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November 10, 2014

The Inevitable Future

Film student Taylor Baldschun invited me to participate in a project of his, a short documentary on the end of humanity. His final (for the moment) version can be seen here:

The Inevitable Future from Taylor Baldschun on Vimeo.

On my first viewing, I started counting off the various mannerisms and habits that I find annoying in my own speaking style. But I was caught off-guard by my own final statement, which Taylor uses to close the movie.

If humanity were to go extinct, obviously, our life goes away. Over time, our artifacts go away. So what really would be lost in that existential sense is potential. Because we know that we could do so much more than what we’ve done by now. That we could be better stewards of the planet. That we could develop tools to let us learn new things and go new places. That we could make a better world. And that goes away. That potential, that possibility… it would be an enormous loss of a future.

And that, to me is, the hardest thing to envision — not because it’s difficult to imagine but because it’s painful to imagine.

We have, as a civilization, as human beings, such incredible potential. Potential that has not yet been made manifest. And I hope that we have enough time to show the value of that potential.

It's not perfect, could use a bit of editing to clean it up, but it's not too bad for something made up on the spot. The video as a whole is thoughtful, quiet, and well worth watching. It's not a bad way to spend ten minutes of your day.

November 4, 2014

Magna Cortica talk at TEDx Marin

(brushes away cobwebs, wipes dust off of screen, sits quietly for a moment and wonders what happened...)

Screen Shot 2014 11 04 at 6 13 30 AM

The video of my TEDx talk on the ethics of cognitive augmentation is now up, and you can view it at the TEDx Marin website.

(It's also on YouTube directly, but for the time being I'm doing as asked and pointing people to the TEDx Marin website.)

A few notes:

Most importantly: This talk is based on the work I did for the Institute for the Future's 2014 Ten-Year Forecast. Of all of the things I would like to change about this talk, calling this out explicitly is at the top of the list.

I don't actually speak as fast as I seem to at the outset of the talk; I believe that the editor elided some early "um"/"ah"/word repetitions, resulting in what sounds like I was going WAY too fast.

Most of my usual gestures are on display, but I do think I managed to tone them down a bit.

Unfortunately, I'm still pacing back and forth like a caged carnivore.

There's one thing I do repeatedly throughout the talk, and I don't know why. I'm not going to tell you what it is, because I may just be hypersensitive to it.

So there.

Jamais Cascio

Contact Jamais  ÃƒÂƒÃ‚ƒÃ‚ƒÃ‚ƒÃ‚¢Ã‚€Â¢  Bio

Co-Founder, WorldChanging.com

Director of Impacts Analysis, Center for Responsible Nanotechnology

Fellow, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

Affiliate, Institute for the Future


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