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Group Discussion on the Near, Middle, Far, and Indefinite Future, First Responses Session: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, and Tor Jørgensen (Part One)

March 15, 2020

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 22.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Eighteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: March 15, 2020

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 8,234

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, and Tor Jørgensen contributed to this opening session to a series of discussion group responses to questions followed by responses, and so on, between March and May of this year. Total participants observable in [1]. They discuss: the near future (2020-2049), the middle future (2050-2074), the far future (2075-2099), and the indefinite future (22nd-century and beyond).

Keywords: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, Tor Jørgensen.

Group Discussion on the Near, Middle, Far, and Indefinite Future, First Responses Session: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, and Tor Jørgensen (Part One)[1],[2]*

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Out of the 5 possible topics, we voted with option 2 winning by 1 vote. This option, as follows:
 
Segmented exploration of the question, “What is going to happen in the near future (2020-2049), middle future (2050-2074), far future (2075-2099), and the indefinite future (22nd-century and beyond)?”  
 
The complete option set included the following, and in the order presented with the voted topic in bold:

1. General exploration of the question, “What is going to happen in the future?”

2. Segmented exploration of the question, “What is going to happen in the near future (2020-2049), middle future (2050-2074), far future (2075-2099), and the indefinite future (22nd-century and beyond)?”

3. An exploratory and critical examination of the potential end to human paradigmatic thinking and diminution of grand narratives in the light of the progress of human thought, e.g., sciences, philosophy, technological know-how, etc., and the development of societies.

4. The picking and choosing by individual discussion group members on select global issues relevant for some or all of the rest of the 21st century of some interest, or concern, to them, for commentary by them, including mass migration, artificial intelligence/superintelligence, nationalism/populism, human rights, social credit system(s), overpopulation, the global economy, and so on.

5. A segmented exploration of the future guided by the near, middle, far, and indefinite future timeline focused on the end, or not, of paradigmatic thinking with cases in global issues including mass migration, artificial intelligence/superintelligence, nationalism/populism, human rights, social credit system(s), overpopulation, the global economy, and so on.

Here, we will define the near future from 2020 to 2049, the middle future as 2050 to 2074, the far future to 2075 to 2099, and the indefinite future as 22nd-century and beyond. Obviously, we have about 3 decades in the first options with more ease in predictions for us. Let’s start with some softballs, what seems like the most probable to come true in the near future? Those things most easily, readily following from current trends, the laws of the natural world and within the laws of human societies without a sign of impediment from world events, e.g. natural or human-made catastrophes. When looking at this middle future when many things seeming potentially impossible will be commonplace, and others assumed as inevitable will have been shown impossible, what seems likely and unlikely to continue to happen around the world here? By the end of century, during the far future where many of us may not be alive, how will some of these advancements in science and technology, or changes to the political and social landscape, lead to a vastly different world compared to now, or not? While some things are within our extrapolations, others may be mere whimsical speculation about the future, here I am looking at the 22nd-century and beyond or the indefinite future. What will not happen in our lifetimes, but will happen in the indefinite future? Because this follows from reasonable trendlines at present or exists within the laws of nature while not existing in the current world at all.

 

Christian Sorenson: I have the impression that the nature of this question is due to a matter more of a predictive character than of a critical analysis in a logical, ontological or other sense. Being rigorous with the semantics of these concepts, “prediction” as such would belong to the field of science in a particular way, or failing that, to disciplines, whatever they may mean, since this will depend on the imagery that we display, but that ultimately they currently lack a scientific status.

I will approach the answer at the same time from two different depth levels, and both from a logical as well as an ontological perspective.

Indeed, in a phenomenological sense, it’s both possible on the one hand to delimit time in the near future, in the medium and long term, and in the indefinite future. And on the other side to contextualize it contingently with a certain historical moment. We could call this, “der zeit geist” or the spirit of time, since it implies a significance in terms of the directionality that follows our individual and collective action as a society towards a certain end, implicitly or explicitly predetermined; and the systemic consequences derived from these. In this regard, “the action” as such seems to me that it would admit two alternatives but nevertheless only one option between the two. That is, our actions individual or not, could be understood as “actions of human beings” or as “human actions”. The first ones for me would be any kind of conduct that can be carried out by a subject, while the second would be a deliberate action, that is to say relatively free and spontaneously carried out by someone. Both possibilities could not coexist simultaneously in the same event, since they are of a different nature. The former is more likely determined by phylogenetic factors, while the latter is more determined by factors of an ontogenical order. From this point of view parallel realities are appreciated, because as we achieve greater technological, sociocultural and spiritual development, we should be able to control, and benefit more successfully from our physical and non-physical environment, at the same time we are being able to live in better harmony and balance with it. However empirically speaking the opposite has occurred and paradoxically occurs. In this manner we can also verify until now that all the civilizations that have preceded us have had the same end since they have ended up disappearing. In that way what will essentially happen in the near, middle, far and indefinite future? In the near future, and in the medium and long term, for sure a significant change will probably come out with an ever-increasing speed towards chaos. This last as it would occur with the irregular trajectory of a double pendulum. The indefinite future, if understood more as “a beyond something” than an infinity, rather it would entail the closing of one cycle and the beginning of another. In that manner I believe that “nothing is more permanent than change” as long as we comprehend that the only thing that exists or that has the possibility of existing is “the one” as a point of origin and end that is identical in itself.

On a second level I will aboard “the becoming” as such, as a function of time as absolute but linking it with what I exposed above. In a light way it could be affirmed that “time” beyond its relativity and its questionability in relation to its existence or not, would have only a semantic character and therefore a didactic function when segmenting it. If what exists is an identical point for the beginning and end of everything, then logically we would be talking about a systemic cyclicality, that from my point of view, is additionally reverberant, and in consequence I could consider it as equivalent to an eternal return of everything.

Symbolically, what seems to be configured as one or several ring units interconnected with each other, it seems to me rather a figure in the form of something that travels an infinite space, and that it has three registries. Thereby the first one of them would represent a symbolic registry, while the second and third ones would be represented in an imaginary and real registries respectively. For this reason the end of a certain cycle does not exist as such, but rather it would be a place at the turning point in each of the turns of “a spiral” that unfolds with a variable distance in between, and rotating indefinitely in somewhat that could be called “vacuum space”.

Claus Volko: History as it is taught at schools is usually a history of wars. From such a perspective one might ask oneself which wars will be fought in the long-term future. However, there is also an alternative view of history as the history of technology. The 20th century has been especially interesting not because of the wars fought during this century but because of the technological advances made. Likewise, we should, in my opinion, ask ourselves what future technologies are going to arrive, and how they are going to shape the world. The Internet has made communication between individuals far easier than in the past and in addition has opened new opportunities for many of us to get our thoughts and ideas published. Mobile telephony has brought us the freedom to move around the surface of the planet and be able to communicate with everybody in real time. Will artificial intelligence be the next big thing? Probably not in the same way because it is more obscure. Applications of artificial intelligence are already around us but they are not so easily visible. We should also ask ourselves if social policy will shape society and change it dramatically. The idea of a universal basic income has gained some notability in the past few years and if it is implemented one day, it might be a disruptive advance in social and economic issues. We should also not forget about education – will educational institutions change to prepare the youth better for the modern world than traditional education?

All of this said, we should also think about climate change. It is possible that man-made emissions will lead to catastrophe within the next hundred years. Perhaps the earth will become uninhabitable. This poses a problem to us which we have to solve if we want to survive as a species. Is man capable of mastering the problem of climate change? How will institutions cooperate on resolving technological and scientific issues?

At least, with the Internet, we have communication means to discuss these issues on a high level. The participation of ordinary people in the debates is possible and it will be vital for these debates to bring fruitful success. If climate change cannot be stopped, the future of mankind will be gloomy. So, this is the first and foremost challenge. Big history will measure the human civilization by its means to fight climate change.

Either man will succeed or perish.

Erik Hæreid: [Ed. “N” means “near future.” “M” means “middle future.” “F” means “far future.” “I” means “indefinite future.” Combinations of the letters imply the range of the aforementioned times.]

AI:

N: ANI (Artificial Narrow Intelligence). Increasingly effectuation and automation of traffic and industry. Businesses have to adapt more quickly. No problem with unemployment, we just change business products. Humans will always produce and create; there will always be need for much. As long as we are able to produce enough supplies for everyone, the problem is reduced to distribution. Challenge: Polarization; some own too much and others too little.

Within the near future, I think AI will develop in a convenient, human-assisted way, to improve communication and general human activities. Since the idea with AI is to develop without human assistance, we don’t know when or if it will expand and explode into a technological singularity.

M: After 2049 we will have a mix of AI-devices everywhere, and we are kind of waiting for the best or worst scenario. Will the AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) appear?

I: A massive change regarding our mentality. How will we react and act on these new technical devices and features that we used as toys a couple of decades ago? Maybe, we can control it. Maybe, it evolves further and develops into the superintelligence-status ASI (Artificial Super Intelligence). If so, it or they become much more intelligent than we are. Unless we have created and constructed more intelligent and adaptable humans than the normal evolution would manage, we become slaves, or pets. Maybe servants. Maybe extinct. Or: The human develops ASI as part of the evolution of humans. Humanity has reached its peak, and one way to evolve further is through ASI. It’s not a threat, it’s the next step.

Epidemics and severe diseases:

N: We build up effective routines handling pandemics, which will be a more frequent phenomenon; as we see today but more professional routines concerning isolation procedures and making new vaccines.

N-M: Humans will overcome severe diseases like cancer and dementia, and other diseases will take place. We will develop better methods, technology and defense mechanisms to control it.

I: We will control diseases completely, and control lifespans. I don’t believe in natural extinction. Maybe ASI-related, though.

Environment:

N: People will adapt to a more critical situation, actualized through more migration, and building new homes and construct environments that fit the new weather conditions. Businesses have to build more equity and being more adaptable for handling and survive the turbulence which will appear. Instability is a word for the next many decades.

N-M: Increased sea level and temperatures, more extreme weather conditions in general. Possibly mass migration. The world will adapt by creating new temporary migrant cities or camps, with a better infrastructure than today. The world community will rent land from nations with areal; everyone will contribute in one way or the other. Control of immigration will be done because of potential dangerous political consequences. A better control with businesses that destroy the environment.

F: A possibly natural reduction of the world’s population as a consequence of environmental changes. A population suited to more harsh weather conditions. An expanding use of technology to reduce negative effects on climate change, and with good and stabilizing results.

I: A balanced earth of people, and possibly a transhuman mix of humans, cyborgs and AI-devices at same level or more probably above concerning intelligence. Other man-/AI-made objects in Space where humans live, and where there probably is nature and almost the same conditions as on earth; adapted to the new generations.

Wars:

N-M: I think humans will gather and find common solutions more than fighting each other in the future. It will be situations where humans are stressed and conflicts arise, but also a common awareness of problems that gather more than separates us. The major problems will unite us because they hit all of us; it becomes a common destiny.

Local conflicts and small wars. Religious based, mainly. A raising awareness of alternatives and better solutions reduces conflicts in this period. Still some small conflicts and terrorism, but much less.

F: No more major conflicts. Somehow humans have managed to control devastating aggression.

I: Peace; a smooth cooperation between humans and its extension. Harmonization. We have learned/adapted to live together with and not against nature, the Universe and technology.

Moral:

N: Morality is a crucial part of civilizations, and a lot of difficult situations will occur in the near future because of the rapid changes. This will influence how we build humans in the future. In this period, I think we become more conscious in the sense of empathic concerning moral issues like racism and polarization.

M-F: It will be easier to adapt and be part of the more general group and society, among others using technology. The motivation to deviate and be better than others will be less important, and replaced by other needs that is adapted to the general population as a whole. Cooperation is crucial, and the opportunity and access to cooperate will be easier. This will increase from 2100.

The next generations of humanity:

N-M-F-I: Choice. We will construct humans (e.g., transhumanism), as we always have done, but more technically and with increasingly larger control and “almighty” power than through the basic natural evolution. People will increasingly be in the power of a decision of what and who they want to be. We won’t get imprisoned in our heritage, genes and environment; we can choose our identity to a much larger extent. This will, in the end, be a balanced product of individual needs and needs for the community, as today. I don’t believe humans will be ASIs pets or slaves. The pace of human evolution will continuously be a combination of safety and development/improvement.

Conquering Space/future habitats:

N-M-F-I: We will settle at other places outside our planet; at first temporarily on the moon, then on Mars, and in a distant future on our own gigantic vehicles, human-produced moving “planets” (maybe in cooperation with/as ASI-beings), that we will use to travel through interstellar and intergalactic space towards other star systems and planets.

James Gordon: Near future (2020-2049): The development of superior AI and robots; android-like machines that will be similar to humans but still quite distinguishable. High-fidelity VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) resulting in immersive and realistic games and technologically-assisted experiences. At least one successful mission to mars (human landing). Early methods to effectively connect the human brain to a computer interface. Improvements in medical technology in the form of more advanced and functional bionic limbs. The possibility of a cure to terminal diseases such as cancer or AIDS.

Middle future (2050-2074): More advanced AI and robots (less distinguishable from humans and taking on more companion-like roles). Advanced methods to connect brains to computers; VR and AR experiences almost indistinguishable from reality. The potential for more integrated and fully operational cyborg features in humans. Early colonization of Mars (temporary residents). Major breakthroughs in medical science and technology, in the forms of curing many harmful conditions, and also repairing and substituting damaged body parts, organs, and so on using bionic counterparts.

Far future (2075-2099): A great deal of occupations and professions will be conducted through VR computer interfaces (from physical home locations). Thus in-person interaction will be simulated more often than it will be actualized. Almost everything will be automated and mechanized for maximum efficiency. Permanent residents and colonizers on Mars, scientists working on the early stages of terraforming the red planet. Androids will be increasingly lifelike and approaching sentience. The ability to implant human memories and personalities into androids and create a lifelike copy of themselves.

Indefinite future (22nd century+): The possibility to terraform Mars more thoroughly and continue Earth-like civilization there. Ability to download subjective experiences into computer networks (e.g. to store accurately store and reproduce memories and dreams). Androids virtually indistinguishable from humans, capable of having jobs and living programmed lives. The human lifespan will be lengthened greatly due to medical technology and advancement in civilization (living past 100 will become normal). Almost all diseases will have cures, including AIDS and cancer. Advanced methods to extend lifespans, such as freezing life in stasis to be later reactivated, may be developed. Computer worlds and experiences entirely or almost indistinguishable from reality may exist or be in development. The possibility for neural implants and “instant learning” may be in production or on the horizon. The human body and brain will have cyborg options making the interconnectedness between man and machine nearly complete.

Matthew Scillitani: I’ll preface that my answers will mostly be regarding Western politics. Know that I’m neither a member of the political left nor right, and that my thoughts on modern and future political developments are from studying history and keeping up to date with current events.

In the near future, we continue to see a shift towards leftism in the media, education, and in young people. Tensions between the political right and left rise, causing more group polarization and extremism in both parties. This leads to much bullying, violence, and irrational thinking. Eventually, with a sudden flood of new voters, the left gains total power for an extended period and pushes for socialism.

Once socialism is adopted, general wellbeing and life satisfaction increase on average, but technological progress slows down. With little financial incentive, many tech moguls and would-be inventors are no longer inspired to push for new technology. This does not stop progress entirely, but we don’t see much new groundbreaking tech for some time.

Surprising to rightists is that people are still motivated to work in demanding fields despite lower wages. This is because people are inclined to do what they’re best at regardless of any potential extrinsic reward. Under socialism we see many more passionate and empathetic workers in healthcare and fields of law than before.

In the middle future, there is much rioting from the political right, with Western culture falling on a sharp decline. Eventually, both political parties are so polarized and resentful of each other that Western morality devolves by no less than two millennia. Rightists have become wholly racist and sexist while leftists have accepted pedophilia and children’s right to ‘transition’ via hormone replacement therapy.

Ultimately, the leftist government wins this battle by using cult-like bully tactics in media and legislation. What follows is several decades of extreme social regression masqueraded as progress.

In the far future, there are many protests calling for child protection (against pedophiles), free speech, human dignity, and men’s rights. After several decades, these protests lead to positive reform, and near the end of this period we see a higher standard of morality in Western culture.

In the indefinite future, leftist politicians try to suppress Caucasian men while simultaneously promising them more rights and privileges should they vote them into office. In order to save face, these same politicians claim that the atrocities committed over the latter half the 21st century were by rightists all along and continue to suppress certain groups of people in order to stay in power by promising to save them from the evils of the right.

And so, the cycle continues.

Rick Farrer: The near future from 2020 to 2049:

#1: Lab grown meat is going to be huge. Initially I had a lot of doubts, mostly about whether it would be appealing enough to carve out a sustainable market niche, but a lot of my earlier reservations have disappeared. And if it expands in volume and variety like I’m guessing, future generations will look back and consider it on a short list of things that have had the highest impact on human history.

#2: The use of an individual’s sequenced DNA data will become much more common in regular diagnostics and health care as opposed to being ordered as more of a specialty test. I am basing my prediction on the rapid growth of the body of knowledge that is being accumulated already in this area, its perceived potential, its decreasing costs, and increasing availability.

#3: The first human will step foot on Mars. I’m sticking my neck out on this prediction, and it might be more hope (and cheering for those that dare reach for the stars) than something realistic. It seems to me that both the technological and practical aspects of making this happen are entirely plausible in the next 30 years. But there are some other interesting dynamics going on in relation to this, and excuse me for going off on a tangent for a moment. Maybe this deserves its own discussion, because there are historical parallels. I’m speaking specifically about how some things are more likely to be accomplished by individuals with the means, drive, and ability to make them happen than by situations requiring group approvals, decisions, and power. But, regarding this specific prediction, the risk of not completing such things that are driven by capable individuals is that they will not happen without that person’s drive, and thus are dependent on both the continued availability and will of that person.

#4: We will see some new hybrid or different system of governance arise. I do not have a specific prediction as to what appearance this might take, but my sense is that there is a growing unhappiness and view of unfairness with existing systems, and something new needs to happen to provide more equitable distributions of wealth, risk, and opportunity.

The middle future from 2050 to 2074:

#1: Significant increases in average life spans will be achieved. This is agreeably something to celebrate, but I think it could potentially create a problematic consequence as well, and that is the effect of potentially creating long term persistent economic and power inequalities. (Consider the consequences of wealthy and/or influential people who never relinquish their holdings.) Obviously this could be solved. But certainly there are other potential benefits as well as dangers that would be associated with longer life spans.

#2: A major shift will occur in our value systems – I am going to leave this prediction nebulous. Assuming drastic changes ahead in humanity’s future and value systems being survival traits, changes will have to occur. Longer life spans, humanity making strides in growing beyond the planet, and essentially re-evaluating their place in the universe will dictate new rules for survival, and, arguably, values are part of survival.

The far future from 2075 to 2099:

#1: Space travel and usage will become much more widespread and common. I’m going to predict that finally during this time segment, more economic benefits will begin accruing from the expenses put into projects beyond earth’s orbit, and that will drive more activity. I’m thinking of perhaps mining activities, refining, or activities that have benefits from occurring in null gravity and/or vacuum, for example.

The indefinite future from 2100 onward:

#1: I’m going to predict the potential for humanity splitting into two populations at some point. Or perhaps it would be described best as 2 groups based on different value systems. One would be those that desire and choose a simple, old fashion, retrograde lifestyle and another set that has their values in pushing the limits. This prediction does not have much basis apart from an already observed polarization among individuals who prefer one or the other of these options.

Rick Rosner: People will be increasingly able to avoid being manipulated, probably. In America, the Republicans will be at an increasing demographic disadvantage. So, there may be some set of non-shitty politics in the next 10 years. Beyond that, if you look at Cory Doctorow, he writes a lot of near-future science fiction in which a lot of people form alliances independent of government.

They form their own alliances. You’ll see that kind of shit. The government will, I hope, repair itself and become less important. We’ll see increasing but not apocalyptic effects of climate change. It is already undeniable. It’ll get more undeniable. As an increasingly small minority of idiots will continue to deny that it is real, some technological solutions will arise. Some will be brute force things like sea walls around low-lying cities.

There will be some more elegant and ambitious efforts. Maybe, efforts to change the albedo of large parts of the Earth. Who knows, the shit will have varying success. But it will be clear that there is a lot of money in fixing climate change. We will see a lot of effort thrown at it. In parallel, we will see the replacement of fossil fuels with renewables. All of this stuff driven not by government edict, but by the market. People will see the money it.

Old industries will continue to spew disinformation to hold onto their markets. The increasing efficacy of medicine and later in the 30-year period, anti-aging therapies that, in fact, work. More types of cancer will be addressable. Other diseases of old age, e.g., heart disease and strokes will be deal-with-able. Towards the next 30 years, we will have increasingly less expensive replacement organs.

We will see increasing lifespans. More and more people will make it to 100. As the technology gets really good, eventually, a majority of people will make it past 95. After that, the efforts will be to old age while remaining youthful. No one wants to be 97 and look and feel 87. You want to feel 57 or 47. So, you’ll see waves of medical technology. In America, there will be increasing dumb political shit about how to pay for it while other countries develop more effective ways to deal with what will be very expensive medical therapies.

As automation increasingly limits the job market, people will look at economic systems that have widths of what a-holes call socialism and reasonable people call guaranteed minimum wage. The necessities of life, besides dwellings, will continue to get cheaper. Different governments and, perhaps, other organizations will be able to provide people with most of the necessities of life for an increasingly reasonable set of costs. A-holes will continue to call this socialism.

Is it really socialism when it is super inexpensive to help people get by? What is coming out as a theme while I talk, advances will continue to be made and people who have an agenda will continue to try to manipulate people that these aren’t advances. The last thing and perhaps the biggest thing is the rise of A.I. in every walk of life. I think, by now, most people realize A.I. doesn’t mean semi-human robots all over the place.

It means everything will be wired with sensors and connected to the cloud and the internet. Everything will be exchanging data. That data will be analyzed to make shit better, more efficient. The people who are best at exploiting A.I. will have a big advantage over people who are bad at it.

Then, eventually, but not within the next 30 years, you will have A.I. and the replication of consciousness becoming good enough that people will really be mentally merging with advanced artificial information processing systems and, maybe, merging with each other. That is probably beyond the next 30 years. In the next 30 years, things will be becoming increasingly smart.

The analysis of big data will yield a flood of information. Entertainment will continue to get ridiculously compelling and A.I.-generated imagery – visual and other presentation – will get more sophisticated. All sense and modalities becoming more compelling and realistic when it wants to be, even when it doesn’t want to be.

People will continue to voraciously consume information and will get better and better at consuming and processing information in combination with A.I. I think that’s pretty much it. There’s the browning of the world too. That whitey will own less and less, proportionately less and less, of the world’s wealth and technology.

Whitey won’t suffer. It is just that non-whitey and other parts of the world than the Western world will begin to gain an increasing share of the good stuff and will increasingly participate in Western world shit.

You’ll see the gay-ing and trans-ing of the world as people give less and less of a shit about gender and sexual orientation. The pussification of the world as the world decides that we don’t need to be tough guys, the gentling of the world so to speak.

We will have wars and crimes. But I believe that hyper-masculine belligerence that crept into our culture will lessen as systems to avoid encounters with violence arise and people realize that you don’t need to be hyper-masculine; that hyper-masculinity is as much drag as anything else.

That performative masculinity will become less predominant.

2050-2074, climate change effects will grow more severe with more extinctions, acidifications of the oceans becoming pretty dire, but with technologies to counter climate change and with more carbon neutral energy sources kicking in.

You’ll have violent storms. We see violent storms now. You will see even worse violent storms. I don’t know if any natural coral reefs will survive. But we will figure out a way to regenerate them, maybe not in the same places that they are now, but maybe in places where the changing temperature allows them.

You’ll see changing geographic demographics. People will move to where the changing temperatures and the changing coastlines, where people move to the new good places or away from the new bad places. Individual consciousness will be under assault by new technology as the technology for adding information processing abilities to natural brains and extending the lifespans of brains, and replicating thought and consciousness with initially low fidelity but with increasing fidelity.

Governments will either get their shit together or be supplanted by extra-governmental organizations. If the U.S. continues to be a nation of yahoos, then the U.S. will fall away to yahooness or yahoodom. There is a chance the U.S. could fracture either entirely or in a de facto manner.

It is one nation while functioning as two or more nations. You can’t tell whether you will live to a 100 until 100 years pass. We will have this medical technology offering the prospect of super long lifespans.

We won’t know until people reach the super long ages. We will see some Boomers reaching their 120s. Then you’ve got the Gen Xers in their 90s to 100s, and Millennials and Gen Zs. The Gen Zs will be in their 60s.

By then, there may be sufficient medical technology for the gen Zs in their 60s and Millennials in their 70s may be able to pass for really weird looking 40-year-olds. The culture will continue to become more immersive and fantastic in its entertainment.

You will have shit like robot girlfriends with A.I. able to pass increasingly sophisticated Turing Tests. You could claim some A.I. are nearly as conscious as humans. We will all continue to become more Kumbaya in some more and a lot more less annoying ways.

There will be less pressure to conform to sex and gender norms. People will try different sex and gender stuff. Some experiments will work, most won’t, because most new social experiments will lack the stability of old social arrangements.

Couplehood has been tried and tested for 30,000 years or hundreds of millions of years if you look at the rest of animal kingdom. So, triads, quads, and what the heck else, will be less stable with more moving parts.

People will come up with different systems of arrangements that are workable for finances, partnerships, and child rearing. There may be new systems. There will be new systems that are not squarely on the communism-capitalism continuum because the necessities of life will continue to get cheaper because it is not socialism if it is free to give people the shit they need to live.

It is something else. There will be stratification among groups as people pick the levels of social and technological change that they are comfortable with. There will be a lot of mobility among those groups, but also oppressive and reactionary groups who hate what is going on and will try to fuck things up.

Parts of the world will be angry at the changes or that they are not getting the fruits of these changes. There will be some strife. Right now, we are at the beginning of a pandemic. It is unlikely that we won’t see some more large-scale disease outbreaks during the rest of the 21st-century. I don’t know what war will look like.

I doubt that we will have a 20th-century style world war. Certainly, the wars that we fight will be fought using the traditional methods of war now, including more modern cyberwarfare.

Tiberiu Sammak: Concerning the next three decades which would define the near future as stated in the topic, a lot of major changes and possible improvements are to be expected in almost every field of activity.

To have a clearer image of what could possibly follow, it stands to reason that we need to be up to date with the current trends in science, politics, economy, healthcare systems and in many other significant fields.

I guess that one sizeable change would be the transition from gas-based vehicles to fully electric ones which might become more commonplace in the next ten to thirty years. Electric car batteries will have higher charging rates, thus reducing the charging time and allowing the drivers to reach to their desired destinations much faster. A shift towards a green vehicle will be a beneficial step in reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and in stopping the degradation of air quality.

Screening and treating various underlying diseases and ailments will probably become much easier, leading to a higher survival rate among patients. More common neurodegenerative diseases, e.g. Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, may be totally curable in the near future.

As far as the middle future is concerned, I expect that technological unemployment will be more prevalent, rendering a lot of current jobs obsolete and redundant. Most manual labour will be replaced by highly intricate automatons, performing the required tasks with greater accuracy and speed than a human. The scarcity of careers or lack thereof demanding physical work will have to be tackled and a possible solution addressing this issue should be proposed.

Supercomputers may be able to simulate less complex brains, such as those of a pond snail or of a sea slug.

Life expectancy is most likely to rise thanks to the ongoing betterment of the healthcare systems – you will probably see much more centenarians and people in their mid-90s. Also, certain conditions which are currently always fatal, albeit really rare, such as some malignancies (DIPG) or all prionopathies, might become curable or at least have a higher five-year survival rate from their onset provided that adequate measures are taken in order to effectively fight off those illnesses.

Things are starting to get hazy as we are moving towards the far future which is represented by the last decades of the 21st century, as predictions become mere approximations and guesses based on previous models.

For example, I suspect that organ failure will be prevented by replacing many organs and parts of the human body with fully operational 3D-printed replicas. Basically, this technique will turn people into cyborgs.

Humans will live in a machine-based world, automation being the key mechanism behind every process.

I also believe that space travel will be more accessible and affordable for the individuals that wish to go into outer space.

I think it is safe to say that we can only speculate about the events and technologies that are going to occur in the indefinite future (22nd century and beyond).

A complete and exhaustive mapping of the human brain seems very probable. Only after we have understood how the brain works in its entirety and how consciousness is generated can we create an artificial brain having identical functions with a biological one.

Some truly intriguing concepts such as mind uploading to a virtual environment or hypercomputation can become realities.

The emergence of extremely complex technological systems could make interstellar travel achievable, granting humanity the capacity to easily move between remote planets and to thrive across the stars.

Definitely, exploring and analyzing all these potential outcomes is an exciting experience, knowing that some of the aforementioned ideas, however wild or quixotic they may sound, might actually come to fruition somewhere in the distant future.

Tor Jørgensen: First, I would like to say thanks for this opportunity to address these great topics with such fantastic participants that are in this group! I am humbled and honoured. Well, if one is to look at the first time span, the period of 2020 to 2049, I think we will start to see even bigger changes in structural engineering. Smart buildings with the capacity to form and adapt to the environment, even more than we, of course, see today. Cars, busses, and transport, in general, will be in a transition from the traditional man-operated vehicles we know and see today, over to self-driven vehicles. We are in this transition now, today. As to the medical situation where we directly consult the doctor, we will, I think, go over into a more interactive form. The time where we go to see the doctor face-to-face will in a big way fade away for many of us in the near future. We see today this transition is done with regards to banks, food-stores, and more. Direct interaction as to public services will start to be a thing of the past. So, will we all become citizens of a world where direct contact is no more, where the only way forward is through some sort of medium?! No, of course not, direct contact is still very crucial for numerous reasons, but we will be forced into a new way of living as we are today from where we were 30 years ago.

How about the pollution question, as we all know the problem today is growing as regards to ocean pollution, and landfills? The mountains of garbage in poor countries, where the authorities are in no state to handle these amounts. This is a problem that needs solving soon. Many good ideas have come along, though. But is it too little, too late? I hope within the next 20-30 years; these questions are answered more than today, and a solution is at hand. Does the future look grim regarding this question? Yes, but there is always hope! Tackling these issues will need a global effort, where the focus must be on the countries that may not see this as a big problem today, or do not see this as an immediate issue and unsolvable for various reasons. Education and politics with government grants are some of the possible ways to end this problem for the next 20+ years, as I see it. As to the need for food supply, the world will not have enough natural grown food, so the artificial grown food will play a much bigger role in the next 20-40 years compared to today. Water and food supply are the maybe biggest issues that the world will have to address in the next 20-50 years to feed this ever-expanding global population.

The planets in our own solar system will be explored, hopefully, in an ever growing manner. Mars will have started to be populated, at least, in an exploratory way, so as to establish a permanent settlement. On the possibility for a third world war, as I see, it will not be a war fought by traditional arms, guns and such, but by viral spread of viruses, as diseases go, and next by computer viruses. This in the intent to effect control over others in an armed conflict, a silent war, to put it simply. Natural disasters in the next 20+ years, the weather will change very much. We see today already some of the pattern that will grow exponentially in the next two decades. More severe weather, look at Australia with the fires that lasted so long, and effected so many over such a huge area! More earthquakes, more severe storms, more volcanic activity is, I think, clear in the near future.

These issues are some of the topics that will need to be addressed in the near future, so how will this effect be in the middle future? Well, if we have not solved some of these issues as to pollution and have gained some control over the heating of our planet, the effect will be worse in a big way, to the point, maybe, that we can not recover from: what then?! I hope we do get some control over some of the immediate problems. The middle future, I think, will be the development of AI in such a way that will affect us daily, as to interact in some way within the fields of IT, medicine, warfare, and more! We will see much more within the development of genetic mutation for the benefit of medicine, warfare, and exploration. Transport, as to be able to clear great distances in a short time, will also have been addressed. I saw that the hyper-loop transport of Tesla in the Nevada desert as one of the possible solutions to reduce travel time.

The far future will see even more of these effects, of what I have previously pointed out, but one thing I would like to bring forward is how we humans will look. If we go back 50-100 years back in time, we were shorter in height. We lived a shorter life. Our health was poorer. With the developments today, how will this affect us into the definite/indefinite future? Are we going to be a mirror image of the aliens that we see on TV?!

To the 22nd-century and beyond, I do not see the end of mankind in any indefinite future. I hope that we will adapt to the changes that come ahead. If we look away from the ‘End Times’ of the Bible, I think we will prosper and multiply on to new worlds in our own system at first, then beyond. This is, of course, from my utopian mindset, but only time will tell if I am wrong or not.

These are some of my initial thoughts about the possible future events that lay ahead for us all. I am not Nostradamus, but, still, I hope that we can dive into some of these issues with the rest of the group, cannot wait to hear what they have to say about these topics that we now address!

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Contributors for March 15, 2020 session: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak,  and Tor Jørgensen. Total participants (Contributors and Observers for March 15, 2020 session): Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Dionysios Maroudas, Erik Hæreid, HanKyung Lee, James Gordon, Kirk Kirkpatrick, Laurent Dubois, Marco Ripà, Matthew Scillitani, Mislav Predavec, Richard Sheen, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Sandra Schlick, Tiberiu Sammak, Tim Roberts, Tom Chittenden, Tonny Sellén, and Tor Jørgensen.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 15, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hrt-one; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. Group Discussion on the Near, Middle, Far, and Indefinite Future, First Responses Session: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, and Tor Jørgensen (Part One) [Online].March 2020; 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hrt-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, March 8). Group Discussion on the Near, Middle, Far, and Indefinite Future, First Responses Session: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, and Tor Jørgensen (Part One)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hrt-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. Group Discussion on the Near, Middle, Far, and Indefinite Future, First Responses Session: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, and Tor Jørgensen (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A, March. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hrt-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “Group Discussion on the Near, Middle, Far, and Indefinite Future, First Responses Session: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, and Tor Jørgensen (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hrt-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “Group Discussion on the Near, Middle, Far, and Indefinite Future, First Responses Session: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, and Tor Jørgensen (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A (March 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hrt-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Group Discussion on the Near, Middle, Far, and Indefinite Future, First Responses Session: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, and Tor Jørgensen (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hrt-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘Group Discussion on the Near, Middle, Far, and Indefinite Future, First Responses Session: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, and Tor Jørgensen (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hrt-one.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “Group Discussion on the Near, Middle, Far, and Indefinite Future, First Responses Session: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, and Tor Jørgensen (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 22.A (2020):March. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hrt-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. Group Discussion on the Near, Middle, Far, and Indefinite Future, First Responses Session: Christian Sorenson, Claus Volko, Erik Hæreid, James Gordon, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Farrar, Rick Rosner, Tiberiu Sammak, and Tor Jørgensen (Part One) [Internet]. (2020, March 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/hrt-one.

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