The following article was written by Jane Metcalfe, founder of Wired Magazine. It was published last July 5, 2020.
In this article, Metcalfe looks back at Scenarios, Wired’s very first issue, which offered several scenarios of how the future in 25 years (yes, 2020) will look like. Metcalfe reminds us of one article from that issue entitled The Plague Years, which reads almost like our current reality.
Metcalfe goes on to relate the storyline of the article, as well as review some of the most disruptive events in the history of the modern world. She says that most of these disruptions have resulted in breakthroughs in science and technology. For example, the World War II and the space race ignited the fields of computer science and communications.
The next phase of technological innovation, Metcalfe says, is the Neobiological Revolution, the transformation of the human species. She says, “From gene editing to brain computer interfaces, our ability to engineer biological systems will redefine our species and its relation to all other species in the planet”. She adds that COVID-19 is accelerating this transformation, and that we must take advantage of this situation to consciously design it for particular outcomes. She says, “People at the forefront of life sciences are showing us enormous potential technological, public health, environmental, financial, and social benefits. What we imagine becomes what we build. It’s time to outline possible futures people can rally for rather than fear. Let’s not let the coronavirus crisis go to waste”.
Editor’s Note: We agree with Metcalfe that we are in a unique position in history because we have the knowledge and the technology to change the earth’s destiny. We now have the power to play god and make meaningful changes in our futures.
The difference between Metcalfe and us is that we look at “meaningful changes” differently. Whereas Metcalfe thinks that biological manipulation is the way forward, we think that understanding the true nature of the human being is more essential.
Based on what we know of the new sciences, we can say that the human being does not need artificial modification. Our bodies are naturally intelligent, our minds are powerful beyond our imagination. Rather than focusing on the outcome of change, we must instead strive to understand the context of change, and the lesson it imparts to us, citizens of this earth.
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