Ainan on technological advance.
Yesterday, I was speaking to Ainan about a predicted technological advance.
“Ainan, I have read that, in a few years time, scientists will be able to create an event cloak, to hide an event from observation.”
“In a few years time…”, he scoffed.
I appraised his distinctly unimpressed features.
“If someone says, “In a few years time”, they haven’t done it, and have no idea what to do – but just expect it to happen.”, he elaborated.
It became clear that Ainan wasn’t a great believer in technological predictions – and, it was reasonable for him to be so, since he had history on his side. Most predictions of the technological future, in the past, have turned out to be wrong.
It was interesting that he should be such a sceptic, for most children are much more accepting of what they are told about the future: they believe it, usually without much question. Ainan doesn’t. His stance is more a case of “show me your evidence and a working prototype please”.
Ainan is cautious in his expectations for the near technological future. His view is moderated by his understanding that the pace of technological change has slowed in recent years and is nowhere near as fast as mythology would have us suppose. His view is more of a realist, than a pessimist: he expects change and development, but a much more measured change than some commentators expect. He is not, for instance, a great believer in Kurzweill’s imminent “Singularity” and all its attendant technological wonders. Such things may come, in Ainan’s universe – but they will come at a much more leisurely pace.
He has spoken of the likely future he will live in, before. He expects an incremental, evolutionary period of change, rather than a revolutionary one. All the techno-dreams that fervent futurists write are things Ainan does not expect to see, in his lifetime. He believes that those soothsayers are overestimating the pace of change and, in some areas, underestimating the problems that would have to be overcome to make real, their dreams of tomorrow.
Sadly, Ainan is more likely to be right than any of the more famed futurists: their rosy view of times to come, is ever optimistic and overlooks, to a great degree, the magnitude of the tasks to be undertaken.
I hope, Ainan that the future you see, and which I may not, is one that does not disappoint you: may it be interesting enough to sustain you and rich enough to be worth the wait.
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