Future Day

In my talk at the lively Future Day event yesterday at Terasem in Second Life, I said:

Future Day should be all about a positive can-do attitude, a great excitement about a sexy, radically better future enabled by emerging technologies, and the drive to get out of bed in the morning, roll our sleeves up, and actually go and build this future. Some lucky people are natural born optimists, but most of us find positive thinking difficult and need a little motivational boost now and then. I think Future Days can play an important role.

This beautiful sketch by Robert Maschke gives (at least to me) the Future Day feeling: a bright tropical scene in the sun with wild palms, fresh water and wind, and an exciting future world within reach.

I remember that in the 60s we were excited about the future (flying cars and cities on the Moon) because we had the space program (the real space program, the Apollo program, the Moon, not the dull boring and bureaucratized space of the 70s and after). In the 90s we were excited about the future (cyberspace and virtual reality) because we had the beginnings of the Internet explosion. In both the 60s and the 90s we also had a healthy attitude of defiance and civil disobedience against those who wanted to take our rights away.

Unfortunately the tone of the 00s was set by 9/11, and now we must really choose between the spirit of Apollo 11 and the spirit of September 11.  60… 90… so the 20s may be the next magic decade with new magic emerging technologies (probably related to progress in understanding biological brains and building artificial brains, but we should really go also back to space). Let’s try to anticipate some of the fun to this decade, and let’s SMI2LE again.

I am always happy when I see a transhumanist story on mind uploading and the Singularity published on the popular press, even when the tone is negative (really, there is no such a thing as bad press). The popular press is what people read on the subway. I think pushing these ideas to the people on the subway is important, and they are much smarter and more informed than elitist academicians in their ivory towers like to think.

Among the projects discussed, a Future Day film with positive and solar visions of the future (mostly interviews), for release at Future Day 2013 and distribution via torrent (more about this project in a future post).