In the daily hubbub of current “crises” facing humanity, we forget about the many generations we hope are yet to come.
Here are my reasons.
Because humans are bad at doing anything about problems that have not occurred yet.
We have extinction happening at alarmingly fast rates combined with short-term political ambitions packed with statistics and updates on the challenges we face.
With no universal legal constitution for the earth, as global citizens, we must come together on every Social media platform to demand change and put us and the earth before profit.
Because we now live in a world of threats and disasters that could end history.
Human activity such as the development of weapons of mass destruction has been steadily shaping the future of our planet with a sense of powerlessness and fatalism about it. Right now the risk of somebody deliberately releasing something devastating is low but as technology gets more powerful in the future nastier pathogens become easier to design.
Because there is “youth disillusionment” around the world as capitalism has turned everything needed for life into a product. Certain global issues cannot be solved by on-the-ground, grassroots-style projects.
Because In a world full of risk – geopolitical upheaval, cyber attacks, climate change, and natural disasters the only thing left to avoid wars is Sport which is now, unfortunately, being used for political interference.
Because it is a mistake to think that nuclear war is impossible. In fact, it might not be improbable but it’s not the explosion that will be a disaster its the nuclear winter that would follow.
Because while people are enjoying the highest standards of living in human history, the interconnected global challenges we face are pushing institutions, communities, and individuals to their limits.
Because the knock-on effects of the coronavirus crisis, threaten to scale back years of progress on reducing global poverty and inequality and further damage social cohesion and global cooperation.
Because the democratic world is being hijacked by technology in the form of the internet with profit-seeking algorithms and social media pluralism.
We do not have a good grip on just how dangerous different forms of superintelligence would be, or what mitigation strategies would actually work. It is very hard to reason about future technology we do not yet have, or intelligence greater than ourselves. (Of the risks on this list, this is the one most likely to either be massive or just a mirage.)
Because of the, I’m alright Jack inequality. Global poverty has not been eradicated.
Billions are at risk of missing out on the digital leap forward, as growing disparities challenge the social fabric. Even more worrying is that in trying to explain things to artificial intelligence we run into profound practical and philosophical problems.
Should such a jump occur there would be a large difference in potential power between the smart system (or the people telling it what to do) and the rest of the world. This has clear potential for disaster if the goals are badly set.
Human values are diffuse, complex things that we are not good at expressing, and even if we could do that we might not understand all the implications of what we wish for. If consciousness or intelligence are lost, it might mean that value itself becomes absent from the universe.
Because we are living toward incredible times where the only constant will be changed.
Because the Ukrainian war could be the last human war.
There are plenty of more low-hanging fruits on the destructive technology tree.
Even just reading the above list seems overwhelming; imagine being a head of state trying to implement it in your sprawling national bureaucracy.
Of course, the U.N. can’t compel any country to do any of these things. So the goals won’t matter unless individual national governments take them seriously.
Of course, there are some risks we cannot do anything at all about, such as gamma-ray bursts that result from the explosions of galaxies. But if we learn we can do something, the priorities change. For instance, with sanitation, vaccines, and antibiotics, pestilence went from an act of God to bad public health.
The most unsettling possibility is that there is something out there that is very deadly, and we have no clue about it.
It comes as no surprise with the outbreak of war in Ukraine that the environmental risks that once weighed heavily on the minds are now on the back burner.
While the state of our planet is petrified by Putin’s threat to use Nuclear weapons the use of cyberattacks to target critical infrastructure and strategic industrial sectors raises fears that, in a worst-case scenario, attackers could trigger a breakdown in the systems that keep societies functioning.
Nanotechnology like biotechnology, increasing power also increases the potential for abuses that are hard to defend against.
Technology is no longer the major limiting factor. We are.
If we want to be around in a million years we need to correct that.
In the meantime, we’re heading towards a world of perfect knowledge with blockchain commerce and digital transfers of value and assets disappearing into cyberspace.
With a trillion sensors gathering data existing healthcare institutions will be crushed because Biometric sensing (wearables) and AI will make each of us the CEOs of our own health.
The screen as we know it — on your phone, your computer, and your TV — will disappear and be replaced by eyewear.
So where are we? Where do you even start?
Even though we live in the 21st Century, it’s unbelievable how much prejudice we all have. There’s racism, homophobia, nationalism. There are still classes in our society, even though not as clear as centuries ago. And people still judge other people based on… Well, absolutely everything, which, when you think about it, is… nothing!
To take any resolution to the problem off the page and into practice there has to be unlimited finance.
This can only be achieved by increasing everyone’s stake in the goals ( see the previous post on creating a World Aid Fund) If we do not put in place a mechanism for social and environmental change, generation after generation will pay the price for our idleness.
Our insatiable appetite for industrial growth only fuels our dependency on ever-dwindling resources – without replenishment or reprise and to devastating effect.
Empowerment is what the world needs. We have the potential to save and improve the quality of millions of lives by providing the people of the world an opportunity to invest in a green bond, ( See previous Post on Green bonds)
The more I think about it, the more I realize that the progress of society is defined much more from the decisions and the actions of the majority, than the breakthroughs of any one man.
We don’t all have to like each other, we don’t all have to understand each other, but we do have to respect each other.
Respect is never earned by a Dictator. It is either enforced/bought as Dictatorship is a place where public opinion can’t even be expressed privately.
All human comments are appreciated. All like click sad abuse chucked in the bin.