January 20, 2009

What Will Change Everything?

Every year, John Brockman – creator of the nonprofit Edge Foundation in New York -- asks a gaggle of forward-thinking people a provocative question. This year’s question: "What will change everything?"

Writer David Bodanis suggests that some kind of massive technological failure would be game-changing. Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, says that reinventing industry to have less impact on the environment will alter the way we live. And Sherry Turkle, a psychologist at MIT, looks forward to the day when robots will serve as companions to humans.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi predicts the end of analytic science - the realization that it is more important to understand events, objects, and processes in their relationship with each other than in their singular structure. Western science has achieved wonders with its analytic focus, but it is now time to take synthesis seriously.

And Joel Garreau, a staff writer at The Washington Post and author of Radical Evolution:
"Financially, politically, climatically and technologically, the ground is moving beneath our feet. Our narratives of how the world works are not matching the facts. Yet humans are pattern-seeking, story-telling animals. Human beings cannot endure emptiness and desolation. We will always fill such a vacuum with meaning."
From the Edge.org website:
New tools equal new perceptions.

Through science we create technology and in using our new tools we recreate ourselves. But until very recently in our history, no democratic populace, no legislative body, ever indicated by choice, by vote, how this process should play out.

Nobody ever voted for printing. Nobody ever voted for electricity. Nobody ever voted for radio, the telephone, the automobile, the airplane, television. Nobody ever voted for penicillin, antibiotics, the pill. Nobody ever voted for space travel, massively parallel computing, nuclear power, the personal computer, the Internet, email, cell phones, the Web, Google, cloning, sequencing the entire human genome. We are moving towards the redefinition of life, to the edge of creating life itself. While science may or may not be the only news, it is the news that stays news.
Read More Answers: Here

Personally, I think that our current pathological economic systems will continue to collapse, and that advances in many areas of science will prove to be intensively profound. What do you think?

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