>Techno-Optimism v Pessimism

From: Spudboy100@aol.com
Date: Mon Jan 17 2000 - 06:39:36 MST

I have watched these posts over the months and have often wondered, from a
futurist point of view; why is everyone so techno-optimistic? It seems as if
everyone lack that bit of pessimismus (using the Teutonic adjective) that
might serve as a reality-check. What brings this to mind, for me, is an
article written by Sir Winston Churchill back in 1931 for the New York Times
(I am guessing it was the 'Times') that echoed Aldous Huxley's forecast of
test-tube fetal gestation (babies from zygote to birth-under glass) that
would be part of the world of the 1970's.

I also remember reading some article by J.B.S. Haldane writing of (during
WW2) breakthroughs in biology that would lead to synthetically-grown foods;
which as a side-effect would turn the sea's purple (rhodopsin?). In the
fullness of future history, I am sure that everyone who is optimistic will be
proven correct.

What I wonder about, is why most people here believe that all this can and
will be achieved by 2050 or 2099 at the absolute latest? Things like
massive-scale nano-production, solar power based on nano, human consciousness
that gets absorbed into a vastly, powerful computer system. Why in Century
21, rather then century 26? Reading about the development of technology from
 BBC\ITN journalist James Burke; one can see that all technical developments
are affected profoundly by societal decisions and wants. Who can say that
things will not drag on in some areas-even of in computation-technology soars

(Answer: computation will drive other technologies as they are now driving
pharamceutical development in un-covering drugs that are the most effective
v. ineffectual compounds) See, even I wax happy, sometimes.

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