Predicting the Future

Yak Wax (
Fri, 2 Jan 1998 13:47:24 -0800 (PST)

I’ve just finished reading 3001: The Final Odyssey, which attempts to
present a world 1003 years from now. Arthur C. Clarke fails
admirably, but one line will stand out to anyone even vaguely familiar
with the singularity – “Certainly, the people of 2001 who you were
just watching would not feel as utterly overwhelmed in our age as
someone from 1001 would have felt in theirs.” This comes from a 3001
new-millennium celebration television show. If progress is truly
exponential a person from 2001 transported to 3001 would several
billion times more overwhelmed than a person transported from 1001 to

Even 20 years from now computers will be a millions times more
powerful, you couldn’t even begin to imagine what to do with that kind
of power (full sensory network Quake?) If we just think about fully
entertaining the visual senses (using ubiquitous Augmented Reality),
you’ve created what any one of us would perceive as magic in 10 to 20
years. But don’t forget the rest of our sense, the ability to see,
touch, smell, taste and hear anything our high power computers can
generate anywhere anytime. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine a sensory
wish machine that can be completely invisible, yet read and interpret
your every vocal command, movement, and gesture and seamlessly overlay
whatever information you need. Full sensory magic!

Looking at politics we can already see the Internet undermining local
governments, what authority they have over their small areas cannot
stop globally connected citizens from accessing whatever information
they want. We are heading rapidly (more rapidly than I dare to guess)
to what I see as a pre-anarchic state, where government still exists
but it feeds the chaos rather than trying to impose order on it. And
everyday I hear more and more extropic thought coming from the most
unlikely of places (personally I don’t think we have to worry about
“spreading the word” – just be there when people start looking to
further their perception.)

Although I could go into reams of text about nanotechnology,
biotechnology, medicine, cloning, that’s already being covered by more
qualified list members in other threads.

It may be bullshit, but it's inspired bullshit
Get your free address at