it’s... The Future!

The articles on this page started out as blog posts, but outgrew their medium.  Their common subject is The Future — what’s coming and what we might want to do about it.  There are occasional lapses into looking at various scientific topics that aren’t related to the future.  The articles are:

Progress — a critique of the common idea that scientific and technical progress is an ever-increasing exponential curve.

Artificial Intelligence — What’s Coming looks at the prospects for machines becoming as smart as people.

Automation Is Going To Take Our Jobs is a sequel to the AI article, about the difficulties we’ll face when our machines become capable enough to render large numbers of human beings unemployable.

Organics Meet Robotics looks at a more positive side of automation: how it could make pesticides obsolete and improve the quality of our food.

Genetic Engineering, and Why I Marched Against Monstanto.  Speaking of pesticides, what sort of risks do we face from the commercial use of genetically modified organisms?

Global Warming — What Do We Do?  If we’re going to have all this future to worry about, we’d better not ruin the one planet we’ve got.  Here are some possible paths to minimizing the damage.

The Great Filter looks at the big picture: whether there are other planets with intelligent life, besides this one, and whether intelligence and civilization are likely to be widespread in the cosmos.

Cosmic Inflation looks at the even bigger picure, namely, current theories about the origin of the universe.

Reactionless Drive is a subject that’s perhaps getting taken a bit more seriously lately than it should be.  Is it possible for advanced science to violate conservation of momentum and produce a space vessel that moves itself forward without rocket exhaust?

And finally, The Theory Of Funniness looks at a scientific question much closer to home: what it is that makes something funny.  There are a bunch of competing ideas in this field.

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