RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 141,392
Posts: 5,505,507
Members: 25,130
Currently online: 464
Newest member: OneOfFour

TrekToday headlines

Retro Review: The Emperor’s New Cloak
By: Michelle on Dec 20

Star Trek Opera
By: T'Bonz on Dec 19

New Abrams Project
By: T'Bonz on Dec 18

IDW Publishing March 2015 Comics
By: T'Bonz on Dec 17

Paramount Star Trek 3 Expectations
By: T'Bonz on Dec 17

Star Trek #39 Sneak Peek
By: T'Bonz on Dec 16

Star Trek 3 Potential Director Shortlist
By: T'Bonz on Dec 16

Official Starships Collection Update
By: T'Bonz on Dec 15

Retro Review: Prodigal Daughter
By: Michelle on Dec 13

Sindicate Lager To Debut In The US Next Week
By: T'Bonz on Dec 12


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science and Technology

Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 24 2012, 07:07 AM   #196
Crazy Eddie
Rear Admiral
 
Crazy Eddie's Avatar
 
Location: I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

Geckothan wrote: View Post
Outside of Europe, most cars are automatic/semi-automatic/manumatic, but many high-end cars (of many formats) in Europe are now semi-automatic/manumatic. Manual gearboxes won't be going anywhere for a while here, no, but things are still heading in that direction.

I resist such technologies because they do not benefit me. Call me selfish, but hey, at least I'm smart enough to drive safely without an electronic nanny doing it for me, unlike the target market of the autonomous car.
And there are enough people out there like you that the auto-driver feature is likely to be either optional (cost extra) or overrideable for people who don't want to be driven around by a robot, or want to be able to drive by hand if they feel like it.

More likely, if you ever have to worry about not having access to a manually driven car, it'll be because you're such a decrepit old geezer that your great grandchildren don't trust you behind the wheel of anything faster than a rascal.
__________________
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Starfleet - Online Now!
Crazy Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 24 2012, 12:12 PM   #197
MacLeod
Admiral
 
Location: Great Britain
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

Geckothan wrote: View Post
Outside of Europe, most cars are automatic/semi-automatic/manumatic, but many high-end cars (of many formats) in Europe are now semi-automatic/manumatic. Manual gearboxes won't be going anywhere for a while here, no, but things are still heading in that direction.

I resist such technologies because they do not benefit me. Call me selfish, but hey, at least I'm smart enough to drive safely without an electronic nanny doing it for me, unlike the target market of the autonomous car.
It would be correct to say that a lot of technology that exists on high-end cars eventually filters down to your average car. But a lot of that technology comes out of motorsports esp. Formula 1.

The question have things like ABS, Traction Control and all the other driver aids that are on modern cars made driving safer?

Though of course it is important that drivers understand what these things will and will not do.
__________________
On the continent of wild endeavour in the mountains of solace and solitude there stood the citadel of the time lords, the oldest and most mighty race in the universe looking down on the galaxies below sworn never to interfere only to watch.
MacLeod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 24 2012, 09:20 PM   #198
RAMA
Vice Admiral
 
RAMA's Avatar
 
Location: NJ, USA
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
JoeZhang wrote: View Post
Why writing it down? It's just religious faith-based nonsense.

Unlike any of the various Raptures, the Singularity is a technological event, caused by ordinary humans, doing ordinary science, building ordinary technology which follows the ordinary laws of physics. It does not involve any religious or divine powers. It doesn’t involve outside intervention by superior or alien beings. And it’s completely within our control as a species- it will only happen when we go out and make it happen.
Which doesn't change the fact that it is a religious faith-based worldview. The meaningful element here is that you have already internalized your articles of faith:
- The Singularity is coming
- The Singularity will be a good thing
- Those who believe in the singularity will be the first to benefit from it.

The rest of this is you RATIONALIZING what you've already decided to believe. Several times, you attempted to claim that it's not irrational because it doesn't appeal to the supernatural. That is a distinction without a difference; just because you've replaced the Book of Revelations with Ghost in the Shell doesn't make your worldview any less faith-based.
Well of course, this is untrue in general, there is, as always a subculture in almost any belief/endeavor that may believe such things, and as I point out fairly frequently there is enough support to show that the conditions and developments needed are actually happening all the time around us. It's interesting to note that I've seen 2-3 fairly significant developments with AI that have been reported in the last few days, I might be one of the conservative ones with my estimates...

RAMA
__________________
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan
RAMA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 24 2012, 09:36 PM   #199
RAMA
Vice Admiral
 
RAMA's Avatar
 
Location: NJ, USA
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

Smellincoffee wrote: View Post
1. Trains, because peak oil will kill planes and cars.
2. Bicycles, because peak oil will kill busses and cars.
3. Biodigesters, because the world needs sanitation and we can't afford just cleaning waste up and then dumping it.
4. Mixed-used urban planning.
5. I imagine those touch-interfaces will become more ubiquitous.
I've covered this before but...no one really agrees when "peak oil" will occur, and those energy technologies can be supplanted by renewable energy tech and fusion. Some estimates of peak oil have been in the 2050-2100 range and we are also likely to have workable fusion before that period. In almost every single case, the people who talk about it don't take this into account in estimates(yes I have posted statistics on this)...so dont believe the hype.

Interestingly, I just saw a story today about solar powered combustion engines...hmmm

Touch interfaces will be a good interim technology but will probably be replaced by more advanced input methods in the decades to come.

RAMA

Geckothan wrote: View Post
Bisz wrote: View Post
Geckothan wrote: View Post
1. No thanks
2. Touch screen interfaces are stupid
3. No thanks, I'd rather pay with cash if I'm buying something in person
4. No I won't
5. It already does, if internet porn counts?

Also, smart phones and tablets are stupid.
...so, you're a luddite?
No, I just dislike those particular technologies. None of those things are true advances (other than the first one, which I dislike because it takes away control from the user, while bringing no real benefits to 'advanced users', which in this case refers to good drivers) and add nothing valuable to the user experience, other than adding a little convenience for some users and taking away a little convenience for other users.

Flexible screens already exist, btw, and they're quite usable, just not durable or reliable enough for real-world use yet. RFID technology and voice control aren't exactly revolutionary, either.
I believe there are statistics to show that automatic cars are safer than man driven ones--since you are perfect and never have been in an accident--but others may not be perfect like you. Personally I don't like the technology myself, but I understand the reason for it's development.

Ten years ago there was a technology discussion here on this BB about how touch screens were not practical and how would never be popular. I explained why they would be and we'd have them before the 24th century. Guess who was right?

Smart phones are a transformative and important technology for the myriads of reasons I've pointed about before. Yes I'm right on this too.

RAMA
__________________
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan
RAMA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 24 2012, 09:46 PM   #200
Chemahkuu
Vice Admiral
 
Chemahkuu's Avatar
 
Location: United Kingdom
Send a message via Yahoo to Chemahkuu
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

Double posting to side step every/hadnwave every argument in favour of it "it'll happen, you'll seeeeeeeeeeee".

You'll die and old man like the rest of us with technology better but not anywhere near what you're talking about. And for some reason you either can't or won't accept that.
__________________
"But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake."
Chemahkuu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 24 2012, 10:02 PM   #201
RAMA
Vice Admiral
 
RAMA's Avatar
 
Location: NJ, USA
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
Double posting to side step every/hadnwave every argument in favour of it "it'll happen, you'll seeeeeeeeeeee".

You'll die and old man like the rest of us with technology better but not anywhere near what you're talking about. And for some reason you either can't or won't accept that.
If you read carefully Im the one supplying arguments and evidence of its liklihood(mind you, you DO realize I know we don't have these technologies yet right?), its usually people like you who argue from linear based belief rather than sound extrapolation...as evidenced in these threads.

This linear "better technology" idea is already demonstrably untrue if you base it on the proven exponential model. You''re already wrong there, so where else will you be hmm? And yes, I already said I would likely not make it to a Singularity. I may have an outside chance at some transhuman benefits, but my ideas don't hinge on actually experiencing them. This is a case where Kurzweil and I diverge. I am extremely healthy though.

RAMA
__________________
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan
RAMA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 25 2012, 02:33 AM   #202
Crazy Eddie
Rear Admiral
 
Crazy Eddie's Avatar
 
Location: I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

RAMA wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post


Unlike any of the various Raptures, the Singularity is a technological event, caused by ordinary humans, doing ordinary science, building ordinary technology which follows the ordinary laws of physics. It does not involve any religious or divine powers. It doesn’t involve outside intervention by superior or alien beings. And it’s completely within our control as a species- it will only happen when we go out and make it happen.
Which doesn't change the fact that it is a religious faith-based worldview. The meaningful element here is that you have already internalized your articles of faith:
- The Singularity is coming
- The Singularity will be a good thing
- Those who believe in the singularity will be the first to benefit from it.

The rest of this is you RATIONALIZING what you've already decided to believe. Several times, you attempted to claim that it's not irrational because it doesn't appeal to the supernatural. That is a distinction without a difference; just because you've replaced the Book of Revelations with Ghost in the Shell doesn't make your worldview any less faith-based.
Well of course, this is untrue in general, there is, as always a subculture in almost any belief/endeavor that may believe such things, and as I point out fairly frequently there is enough support to show that the conditions and developments needed are actually happening all the time around us.
Correction: there is plenty to to show that the conditions and developments needed are well within the reach of humanity. To use a concrete example: you once cited an iPhone based electronic guitar pick as evidence for small startup companies being able to develop new mobile software without huge overhead. While I am not sure what you believed that proves, it wouldn't really demonstrate much for Singularity theory unless that particular company/invention had been developed by some ambitious peasants in Kenya using only their $40 tablets and a kickstarter account. As it stands, it was developed by IIRC a couple of grad students from California; SSDD.

What you've pointed out, in other words, is ordinary technological progress. But the singularity isn't purely about technology, because it's supposed to be a realized EVENT, not a realized POTENTIAL. Put simply, we're not making equivalent SOCIAL progress to bring that about, especially in the developing world where hyper conservative dictatorships continue to hold sway and where centuries-old ethnic/religious/political rivalries continue to cause wars and upheavals.

There's a concept I used in one of my books, something called the "global ghetto." Essentially the idea is that certain technologies reach a threshhold of power and affordability where they allow the peasants of the world to cheaply empower themselves and then compete directly with the elite capitalist class of the developed world. That's no small/incremental technology that would do that; something like an economical brain machine interface with full memetic integration (the ability to directly upload/download working knowledge) would be the IT equivalent of the atomic bomb: it would completely uproot the existing economic power structure and clear the path for a whole generation of upstart entrepreneurs to expand and thrive in a world that otherwise would have crushed them underfoot. And even this is in no way enough to bring about the Singularity.

It's interesting to note that I've seen 2-3 fairly significant developments with AI that have been reported in the last few days...
I've seen 2 or 3 fairly interesting squirrels in the past few days. That doesn't mean squirrels are getting smarter.
__________________
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Starfleet - Online Now!
Crazy Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 25 2012, 08:06 PM   #203
MacLeod
Admiral
 
Location: Great Britain
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

RAMA wrote: View Post
Smellincoffee wrote: View Post
1. Trains, because peak oil will kill planes and cars.
2. Bicycles, because peak oil will kill busses and cars.
3. Biodigesters, because the world needs sanitation and we can't afford just cleaning waste up and then dumping it.
4. Mixed-used urban planning.
5. I imagine those touch-interfaces will become more ubiquitous.
I've covered this before but...no one really agrees when "peak oil" will occur, and those energy technologies can be supplanted by renewable energy tech and fusion. Some estimates of peak oil have been in the 2050-2100 range and we are also likely to have workable fusion before that period. In almost every single case, the people who talk about it don't take this into account in estimates(yes I have posted statistics on this)...so dont believe the hype.

Interestingly, I just saw a story today about solar powered combustion engines...hmmm

Touch interfaces will be a good interim technology but will probably be replaced by more advanced input methods in the decades to come.

RAMA

Geckothan wrote: View Post
Bisz wrote: View Post

...so, you're a luddite?
No, I just dislike those particular technologies. None of those things are true advances (other than the first one, which I dislike because it takes away control from the user, while bringing no real benefits to 'advanced users', which in this case refers to good drivers) and add nothing valuable to the user experience, other than adding a little convenience for some users and taking away a little convenience for other users.

Flexible screens already exist, btw, and they're quite usable, just not durable or reliable enough for real-world use yet. RFID technology and voice control aren't exactly revolutionary, either.
I believe there are statistics to show that automatic cars are safer than man driven ones--since you are perfect and never have been in an accident--but others may not be perfect like you. Personally I don't like the technology myself, but I understand the reason for it's development.

Ten years ago there was a technology discussion here on this BB about how touch screens were not practical and how would never be popular. I explained why they would be and we'd have them before the 24th century. Guess who was right?

Smart phones are a transformative and important technology for the myriads of reasons I've pointed about before. Yes I'm right on this too.

RAMA
I doubt automatic cars are safer than manual cars, becuase they are still controlled by a person.
__________________
On the continent of wild endeavour in the mountains of solace and solitude there stood the citadel of the time lords, the oldest and most mighty race in the universe looking down on the galaxies below sworn never to interfere only to watch.
MacLeod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 26 2012, 09:59 PM   #204
Talosian
Lieutenant Commander
 
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

It's intriguing to me how pessimistic about technological progress most people are on a forum devoted to Star Trek and related science fiction.

Instead of responding to the fringe singularity movement by saying well actually we can expect progress in a, b, and c, but not necessarily d and e, we just have a broad lampooning of any sincere optimism in the future.

This is in contrast to attitudes prevalent as recently as the 1960's. This confirms Peter Thiel's observation that people no longer believe not just in the future, but in much of anything anymore. He goes on to note that in such a period of "political atheism" and I would add technological atheism, to be a contrarian is to be the rare person with sincere belief.

Edit: I would add that it's obvious that an age of unbelief of technology would not produce something like the original Star Trek today. Even its remake exemplifies the shift of the zeitgeist. I'm with Neal Stephenson on this one: we need more techno-optimism in science fiction and our popular culture in general. We may have been badly oversold on the future in the 20th century but our current pessimism is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of stagnation.
Talosian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 26 2012, 10:38 PM   #205
sojourner
Admiral
 
sojourner's Avatar
 
Location: I'm at WKRP
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

Oh I believe technology will do wonderful things in the future and look forward to it. I just don't think that in 40 years we'll be living in the garden of eden with all of our problems solved.
__________________
Baby, you and me were never meant to be, just maybe think of me once in a while...
sojourner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 27 2012, 01:58 PM   #206
Deks
Rear Admiral
 
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

Except that, people continuously ignore ever increasing levels of automation and don't think its an actual threat and live under the false notion that 'somehow' new jobs are just going to materialize, even though the rate at which new economies grow is basically at an all times low.

Mind you, automation technology is DECADES old, and now its becoming that much more cheap enough for implementation on an even large scale (a lot of the production industry is already automated) - the rate of which its becoming cheaper (from a monetary point of view of course) is also accelerating.
In the next decade alone, molecular manufacturing along with extreme levels of automation are going to take over in large portions (even though we could implement it today).
Majority of manual labor will be completely replaced by automation - and once that happens, the economy will eventually crash (this will probably occur in the next 20 years, at most, though a huge crisis is probably going to hit in the next decade or so) because the rate at which machines will be replacing humans (in ALL fields) is inevitably going to be faster compared to the rate at which Humans can retrain (this is already happening).
Also, 'growth' of new jobs is not that likely in the face of technological automation. Why use humans if you can automate it in the first place? And don't kid yourself that we cannot do this. It will actually be easier to automate specific tasks that to spend time training Humans to do this (again, already happening).

The question remains is... what then?
Well, here's an idea.
In order to make the transition as smooth as possible (and you know... avoid devastation of massive proportions born out of ignorance), educating the global population with relevant general education would be paramount.
We already had the technology and resources for over 100 years to solve most of the problems we have on the planet - was never implemented due to notions of 'cost efficiency' and profits (and of course the preservation of the current socio-economic system which favors the minority in positions of power).

Full scale automation is going to eventually take over and no one is 'irreplaceable' in this regard.

Living in a 'garden of eden' might not be far fetched actually given that we had the ability to transform the entire planet with the technology at our disposal in 1974 to such a state in 10 years time (today, it can be done in less than a decade).

Whether or not we do it sooner rather than later comes out to how well the global population is educated on these matters.
Right now, things are changing because we live in the age of global communications where a decent level of the global population has access to relevant information.

The more relevant general information people are being exposed to, the less so will they be prone to being manipulated and used by those currently in power, and will be able to govern themselves in turn (which will eventually completely negate the need for governments and people in positions of power - though the political system is already in the stage where decision making is being delegated to machines at varying levels - this will only increase).
Once the crash happens, it will probably come down to the global population on where to take things next, or they will already live in such a highly automated world that they will basically have to do away with 'money' altogether because they will finally realize just how irrelevant it actually is.

And since the notion of 'working for a living' will already be outdated in the face of our technological reality (which has already been here for some time, it just takes longer to be implemented due to money), there's a good possibility it will encourage a different setting.

So... 40 years is a time-frame in which most of the global problems could be eliminated seeing the rate at which automation is being incorporated (although it could be done sooner - but educating the global population takes a bit of time) - and we certainly have the means to get rid of most of the worlds problems.
But it wouldn't be a 'perfection' or 'utopia' - just a lot better than what we have now (although, comparing that to what we have now may seem like a 'utopia' to many people seeing how most aren't even aware of what we can actually do).
__________________
We are who we choose to be but also have predefined aspects of our personalities we are born with, and make art that defines us.

Last edited by Deks; November 27 2012 at 02:13 PM.
Deks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 28 2012, 05:36 AM   #207
Crazy Eddie
Rear Admiral
 
Crazy Eddie's Avatar
 
Location: I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

Talosian wrote: View Post
Edit: I would add that it's obvious that an age of unbelief of technology would not produce something like the original Star Trek today. Even its remake exemplifies the shift of the zeitgeist. I'm with Neal Stephenson on this one: we need more techno-optimism in science fiction and our popular culture in general.
This would be the same Neal Stephenson that predicted (if semi-satirically) the wholesale privatization of the United States? The same Neal Stephenson who -- much LESS satirically -- depicted the resurgence of the fanatical "Fists of Righteous Harmony" via the availability of cheap nanotech weapons?

I think Neal Stephenson doth protest too much.

We may have been badly oversold on the future in the 20th century but our current pessimism is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of stagnation.
Except scifi writers don't drive technological development, hence there's nothing self-fulfilling about that prophecy. If anything, the pessimists are simply less naive than the previous generation of science fiction fans and have a more realistic vision of the kinds of things progress could be expected to change.

It's also worth pointing out that techno-optimism may be more cultural than anything else. It was easy to be optimistic during the Great Society and the Baby Boom, when America rode a tidal wave of economic growth in the aftermath of World War-II and it seemed like a whole new world was just around the corner. The younger generation has, by comparison, experienced little else but slow stagnation ever since, punctuated by welcome (if isolated) social and technological progress, juxtapositioned with widespread-yet- subtle regression. As an example, contrast American science fiction over the last sixty years with, say, European or Japanese fiction. You'll find the latter two have ALWAYS been guardedly pessimistic, which is partly why Japanese science fiction didn't really resonate with American audiences until the children of the 80s discovered cynicism.
__________________
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Starfleet - Online Now!
Crazy Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 28 2012, 09:09 PM   #208
RAMA
Vice Admiral
 
RAMA's Avatar
 
Location: NJ, USA
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

sojourner wrote: View Post
Oh I believe technology will do wonderful things in the future and look forward to it. I just don't think that in 40 years we'll be living in the garden of eden with all of our problems solved.
No one said that would happen, only that many problems can be solved to REACH a singularity, after that all bets are off.

RAMA
__________________
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan
RAMA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 28 2012, 09:29 PM   #209
RAMA
Vice Admiral
 
RAMA's Avatar
 
Location: NJ, USA
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Which doesn't change the fact that it is a religious faith-based worldview. The meaningful element here is that you have already internalized your articles of faith:
- The Singularity is coming
- The Singularity will be a good thing
- Those who believe in the singularity will be the first to benefit from it.

The rest of this is you RATIONALIZING what you've already decided to believe. Several times, you attempted to claim that it's not irrational because it doesn't appeal to the supernatural. That is a distinction without a difference; just because you've replaced the Book of Revelations with Ghost in the Shell doesn't make your worldview any less faith-based.
Well of course, this is untrue in general, there is, as always a subculture in almost any belief/endeavor that may believe such things, and as I point out fairly frequently there is enough support to show that the conditions and developments needed are actually happening all the time around us.
Correction: there is plenty to to show that the conditions and developments needed are well within the reach of humanity. To use a concrete example: you once cited an iPhone based electronic guitar pick as evidence for small startup companies being able to develop new mobile software without huge overhead. While I am not sure what you believed that proves, it wouldn't really demonstrate much for Singularity theory unless that particular company/invention had been developed by some ambitious peasants in Kenya using only their $40 tablets and a kickstarter account. As it stands, it was developed by IIRC a couple of grad students from California; SSDD.

What you've pointed out, in other words, is ordinary technological progress. But the singularity isn't purely about technology, because it's supposed to be a realized EVENT, not a realized POTENTIAL. Put simply, we're not making equivalent SOCIAL progress to bring that about, especially in the developing world where hyper conservative dictatorships continue to hold sway and where centuries-old ethnic/religious/political rivalries continue to cause wars and upheavals.

There's a concept I used in one of my books, something called the "global ghetto." Essentially the idea is that certain technologies reach a threshhold of power and affordability where they allow the peasants of the world to cheaply empower themselves and then compete directly with the elite capitalist class of the developed world. That's no small/incremental technology that would do that; something like an economical brain machine interface with full memetic integration (the ability to directly upload/download working knowledge) would be the IT equivalent of the atomic bomb: it would completely uproot the existing economic power structure and clear the path for a whole generation of upstart entrepreneurs to expand and thrive in a world that otherwise would have crushed them underfoot. And even this is in no way enough to bring about the Singularity.

It's interesting to note that I've seen 2-3 fairly significant developments with AI that have been reported in the last few days...
I've seen 2 or 3 fairly interesting squirrels in the past few days. That doesn't mean squirrels are getting smarter.
"Ordinary technological progress" apparently isn't really what most people including the technologically oriented thought it was. That frame of reference is changing.

I believe I posted articles about social progress and the associated evolution of the brain that would mitigate your ideas on the subjects. I established economic (in fact, the changes you describe were already happening, not all at once, but since the 60s, where the UN statistics show a profound change amongst the poorest of humanity) , educational, political (the disappearing dictator) violence facts that can be argued for as great social change for humanity over the centuries and even more so in the last few decades. I established how the forward thrust of a singularity relies not on one thing but a multi-faceted set of advancements. I even posted an article that contradicts your idea that evolution has nothing to do with technology. I still feel these arguments are correct.

I also argued before that a transhumanist future will take over for natural selection (and since then have had my position bolstered in several quarters, not least of which is Stephen Hawking), making the idea of a continued linear progress in culture, society also come into question. I feel these were rather obvious but it's nice to know I'm backed by "experts" on this. This change can either be positive or negative, though I feel on a personal level we might become "enlightened" to the point social problems may disappear. It could also lead to the Borg, I really am not sure...point is the chance is there and by acknowledging it, we might shape it.

RAMA
__________________
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan
RAMA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 28 2012, 09:46 PM   #210
RAMA
Vice Admiral
 
RAMA's Avatar
 
Location: NJ, USA
Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
Talosian wrote: View Post
Edit: I would add that it's obvious that an age of unbelief of technology would not produce something like the original Star Trek today. Even its remake exemplifies the shift of the zeitgeist. I'm with Neal Stephenson on this one: we need more techno-optimism in science fiction and our popular culture in general.
This would be the same Neal Stephenson that predicted (if semi-satirically) the wholesale privatization of the United States? The same Neal Stephenson who -- much LESS satirically -- depicted the resurgence of the fanatical "Fists of Righteous Harmony" via the availability of cheap nanotech weapons?

I think Neal Stephenson doth protest too much.

We may have been badly oversold on the future in the 20th century but our current pessimism is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of stagnation.
Except scifi writers don't drive technological development, hence there's nothing self-fulfilling about that prophecy. If anything, the pessimists are simply less naive than the previous generation of science fiction fans and have a more realistic vision of the kinds of things progress could be expected to change.

It's also worth pointing out that techno-optimism may be more cultural than anything else. It was easy to be optimistic during the Great Society and the Baby Boom, when America rode a tidal wave of economic growth in the aftermath of World War-II and it seemed like a whole new world was just around the corner. The younger generation has, by comparison, experienced little else but slow stagnation ever since, punctuated by welcome (if isolated) social and technological progress, juxtapositioned with widespread-yet- subtle regression. As an example, contrast American science fiction over the last sixty years with, say, European or Japanese fiction. You'll find the latter two have ALWAYS been guardedly pessimistic, which is partly why Japanese science fiction didn't really resonate with American audiences until the children of the 80s discovered cynicism.

What has happened is that people, including if not especially sci-fi writers have become enamored with dystopias, and now when shown that it might not have to be that way, they become defensive. Techo-optimism may never be what it was in the 50s, but we've blown past that, to a point where we don't think it, we live and create it. When I see otherwise good movies like Looper that is basically a dystopia set in a traditional futuristic world, I don't see potential reality. I don't see good extrapolation.
__________________
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan
RAMA is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:08 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.