and so on), the serious response is not to consider its consequences as if the outcome were plausible and proximate after all (what would the hidden costs be? who would benefit most?), but instead to consider what these nonsense predictions symptomize in the way of present fears and desires and to consider what present constituencies stand to benefit from the threats and promises these predictions imply.

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