The future? Progress, innovation…?

While thinking about the anthropocene, a question arose: where is progress in innovation still possible? Thus, a very short note here.

The great acceleration of the twentieth century was also a great acceleration in innovation. Life became more comfortable, safer and more interesting – unless you define interesting as dangerous. We left the planet even though only for short spans of time but our technology left the planet forever.

On the other hand our past ideas how the future would look like failed. A fact moaned not only by George RR Martin and Neil Gaiman.

What does the future hold, what progress is still possible? Life will become even more comfortable and safer. Innovation in medicine and health is a given. Progress in energy technologies is inevitable though our boldest dreams are unlikely. However, we appear to be, in my understanding of the state of physics, stuck on this planet.

Will the great acceleration flatten? Will progress be confined to comfort and life expectancy and warfare – where the latter two are potentially mutually exclusive? Is, hence, the future going to be comforting but boring?

Thoughts anybody?


One thought on “The future? Progress, innovation…?

  1. We’re notoriously bad at predicting what the future is going to be like, aren’t we? Sometimes we get some details right, but it always surprises us in the end. But the important thing is that although we never achieve the shiny technological paradise, we also never end up in the dystopian wasteland — we seem to consistently land somewhere in a comfortable compromise.

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