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Taking the forces that already exist, of tribalism, political correctness, secrecy for them and exposure for us, and so on, it’s clear that the far future will be a weird mixture of fantastic capability, spoiled by abuse… (1) Is imminent transformation of much of human life a realistic scenario? The main driver for belief in the possible imminent transformation of human life, enabled by rapidly changing technology, is the observation of progress towards “NBIC” convergence.There were around 200 people in the audience, listening as Ian progressed through a series of increasingly mind-stretching technology opportunities. Significant improvements are taking place, almost daily, in our capabilities to understand and control atoms (Nano-tech), genes and other areas of life-sciences (Bio-tech), bits (Info-comms-tech), and neurons and other areas of mind (Cogno-tech).In the book “Our mathematical universe”, the mysteries being addressed are some of the very biggest imaginable: The author, Max Tegmark, is a Swedish-born professor of physics at MIT.He’s made a host of significant contributions to the development of cosmology – some of which you can read about in the book.
At its heart, despite its grandness, it’s actually a very simple theory, which is a big plus in its favour.) Much of the time, the writing in the book is accessible to people with pre-university level knowledge of science.On occasion, the going gets harder, but readers should be able to skip over these sections.I recommend reading the book all the way through, since the last chapter contains many profound ideas.Judging by the comments posted online afterwards, some of the audience deeply appreciated what they heard: Thank you for a terrific two hours, I have gone away full of ideas; I found the talk extremely interesting indeed… Importantly, improvements in these different fields are interacting with each other. But something similar could well happen: Unfortunately any respect due was undermined by his contempt for the massive environmental challenges we face.As Ian Pearson described the interactions: Will all the individual possible applications of NBIC convergence described by Ian happen in precisely the way he illustrated? Trivial contact lens / jewellery technology can hang itself, if our countryside is choked by yoghurt factory fumes.