Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Micro Mention "Abundance"

Peter H. Diamandis & Steven Kotler

"Abundance," by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, reminded me of Ray Kurzweil's "The Singularity is Near." Like that book, essentially, it's an argument that the future will be better than we can imagine because of exponentially improving technologies, and boy, I hope they're right.

I really enjoy the optimism of books like this, and I even tell myself I believe it, which is true most of the time. Without descending into another "climate change is bad" soliloquy—which don't you worry, I'm sure I'll be at again soon—their argument is rather compelling about why things will be better in the future. The pace of technological development really is unprecedented. It only seems normal to us, who have lived during the golden age of technology, because our lives are still relatively short.

Take, for instance, that the United States is still just shy of 250 years old at the time of this writing. However, 250 years ago would be unrecognizable to a modern-day person. Indoor plumbing wasn't something that the vast majority of people had even heard of, let alone experienced. Most of the founding fathers, however, would have been aware that in certain circumstances the ancient Romans and various other cultures of antiquity had access to knowledge and engineering skills that were lost to time, and had to be re-learned.

Sorry to be a bummer, but golden ages can and do end. If we're not careful, who is to say our descendants won't be telling stories about our glorious empires and their works. Maybe in another 200 hundred-odd years, the internet will seem like a fanciful magic tale.

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