Jamais Cascio says Getting Smarter is the only way out of this mess

Posted by on June 29th, 2009 in doomed future, Futurism, intelligence augmentation

In his article for The Atlantic, Get Smarter, Jamais Cascio points out that only by embracing all forms of intelligence augementation might we have a chance of surviving, and ultimately taming, an increasingly hostile future.

By 2030, then, we’ll likely have grown accustomed to (and perhaps even complacent about) a world where sophisticated foresight, detailed analysis and insight, and augmented awareness are commonplace. We’ll have developed a better capacity to manage both partial attention and laser-like focus, and be able to slip between the two with ease—perhaps by popping the right pill, or eating the right snack. Sometimes, our augmentation assistants will handle basic interactions on our behalf; that’s okay, though, because we’ll increasingly see those assistants as extensions of ourselves.

The amount of data we’ll have at our fingertips will be staggering, but we’ll finally have gotten over the notion that accumulated information alone is a hallmark of intelligence. The power of all of this knowledge will come from its ability to inform difficult decisions, and to support complex analysis. Most professions will likely use simulation and modeling in their day-to-day work, from political decisions to hairstyle options. In a world of augmented intelligence, we will have a far greater appreciation of the consequences of our actions.

Coping with the various world-histori­cal dangers we face will require the greatest possible insight, creativity, and innovation. Our ability to build the future that we want—not just a future we can survive—depends on our capacity to understand the complex relationships of the world’s systems, to take advantage of the diversity of knowledge and experience our civilization embodies, and to fully appreciate the implications of our choices. Such an ability is increasingly within our grasp. The Nöocene awaits.

thanks to halia for the tip-off!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • del.icio.us
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

2 Responses to “Jamais Cascio says Getting Smarter is the only way out of this mess”

  1. Smarter? Not really. There is nothing stopping someone from using all this great technology to be better at being an asshole. It is going to take the development of far more fundamental things than intelligence before we really get going as a species. All this technology will be around and people will use it, that is a given. But even an asshole can use the internet to spread their message. Just look around The kind of people we are determines how we act. How smart we are only determines how we work to our own ends. Intelligence is not compassion.

  2. If we’re gonna get into the “how to make man better” discussion I’ll need some drugs…

    Anyway, personally I’d say social attitudes plays a large part in how we turn out. Parents that like learning new things,are positive towards education and their children actively exploring the world = intelligent, well educated children. Or, at least if the educational system is worth a damned, and their peers have a similar attitude. And of course teachers.
    Generally there isn’t one single thing that can be changed to make someone a more educated and intelligent individual. But giving people tools that can be used however they want will lead to different things depending on who gets them.
    Some might become librarians that keeps up with the flow of information, and some might become bored assholes picking e-fights.