for our technology to mimic the human mind; if, as many argue, we are in fact reaching the end of a period of rapid technological development, what will happen to us?
Basically, we'll all die.
If you want to get less basic, experts have put forward a number of varied theories. Some predict food shortages leading to a collapse of civilization, while others go so far as to predict joblessness leading to a collapse of civilization. And of course there are the extremists, who predict a crippling economic downturn as a result of the dead-end technology market, leading to a collapse of civilization.
We don't have claws, or tails, or super hearing; we put all our points into INT. Being smart and building things is basically our only trick. Take it away from us, and some shit is going to go down.
Why ItÂs Plausible:
Because the engine driving our advancement is and has always been increasingly sophisticated tool use. From the lever to the plow to the printing press to the Krispy Kreme doughnut, a constant increase in the effectiveness of our tools is the only thing thatÂs allowed us to keep our economy going and provide for the livelihoods and survival of all--or at least a majority--of the worldÂs citizens.
Maybe it wonÂt be as doom and gloom as futurists tend to predict. Maybe weÂll start finding ways to advance in other important areas instead, like learning to not be such assholes to each other all the time.
But thereÂs no question that if our population continues to grow, and advancements in technology fail to keep up with our needs, weÂll be looking at things like widespread terrorism, piracy, human rights violations, destabilized governments and global environmental crises.
Actually, in hindsight, I guess this entry is more a prediction of the
than the future.
WeÂre already kind of used to it?
For starters, it seems to be the most likely scenario. The more we learn about the human brain, the more we realize how little we know about how it actually works. Technological advances that took months a decade ago--like doubling the processing power of a computer--now take much longer, as the level of specialized knowledge required, people involved and chances of something going wrong all increase.
Even if we do reach that gleaming robo-utopia or cyberpunk VR haven or cyborg nation weÂve been dreaming of, thereÂs a good chance itÂs going to take a lot longer than predicted, and weÂll get there limping, with a lot of stops and starts along the way. Which all adds up to the ultimate downer of the Âreal worldÂ scenario: personal responsibility.
If youÂre like me, youÂd love nothing more than a radical perceptual shift in life as we know it to come along and transcend you to a plane of pure light and thought, where all human minds are as one and paternity tests always come back negative.
But until that glorious, improbable (but theoretically possible) day, it looks like we may have to busy ourselves worrying about mundane stuff like Âthe development of true human nobilityÂ and Âfeeding and educating the world before the ice caps melt or we all starve.Â
And even worse, weÂve got to do it with nothing but the tools currently available to us and whatever else we can come up with along the way. Not nearly as cool as hurling rockets into space or having VR sex with Sandra Bullock, but there you go.
My advice: Anything is possible, and most of the more likely possibilities suck balls, so in the meantime letÂs all make the best of a bad situation, shall we?
At least until the Large Hadron Collider blows a hole into another dimension and we can steal their
If you actually read this far, you should know that Michael is also the head writer for and co-founder of Those Aren't Muskets!
, and you can follow him on Twitter @SWAIM_CORP