I have ten vital questions for you regarding the future of humanity. Some of these might be uncomfortable to contemplate, but if you face them head-on—even if you might not have any “solutions” at the moment—I think it puts you ahead of curve:
I. Given the incredible, unprecedented rate of technological and intellectual development over the last one hundred years alone—do you think that the world
20 10 years from now (considering it is still here and mostly intact) will resemble anything that familiar to you at all?
II. Given the apparent MASSIVE ideological/political divide (disconnect?) currently in the United States, do you think the nation will remain in the form it is in
10 5 years from now?
III. Once humans a) are given the option to have their DNA (in whatever combinations, involving whatever # of participants) passed on to their children without having physical sex or getting pregnant and b) are given the option to have their sexual needs completely fulfilled (in whatever combinations, involving whatever # of participants) via robotics, neural implants, and virtual reality…how many of the people in society, do you think, are going to actually fuck other living people anymore (outside of crazy California cults)?
IV. Do you think that the great advances “just around the corner” in halting the aging process, cybernetics, genetic engineering, and so on are actually meant for the common people at all?
V. Where do you think the huge masses of unskilled and semi-skilled and skilled-skilled people who are inevitably going to be replaced by machines in the next
5 2 years are going to find work?
VI. Do you ever get a creepy feeling sometimes that humanity didn’t stop evolving after homo-sapiens? Does this ever happen in conjunction with a three-year-old demonstrating to you the complex physics-building game he or she has been mastering on the iPad?
VII. Do you think that a single damn thing you’ve ever typed on your computer, spoke in a phone, or photographed has any sort of real “security” in place to prevent it from being hacked by any # of interested parties in the future…other than the fact that you are so boring nobody would care?
VIII. What do you think is the rate at which your government shares with you the latest discoveries in a) technology b) infectious diseases c) epoch-threatening dangers to the planet d) evidence of extraterrestrial life forms? Do you think you have a direct connection to the gov’s “Red Bat-Phone” as these things come up? Do you think that as soon as they find these things out, they tweet it out? Or do you, instead, feel you are on a “need-to-know” basis with them? (And if so: what do you think constitutes a “need-to-know” basis?)
IX. Do you consider yourself a very progressive, hip, free-thinking, anti-establishment sort of person…unless somebody questions dogma that has been considered “non-debatable” by your peer group? Do you know anybody in your life who is “progressive” that has the aforementioned mentality?
X. Going back to the first question…this is presently one of the weirdest, most accelerated periods of concentrated change in the entire history of humankind. It’s as if we compressed hundreds of thousands of years into like an hour. Why do you think you were born to witness exactly this era? The timing is sort of like shooting a foam Nerf dart into the middle of the Milky Way. Do think there is any purpose to it at all, an important reason why you are here right now?
Well…that’s it. Those are my questions.
Editorial note: I originally wrote this in 2016. Predictions, in terms of # of years, have been changed to reflect the present situation.