2 min readPeter Russell: what if there is no future?

The best way we can look towards to the future is by stopping ourselves from dwelling in the past.

In this article, Peter Russell talks about the impending extinction of humanity as the inevitable consequence of advancing technologies. We might have trouble accepting this reality, but Russel asks us to look at the symptoms around us – the accelerating degradation of the life system that support us, the widespread despair among our young, the failure of our institutions to create breakthrough solutions for our perennial problems.

Russel says that it is time for us to let go of our attachment to this life, our need to control what ought to be. Once we accept our fate, then we can begin to see what is really essential in our existence. For Russel, his remaining goal is To leave the earth in as good as a state as possible in order to give future species a change to survive and flourish in the future. 

Implications for AI

Perhaps the biggest issue that arises out of materialism is transhumanism and the fear of death. Because of our want to live as long as we can, we have forgotten that the universe has a natural way of evolving, and that our species, in its current form and worldview, may lose its place of supremacy.

We have forgotten that our current time is just a part of a long continuum, and that the earth, in the same way as the universe is expanding, is alive and is continuing to transform. We cannot freeze this time, nor can we attempt to ensure our dominance of the future. What we can do, however, is to prepare for the future by intuiting what the form of that future can be, and transforming ourselves appropriately. Our science today shows us that there is so much more to human nature than what is currently known. We might not dominate the future, but our inherent capacities will enable us to thrive on. 

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