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The Future.

Ivory11

Star
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Location
Australia
So I have been watching these "future technology" documentaries, and unlike previous things I've bought up on here, I really feel this one will bring up some healthy discussion without any snapping at each other.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYOmZlTjsQ0

this first one is about "future trains" various concepts and some that have gone into prototype stage and some even in use today, clean energy, cost effective methods of transport, the ability to move millions of people per hour at low cost, high efficiency and in the case of some, the ability to power themselves, I know that many of these concepts are pipe-dreams at best and many places on earth would never approve the costs and time it would take to implement it (time and money, the two things that really change the world and no-one wants to use it for good) but what are your thoughts?

and the second video here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbQeABIoO6A

now we're into the meat of future technologies, weapons! what do you think of these? do you think they will only lead to death and destruction? or do you think the technology used in them will lead to civilian applications like the microwave and the internet before them?

I would love to see some discussion on what you think these breakthroughs, concepts and the such could mean for humanity... or if they'd even be permitted by the governing bodies that decide the implementation of such things?
 

DeusExMachina

Planetoid
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
First of all it is quite refreshing to see someone actually take an interest in the future of humanity specially in concert with our technological advancement.

But you seem to miss the really interesting point that come with this. Although new developments in transportation are exciting and could make our lives a lot more comfortable and new weapons technology could, and probably will, unlock untold destructive potential but when it comes to impact on our society and what it means to be human it is barely scratching the surface.

The really interesting part of new technologies, especially in our current time, is the possibility to connect closer with technology.

We see this development in our daily lives. We use our phone and the internet as more important means of communication and socialization. Search engines like google greatly extend the amount of knowledge and data available to us at all times. We see language and culture changing due to the internet.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you start getting into human augmentation technology, intelligence amplification, AI, substrate independent mind and other technologies in their early to infant stages as of now there arises a real discussion on a lot of social issues, the nature and desirability of the human condition, the treatment of artificial life and some other philosophical issues concerning identity, individuality and a few other topics.

Personally I embrace these technologies and the change they bring with open arms as they allow us to become so much more than just that one species of mammal the came down from the trees some thousands of years ago.

This could be the next big revolution in our history. After the agricultural, the industrial and the digital revolution now a human revolution is on the horizon. And I couldn't be more excited for it.
 

Marcus

Moon
Joined
May 4, 2013
Exciting times in bio tech coming up. In the near future it might be possible for someone to heat up the bath water, adjust the air conditioning, and have music play by sending instructions via the internet on the way to home from office.

Weapons certainly would have civilian applications. Exo skeletons for troops may be adjusted to be used by the disabled or the elderly.

In the next 20 years, we may see the first steps towards a permanent human presence on Mars, something I feel is vital given the overpopulation and tremendous strain we are placing on our planet's resources.

We may see the commercialization of space, with corporates engaging in space mining on near earth asteroids or the moon.

All the while there might be a steady march towards the creation of a true Artificial Intelligence and the potential Technological Singularity that event might bring.
 

DeusExMachina

Planetoid
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
What I'm looking forward the most is actually the opposition to all that.
The ones against human augmentation, against artificial intelligence and all the rest.
I mean just look at the world now. We got people, politicians even, telling us that evolution is a bunch of lies straight from the pit of hell (that's a quote unfortunately), that abortion is murder and genetic engineering is forbidden tampering with a perfect and divine creation.
Right now we got irrational people defending their positions derived from their belief in an imaginary friend and ancient desert fairy tales with the flimsiest of arguments, usually riddled with fallacies or full on lies, all because some book told them to.
Just imagine their squirming and yelling when we start changing what it means to be human or genetically modify children before they are even born. Imagine their confusion when a computer can demolish their position while arguing polite and friendly, understanding their pain.
This is going to be one hell of a ride.
 

ShadowsLitany

Lurker in the Shadows
Welcoming Committee
Joined
Oct 17, 2014
Location
USA
When you have such things as restrictions on cloning research and stem cell experimentation except in specific or certain cases the idea of biological modification becomes lessened as opposition to such things will come rather quickly. People will fear biological enhancement and focus on the worst aspects of it, nothing stops progress like a good strawman and all the opposition will focus on is the abuse. A future like Gattaca where scanning of progeny to remove specific defects is slightly here, with many hereditary diseases or physical conditions detectable before birth, cleaning them up is another matter and would probably find much resistance by those who believe that messing around with genes and the "natural order" is an affront to some deity or religious order.

It would be nice to see military technologies come out to the general populace more on the scale that the "space race" did, where advancements made by the government made their way into everyone's lives. Now its private investment, where things like cell phones and portable computers have made processing information more transportable and reach into everyday lives; only because someone or some company is making a profit on it. If there is a need to advance transportation it will happen because the entrenched technologies or those using them will make money, consider how greening technologies exist for things like cleaning coal exhaust but are resisted because of cost. Great leaps are going to be few and far between until someone devises something revolutionary that will really change the way we view the world or interact. Even then you will more than likely find politicians ruining it as they will seek to control, or exploit, any great advancement.

Change is constant, but many resist change to a point of ridiculousness.
 

DeusExMachina

Planetoid
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Most of the time the problem with those resisting these changes, especially when it comes to any kind of human enhancement technology, seems to be that they don't understand it and its implications.
I like to compare this to evolution. A lot of people still call evolution a lie or 'just a theory' (not knowing what theory means in the scientific community) and attempt to disprove it. And when you look at their arguments you instantly know they don't even have a high school level of understanding of the subject. Strawmaning a position is one thing, but butchering it is something else entirely.
Also the media (not just the mass media mind you) isn't really helping either. Basically every science fiction story with an advanced civilization or society that takes place within that civ/soc is a technologically induced dystopia.
The genetic form of racism (Gattaca), an AI running amok (Matrix, ...) and the list goes on and on.
Utipias don't make for good stories unfortunately.
Also there is the problem of a lot of people making it about them.
Gay marriage is one of those issues where it is apparent. One of the usual arguments is that it would make traditional marriage worthless. That it would cheapen their marriage, when it has really nothing to do with them, no one is talking about forcing them to marry someone of their own sex, that would be ridiculous.
Similarly no one is talking about forcing prenatal diagnosis and gene therapy on every unborn child (even though you could make a moral argument for it) and no one wants to take your body apart and replace it with artificial parts.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2015
Location
Bathing in the Lovely Moonlight
Ah, yes, technology. I'll concentrate on the weapons part because I believe that has much more issue to talk about. I do not know why people need to invent and develop weapons. Why can't we just live in harmony. The money and energy and time involved in making these technologies can be allotted somewhere else that can benefit humanity. It's just ridiculous to think just because we can create such weapons of high destruction we should do so.
 
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