TED Conversations

Kent Spencer


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What do you think the world will be like in the year 3012?

History has taught us to never underestimate the abilities of the human mind. There has been many advancements in science that has cleared up questions about our universe. Advancements that have led to cures of many diseases. Advancements that have helped us cope with severve weather conditions.

People have also made leaps with the way they interact socially. Gays are being supported for marraige. Governments have risen and fallen. And people are still fighting for proper citizen rights.

What future do you see?

Do you think we will find life on other planets?
Do you think there will be changes in our currencies?
How will our ways of transportation change?


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  • May 24 2012: We are on the brink of extraordinary times for sure. The question is: What can change the nature of a human being? I dont think that humanity made leaps with the way they interact socially... especially with homosexuality: We had already cultures with an accepted "same-sex-love-culture" (Japan or China for example). I dont think that technology is able to change humans - instinct tells the bees, which flower to pollinate and humans how to behave badly :)

    My grandma was born 1900 and grown up with horses on the street. 70 years later she sat in front of a TV and watching men flying to the moon. From horses to spaceships in a lifetime, thats quite a jump. Did all the technology development influence her nature? No, still the same grumpy woman all her life. We are using cellphones and computers to communicate today, but we gossip about our neighbours like the ancient greeks 3000 years ago. And it wont change in 1000 years for sure, except: Genetic engineering... that is an unknow force, which can change and shape humanity forever. I have a bad feeling about this.
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      May 28 2012: What's the worst case of genetic engineering do you see occuring in 1000 years?
      • May 28 2012: Are our emotions or the ability to communicate and interact with other humans tied to genetics? Free will and self-awareness? We dont grasp the whole picture between those dependencies and even if we have this knowledge... knowledge is not equal wisdom. Big difference.

        The worst case scenario: Humanity will still have the astonishing lack of wisdom like today. If we could remove jealousy via genetic engineering... ah, very tempting. Crime? Society is better without criminals, right? Some fools will decide to get rid of certain emotions and bad behaviour for sure.

        But the ability to break rules and ignore social norms is important (french revolution, Galileo Galilei for example) and jealousy, passion, hate, love, anger, hope... think about all the great art, books, screenplays and culture without it.

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