[FoRK] "Is the future cancelled, or just postponed?"

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Feb 27 13:49:56 PST 2009

Well, duh.  I've been saying A) we can innovate out of whatever mess, B) 
that is pretty much the sustainable only non-pyramid method, C) it 
probably takes these kind of hard times (super-high oil/gas prices) to 
create the will / financial incentive to rock the boat enough to solve 
some of these problems (energy, etc.), and that D) most problems are 
solvable by i) cheap semi-unlimited energy and/or ii) intelligent 
augmentation / automation.

There are a whole string of missed opportunities so far that would have 
made things much different.  The irrational fear and "CYA Security" (see 
Schneier) that have held back nuclear power, for one.  Allowing 
malpractice, a billing morass, and other overhead and risk amplification 
to balloon health costs would be another.

There was a recent article in Design News (i.e. electronics / 
mechatronics / etc.) about the abusive role of government in driving 
manufacturing out of the US (and Chicago in particular) that made good 

Hard to say what the best path out of these things are.  It is clear 
that, to a large extent, oil companies are not going to overcome the 
innovator's dilemma of alternative energy.  Taxing corporations, much, 
is bad, however if the population won't agree to any increase elsewhere, 
government is going to find it hard to let that go.

And dumbasses have got to stop spewing drivel.  (Jindel about volcanos, 
Rush, et al.)  I guess we'll have to rely on better media / academics 
pointing out the errors.  It sure would be nice to be able to sue those 
that are apparently deliberately prevaricating publicly.


Jeff Bone wrote:
> Begin forwarded message:
>> From: Mark Plus <markplus at hotmail.com>
>> Date: February 27, 2009 10:48:33 AM CST
>> To: <cryonet at cryonet.org>
>> Cc: Cosmic Engineers <cosmic-engineers at googlegroups.com>, Transhuman 
>> Tech <tt at postbiota.org>, Longevity Report 
>> <longevityreport at yahoogroups.com>
>> Subject: [tt] "Is the future cancelled, or just postponed?"
>> From Alex Lightman's article of that title in the current issue of H+ 
>> Magazine:
>> http://hplusmagazine.com/
>> http://www.box.net/shared/static/fz8v4o8bdi.pdf
>> "The moral of the story is that, for those of us in our forties and 
>> up, we need to redouble our efforts at birthing problem-solving 
>> technologies, and we need to make the future happen now or never (at 
>> least within the lifetimes of adults in 2008). or we better hope that 
>> Vernor Vinge is right and that the Singularity doesn’t require 
>> anything close to a healthy economy, in which case those  
>> smarter-than-us bots can take charge and knock off all
>> of our problems like ducks in a row."
>> Mark Plus
>> _________________________________________________________________
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