By Mark Stevenson
whilst abruptly faced together with his personal mortality, Mark Stevenson- a author, deep-thinker, and stand-up comedian-began to think of what the longer term holds for our species. "The previous is a overseas country," writes Stevenson. "By my research it's kind of like France-in that i have been to components of it and eaten a few great nutrients there. however the destiny? the longer term is an unknown territory-and there isn't any guidebook." therefore, his ambition was once born.
Stevenson set out easily, asking, "What's next?" after which traveled the globe in pursuit of the solutions. alongside the way in which, he visited the Australian outback to go to the farmers who can keep us from weather switch, met a robotic with temper swings, and talked to the Spaniard who is placing a lodge in area. whereas a few will be crushed, or perhaps dismayed via the looming realities of genome sequencing, artificial biology, a nuclear renaissance, and carbon scrubbing, Stevenson is still, good, positive. Drawing on his singular humor and storytelling to collapse those occasionally advanced discoveries, An Optimist's journey of the Future paints a superbly readable, and fully enchanting portrait of the place we will be once we develop up- and why it truly is now not so scary.
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Extra info for An Optimist's Tour of the Future: One Curious Man Sets Out to Answer "What's Next?"
And I’ll probably live healthier for a greater proportion of my life than my ancestors. I now believe that, at a minimum, stem cell therapies will become mainstream before I’m a pensioner – offering a very real possibility of repairing my ageing human body, potentially pushing me into my second century. Just a couple of months after my visit to Oxford, scientists at Imperial College London announce that by stimulating the bone marrow of mice, they can release a flood of adult tissue-specific stem cells into the bloodstream.
Perhaps the best known ‘scientific’ method of trying to avoid the great gig in the sky is Cryonic Suspension – the process of preserving the recently deceased by freezing their body or, for those with less funds (and I find this deliciously macabre), just their head. This method rests on the belief that physicians in the future will be able to thaw out, re-animate and cure these ‘cryonauts’ of whatever it was that killed them in the first place. Keeping someone frozen (or, in the parlance of wittier cryonics enthusiasts, ‘metabolically challenged’) is far from cheap – currently, you won’t get much change out of $150,000.
Throughout our talk, I pose this question in various guises, and Bostrom always answers in the same spirit – that, in his view, human life extension and enhancement will allow us not simply to live longer, but to enjoy living much more. ”’ This is the emotional driver at the core of the transhumanist dream. ‘It’s hard for a lot of people to see the problem – that life isn’t always as wonderful as it could be – and part of the reason for that is our biology. Just like chimpanzees (or ants) we have biological constraints in the sort of thoughts we can have and the lives we can lead.
An Optimist's Tour of the Future: One Curious Man Sets Out to Answer "What's Next?" by Mark Stevenson