Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Day 23 - Worst Case Scenarios

I've been reading Open The Future for a while now; in some of the things that I think about in connection with science and science fiction it has certainly helped make me aware of things that futurists think about, the level of complexity that they go to in working on their predictions.

In my work that I've been doing with the graduate school I've been thinking about themes for workshops that are going to be run over the next nine months for first year graduate students. Some of these are on things like the future of energy production, meeting the water needs of a growing global population and something that I think is really exciting: "mind and the future of humanity".

Whilst doing some browsing on Open The Future I came across an eschatological taxonomy, that is a classification of end of the world scenarios. While the results get more and more unsettling as you read down, they're also really interesting to read just what it would take for these situations.

Case X is supposed to be the kind of ultimate direction we're headed according to some writers: humanity evolves into hyper-intelligences living alongside artificial intelligences running on computing platforms of smart matter, orbiting in shells surrounding the sun, planets dismantled to make more smart matter, every piece of matter in the solar system just soaking up sunlight and thinking, thinking, thinking...

(Case X+X in the comments of the taxonomy made me laugh out loud. Luckily no-one was around)

How optimistic/pessimistic are you about the future of the world/human race? Where do you see us heading?

No comments: