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Daniel Marques

Biomedical Scientist,

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What kind of future sate (after capitalism or next 200-500 years) would you like to see happen?

The current capitalist/democratic state is perhaps dominant at the moment. Capitalism seems to be adopted almost everywhere. But what will come next? The absolute rulers/monarchy system with slaves had been (mostly) replaced with feudalism which has been followed by capitalism. So what would you like to see next? A fairer, more egalitarian state? What technology are we likely to rely on (space-based solar energy? (SBSP)), how will states be run, will hunger/poverty be improved/solved? Will the state be pushing for more scientists and engineers than bankers (perhaps better incentives)?

I like to imagine a cleaner society. SBSP will be dominant, providing energy everywhere. The state is trusted by all as it is run by all in a more democratic way (made easier with improved communication tech). Corruption is difficult as as peoples values no longer depend on how much they can get, but on how can the human race improve and develop. More people are happier because they are better educated and understand the world in which they live. They want to improve technology, produce new art-forms, reach new planets and travel further into space. What do others think should happen? And What should we do today to work towards it?

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    Aug 23 2011: This is a difficult question! It is very important, amongst the wild imaginings, to remain secular about this subject. Keep human nature in mind, you know?

    For example there will always be greed, so solving poverty and hunger is out of the question unless you exterminate people. Everyone being educated and happy and understanding the world they live in means exterminating disabled people, manic depressives and bipolar people (to name a few) in order to eradicate their genetic code from our pool (not that it would even work).

    This is starting to sound a lot like Hitler won the war! Don't get me wrong, I would love for everyone to be happy, but it's amazing how little free will humans have regarding happiness, intelligence and behavior. As a biomedical scientist, I'm assuming that you've heard of epigenetic rules? People will always be born depressed or stupid or homosexual and the only way to "solve those questions" is the holocaust. In the future it might be less physically brutal because we might have the technology to build genetic code ourselves, but it is nevertheless killing the way people were naturally meant to be. I like your question but I think you've got a lot of explaining to do as far as the social concepts of your dream world! You say you want a cleaner society... I am very scared of you. Some people love to hang around in filth and hoard garbage. They are not less human than you, and be assured that they are not less in your future than in your present.
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      Aug 23 2011: Hehe, Easy there, I think you took what I said I bit far. I think this is just one of those things where other people will simply not be able to comprehend something like low poverty levels. Greed is a behaviour that is part of the human condition, yes. But It is not necessarily the one big barrier stopping us from helping others. And also the whole exterminating people to do away with problems? I think there are a few things we could do instead of turning into monsters. Disabilities, even those from birth, will one day be able to be treated before or after birth, be it surgery, genetic modification or prosthetics etc.

      I'm not sure what you were implying and it may just be the way that it reads, but homosexuality is not a disease or something to be treated. It is simply yet another way that our genetic make-up has produced diversity. Homophobia is backward and I would hope in a 'future society' will disappear along with racism + other prejudices.

      With the constant advances made in science, engineering and technology (faster now than ever in history), we should not be so pessimistic of the future by looking at how we struggle with concepts today. Looking at what the most prolific innovators and entrepreneurs (useful ones not the wasteful greedy types) are doing to change the world must give people some insight as to what human kind could accomplish one day.

      Humans in 500 years time will look back (as we do now) and be shocked at what our world was like. There is a large number of pessimistic, myopic people today. Instead of saying how impossible these great achievements are, we should be examining why they are such problems and thereby finding solutions using the technology that we may not have yet, but one day will.

      Epigenetic s is still quite a new field with intense research going into gene expression especially. No doubt with new revelations will come new ways of helping or treating the bodies where this process malfunctions.
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        Aug 23 2011: its too bad we can not look collectivly as a human body and say, "ya 500 years ago was crazy, and in 500 years we will be saying the same, but why wait 500 years, lets start now"
        • Aug 30 2011: Unfortunately masses of people are unable to preform souch paradigm-shifts. I think we'll have to wait for natural evolution of events to do it's job...
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        Aug 25 2011: Hey Daniel. You're right, I took what you said far out of proportion because this type of question (about society and the future) always has answers involving how people could be less miserable and more happy and work together in a big wonderful group. This kind of answer is optimistic beyond the bounds of reality!

        You and I will agree that as the population of the world expands, the world we live in changes drastically. I would also go as far as saying that the more aggressive the growth of the human race, the more aggressive the changes in the world (I'm talking about society as well as environment).

        The pattern that I observe if I look at the last thousand years, is that things change but the world doesn't change. If its not this disease than its that one. If its not that group who is oppressed then its this group. If its not this half of the world who is starving then its the other half! We can't make everyone happy. It will never happen and it shouldn't be something that we work towards.

        If we are going to talk about realistic approaches to the future (which I presume is the goal of this conversation), then we can't say things like "everyone will be happy and educated." However, we can say "Solar energy is the next petroleum" and talk about why we speculate thus. Mr. Blackburn articulated my point very succinctly; 500 years from now the Earth will still be the way it is today, but humans will face new problems.

        If we went into the future and figured out what those were to find immediate solutions, would not a new set of problems arise come 500 years?
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      Aug 24 2011: In addition to earlier, I also want to show that by a cleaner society, I was referring to our pollution of the planet such as that which is contributing to the global warming we are starting to see today. By focusing more of our international effort in cleaner sources of energy (e.g. more efficient solar power), the states of the future could focus on expanding our race beyond this planet rather than cleaning up our mess.

      I really would like to see more interest in our space programmes. With the innovations from space travel, life on Earth has and will continue to benefit from the improvements in cleaner technology. Not to mention the potential additional resources we could harvest from other planets, moons and our sun.
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        Aug 25 2011: I think you and I agree that technology should serve science, not us! We should evolve despite technology, not because of it.

        Speaking of space programs; have you heard of the Kepler mission?

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