from the trying-to-figure-out-what's-going-on dept.
BryanBruns writes "In connection with the Engines of Creation 2000 project, it would be interesting to discuss what seem to be the most important changes to consider for revising Engines of Creation, and more generally for formulating scenarios and strategies to "prepare society for advanced technologies." Below is a short list, which might stimulate discussion about the most important changes to consider, and their implications:
End of the cold war: democratization, capitalist globalization, China joining WTO…
Weak and poorly deliberated policies for science and technology: OTA abolished. No science courts. Media focus on risks frames discussion of environment, nuclear, biotech and other technologies.
Silicon Valley rules: network economy, web, internet time, open source, etc.
No big breakthroughs yet in AI: IT industry investing heavily in nanoscale technologies to follow Moore's law, biotech advancing rapidly, suggesting nanotech likely before artificial intelligence".
Read More for implications.

"End of the cold war: democratization, capitalist globalization, China joining WTO…

Increased likelihood of peacefully forging international agreements to help deal with technological advance (especially if we can avoid being entrapped by cold war-type memes of containment, zero-sum power struggles, clash of civilizations, etc. and instead leverage interdependence and emerging international civil society).

Weak and poorly deliberated policies for science and technology: OTA abolished. No science courts. Media focus on risks frames discussion of environment, nuclear, biotech and other technologies.

Public discussion of advanced technologies likely to be dominated by fears and conservative memes (sustainability, precautionary principle) rather than opportunities.

Silicon Valley rules: network economy, web, internet time, open source, etc.

Nanotech likelier to be developed openly in dynamic commercial markets, rather than military-industrial secrecy.

No big breakthroughs yet in AI: IT industry investing heavily in nanoscale technologies to follow Moore's law, biotech advancing rapidly, suggesting nanotech likely before artificial intelligence.

Strengthens likelihood that nanotech will evolve gradually, subject to ordinary engineering learning processes (as argued by Ted Kaehler, in Crandall's Nanotechnology), rather than a "two-week revolution," or hard takeoff to singularity (Vinge). Therefore more time and opportunity to prepare society and achieve futures "with room enough for our dreams."

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