Plausible tomorrows

Perspectives on the future by one of the top VCs ever below in the link

What are your thoughts on what 2035 will look like?

How about 2050?

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I think the elite look toward the future differently. For us masses I see a dystopian controlled socialist society. Pick you sci fi flick and fill in the blanks.

My sci fi book choice is one I just started - Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake . A troubling rebuttal to dimwitted capital venturers plausible tomorrows. (and a great read - damn Atwood is an amazing writer/thinker)

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Perhaps in general / politics / culture wise. But as it pertains to technology it generally tends to lift all boats?

Everyone has a more powerful smartphone that is more powerful than the computer, carphone, walkman etc that the wealthiest people on the world just 10-15 years ago.

Things like below should probably help us all? Seems even like the types of things in this slide may help the masses more than the elites - who already have access to concierge doctors and tutors?

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You’re assuming that the technology will be benevolent, and accurate. This tech, in my opinion will be used to manipulate rather than improve.

I will eat the insects and I will be happy. But in exchange give me biological immortality and a (virtual) paradise.

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No, I think there will be a lot of issues (as was the case when we got automobiles, electricity, etc) and also that where will be biases.

But I think in the same way that the gap was much larger between a peasant and king 200 years ago vs today

… and the “peasant” today in the developed world can live a safer, more well off, more healthy and access better food, housing and healthcare than even the most well of kings could 200 or even 100 years ago

The gap between the masses and the elites can continue to shrink and become smaller with a lot of the technology that is on its way.

The range of outcomes are large - and there are corner cases.

But generally the pattern is like it is for iPhones and medicines. The first versions are expensive and not as available to the masses, but relatively soon there after the marginal costs matter more than the initial fixed R&D costs and prices are driven down and masses can access too.

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All bow to Klaus Schwab.

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What will AI do once it is smarter than us (not far off), and it has been programmed by liberals who want a woke society and a green planet? Doesn’t look good for mankind.

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Peoplekind, if I may interject.

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I don’t know… I sort of vacillate between optimism and pessimism as far as the plausible futures. I have traditionally come from the perspective of techno-optimism, having worked my entire career in startup tech companies in the Silicon Valley.

Faster speeds for the internet, instant access to all the knowledge of the world, amazing VR to improve on immersive educational experiences, new biotechnology to fix all diseases, and AI to help us make better decisions, faster. Longevity escape velocity and “the singularity” are near…

That seemed like the future (to me) 20 years ago.

Instead we have tons of cat videos, disinformation being shared all over social media, plastics in all our foods and bodies, AI-generated deep fakes and propaganda being created and shared at light speed… and information bubbles separating us from others. A huge percentage of the “best and brightest” in the Silicon Valley now are focused on getting people to click on ads and optimizing algorithms to get us to waste more time on social media. And its becoming increasingly hard to know what is “real” and “factual”. What will people do for work in a future where AI can do everyone’s jobs and make better decisions than people. The future is not so simple as my techno-optimist side would like to think.

So - I have a more balanced perspective now. And I’ve just finished watching the “Three Body Problem” on Netflix. Technology brings progress, but also new problems. Humans are imperfect, so there will always be issues.

Definitely interesting times, and I want to live and try to contribute to making the world a better place.

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Even if we did not get LEV and a positive singularity, etc in those 20 years, do you feel that the net, net of the technologies that came online the last 20 years have been more negative than positive for humanity and our world or vice versa?

Btw I also liked the Netflix version of 3 Body Problem - at the same time I have to say that I liked the books even more (think I did them as audiobooks)

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Really good question. And that is a probably a good perspective… as they say, past performance is the best predictor of future performance.

But - that to do the question justice you really need to think about the advancements, how they benefited people, who they benefited (the many, or the few), who they will benefit in the future, what the downsides were and who they impacted or didn’t impact. How do you “weigh” the relative benefits and costs/ side effects. The more I think about this, the more I think its a really complex issue. My gut feeling is that tech progress in the past 20 years is a net benefit, but my gut may be wrong.

I’ve heard the book version of the 3 Body Problem is quite different than the Netflix series. I’ll have to read it at some point.

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@Neo Great question. I had just happened upon a video on YouTube that I didn’t watch, but was titled “Did boomers have the best childhood “. I read several comments, all of which said yes, it was the best, mostly because we all spent our free time exercising and playing outdoors with a lot of trust and socializing. That has kinda vanished in the past 20 years. I can’t come up with any benefit of technology that outweighs that harm.

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Thanks for thoughts @KarlT and @RapAdmin

It’s very interesting to see how others think about the world.

Let me share one line of research that might be valuable to consider. This might be one of my most important posts ever on this forum.

(And please note that one of humans’ main biases is to believe that we are ourselves are personally totally rational, and not biased even if others are. So try and let the concepts below sink it before judging if anything in it might be true).

Why must it “bleed” to “lead” the news? Our amygdala, and our memory for trauma, may explain. And show us how to route around it.

Chairman of the X Prize Foundation, Peter H. Diamandis:

Human beings are constantly bombarded with information. Because our brains have a limited computing power, they have to separate what is important, such as a lion running toward us, from what is mundane, such as a bed of flowers.

Because survival is more important than all other considerations, most information enters our brains through the amygdala – a part of the brain that is “responsible for primal emotions like rage, hate and fear.”

Information relating to those primal emotions gets our attention first because the amygdala “is always looking for something to fear.”

Our species, in other words, has evolved to prioritise bad news.

The Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker has noted that the nature of cognition and nature of news interact in ways that make us think that the world is worse than it really is.

As Pinker points out, we “never see a reporter saying to the camera, ‘Here we are, live from a country where a war has not broken out.’”

Newspapers and other media, in other words, tend to focus on the negative. As the old journalistic adage goes, “If it bleeds, it leads.”

The human brain also tends to overestimate danger due to what psychologists call “the availability heuristic” or a process of estimating the probability of an event based on the ease with which relevant instances come to mind. Unfortunately, human memory recalls events for reasons other than their rate of recurrence. When an event turns up because it is traumatic, the human brain will overestimate how likely it is to reoccur.

Psychological literature shows that people fear losses more than they look forward to gains; dwell on setbacks more than relishing successes; resent criticism more than being encouraged by praise. Bad, in other words, is stronger than good.

Finally, good and bad things tend to happen on different timelines. Bad things, such as plane crashes, can happen quickly. Good things, such as the strides humanity has made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tend to happen incrementally and over a long period of time. [and are less defined and also for these reasons less part of what we see in the news, hear in conversations with friends or see on social media]

As Kevin Kelly from Wired has put it, “Ever since the Enlightenment and the invention of Science, we’ve managed to create a tiny bit more than we’ve destroyed each year. But that few percent positive difference is compounded over decades in to what we might call civilisation … [Progress] is a self-cloaking action [that goes un unnoticed and un emphasized]

Can watching the news make you sick?

The amygdala allows us to notice negative news 10 times faster than any positive ones. We pay way more attention to everything negative than positive.

Over the course of time, this beautiful brain feature has served us well and in many situations, it was absolutely essential for the survival of men. Yet, today no tiger is waiting around the corner to take us for lunch. The amygdala is still very useful in situations of danger. But at the same time, it can be abused by those who know how to do so – i.e. media companies.

Why We Love Bad News: Understanding Negativity Bias

90% of the news in the newspaper and on television is negative because that’s what we pay attention to

The Media and the Politicians Know We Have an Evolutionary Hangover called Fear

Why do so many people feel pessimistic, and scared of what the future holds?

In recent years, there’s been a spate of new research suggesting the answers can be found in neuroscience.

Brain imaging studies of healthy humans show that when we are exposed to potential threats, neural activity in the amygdala increases and the body responds through sweating or an increased heart rate. This is known as the amygdala hijack. And it works even if the threatening stimuli are presented subliminally. For example, we identify angry faces faster than happy ones; our ancient fight-or-flight limbic system is activated even if we’re shown the images so quickly (just a tenth of a second or so) that we don’t have any conscious recollection.

In another study, done last year, researchers tracked people’s eyesight as they read from a selection of news stories, and showed that they lingered far longer on the negative news.

That’s why the majority of our news stories are negative. It’s a simple commercial decision. The media makes money by making you pay attention to a story, and negative or potentially scary stories are more compelling than optimistic ones.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/media-our-politicians-know-we-have-evolutionary-hangover-angus-hervey#

https://www.thealternative.org.uk/dailyalternative/2019/3/31/a-better-media-bleeds-leads?format=amp

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You lost me there. Not sure what you’re talking about.

@KarlT Sorry, what part is not clear? Do you see that there are real fundamental reasons for how our brains and the information sources that we are exposed to are biasing towards negative, bad, scary news, information and scenarios?

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I think it is clear that people pay more attention to threats. Hence in a world in which information which may appear threatening travels quickly even if it is not an immediate threat there is an interesting question as to what people should do to deal with this. Should people meditate, avoid the news, avoid some news or what?

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I would avoid the news that:

  1. Is negative in nature.
  2. Does not affect you directly.
  3. Makes you anxious/worried/depressed.
  4. There is nothing you can do about.

Pretty much all of it, I guess. :wink:

Except the stuff you find posted here

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I got that. But I think you falsely assumed That I’m unaware of my biases, ignorances, and shortcomings. And I’m well aware of the media’s ridiculous use of bad news. However, there are real threats to our society happening all over, everyday.

I realize that I am working to live longer, but I may regret that if societal trends continue the way they are headed.

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