Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Two lost pairs of Lederhosen and a scary Futurologist


Der Spiegel carries out an analysis of crime statistics during the Oktoberfest festivities. Somehow that is very, very German. Unfortunately violence and drunkenness seem to be up this year.


Why are technology worshippers always so politically naive? Not only does this guy get his dates wrong when he tries to do history - we had both telephones and automobiles by 1900, he also doesn't seem to have fully thought through many of his ideas:

1) "If you are a college student, you blink and you can see all the answers to the final examination by wearing your contact lenses. Artists will wave their hands in the air and create beautiful works of art. If you're an architect, you will see what you are creating and just move towers, two apartment buildings around as you construct things."

Works okay for the last two but if everybody has information at their finger tips why become a university student? Even for the others who is to say that modelling technology that advanced wouldn't turn everybody into an architect or an artist regardless of talent? Maybe he anticipates this but if so why does he not talk about the sociological changes it would bring?

2) We can get rid of death but overpopulation will not be a problem.

False analogy from current trends. There is a huge difference in the decision to not reproduce when we live for 80 years and resources are still finite and the same decision made by immortals who live in utopia. Also currently there is a large amount of cultural homogeneity in the developed world. Who can say whether other cultures would replicate the declining birth rate in a world of infinite resources.

3) "Eternal life does not violate the laws of physics"

Of course it does! Go off and read Isaac Asimov's 'The Last Question' you silly Futurologist!

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