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Author Topic:   Scenarios For the Near Future Climax of Human History
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 3011 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 1 of 36 (264505)
11-30-2005 2:48 PM


What Does the near future hold?

IMO, it is obvious that human history is rapidly approaching a climax of sorts if for no other reason than the rapidly accelerating power of technology.

I have described below seven general prevalent future scenarios.

It seems to me a majority of naturalistic scientists, New Agers, Spiritualists, and religious ecumenicalists believe in some version of scenario 1,3, or 4. These are by far the most popular and widely accepted scenarios. A few Secular Pessimists believe in Scenario #2. The Secular Conspiracy theorists ascribe to some version of Scenario #5. A vast majority of Christian evangelicals believe in Scenario #7. A few Christians (myself included) are starting to ascribe to Scenario #6.

What scenario do YOU believe is most likely to play out as we approach this climax of human history and why? (doesn't have to be 1 of my 7) Which scenario do you think is the least likely and why?

Scenario #1: Naturalistic Tehcnological Utopia
As described by Ray Kurzweil in his book "The Singularity is Near" and "The Age of Spiritual Machines", the "Law of Accelerating Returns" will continue to cause technological power to increase exponentially so that virtual reality and "real" reality will be basically indistinguishable. This will result in a sort of man-made utopia. By plotting out current trends of technological advancement, we can project a "singularity" (or near infinite increase) sometime shortly after 2045, beyond which we cannot possibly fathom the nature of humanity.

Scenario #2: Humanity goes nova, but no black hole.
Suppose Kurzweil is wrong and the "Law of Accelerating Returns" is not the only driving factor in the course of human history over the next 40 years. Suppose that the saying is true, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Such a massive increase in technology equals a massive increase in power equals a massive corrupting influence equals a violent return to the Dark ages. The only thing that could possibly circumvent this "singularity" is a WWIII that sends us back into the dark ages.

Scenario #3: Spiritualistic Technological utopia
--A slight modification from scenario #1, yet still optimistic. This includes a spiritual element. With the coming technological revolutions in Genetics, Robotics, and Nanotechnology, all the world's problems will be solved and humanity will finally begin to overlook its internal differences and advance as a whole into a "NEW AGE" of spiritual enlightenment (but a "purging" might be necessary). "Spiritual Guides" (if you wish to believe in that sort of thing) will encourage and help humanity on this noble path.

Scenario #4 New Age Messiah
--A slight modification of scenario #3. On the eve of this great "breakthrough" into the new technological utopia and spiritual enlightenment (around the year 2012, but no later than Kurzweil's singularity at 2045), the "gods" who claim to have originally created humanity show up in their inter-dimensional flying saucers and tell us how pleased they are with our progress and how they want to help us achieve this new epoch of our evolution if only we will invite them to (This is Raelian doctrine). Our alien "parents" (or spiritual guides as some will call them) will guide us into the promised enlightenment and utopia.

Scenario #5 Conspiracy, Deception, and 1984
The increase in technology creates corruption in the dark corners of secret government projects which are always exploiting new technologies for military purposes (which could include an intelligence network of all sorts of spying machines, new WMDs such as weather manipulation, and the secret creation of a superace of genetically modified beings). Presumably this leads to a New World Order for which an infrastructure is currently being innocently put into place in the name of security and protection from terrorists, fraud, natural disasters, and other phantom "beasties" like say.. bird flu. Once all freedoms have been surrendered and all the Big Brother infrastructure is in place, promises of utopias similar to those mentioned above will deceive and ultimately enslave mankind.

Scenario #6 Conspiracy, Deception, and Armageddon
Like in Scenario #5, a NWO infrastructure is created while those who are not wise to the conspiracy entertain visions of scenarios #1,3,4. They can see the "singularity" approaching, but realize that unless mankind overcomes its problems, it cannot progress. They look for a "savior" figure to save them from mankind's troubles. This comes in the form of the interdimensional beings (aka fallen angels, aliens)uniting with world leaders in this endeavor (as was pre-planned by select government officials "in the know"). This Messiah figure assumes power to the astonishment and delight of many, while many others create anarchy after seeing "aliens" among us. The ensuing anarchy is used to help bring about a police state in the name of "purging" or "cleansing". The mark of the beast, and the image, etc. are instated. Things look up for a while, but quickly go sour. The Biblical descriptions of the "Last Days" are applicable. Of course it all ends with Jesus coming back to earth resurrecting the saints and smushing the Beast and his followers before they can destroy Israel.

Scenario #7 Left Behind
Sometime in the near future all the Christians disappear. In the ensuing chaos the antichrist takes over the world. 7 years of tribulation follow... yada yada yada... (everyone knows this one by now) Jesus Christ returns and smushes the bad guys at Armageddon.

So what will it be? Utopia or Destruction? And what will prove to be the prevailing driving forces that get us there?

{Note from Adminnemooseus: Prior to spinning off message 1 of the "Proposed New Topic" version, I'm adding the content of the PNT's message 5}:

HD, in PNT message 5 writes:

I was thinking Coffee House cuz that's generally where these sorts of random topics go.

I didn't intend to discuss the meanings of various prophecies of different religions, but rather intended to discuss what commonly believed in scenarios are likely to occur based on current events and historical trends. Some of these scenarios are inevitably created in part by a religious prophetic element, but the debate should be about whether or not this scenario is likely to play out rather than what prophecies this scenario came from or if they are interpreted accurately or not.

I would also like to hear what EvC Members believe is likely to occur.

This message has been edited by Hangdawg13, 11-30-2005 01:54 PM

This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 11-30-2005 02:46 PM


Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by MangyTiger, posted 11-30-2005 8:29 PM Hangdawg13 has responded
 Message 6 by Omnivorous, posted 11-30-2005 8:45 PM Hangdawg13 has responded
 Message 11 by Nighttrain, posted 12-02-2005 1:11 AM Hangdawg13 has responded
 Message 22 by ReverendDG, posted 02-25-2006 4:13 AM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded
 Message 24 by lfen, posted 02-25-2006 4:42 AM Hangdawg13 has responded
 Message 33 by iano, posted 02-27-2006 12:01 PM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

    
Mespo
Member (Idle past 990 days)
Posts: 158
From: Mesopotamia, Ohio, USA
Joined: 09-19-2002


Message 2 of 36 (264523)
11-30-2005 3:35 PM


Scenario #8 (The Worst of All for some people)
NOTHING HAPPENS!!!

Your rent or mortgage will still be due. So will your taxes. The people you hate will still be there. So will the ones you love, if you continue to love them in return. It will dawn on a few thoughtful souls that being an adult is being responsible for everything you say and do. If you broke it, fix it. If you hurt someone, apologize.

Technological advances simply mean that faster machines will put more people out of work. And technology doesn't mean squat for third world slum dwellers who struggle to find their next meal.

The world of tomorrow is a continuation of today with more gray hair. Deal with it. If you haven't figured out what you're doing on this planet, there are plenty of people who will figure it out for you...for a price.

If you HAVE figured it out, CELEBRATE. Because no one owns your soul.

(:raig


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Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 3011 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 3 of 36 (264563)
11-30-2005 7:53 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Mespo
11-30-2005 3:35 PM


Re: Scenario #8 (The Worst of All for some people)
I started to include this scenario on my list, since I figured it would be highly favored by most of the cynics here at EvC; however, this scenario is the least likely to occur and seven is the number of perfection, so I left it at 7.

The fact is nothing is not going to happen...er... something IS going to happen, though many will continue to believe in this scenario #8 right up until it does happen simply because "nothing" happening is all they've ever known. We intuitively have a linear perspective on change. We erroneously assume that things will continue changing at the rate they are today and that the future will generally look just like the past.

For much of mankind's history these assumptions haven't been too critical since the rate of change was extremely small. The reality is that we are on an exponential curve and nearing dramatic turn upwards.

I'll borrow a parable from Kurzweil's book, "The Singularity Is Near".
A man is taking care of fish in a pond and is tasked with eliminating the lily pads. The lily pads double in number every week or so and if they cover the entire pond, all the fish will die. The man watches the lily pads grow for several months, but they appear to be growing so slowly there is no conceviable danger of them over taking the pond in the next two weeks, so the man goes on vactation for 2 weeks. When he returns home the pond is completely covered in lily pads and all the fish are dead.


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Phat
Member
Posts: 12241
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 4 of 36 (264571)
11-30-2005 8:26 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Hangdawg13
11-30-2005 7:53 PM


Re: Scenario #8 (The Worst of All for some people)
I'll reply later...gotta go to work now...Im gonna edit this post and put my response here,Dawg! Be on the lookout!
This message is a reply to:
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MangyTiger
Member (Idle past 4459 days)
Posts: 989
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 07-30-2004


Message 5 of 36 (264573)
11-30-2005 8:29 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hangdawg13
11-30-2005 2:48 PM


None of the above
I don't know what the future holds but based on past form I suspect nobody has accurately predicted it yet.

Some unforseen technological, biological, political, religious or other phenomenon will catch everyone by surprise and take us in an unexpected direction.

It'll be an adventure! :)


I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Hangdawg13, posted 11-30-2005 2:48 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

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Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1072 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 6 of 36 (264578)
11-30-2005 8:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hangdawg13
11-30-2005 2:48 PM


IMO, it is obvious that human history is rapidly approaching a climax of sorts if for no other reason than the rapidly accelerating power of technology.

Technology has been rapidly accelerating for centuries.

Perhaps the climax you feel rapidly approaching is your own.

This message has been edited by Omnivorous, 11-30-2005 08:45 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Hangdawg13, posted 11-30-2005 2:48 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
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Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 3011 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 7 of 36 (264622)
11-30-2005 11:33 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Omnivorous
11-30-2005 8:45 PM


Technology has been rapidly accelerating for centuries.

...verry slowly.

So slowly in fact, that it appears linear, but we are rounding the exponential curve where things are beginning to change much faster.

Moore's law is just one well-known example of many of this exponential increase.

There will be at least as much technological change in the next 25 years as there was over the last century.

Perhaps the climax you feel rapidly approaching is your own.

...no I don't see any climax in my future... in fact if I just graduate and get a job next year, that looks like a pretty boring anti-climax to all that's gone on in my life...

I'm purty sure that human history really is approaching its climax though.


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Replies to this message:
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Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 3011 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 8 of 36 (264623)
11-30-2005 11:35 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by MangyTiger
11-30-2005 8:29 PM


Re: None of the above
Some unforseen technological, biological, political, religious or other phenomenon will catch everyone by surprise and take us in an unexpected direction.

Probably...

It'll be an adventure!

Sure will! :)


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Lammy
Member
Posts: 3607
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 9 of 36 (264639)
12-01-2005 12:34 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Hangdawg13
11-30-2005 11:33 PM


Hangdawg writes:

I'm purty sure that human history really is approaching its climax though.


If you want some excitement, then we need another world war or, even better, an alien invasion.

But seriously, without some kind of real competition, we're not going to evolve far beyond this point.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Hangdawg13, posted 11-30-2005 11:33 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by macaroniandcheese, posted 12-04-2005 12:57 AM Lammy has not yet responded
 Message 15 by Hangdawg13, posted 12-04-2005 2:50 PM Lammy has responded

    
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1072 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 10 of 36 (264689)
12-01-2005 8:34 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Hangdawg13
11-30-2005 11:33 PM


I'm purty sure that human history really is approaching its climax though.

That certainty has a long history: millenialism, the Age of Aquarius, "The End of History" (book a few years back about the current state of sociopolitical affairs as an end-point), countless second-coming watches, plans to greet the Mother Ship...

Also, from my perspective as an graying no-longer-so political activist, I recall that youth carries its own sense of urgency and imminence, the sense that things can't go on like this, that things are coming to a head. We see the world on the scale of our individual lives, but history works its most profound changes on a larger canvas.

You may in some sense be right, but you would be the first in a long, long line of folks who felt the same way and turned out to be wrong.

in fact if I just graduate and get a job next year, that looks like a pretty boring anti-climax to all that's gone on in my life...

Best of luck and good wishes: I am confident that life will offer you adventures.


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Nighttrain
Member (Idle past 2099 days)
Posts: 1512
From: brisbane,australia
Joined: 06-08-2004


Message 11 of 36 (264938)
12-02-2005 1:11 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Hangdawg13
11-30-2005 2:48 PM


Dusk approaches
Two more:

Scenario 8#: Either through accident or design, several incurable hybrid diseases as developed by Biopreparat, are released into the general population of Europe. Rapid transit of the aerosol forms occurs as modern air travel disperses the carriers before symptoms emerge.Health workers, doctors, hospitals are overwhelmed as millions are infected and die. Civilisations disintegrate as the survivors flee to a momentary safety in the wilderness. Roving bands try to survive by force till the vectors catch up with them. Mankind disappears as the true rulers of earth, bacteria, take over-----

Scenario 9#: In spite of detecting 1000 new comets orbiting the Lagrange Point, 1.5 million kolometres from earth, since SOHO (SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory)was placed in position,a new threat from space approaches the Southern Hemisphere. Due to funding cut-backs by the Australian Science Minister who said we have nothing to worry about from space, no watch is kept on Southern skies. Believed to be an asteroid from the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune, the impactor measures approximately ten miles across. The trajectory has been estimated to put the impact point at either Indonesia, triggering a massive volcanic explosion from the Rim of Fire, or further north, just east of a top-secret Biopreparat installation in Siberia------


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Phat
Member
Posts: 12241
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 12 of 36 (265202)
12-03-2005 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Hangdawg13
11-30-2005 11:35 PM


Re: None of the above
Lam writes:

...without some kind of real competition, we're not going to evolve far beyond this point.

Is that all that you have to say?? :frazzled: That the human animal is incapable of solving its(our) own problems through some sort of evolution? Dawkins states that memes are ideas and thought concepts...why can't we evolve through conscious effort? The snake was a metaphorical liar...(ye shall be as gods) yet we can't even be highly evolved humans...we kill each other as much as ever! Logic dictates that population increase is exceeding natural resource allotments...
Omnivorous, to HangDawg writes:

from my perspective as an graying no-longer-so political activist, I recall that youth carries its own sense of urgency and imminence, the sense that things can't go on like this, that things are coming to a head. We see the world on the scale of our individual lives, but history works its most profound changes on a larger canvas.
You may in some sense be right, but you would be the first in a long, long line of folks who felt the same way and turned out to be wrong.

The Left Behind scenarios are not gonna happen because, IMHO, nobody has ever been able to write a book about what God is gonna do before He actually does it! (Only a staunch Biblical Literalist would beg to differ! The Bible=The Truth because my Ego has fused with God! Same Absolutist mentality as before the Enlightenment!)

From a logical perspective, humans WILL attempt to fix the problem by attempting to eliminate all forms of fundamentalism and allowing human diversity and rights of freethought to ascend into the penultimate philosophical belief system.(AntiChrist stands in temple, proclaiming himself to be God=humans in their own "temple"(the Body) proclaiming human wisdom as the main P.C. Theology!) I am enough of a literalist in regards to human nature to foresee another World War, as well...(unfortunately) There are some unforseen variables, however. Communication has been linking the minds of the world together as never before!

The Internet is a modern day Tower of Babel...rational minds know that modern warfare is as ridiculous as two guys with a hand grenade stuck in a jail cell together! Terrorism is the little mans weapon against the monied aristrocracy.

In a non-religious sense, I think that we all should learn to know God and to trust Him.

Its OK to be atheist, however,as long as you are honest with yourself about why you reject God in favor of human wisdom!

This message has been edited by Phat, 12-03-2005 07:55 AM


This message is a reply to:
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Nighttrain
Member (Idle past 2099 days)
Posts: 1512
From: brisbane,australia
Joined: 06-08-2004


Message 13 of 36 (265322)
12-03-2005 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Phat
12-03-2005 9:45 AM


Re: None of the above
Communication has been linking the minds of the world together as never before!

Right on, bro. For the first time in history, the little guys of the world can talk and show to each other in real time. No more the sheep fed tales by their rulers, now we can get to the heart of the matter without going through a filter. Viva le internet.


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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2033 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 14 of 36 (265378)
12-04-2005 12:57 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Lammy
12-01-2005 12:34 AM


nonsense. evolution is not caused by competition. it's not a driven force. it just happens. those who happen to evolve more appropriately also happen to outrun the competition... but not because the competition is there.

This message has been edited by brennakimi, 12-04-2005 12:57 AM


i'm worldwide bitch, act like ya'll don't know.
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Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 3011 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 15 of 36 (265481)
12-04-2005 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Lammy
12-01-2005 12:34 AM


But seriously, without some kind of real competition, we're not going to evolve far beyond this point.

Biological evolution is extremely slow in comparison to technological evolution. It is technological evoltution that promises to change humanity. All that is necessary is a machine or being with the combined intelligence and desire necessary to change and improve itself. The combined intelligence has reached the point where these changes can happen within one human generation, so biological evolution has ceased to be an issue.

With technological evolution, competition for food and habitat is no longer the force that drives the change, rather it is our own desires for money, power, self-improvement, eternal life, to transcend the universe, .....to become gods...


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Replies to this message:
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