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“The future is wonderful, the future is terrifying. That’s our motto at Motherboard.
Envisioning the future defined by our wildest ambitions or our deepest fears is an instinct as old as human culture. But it has taken on new urgency in recent years, as people grapple with profound paradigm shifts worldwide. We are living in the most socially interconnected and technologically advanced society in history. We are discovering far-flung alien exoplanets, designing algorithms that mimic how we think, and becoming fluent in the genetic language of life. What could go wrong? What could go right?
To shed light on those questions, Motherboard asked 105 interdisciplinary thinkers about their fears and hopes about the future. We defined “thinkers” and “smart people” as experts in fields we regularly cover. Participants include (but are not limited to) 19 space scientists, 19 biologists and environmental scientists, 11 computer scientists, eight medical scientists, five lawyers, four historians, a musicologist, a paleontologist, an astronaut, and a digital artist who replied with emojis.
Most of the participants are based in the United States (69), but we also received responses from experts in Europe (20), Australia (5), Canada (4), Singapore (2), South Africa (2), Taiwan (1), India (1), and Bangladesh (1). We talked to 56 women and 49 men.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
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"One of the particular characteristics of the Trump presidency is the way Trump consistently creates drama – some by design, some not – that makes it hard to see the broader outline of events."
"Israel’s Eurovision entry barely made a dent on the scoreboard but there’s no doubt that the Jewish State was the real winner of the Eurovision Song Content 2019."
"The Saturday Night Live Finale Was a Mishmash of Everything It Needs to Fix: The send-off to Season 44 might end up functioning as a send-off to a particularly toothless era for the show."
"The biggest challenge in measuring real compensation and Americans’ well-being is the extraordinary growth in new products that have brought new benefits not captured in any government consumer price metric."
"...we’ve grown wary of the so-called attention economy, which, in the name of corporate profits, exploits our psychological vulnerabilities in ways that corrode social life, diminish privacy, weaken civic cohesion..."
"Regardless of how healthfully we live or how much medical care we receive, we will all die. Yet, understanding this intellectually is vastly different from truly feeling it; raw confrontation with our own mortality is frightening."
"Power, although hard to handle, is greatly desired. There is no person or group or sect or party or mob that doesn’t want power, convinced that it would know how to use it as no one ever has before."
"It turns out that feminism and faith both have high expectations of husbands and fathers, if for very different ideological reasons, and that both result in higher-quality marriages for women."
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