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Michael Bess

More books on Inventions

In the past, innovations have been incorporated into society over extended periods of time, and societies had plenty of tinme to adjust. But now we are having to deal with multiple changes over the space of a generation.

The Jetsons captured our misconception of the future - we think all these wonderful new gadgets will arrive but humans will stay basically the same. And this is common of almost every SF film: Blade Runner, AI, 6 Million Dollar Man, Spider Man, Iron Man, Hulk all had 1 or 2 enhnced men or women, while the rest of society stayed the same. Only exception Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, where bio-engineered castes swallowed soma and indoctrination.

Ray Kurzweill's Singularity, where combination of genetics, nanotechnology and big data will bring about the birth of a radically transformed human species. Humans will design their own bodies and minds. They will reverse-engineer the brain, and use that knowledge to devise new and radically more peowerful AI systems. Men will link their bodies to these new super-inyelligent machines, effectively creating a completely new species.

Problem that K has assumed a linear extraolation of the increasing speed of progress/

Author cites example of airplanes. If you plot the progress of the first half of C20, it would be reasonable to expect supersonic passenger jets would be the norm by 2000. But it turned out that social and financial choices blocked that.

Survey of small group of elderly women in california, reacting to Viagra. Three said they liked having sex with husbands and hoped they'd be able to use it. Eight of them said they hoped husbands wouldn't, and four went further, saying they'd 'endured' sex all their lives out of duty, and now just wanted to be left alone.

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