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“LAUDATO SI’…”

Pope Francis foresees the economic difficulties in wresting AI from the hands of Wall Street: “The alliance between the economy and technology ends up sidelining anything unrelated to its immediate interests. Consequently the most one can expect is superficial rhetoric, sporadic acts of philanthropy and perfunctory expressions of concern for the environment, whereas any genuine attempt by groups within society to introduce change is viewed as a nuisance based on romantic illusions or an obstacle to be circumvented.”

Photo source: Indianexpress.comAPTOPIX Vatican Christmas

 

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Days of Future Past

I like these predictions from 1900 of life in 2000…not because they’re in the slightest bit accurate, but because they demonstrated the kind of creative thinking that you would need to exercise to conceive of life a hundred years hence. It could not be anything like what life then was like; it could not be predictable. Hence, it was as likely to contain winged firefighters, underwater croquet, and automated concert orchestras as anything else.

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A Transhumanist Calls It

The provocatively-titled 1989 book “Are You a Transhuman?” by the even more provocatively-named author “FM-2030” says:

The American presidency is slowly evolving into a ceremonial position–like the monarchies in West European countries. By the second or third decade of the new century presidential elections in the U.S. will probably have about as much significance as today’s Academy Awards. Thanks to national television presidential elections will probably grow more glitzy–but they will have less and less substance.

I think we could find much to agree with there. He goes on to attribute this waning of significance to an anticipated flourishing of electronic voting on issues (referenda), which is technologically feasible, but unappealing to those holding power.
FM-2030 was born Fereidoun M. Esfandiary but changed his name to reflect his belief that by the year 2030 humanity would have undergone a radical transformation. Human Cusp isn’t foundationally transhumanist, but does suggest a strategy that is undeniably transhuman.