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future

Marian Tupy & Gale Pooley — Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet

Shermer, Tupy, and Pooley discuss: why we long for the “good ol’ days” • the Malthusian trap • Ehrlich’s predictions on overpopulation • the birth dearth • the Simon Abundance Index • compound interest • What does it mean for the economy to grow 2–3% a year? • accumulating wealth • what poorer countries need to do to become richer countries • running out of fossil fuels • Obama’s “you didn’t build that” speech • inflation • electric vehicles • How many people can the Earth sustain? • post-scarcity trekonomics • the future of religion and other social institutions in a superabundant world.

Ian Morris on Deep Time and Big History

In this conversation on deep time and big history, Shermer and Morris discuss the history of Big History, the future of energy and civilization, China and the future of energy and political power, what Britain was like 8000 years ago, the major transitions in British history, counterfactual history, slavery and the abolition of the slave trade, the role of ideas in history (civil rights, rule of law, justice, etc.), reparations and making right the wrongs of the past.

David Christian on Time, the Near/Far Future, Transhumanism, Interstellar Migrations, the Fate of Our Species, and the End of Time

The future is uncertain, a bit spooky, possibly dangerous, maybe wonderful. We cope with this never-ending uncertainty by telling stories about the future: future stories. How do we construct those stories? Where is the future, the place where we set those stories? Can we trust our future stories? And what sort of futures do they show us? David Christian is renowned for pioneering the emerging discipline of Big History, which surveys the whole of the past. In this conversation, he reveals what he thinks the future holds for our species.

eSkeptic for September 1, 2020

Dr. Michael Shermer considers the pitfalls of projecting the consequences of the pandemic for our future (the availability heuristic, the negativity bias, the difficulties of superforecasting, and the contingent nature of history). PLUS: In Science Salon # 131, Michael Shermer speaks with Stuart Ritchie his book Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth.

eSkeptic for June 25, 2019

In Science Salon # 72, Michael Shermer speaks with visionary astronautical engineer Robert Zubrin where he lays out the plans for how humans can become a space faring, multi-planetary civilization; PLUS social psychologist Carol Tavris reminds us just how imperative it is that justice requires us to assess the evidence when public opinion and emotion are weighted heavily in favor of one side.

Robert Zubrin — The Case for Space: How the Revolution in Spaceflight Opens Up a Future of Limitless Possibility

In Science Salon # 72, Michael Shermer speaks with visionary astronautical engineer Robert Zubrin where he lays out the plans for how humans can become a space faring, multi-planetary civilization.

Dr. Jared Diamond — On Mistakes Made by People and Nations that Hurt Their Futures

Jared Diamond considers the risks and mistakes that people and nations make. Based on his extensive research on and experience with the human condition Dr. Diamond considers the future based on what we know about the past — historically and personally.

Dr. Ian Morris — On the Future of War and Human Values

Looking over the past 10,000 years historian and archaeologist Ian Morris reveals patterns in the past related to energy consumption and resources, and how our age of fossil fuels will likely be a temporary one as we transition to renewables, and how this transition may lead to new human values, including the value of peace in a long human history filled with war.

The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future

Modern utopians have predicted that technologies as varied as space travel and nanoscale machines could transform society as humans mastered the ability to create new worlds, undertook atomic-scale engineering, and, if truly successful, overcame their own biological limits. In this lecture, based on the book by the same name, Patrick McCray traces how these visioneers blended countercultural ideals with hard science, entrepreneurship, libertarianism, and unbridled optimism about the future.

12-02-29

Rapidly advancing technologies may have the potential not only to spread information but to solve some of humanity’s most vexing problems. In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer reviews a just-released book called Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler.

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