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Feryk
9th October 13, 02:54 PM
Every once in a while I feel the need to spout off on some topic or another. If you’ve read many of my posts over the last couple of years, you will know that I believe Ray Kurzweil’s vision of technological development is one I believe in, and for the most part embrace.

I realize that this is somewhat self-interested. I am now what used to be considered middle aged, at 44. I don’t really feel ‘middle’ aged. When I’m doing Martial Arts, I feel old, compared to the young men and women who are stronger, faster, and more flexible than me. When I’m working, I feel like I am in my prime. However, I can see the effects of aging on people around me, and on my self to a limited extent. And I’m not having it.

I want to live forever. So of course, I want to embrace a view of the future where tech can solve all my body’s problems. It makes sense. It assuages a fear of death. It makes me biased. I tell you this because I am well aware of it – and it doesn’t matter.

You should still be looking forward to the future.
Why, you ask? The future will still have problems. Population growth is still going to be a problem, scarcity of resources is not likely to go away any time soon, demographics indicates that we will have more people over the age of 65 than under it in about twenty years. Privacy is gone. Environmental technology cannot hope to reverse the damage that has already been done, much less what we will do in our quest for ever more energy. I could go on, but if you want a litany of future problems, look up this guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYX4D5oZm-A (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYX4D5oZm-A)

"The future" isn’t some far away thing anymore. It’s right now, and it’s moving past you whether you see it or not. For no other reason, you should be stoked about the rate of change. Whatever limitations you are experiencing, physical, mental, financial, etc. can be viewed as temporary, so long as you embrace the changes that are here, and what is happening moving forward.

We have the ability to use innovation to solve problems faster than ever before. All we have to do is martial enough resources to actually solve them. And traditional, top down, cost intensive, restrictive cold war government programs aren’t actually the best way to develop tech anymore. Peter Diamandis is the founder of the ‘X Prize’. You are probably familiar with it. He arranged to have a $10Million prize awarded to the first group that could successfully take off from land, go into orbit, and return again in the same vehicle.
He did it because he realized that NASA would not ever, EVER, put an everyday guy like him into space.

But Virgin Space will. Starting in 2015, if things go right. And they are not alone, btw. The commercial space industry is in its infancy, BUT IT’S HERE. And NASA had nothing to do with it. Innovation and entrepreneurship did in a few years with a few hundred million of investment, something that NASA would never have been able to do, but would have spent billions trying to figure out.

Diamandis’ X Prize wasn’t about going into space. It was about fostering innovation to solve the world’s biggest, hardest problems. You probably won’t be surprised to find out he’s now offering X Prizes for solutions to children’s literacy, building an actual Tricorder (yes, like Star Trek), etc. If he can repeat the space flight results, I think it’s fair to say we have a new model for inspiring a flood of innovation.

We are now at this point of cotanglement (sp?), where a technology developed in one area can have massive impacts in another. Consider for a moment, the Google Car.
Initially, it sounds like a good idea. It should reduce accidents, allow more productive use of transportation time for the passengers, and generally make roads and highways more efficient. If it stopped there, it would be fantastic.
It won’t stop there. Enough of these Google cars cycling their lasers and uploading their information can effectively surveil a city 24/7. You will lose privacy, but gain massive amounts of National Security (debatable if that is good or bad). Viollent crime will become an exclusively indoor activity – because it will be instantly detected outdoors. And with the Xbox One having a camera that is live all the time, indoors isn’t far behind.

Also. Google Cars will help solve the upcoming nursing home shortages. In my industry, we have heard for the last 20 years that when the boomers retire, we won’t be able to build enough Long Term Care facilities to house them. And we ARE trying to meet that demand with huge amounts of seniors care homes slated to be built as resources allow.
Well, IF you can keep an octogenarian in their own home with a few visits from a nurse, put a tricorder into his hands and email the results daily to his doctor, AND give them transportation to wherever they need to go whenever they need it (Google Car), why would they leave their home? We will be able to literally keep tens of millions of seniors in their homes many years longer than we can now. This technology will avert the crisis BEFORE it becomes one.

This is a simple example, but one that demonstrates the principles that Kurzweil had discussed in 2005. Increasing rate of change, and technological development that cross feeds off each other. This will continue and increase exponentially.
If you believe the pundits, we will likely face a population crisis, an energy crisis, a food shortage, and an environmental catastrophe, all within the next fifty or so years. All of these can be solved. It’s going to take our best minds working on this. But they won’t necessarily be MIT grads working for DARPA. It could be a group of people across the globe who have never met. They might be hackers from Russia, or help desk workers from India. Who knows? But if we create the environment to give them incentives to organize themselves and work on these problems, I am certain we will get answers we never anticipated.

A note to our younger readers: you more than anyone should embrace this view and integrate new solutions whenever possible. One of the effects of all this tech is older workers NOT leaving the workforce. You may want to consider how that will impact you.

NoBowie
9th October 13, 06:19 PM
Drive your car like there is no Tuesday.

Laugh when you step in fish poop.

Fuck like 'To catch a predator' is on the telly.

The earth will take care of itself, first-worlders. Just stop people from making so many babies and we will be alright.

Üser Friendly
9th October 13, 11:50 PM
Just stop people from making so many babies and we will be alright.

How many kids do you have again NoB?

NoBowie
10th October 13, 01:55 AM
How many kids do you have again NoB?

More than I should have. There oughta been a law.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
10th October 13, 05:17 AM
Ferky, do you think there will be a backlash against all this tech?

Feryk
10th October 13, 10:20 AM
Not one that will matter. By the time we rally the legislation to outlaw a specific tech, we will already have moved beyond it.

I'm old enough to remember the backlash against 'test tube' babies. We call that 'in vitro fertilization' now. We are all up in arms about GMO foods, but in 20 years, we'll be eating test tube burgers.

So, no, I'm not worried about it. Choosing NOT to innovate something that there is a demand for isn't really an option, either. The X Prize results proved that you can do an awful lot with the right minds and a small amount of money.

Feryk
10th October 13, 10:22 AM
Drive your car like there is no Tuesday.

Laugh when you step in fish poop.

Fuck like 'To catch a predator' is on the telly.

The earth will take care of itself, first-worlders. Just stop people from making so many babies and we will be alright.

Or develop the technology to let the planet support 20B people. Just sayin'. Whatever you think the upper limit is, it can be raised.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
10th October 13, 11:33 AM
Futurologists Are Full of Shit (http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/the-people-of-the-future-sound-depressingly-boring)

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
10th October 13, 11:33 AM
Saying that, I actually agree with Ferky.

(How was my comma?)

NoBowie
10th October 13, 11:37 AM
Or develop the technology to let the planet support 20B people. Just sayin'. Whatever you think the upper limit is, it can be raised.

No. Because to support 20 Billion people, we might have to give up the internal combustion engine.

However, if we go down to like 4 Billion or so, we can all drive twin-turbo V8s.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
10th October 13, 12:32 PM
No. Because to support 20 Billion people, we might have to give up the internal combustion engine.

However, if we go down to like 4 Billion or so, we can all drive twin-turbo V8s.

Not at all we just expand into space (fuck knows you use up enough fatty)

Feryk
15th October 13, 12:42 PM
Loved the article. And for the most part, I agree with him. Trying to take current trends and stretch them out another 10 or 20 years is dangerous at best. Hell, half of the stuff in Kurzweil's Singularity book (written in 2005) are nowhere near where he thought they'd be by now.

Corporations paying people millions to tell them what the future holds is akin to bringing in a mystic or witchdoctor. There is no way to know.

Don't tell me that 20 years ago, we could've predicted the Google monolith or the rise of Apple to computing dominance. I was here. NO way we knew that.

What we CAN do is talk about really broad and general trends, phenomena like the interaction of different technologies and discuss their potential impact.

But none of it is written in stone. It is entirely possible that a better solution to urban transportation problems than the Google car exists right now. The damn thing might be obsolete before it ever hits the street. We cannot know that yet.

And that wasn't the point of my rant. The point is that the old institutional way of developing tech is becoming less important. There are myriad ways of people organizing themselves globally to contribute their ideas to the solution of some of the world's biggest problems.

So behemoths like Apple and Google might just become irrelevant due to their size alone.

Their organizational structures may not be able to handle the pace of change that is starting to show up.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
16th October 13, 04:29 AM
I think the trend in medical technology will get more & more sophisticated with implants in developed countries becomming more and more normal.

Augmented reality is trying to make headway into the market at the moment. I wonder how long before implantable internet is tried by someone. Will depend on optic nerve interfaces but there is movement in that direction.

The recent spate of neuro-computer telekinesis research has massive potential. My wild prediction for that is bodies built in bioreactors, with just the primative brain stem & cerebellum, which will be controlled by the old & infirm who are kept in warehouse like facilities under the sea.

Feryk
16th October 13, 11:37 AM
Possible.

Or Augmented Reality and virtual reality continue to evolve and get closer together. At some point, you will pick your user interface for interacting with life all around you. And you will have control over your real world avatar - whatever that may be. (I predict NoB will end up as a furry).

Pie of Hate
17th October 13, 09:11 AM
I predict NoB will end up as a McFlurry.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
17th October 13, 09:39 AM
What's everyones wildest prediction? (besides Cake losing weight).

AAAAAA
17th October 13, 03:53 PM
Greg Egan has some neat ideas in his novels.

Hedley LaMarr
17th October 13, 05:06 PM
What's everyones wildest prediction? (besides Cake losing weight).
That diminishing returns and the laws of thermodynamics apply to everything in this universe including technological advancement and that eventually the personal computer/mobile device fad will level off. Quantum computing will probably be the last hoo-rah of the personal computer but in practical terms there's only so fast a computer can get before people won't be able to perceive any speed increases in entertainment media like streaming videos and games. Some people might decide to jack themselves into the hive mind but most people will continue to eat shit and die until the next fad comes around. People will continue to use technology of course but the novelty will eventually die down and people will go back to their favorite activities, namely drinking and fucking.

Pie of Hate
18th October 13, 03:57 AM
One day, technology will be cheaper to buy than bread.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
18th October 13, 08:09 AM
Glad I'm not board Hedley's future. Sounds pretty mundane & boring (except the fucking & drinking part)

Feryk
18th October 13, 10:55 AM
One thing Hedley points out - I think correctly - is that we will still be driven by the same desires we have always had. And drinking and fucking are both definitely part of that.

So imagine the impact technology can have on those two activities?

Hedley LaMarr
18th October 13, 11:23 AM
I just think the real paradigm shift in the next century will be space colonization as opposed to transhumanism. There will be transhuman cults of people jacked into hive minds but for the most part the human race will continue in it's current form for a few thousand years.

Feryk
18th October 13, 11:29 AM
Why do you think so?

We seem to want to 'connect' more and more. What makes you think that we will reach a limit, then revert back to individualism and (relatively) biological inferiority?

Hedley LaMarr
18th October 13, 12:19 PM
Why do you think so?

We seem to want to 'connect' more and more. What makes you think that we will reach a limit, then revert back to individualism and (relatively) biological inferiority?
I think experiments into human genetic engineering will create a Eugenics War not unlike the one that produced Kahn in Star Trek and humanity will eventually outlaw it. Minor changes to the genome in the general population may result from this experimentation but long term I think ideas about "purifying" the human race will end up attracting fascists who wish to use it for control of the population at large. There will be huge opposition to this and in 30-50 years humans will outlaw genetic engineering. There will of course be huge advances in medical technology which will extend our lifespans by a century or more but other than that I think we'll remain in our current form until we start evolving in different directions.

And I don't think people crave connection I think they crave the endorphin/serotonin rush created by human interaction. I think the appeal of social media like facebook is that it hacks our brain's pleasure centers by providing them with artificial human interaction. I think humans are explorers by nature and things like self improvement and exploration will become the driving forces of humanity. And at a meta level I think transhumanism will fail for the same reason socialism did - people like to be individuals. the same things that prevent pure socialism from becoming a reality will prevent transhumanism as well - some individuals with a bit more intelligence and powerlust will manipulate the system for personal glorification and subjugation and ruin it for the rest of us.

So if you, like me, are trying to genetically engineer yourself into a Time Lord (I'll be honest that's my goal) get on it right now so you can get grandfathered in before it becomes outlawed in the Federation. I'm personally planning on going to grad school to get a graduate degree in biomedical engineering.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
18th October 13, 12:55 PM
I have never thought of Transhumanism as a collective-socialist thing before. I've always considered it a potential way for individuals to improove themselves.

Hedley LaMarr
18th October 13, 01:07 PM
I have never thought of Transhumanism as a collective-socialist thing before. I've always considered it a potential way for individuals to improove themselves.
That's what collective-socialist folk thought socialism would do. That's what libertarians think deregulation will do. That's what anarchists think anarchy would do. The problem with all ideologies is that they've got no basis in human reality.

Feryk
18th October 13, 05:18 PM
That's what collective-socialist folk thought socialism would do. That's what libertarians think deregulation will do. That's what anarchists think anarchy would do. The problem with all ideologies is that they've got no basis in human reality.

You realize that you are now a threat to technological utopia. We'll see what the collective has to say about you.

Hedley LaMarr
18th October 13, 06:00 PM
You realize that you are now a threat to technological utopia. We'll see what the collective has to say about you.
As long as this utopia isn't run like British Columbia I should be able to exploit it to the fullest.

Üser Friendly
19th October 13, 08:41 AM
I'm still betting on 'The end of Civilization as we know it'

Cullion
19th October 13, 09:47 AM
What's everyones wildest prediction? (besides Cake losing weight).

We're going to see a return to a more feudal society. Ideas are going to become less and less valuable as intellectual property remains impossible to protect. All real wealth will derive from physical control of land again, and it's owners will be served by incredibly sophisticated machines. There won't really be a middle class, and the remaining thin tier of creative intelligensia who haven't amassed enough wealth to be economically independent are going to depend on noble patronage, as in the middle ages.

The vast majority of the population will have no real worth in the labour market because the machines will be so incredibly sophisticated that almost every form of labour except the incredibly creative will be replaced by automation of one form or another. Most of the population will be reduced to living like the 3rd world shanty-town dwellers of today, ekeing a living out of the garbage of the wealthy, or allowing themselves to essentially become house-serfs. Almost like pets.

It won't be that different from the movie 'Elysium', except that most of the rich people are still going to live on Earth and there aren't going to be factory, pizza delivery, farm or call-centre jobs for the proles.

Cullion
19th October 13, 09:56 AM
Incredible medical advances are going to allow conditions like multiple sclerosis, macular degeneration, dementia, arthritis etc.. to be cured in our lifetimes.

Most people won't be able to afford them, and it's increasingly going to become a sign of wealth that the person ages more slowly, living perhaps to 150 and still being sexually active and able to engage in demanding sports many decades beyond the norms of the 20th century.

This shift already seems apparent due to better diets and living conditions today (people in their 40s and 50s going to the gym, taking part in rough sports like BJJ being relatively common when it was once extremely rare), but it's going to become a lot more extreme for those who can afford the stem cell treatments.

Cullion
19th October 13, 10:01 AM
Large swathes of the new poor across the globe are going to take comfort in some variation of Islam. There will be a new charismatic Malcolm X figure who voices the concerns of the 'spare' population who aren't living so well, and they will condemn many of the advances (such as the stem cell treatments allowing 80 year old grandmothers to appear half their age and remain sexually active) as abominations and perversions.

Üser Friendly
19th October 13, 11:51 AM
...and canabalism


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmt74I501Wc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmt74I501Wc

The Bulgarian
19th October 13, 12:17 PM
Jn fvtvre all vill speakc Emerjkan end makc ze monej lice good Emerjkans

Feryk
21st October 13, 12:59 PM
Well, if Cullion is correct, then it isn't too much of a stretch to see environmentalists push for a new, greener kind of mass homicide of the poor Islamists. You know, so we can stop using up all of the Earth's resources of people who produce nothing but terrorists.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
23rd November 13, 08:55 AM
80 year old grandmothers to appear half their age and remain sexually active

Like UR MOM!

resolve
13th December 13, 11:43 AM
It's a shame none of you will live long enough to see it.

nihilist
13th December 13, 11:47 AM
Now I see what you have been waiting for.

Sinful Jock
13th December 13, 01:43 PM
It's a shame none of you will live long enough to see it.

Did you just threaten us all with death? Dude, not cool.

resolve
15th December 13, 04:14 PM
No I just threatened you all with reality. By the time these medical advances come to the forefront, get funding, get the major research out of the way, pass in-vitro/animal/human trials, and then get lawful approval we will all be too far gone to realize their usage, since most of them require a preventative approach. There may be cures for certain diseases and perhaps anti-aging products available that do really work... but at that point we will all have aged to a point where our bodies are already fractured by time enough it won't matter.

That's even if the researchers manage to crack some of the mysteries they are on the cusp of as it is, which there is no telling whether they may or may not do so.

Cullion
15th December 13, 05:04 PM
Like UR MOM!

We can but hope. It is my sincere wish, that when she passes, she passes with a smile on her face.

That is true filial piety.

nihilist
16th December 13, 12:31 AM
No I just threatened you all with reality.
Irony.

Dr. Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative Vermin
17th December 13, 06:35 AM
No I just threatened you all with reality. By the time these medical advances come to the forefront, get funding, get the major research out of the way, pass in-vitro/animal/human trials, and then get lawful approval we will all be too far gone to realize their usage, since most of them require a preventative approach. There may be cures for certain diseases and perhaps anti-aging products available that do really work... but at that point we will all have aged to a point where our bodies are already fractured by time enough it won't matter.

That's even if the researchers manage to crack some of the mysteries they are on the cusp of as it is, which there is no telling whether they may or may not do so.

You'd be surprised how far some of this stuff has made it through the developement cycle already. I know the tissue engineering group I worked with are at the human trials stage with a number of very promising cardio-vascular replacements.

Robot Jesus
1st January 14, 04:47 PM
oUhA6fjgnLY

Feryk
28th May 14, 12:26 PM
RJ, I owe you an apology. I never saw that video until now.

Some very interesting statistics in there. Gives us cause for some optimism.

NoBowie
28th May 14, 05:14 PM
http://i.imgur.com/nSJapmY.jpg

Pie of Hate
28th May 14, 05:17 PM
Some men, just want to watch...

Nah. Fuck it.

NoBowie
28th May 14, 05:26 PM
Some men just want to watch...

... their best friend fuck?

Spade: The Real Snake
28th May 14, 05:51 PM
Please tell us you are on fire.

We already know you are a flamer, but actual incendiary would be greatly appreciated.

NoBowie
28th May 14, 05:52 PM
I want to watch...

... your best friend fax?

Üser Friendly
29th May 14, 05:23 PM
Some men, just want to watch...

TV in peace

NoBowie
29th May 14, 05:29 PM
Please tell us you are on fire.

We already know you are a flamer, but actual incendiary would be greatly appreciated.

5o6vUc4ffJw

Pie of Hate
30th May 14, 03:06 AM
TV in peace

Stop setting unobtainable goals!

billy sol hurok
30th May 14, 09:11 AM
Stop setting unobtainable goats!

They're not unobtainable . . . for . . .

7UIsf95V1-Q

resolve
30th May 14, 03:59 PM
Kind of crazy the guy creep-smiling at the end played the Colonel in Avatar lol.

Spade: The Real Snake
30th May 14, 06:59 PM
Lang's been in a ton of stuff. I always think of him as Stonewall Jackson in Gods and Generals.