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Old December 27 2012, 05:08 PM   #13
RAMA
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Re: Information age to "Hybrid Age"

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Rama, nevermind the trolls.

TrekBBS seems to attract, paradoxically enough, a gang of anti-technological misanthropes.

It's sad, but the West has been overtaken by pessimism. This is not merely an effect, but a major cause of the economic slowdown of Europe and North America recent years, even prior to the great recession.
I find it ironic and amusing that sites like this has such a regression and anti-thinking-out-of-the-box predilection. I didn't think it would be possible 20 years ago, but while disappointing I suppose it doesn't surprise me anymore, like most people sci fi fans tend to like what's comfortable, which is why nostalgia is so powerful. Nothing wrong with nostalgia of course, only that it keeps people thinking backwards instead of forwards if delved in too deeply (like TOS "purists).

Here we are on the eve of incredible advancements, ones that can even help absolve us of our technological mistakes and human misery, and we are fighting it tooth and nail.

Most telling..I read an article a few days ago that suggests those who work in these technologies: AI, software, robotics, biotech are often the most pessimistic, and it's because their work has to be approached on this basis..hence their often negative reaction in media to the claims made for future AI, Singularity, etc. and sometimes there are roadblocks, but overall, the curve still turns upwards. You won't hear them tout those successes unless they are visionaries! In their eyes, there is the inexorable, never-ending task of development, deadlines, and progress. It's hard to be really satisfied when progress is never-ending.
No one's fighting anything, you're just upset that people aren't lapping up the Kurzweil Kool-Aid.

I'm a huge fan of technology and what it can and will do for us in the future. I just don't presume to think that any one person knows what the future will look like. That is what I consider "boxed-in": the belief that the future will look any certain way that we can predict right now. The fact is, we are notoriously bad at predicting the future, because technology isn't driven by any one factor. It's not driven just by what a bunch of eggheads imagine, nor what a megacorp's bean counters think will sell. It's a confluence of many factors that are difficult to track, measure, and predict.

I prefer to keep my options open.
I'm not upset at all. I'm trying to tell you the paradigm has changed, while no one is a prophet, we have systems available to predict the future with greater accuracy than ever before. Therefore we have the ability to affect more than ever...it's reinforcing...see how that works?

What I meant by fighting tooth and nail is the fact that humans are short-sighted...we pine for the past, eras which were supposed golden ages, when the very best we ever were is right now...even with all our imperfections. People want to bury their heads in the sand, they want to ignore technological change(how often have you heard people who use smartphone say they hate technology, or even see people choosing old phones over new ones)..it appears natural human instinct to do so as the information age expands, nostalgia flourishes(in the USA slightly less than in most countries, which to me is the only REAL world reason America is a superpower and so cool to be in)....here is where it gets good...we don't have to be that way...trans-humanism can mean expanding our human "RAM" and storage, as smartphoes, laptops, google etc are already doing to a degree. Sharing ideas, knowledge in real-time from our minds to a network can change human perception, change our provincialism as a species, mitigate tribal or political bias. It can change our perception of time to something more akin with reality. If you consider this boxed in, I feel sorry for you.
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It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan
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