I get in a lot of conversations about potential futures. Not the future, but all kinds of possible futures. One thing that constantly strikes me is a widespread lack of imagination when it comes to this complex set of subjects.
“The future will contain technologies, realisations and social structures that we can not even fathom in the present.” — Peter Joseph
There are a lot of people who can’t imagine, for example, a world without money or a world without certain kinds of crime — not even for the sake of conversation. This bugs me primarily because it usually restricts the conversation to present conditions, and stops exploration of theory that could enable the creation of conditions in the present that produce desirable outcomes in the future.
It’s almost like most people’s vision of the future is nothing more than a higher-tech version of what already exists, with a few policy alterations here and there. It’s as if, even in their own most optimistic visions of the future, people are still working 40 hours a week, still being fucked over by politicians and others who are thought to “represent them,” the world is still at war and humanity is still full of anger, hatred, shallow materialism, delusion, and seemingly has no concept of cause-effect.
Certain types of questions rarely get asked, and so certain trains of thought rarely get explored. The old conspiracy theorist in me wonders if this has been done deliberately, with an Orwellian newspeak/doublethink-style language of thinking being imposed on people to prevent them exploring certain trains of thought. But I don’t believe my own thoughts when it comes to that. Instead, this generally strikes me as a natural consequence of the tendency to cling to ideological/belief-oriented languages of thinking — not a planned chain of events imposed on us by malicious forces.
So, let’s ask a few unusual questions, just for the sake of discussion and exploring new territory:
Will money and, therefore, scarcity, just exist forever in some form or another? What conditions could create a future where money has been outgrown, and, given what insight we’ve gained from human history, would it be both practical and beneficial to strive for such conditions?