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Author Topic: Future World-Changing Megatrends  (Read 2480 times)
AyeYo
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August 01, 2011, 12:30:23 AM
 #21

In the spirit of the original list:

  • Lyndon LaRouche
  • Time travel
  • Unicorn disclosure

More seriously:

  • Aquifer depletion and water shortages
  • Increasing oil prices
  • Decreasing renewable energy prices
  • Automated warfare
  • Climate change
  • Additive manufacturing
  • The end of Moore's Law and failure-to-materialize of the Technological Singularity*
  • Global convergence of material standards of living

Far more speculative, but not impossible and certainly disruptive if they come to pass:

  • Molecular manufacturing as in Drexler's Engines of Creation
  • Increasing the overall human life span or just finding a way to keep people healthy and productive up until death
  • Nuclear war, even a "little" one like between Pakistan and India

*This is more of a refutation of another popular megatrend idea than a trend in itself


Whoa whoa... that shit is WAY to realistic and logical to be on this forum.

Enjoying the dose of reality or getting a laugh out of my posts? Feel free to toss me a penny or two, everyone else seems to be doing it! 1Kn8NqvbCC83zpvBsKMtu4sjso5PjrQEu1
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August 04, 2011, 08:16:02 AM
 #22

The internet.
Distributed currencies (Bitcoin), distributed DNS systems, distributed filesharing and storage (Tahoe-LAFS, torrents, etc), distributed darknets (I2P), and other distributed concepts that basically take away more and more power from centralized organizations and really build a decentralized global communication network. With the newer WiFi standards that are being worked on, for example, mesh networking becomes more feasible.

Anonymous. Or rather its concept.
While a lot of people may be convinced that it's "just about taking down sites and script kiddies playing around", this is definitely not the case. More and more serious things are starting to happen within Anonymous, now that people with a vision are starting to understand the concept, and are starting to get used to the characteristic that the good comes with the bad. People who are serious about something they want to fight for no longer run away from Anonymous because they hate "LOIC monkeys", they realize that Anonymous is not a unified group, embrace the concept and freedoms, and disregard the 'bad'. I'm not saying Anonymous as a name will have any future, because I simply can't predict it... but I think the concept of internet-originating movements that do not have a central face, ideology, or goal have a serious role in the future, allowing people to identify as one with a much lower 'entry barrier'.

Smaller self-sufficient communities.
Things like the Zeitgeist Movement and the Venus Project are of course very well known, but from my (somewhat biased) viewpoint I have the idea more and more small communities of like-minded people are popping up that try to basically 'run their own thing' - here, again, it seems the internet is often the ideal place for these people to meet. Things like the freeman-on-the-land concept may contribute to this.

Basically, the internet. I believe the internet as a global communication network without borders, allowing almost real-time communication, is one of the factors that is going to determine what the future is going to look like. That is also why I believe protecting freedom on the internet - to extreme extents - is one of the most important things at this point.
Try forgetting everything you know about the current world. Try pretending you live 50 years ago in a time there was no internet or any such thing, and someone would walk up to you and tell you there is a way to talk to millions of people around the world in real-time - people who have similar viewpoints, people who may have similar ideas. A way to collaborate with people over the world towards a common goal. What would your response be?

The internet has a massive potential to change the world and the future, you just have to realize it.

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August 04, 2011, 04:57:21 PM
 #23

Even the BBC is now reporting sightings of ET craft (and mentions the technology has been available to black projects for years):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14387365

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August 06, 2011, 01:57:21 AM
 #24

Don't forget silicone implants.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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August 06, 2011, 12:52:11 PM
 #25

Bedini Motor
Here's the patent info for the motor I believe you're speaking of:
http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=US&NR=7109671&KC=&FT=E&locale=en_EP

Looks pretty easy to build.

Violates conservation of energy. I can't work out whether TheGer is a clever troll or a total idiot
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August 06, 2011, 01:21:50 PM
 #26

Bedini Motor
Here's the patent info for the motor I believe you're speaking of:
http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=US&NR=7109671&KC=&FT=E&locale=en_EP

Looks pretty easy to build.

Violates conservation of energy. I can't work out whether TheGer is a clever troll or a total idiot

Relax. I'm sure it's neither. There's actually a very subtle distinction between force and energy and not everyone understands physics enough to know the difference. People see a magnet sticking to their refrigerator and think that it must be doing some kind of work to to stay there when it's not. Common sense tells them they should be able to harness that into something that can provide energy. It hardly makes anyone a total idiot, just slightly ignorant of physics which we are all guilty of, unless of course you understand quantum chromodynamics, etc.
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August 06, 2011, 02:51:57 PM
 #27

Bedini Motor
Here's the patent info for the motor I believe you're speaking of:
http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=US&NR=7109671&KC=&FT=E&locale=en_EP

Looks pretty easy to build.

Violates conservation of energy. I can't work out whether TheGer is a clever troll or a total idiot
Or a Juggalo.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
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August 08, 2011, 04:05:46 PM
 #28

Bedini Motor
Here's the patent info for the motor I believe you're speaking of:
http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=US&NR=7109671&KC=&FT=E&locale=en_EP

Looks pretty easy to build.

Violates conservation of energy. I can't work out whether TheGer is a clever troll or a total idiot

Relax. I'm sure it's neither. There's actually a very subtle distinction between force and energy and not everyone understands physics enough to know the difference. People see a magnet sticking to their refrigerator and think that it must be doing some kind of work to to stay there when it's not.
Unlike say the things they have taped the refrigerator.  Which are also sticking to their refrigerator and are also somehow miraculously doing no work (and by extension *also* can not be harnessed as a power source).  While I give you that explaining the mechanism of magnetism is difficult it's probably not a requirement for showing that a magnet on my refrigerator is doing no work.  This was taught pretty early on where I live only second to the idea that small differences are most likely noise.

Personally I look at this as a lack of critical reasoning skills - perhaps that's what you mean by "common sense" but it seems counter-intuitive.

I'm rather good with Linux.  If you're having problems with your mining rig I'll help you out remotely for 0.05.  You can also propose a flat-rate for some particular task.  PM me for details.
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August 08, 2011, 04:12:52 PM
 #29



  • The end of Moore's Law and failure-to-materialize of the Technological Singularity*

*This is more of a refutation of another popular megatrend idea than a trend in itself
Yes.  I am in real agreement here.  I'll assume you read some of Kurzweil's tome?  I found it kind of easy to find problems with the way he defines even simple concepts like computational power.

I'm rather good with Linux.  If you're having problems with your mining rig I'll help you out remotely for 0.05.  You can also propose a flat-rate for some particular task.  PM me for details.
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August 09, 2011, 03:59:27 AM
 #30

The Graphene age will start if - and this is a big if - we can create some kind of mill where common working men can shovel coal in one end and wind up a ten foot wide spool of industrial graphene on the other.


Annona ad! Please keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with Bitcoin itself. All it's scandals are caused by wonky websites and sleazy people exploiting it. The light attracts bugs.

When all this bullshit drys up and blows away, Bitcoin will be stronger than ever.
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August 09, 2011, 11:06:57 PM
 #31



  • The end of Moore's Law and failure-to-materialize of the Technological Singularity*

*This is more of a refutation of another popular megatrend idea than a trend in itself
Yes.  I am in real agreement here.  I'll assume you read some of Kurzweil's tome?  I found it kind of easy to find problems with the way he defines even simple concepts like computational power.

Kurzweil is an interesting guy. If you can find his earliest book, The Age of Intelligent Machines, you can see a lot of things that he predicted correctly when they looked like Star Trek fantasy to most people. You can also see the first of his repeated predictive mistakes there (in that book, like other writings since, he incorrectly predicted that voice recognition was just a few years away from dominating computer user interfaces). Most of the Singularity ideas Kurzweil popularized were first discussed on the Extropians mailing list starting in 1991. And -- interesting Bitcoin connection -- the early Extropians were also connected to the Cypherpunks movement, which started discussing secure digital communications, decentralized payments and contracts, and the other electronic building blocks of radical libertarian utopia, nearly 20 years ago. Vernor Vinge, who invented the Singularity concept, also practically invented the Cypherpunk vision in his 1981 story True Names.

I think Kurzweil is wrong about the evolution of coming technologies, particularly about how fast they're going to evolve. I think that most of his predicted technologies could some day come to pass, but I very much doubt that they're all going to arrive in the next 50 years like he does. In a way I almost feel sorry for him, because I think many of his predictions could come true on the given time scales if everyone were as bright and educated as he is. He is an exceptional person who has made the unexceptional mistake of assuming that other people are basically like him.

The fastest way to gage Kurzweil's predictive ability is to look at his predictions from The Age of Spiritual Machines. He made a lot of predictions about future decades, and we are now living in the earliest of those predicted eras. My evaluation is that he was right about some things, wrong about more things, and you can see a pattern to his mistakes. He ignores social, political, and even scientific factors that could derail his predictions, like wars, fashions, legal liability, investor expectations, the complexity of neurobiology, and so on. Even though he is wrong in the particulars I think it's good to have at least one prominent figure who is really excited about the future and believes in the power of technology to improve everything, lest we all get sucked into a gloomy vision of the future where the only excitement comes from calamities.
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August 10, 2011, 02:34:25 PM
 #32



  • The end of Moore's Law and failure-to-materialize of the Technological Singularity*

*This is more of a refutation of another popular megatrend idea than a trend in itself
Yes.  I am in real agreement here.  I'll assume you read some of Kurzweil's tome?  I found it kind of easy to find problems with the way he defines even simple concepts like computational power.

Kurzweil is an interesting guy. If you can find his earliest book, The Age of Intelligent Machines, you can see a lot of things that he predicted correctly when they looked like Star Trek fantasy to most people.
I don't have that.  I do have "Spirtual Machines" on my bookshelf but it's currently unread.  I've been at a few lectures by Kurzweil (that's where I got my copy of "Singularity").  I had wanted to ask him about quantum level effects in thought (not necessarily Penroses ideas) but they cut off questions right before I got to the mike.
 
Quote
You can also see the first of his repeated predictive mistakes there (in that book, like other writings since, he incorrectly predicted that voice recognition was just a few years away from dominating computer user interfaces).
That's interesting timing.  I recall many discussions with people over the Newton platfom that Voice Recognition would eliminate the need for a stylus on smaller devices.   Interesting how UI went sideways from there.  Keyboards are the predominant way to work with a mobile platform.

Quote
Most of the Singularity ideas Kurzweil popularized were first discussed on the Extropians mailing list starting in 1991. And -- interesting Bitcoin connection -- the early Extropians were also connected to the Cypherpunks movement, which started discussing secure digital communications, decentralized payments and contracts, and the other electronic building blocks of radical libertarian utopia, nearly 20 years ago. Vernor Vinge, who invented the Singularity concept, also practically invented the Cypherpunk vision in his 1981 story True Names.
Yeah I've read some of Vinge and I know he originated the term.  Some of his other side ideas seem plausible too.  The idea of "code archeology" mining for code that does one thing or another.   Given the way that Open Source allows the free (in variously defined senses of the term) licensing of code and the internet allowing easy access.  Cut and paste coding is very much a defacto practice (so much so it has a some proprietary vendors worried)

As an aside.  Do you read Gene Wolfe - IIRC he mentions Vinge in-story in Fifth Head of Cerebus.

Quote
I think Kurzweil is wrong about the evolution of coming technologies, particularly about how fast they're going to evolve. I think that most of his predicted technologies could some day come to pass, but I very much doubt that they're all going to arrive in the next 50 years like he does. In a way I almost feel sorry for him, because I think many of his predictions could come true on the given time scales if everyone were as bright and educated as he is. He is an exceptional person who has made the unexceptional mistake of assuming that other people are basically like him.
I agree the fifty year date is unrealistic I also think in some cases he confuses some concepts. i.e. Transistor Count is not the same as task performance.  So I'm not so sure that meeting his goals just boils down to just having more of him though. I think the saddest thing for him anyway, about his predictions is that he pretty much excludes himself from being one of the preserved.  These particular transhumanist ideas tent to remind me of the cryonics "boom" (if you can even call it that) in the early 90s and perhaps just as wishful.

Quote

The fastest way to gage Kurzweil's predictive ability is to look at his predictions from The Age of Spiritual Machines. He made a lot of predictions about future decades, and we are now living in the earliest of those predicted eras. My evaluation is that he was right about some things, wrong about more things, and you can see a pattern to his mistakes. He ignores social, political, and even scientific factors that could derail his predictions, like wars, fashions, legal liability, investor expectations, the complexity of neurobiology, and so on. Even though he is wrong in the particulars I think it's good to have at least one prominent figure who is really excited about the future and believes in the power of technology to improve everything, lest we all get sucked into a gloomy vision of the future where the only excitement comes from calamities.
To a point I agree but personally I'd rather read about more near term stuff.   For me anyway learning about even something like islet cell therapy I think is both exciting and keeps me grounded in the idea that "science is hard" and often slow.  Smiley

I'm rather good with Linux.  If you're having problems with your mining rig I'll help you out remotely for 0.05.  You can also propose a flat-rate for some particular task.  PM me for details.
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August 12, 2011, 03:47:49 AM
 #33

Why do people on the Internet think that Ron Paul has a chance of winning a general election? I mean that with all honesty, even an alien disclosure seems more realistic at this point than Ron Paul winning the Republican nomination, let alone beating Barack Obama lol.. We have a better chance throwing our support at a serious Third Party candidate than we would supporting Ron Paul. Besides his son is in the Tea Party, and has been willing to take the county down to it's knees (voting against debt deal). Sorry guys just seeing things for how they are Smiley.

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August 12, 2011, 11:39:44 PM
 #34

I agree that Kurzweil has major blind spots that contain quite a few problems for his vision of the Singularity. But in the areas where he's personally worked he has been astoundingly productive. When I say the Singularity might be near if only there were more people like Kurzweil, I meant if there were a million more people with his tremendous creativity and productivity working in different areas, not if we had a million people who'd all worked in optical character recognition and electronic music. Ironically, I'm basically saying "the precondition for an intelligence explosion is an intelligence explosion." Phrased this way, you can also see that the road to techno-utopia is mundane and counterintuitive: global access to basic health and high quality education, so that potential world-changing geniuses can grow up and reach their potential no matter where they're born or how much money their parents had. How many potential Indian geniuses have been wasted because they were born to poor rural parents and died young or spent their lives on simple survival instead of research and invention?
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August 13, 2011, 08:43:41 AM
 #35


Cash-streaming protocols, incorporating digital cash, will solve issues of resource allocation on anonymous networks and mesh networks. This will cause the Internet to grow rapidly as a decentralized and uncontrollable "organism."

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August 14, 2011, 01:23:28 PM
 #36

Why do people on the Internet think that Ron Paul has a chance of winning a general election? I mean that with all honesty, even an alien disclosure seems more realistic at this point than Ron Paul winning the Republican nomination, let alone beating Barack Obama lol.. We have a better chance throwing our support at a serious Third Party candidate than we would supporting Ron Paul. Besides his son is in the Tea Party, and has been willing to take the county down to it's knees (voting against debt deal). Sorry guys just seeing things for how they are Smiley.

Paul just came in close second in the Iowa Straw Poll.  Smiley

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August 14, 2011, 10:39:17 PM
 #37

Why do people on the Internet think that Ron Paul has a chance of winning a general election? I mean that with all honesty, even an alien disclosure seems more realistic at this point than Ron Paul winning the Republican nomination, let alone beating Barack Obama lol.. We have a better chance throwing our support at a serious Third Party candidate than we would supporting Ron Paul. Besides his son is in the Tea Party, and has been willing to take the county down to it's knees (voting against debt deal). Sorry guys just seeing things for how they are Smiley.

Paul just came in close second in the Iowa Straw Poll.  Smiley
I saw that, if he can pull off a caucus win he will shake the entire American political establishment. He will force Barack Obama to actually start being a Democrat and do some of the things he said he would do when we elected him (Decriminalize Marijuana, Close Down Guantanamo Bay, completley pull out of the middle east, and literally take on the Republican establishment head on). It would be very exciting to see, and I honestly would stay undecided till the very end. An Obama vs Romney election would be a snorefest Cheesy.

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August 15, 2011, 03:45:36 PM
 #38

I agree that Kurzweil has major blind spots that contain quite a few problems for his vision of the Singularity. But in the areas where he's personally worked he has been astoundingly productive. When I say the Singularity might be near if only there were more people like Kurzweil, I meant if there were a million more people with his tremendous creativity and productivity working in different areas, not if we had a million people who'd all worked in optical character recognition and electronic music. Ironically, I'm basically saying "the precondition for an intelligence explosion is an intelligence explosion." Phrased this way, you can also see that the road to techno-utopia is mundane and counterintuitive: global access to basic health and high quality education, so that potential world-changing geniuses can grow up and reach their potential no matter where they're born or how much money their parents had. How many potential Indian geniuses have been wasted because they were born to poor rural parents and died young or spent their lives on simple survival instead of research and invention?
Yeah I think about that too.  How many Ramanujan's and Galois's have we lost due to brutalisms in our global society.  I would even bet that this is the tip of the iceberg.  Math might well be the easiest discipline to find evidence of huge undeveloped potential.   As it is a skill one can develop from pretty simple axioms with pretty rudimentary equipment.   However it makes me wonder how many medical, engineering or social policy mavens we've lost.   How would we know if we had?

It is kind of reminiscent of Pascal's wager.

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August 16, 2011, 06:47:33 AM
 #39

I want to live in a world where Ray K. gets to live forever. Truly, I do, especially if everyone else can join him.

my pick for a megatrend:

world population stability by 2050. Growth spurt is almost over, chin up buckos! Nowhere but up from there right?

my favorite wild guess:

someone's going to pull some irreversible and significant geoengineering stunt in the face of rising and sudden global climate chaos. No idea what this might be but it will almost certainly happen.





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August 17, 2011, 04:49:16 PM
 #40

It's going to get hot until we all die.  Cry
All other trends will relate to this. Water wars, mass migrations. It's going to be ugly

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