From: Kaj Sotala (email@example.com)
Date: Mon May 01 2006 - 14:40:17 MDT
>From Damien Broderick:
> At 09:45 AM 5/1/2006 -0700, Bob Seidensticker wrote:
> >Michael: it sounds like you think technologies like nanotech and AGI
> >only inevitable but close. Why do you say that, given the poor record of
> >the futurist community in predicting the future? You know the long list of
> >failed predictions as well as I do -- moon bases, videophones, and so on.
> Don't you see how ludicrous this comparison is? Why not go the whole
> hog and mock the absence of gigantic zeppelins cruising the skies at
> an amazing 120 m.p.h.!! The immense wooden sailing craft that could
> circle the world in only months!!!
If you want more realistic examples, what about fusion power or
artificial intelligence, both of which have been "just around the bend"
for many years now? Or how about the nuclear economy that was going to
deliver us all limitless free, clean power forever once all the power in
the world was nuclear generated? Bob's question is valid, even if his
Concrete information about the "ETA" for different transhumanist
technologies is something that seems to pop up relatively rarely. I do
see a lot of talk about the promised benefits of technology X, and much
discussion about why it would be great to have - but often the
discussion seems to center more on "why this is great" rather than "when
will it be here and why". In part this is understandable, since
technological progress is always hard to estimate - but not having *any*
concrete estimates for the arrival dates and reasons for new
technologies does make all the talk feel an awful lot like just science
fiction and hopeful thinking...
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