Sunday, April 19, 2009

LTNS!

Walla, it has been a long and eventful couple of years. I bred, changed jobs and houses a few times, started a few businesses (none succeeded so far), got significantly wealthier, seen my predictions fail and succeed, started an affair with Classical music. Technology continued its rapid rise to transhumanism. (Foreign) Politics continued as usual, with Olmert faring significantly better than I expected. Here's a brief positive summary of his premiership:

Some of his failures were positive: he failed to throw away our security (Golan and suicidal overtures to Palestinians). He (almost) failed to prevent the military from winning in Cast Lead.

Some of the successes were positive, even: leaving the economy and privatization reforms alone. Giving the green light to a number of difficult and potentially risky military strikes abroad. The reforms in the judiciary system might be a good thing. And he managed to cling to power far longer than expected.

But frankly, I lost interest in short-term politics. I concluded that the Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular are a lost cause for a couple of generations at the very least. Cultural, demographic, ecological, economic and geopolitical trends all point in the same direction: the Arab world will become insignificant in the next 20 years tops. Pakistan, assorted Stans in Russia's imperial area of influence, Iran, Turkey... that's somewhat more interesting, but certainly not the most interesting issues at hand.

Long-term trends in culture and technology will be the determining factors of my and my children's lives. For all practical purposes (with the notable aside of nuclear/biological annihilation), Israel has attained security. We will continue to be attacked, but the damages from these attacks are insignificant when compared to, say, road accidents. Or cigarette smoke.

So, technology and culture. We are in the middle of a paradigm shift, a massive movement of human consciousness brought about by new ways of thinking (enabled, in turn, by technological advances). I am trying to guess where we'll be in 50 years from now culturally and technologically... and I can't. So many breakthroughs. So many exciting developments. So many promising advances, each of which can change the world by itself: genetic engineering. Bionics. Nanobots. Bizarre artificial materials - even new periodic tables. New energy sources. Space Elevator. Direct neural interface. AI. 20 years ago these seemed impossible. 50 years ago these things were hardly imaginable, if at all. And these are merely few manifestations, as well as causes (as is appropriate for Humans 2.0) of the paradigm shift.

Each of the above can alone create a revolution greater than the Industrial one. It's like the dawn of sentience all over again. The difference between a human and an immortal super-being genetically engineered from humans, enhanced with sentient nano-bots... reminds me of The Watchmen and Mr. Moore's fascinating discussion on transhumanist divinity.

But that's all decades away from fruition. For now, two things are on my mind: education and economics. I am learning about both, but not yet enough to provide proper analysis. Politics merely provides the background for these. And I think that figuring all three out to a reasonable degree is the right way to prepare for the future and present.

I will again use this forum to spew the effluvium of my cognitive process. Hey, it's got to go somewhere, right? :)

1 comment:

nominally challenged said...

OMG חזרת !!

אחלה רישום, יא ראקון. אני שמח ששבת לכתוב, ועוד יותר שמח לקרוא שהשמש זורחת עליך ועל משפחתך. ברוך שובך :)