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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

#Exponential #Overpopulation Growth: What If There Is No #Future, Seriously?


"There is much to celebrate about us. The question is: Can we celebrate all that we are, while accepting that our species is here but for a brief flash of cosmic time?"

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What If There Were No Future? Some Overlooked Consequences Of Exponential Growth


Imagine the world thirty years from now. Very likely we’ll see quantum computing, nano-tech medicine, 3D-printed organs, artificial intelligence surpassing that of the human brain, possibly fusion power. Advances in molecular biology could be pushing life-expectancy ahead faster than we are ageing. Our bodies, senses, and mental functions may be augmented in ways that seem like science fiction today. These are just a few of the more obvious extrapolations of current trends.
Our predictions can, however, be way off the mark. If we go back thirty years, to 1989, and remember how we saw the future then, we realize how off the mark we can be. The Internet was in its infancy, most of us had not heard of email, the worldwide web did not even exist. Back then, who of us would have predicted online shopping, video streaming, social networks, the cloud, and many other aspects of the information age that today we take for granted.
Our predictions often fail for two reasons. First, we may be able to extrapolate current trends, but we cannot include innovation. Its very nature is unpredictable; it brings in something new and unforeseen. In the coming decades there will inevitably be various unanticipated developments: new scientific discoveries, technological innovations, socio-political revolutions, environmental surprises, and other changes that will render current predictions obsolete.

. . . these most brisk and giddy-paced times
~ William Shakespeare
Secondly, we don’t take into account how the rate of change is accelerating. We can imagine how the future might be if the pace of change continues as it is—and even that can make us feel giddy—but we easily overlook the fact that change will be coming faster and faster. We think that if this much change has happened in the last thirty years, then we imagine a similar amount in the next thirty years. In reality, it may take half that time to witness a similar amount of progress.


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