io9: Ten futurist phrases and terms that are complete bullshit


I feel this is worth linking as a fan of science fiction and fantasy, and as a person who as a few Facebook friends linked to the Singularity Institute and other similar self-congratulatory dream factories.

Science fiction is not particularly predictive at an aggregate level, and even those lauded for being otherwise mostly were able to do so by extrapolating the potential of existing technological and social trends. So while it’s interesting to think about where the future of computing and artificial intelligence will go, civilization-ending scenarios should be relegated to fiction.

It also bothers me because if one can, like the Singularity Institute, actually think that existential risk is worth even a red cent of research funding, all it means is that they need to first go back to college to learn some statistics, and second read the latest IPCC report to understand where our existential risk actually comes from these days.


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