By Mark Stevenson
while all at once faced together with his personal mortality, Mark Stevenson- a author, deep-thinker, and stand-up comedian-began to contemplate what the longer term holds for our species. "The earlier is a international country," writes Stevenson. "By my research it is a bit like France-in that i have been to elements of it and eaten a few great nutrients there. however the destiny? the long run is an unknown territory-and there is no such thing as a guidebook." hence, his ambition was once born.
Stevenson set out easily, asking, "What's next?" after which traveled the globe in pursuit of the solutions. alongside the way in which, he visited the Australian outback to go to the farmers who can keep us from weather swap, met a robotic with temper swings, and talked to the Spaniard who is placing a resort in area. whereas a few will be crushed, or perhaps dismayed by way of the looming realities of genome sequencing, man made biology, a nuclear renaissance, and carbon scrubbing, Stevenson is still, good, confident. Drawing on his singular humor and storytelling to collapse those occasionally advanced discoveries, An Optimist's journey of the Future paints a perfectly readable, and entirely enchanting portrait of the place we are going to be after we develop up- and why it truly is no longer so scary.
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Additional resources for An Optimist's Tour of the Future: One Curious Man Sets Out to Answer "What's Next?"
The map in question was the result of the first coast-to-coast overland exploration of the United States and the ‘trusted aide’ was Meriwether Lewis. ’ Seventeen years earlier, a man called George Church and a handful of his peers suggested making the map Clinton was referring to: a completed ‘human genome’ – a writing down of the genetic cookbook from which each human is uniquely baked. It’s a cookbook small enough to be stored in nearly every one of your cells but contains enough information to explain why one bag of mostly oxygen, hydrogen and carbon is Bill Clinton, while a similar quantity of exactly the same stuff is you.
I suddenly realise that for these assembled academics, the prospect of fundamental alterations of our biology (including radical life extension and human enhancement) is a given. They’re not talking about what happens if it becomes possible, they’re discussing what we might do when it’s an option. And this worries many transhumanist critics. ’ The seminar ends, and as the attendees dissipate (several I notice lighting cigarettes as they leave the building), I introduce myself to my host. Professor Bostrom is tall and slim with fine blond hair falling over a large forehead.
This is my lightbulb moment when I ‘get’ the transhumanist view of the future and why they think it’s inevitable. ’ and they’ll probably say no. Ask the same person if we should continue to battle disease, they’ll almost certainly say yes, me included. Transhumanism won’t arrive in a revolution, it’ll arrive one therapy at a time. Fading eyesight? Try large print. Now these spectacles. Now contact lenses. Now laser eye surgery. Now stem cell therapy to return your eye to its former youth. ) Bad hearing?