MIT psychologist vs. frightening predictions

from the to-tell-or-not-to-tell dept.
Prominent MIT psychologist Steven Pinker predicts in Technology Review: How far can this revolution in the human condition go? Will the world of 3000 be as unthinkable to us today as the world of 2000 would have been to our forebears a millennium ago?…The future, I suggest, will not be unrecognizably exotic because across all the dizzying changes that shaped the present and will shape the future one element remains constant: human nature…It is also far from certain that we will redesign human nature through genetic engineering. People are repulsed by genetically modified soybeans, let alone babies, and the risks and reservations surrounding germ-line engineering of the human brain may consign it to the fate of the nuclear-powered vacuum cleaner…Third-millennium futurologists should realize that their fantasies are scaring people to death. The preposterous world in which we interact only in cyberspace, choose the endings of our novels, merge with our computers and design our children from a catalogue gives people the creeps and turns them off to the genuine promise of technological progress.

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