Lion of the Blogosphere

What the future will really be like

with 75 comments

Most science fiction has the future entirely wrong. The future depicted is very similar to the present, because viewers (or readers if it’s a book) wouldn’t relate to the likely true future.

1. Everything will be automated and human labor will be superfluous.

2. Humans will be augmented through technology and genetic engineering, and will be almost an entirely different species than we are today.

3. Interstellar space travel isn’t going to happen. Based on what we know about physics, it’s impossible.

So what will the future humans, augmented through technology and genetic engineering, stuck in our solar system, and with no jobs or careers as we understand them today, do with themselves?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Posted in Robots

75 Responses

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  1. Some will run marathons.

    Yakov

    November 14, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    • thats very swol

      gm

      November 14, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      • swpl i mean

        gm

        November 14, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      • There is no future without the white people, obviously.

        Yakov

        November 14, 2017 at 10:11 pm

  2. “So what will the future humans, augmented through technology and genetic engineering, stuck in our solar system, and with no jobs or careers as we understand them today, do with themselves?”

    Get high, eat, shit, fuck, sleep, repeat til dead. 99% of people are hopelessly adrift and clueless without externally imposed responsibilities. The other 1% will self-actualize.

    hard9bf

    November 14, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    • If all humans are indeed genetically modified for intelligence and physical prowess they won’t dwell on lowly pastimes. Society as a whole will be nerdier and more creative. Think of the scene in that planet of the apes movie after ceasar administers the drug. They apes are quieter, cooperative and organized. Personally I would love to live in a world teeming with genetically modified geniuses.

      Or maybe it will be like the star trek augments where they have sex by throwing each other against the wall and planning universal domination. That would suck.

      toomanyspiders

      November 14, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      • “If all humans are indeed genetically modified for intelligence and physical prowess they won’t dwell on lowly pastimes. Society as a whole will be nerdier and more creative.”

        You’ve summarized the essence and purpose of most sci-fi, LOL. i.e.: Come The Revolution, nerds will be kings!

        Every sci-fi reading dude I’ve known is a socially awkward nerd, especially around girls.

        Nerds will never be alphas who score with the cheerleaders — that was just a movie.

        hard9bf

        November 15, 2017 at 10:40 am

      • William Shatner reads sci fi, and he’s no nerd.

        And Vin Diesel plays Dungeons and Dragons.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 15, 2017 at 11:26 am

      • ‘Nerds will never be alphas who score with the cheerleaders’

        The bible says the meek shall inherit the earth.

        toomanyspiders

        November 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    • Perhaps a deranged individual is brilliant enough to eliminate much of humankind surreptitiously, because he hates most bipeds, and they remind him of his same nature.

      JS

      November 14, 2017 at 8:52 pm

  3. The enhanced women will still lead-on the enhanced men. The chase will simply be more enhanced. Some things never change.

    Capt Normie

    November 14, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    • The men would prefer sex with sexbots, unless they have been genetically programmed not to be into sexbots (because it is seen as a sort of addiction and thus is genetically removed to improve the species).

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      November 14, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      • Men will want to have sex with women because that’s how babies are made. That impulse will always win in the end.

        Presuming that this kind of genetic engineering is ever achieved (I’m not so sure), non-engineered people will outnumber the engineered, because the types who are inclined to pay for genetic engineering probably won’t want to engineer an impulse for maximum fertility into their children.

        But nature can and will instill an impulse for maximum fertility into people. So natural-produced humans win in the end, most likely. Right now nature is selecting for humans who want to have as many children as possible.

        It’s conceivable you could have a Brave New World system where genetic engineering has been thought through, top-to-bottom, and the entire system is rational, internally coherent, and maintained through a police state. But even if you achieve such a system temporarily, someone in power will eventually sabotage it, intentionally or unintentionally.

        From the crooked timber of man, no straight thing was ever made.

        Wency

        November 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      • But what if the AI sexbots develop consciousness?

        toomanyspiders

        November 14, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    • Both sexes will need wheelbarrows. The women to carry their breasts, the men to carry their balls.

      gothamette

      November 14, 2017 at 5:07 pm

  4. Climate science, now aerospace engineering?

    It’s very true that IS travel at like 20 % seems out of reach of todays physics. The main problem is engine construction, due to the necessary cooling and material-damaging particles from the exhaust (neutrons – even with aneutronic fusion – from side reactions, gamma rays from antimatter and black hole radiation). Neither of these problems have known solutions (on paper).

    It is howerver entierly feasible to have fission, fusion, antimatter or laser (sail) systems that do like 5 %, since the problems with material integrity and cooling drop exponentially. So you can travel like 10 ly in 250 years. Dust fragments pose no problem at 5 % of c and the electrical buildup from 5 % of c at the surface of the ship should be survivable.

    Human bodies are unlikely, we’ll see fully robotic future with no meat, a few centuries from now. Even the fragments of human minds will not be recognizable.

    emdriveisnonsense

    November 14, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    • The engine in “Avatar” had comparable output to the entire energy of sunrays impacting the Earth. For a year. That’s 40 of the largest US nukes – every second – for a year. (assuming a ship mass of 100 000 tons). Turning the engine on would be enough to destroy the site of the batle, since the cone from that engine looked narrow – and it would have to be to avoid melting the engine itself -. It would stay on orbit due to limited aceleration of such an engine, no problem there… all what was needed was to switch it on high enough to avoid heating the upper atmosphere as to avoid the destruction of the ship itself, 500 km from the surface should be enough

      A few of these ships (from Avatar) had enough stored energy to liquify and boil the entire atmoshere (of Earth) – all energy needs (machines, compressors) included.

      emdriveisnonsense

      November 14, 2017 at 1:01 pm

  5. People are going to be busy manually weeding fields and spreading compost. There is going to be less energy per capita, and it will be much more expensive, and so the whole massive automation thing everyone seems to assume won’t be happening. There will be less automation than there is now in many ways.

    bobbybobbob

    November 14, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    • utter nonsense, automated solar panel factories would be enough…. todays restriction on them follow from manual labor

      emdriveisnonsense

      November 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      • The restriction on solar panels today is that they basically don’t work, as shown repeatedly at sites across the world. They can’t produce grid scale energy at a profit, and often barely even yield net energy. There are no signs of this changing. They only work for niche off grid applications.

        bobbybobbob

        November 14, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      • you’re either obtuse or low IQ, they are uncompetitive in todays world, they will be uncompetitive “forever” but once you need to produce PWs instead of 10s of TW like today, they are a viable option once you have automated factories, automating nuclear or any other el. producing stuff is way harder, but it is easily envisioned with PVs, you can dump the energy into molten salts if you wish – again not profitable today, but doable once you need 100× the energy we need now

        emdriveisnonsense

        November 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    • I’m mostly with bobby on this one. There’s a chance that solar (+ batteries) becomes good enough to meet our energy needs, but I think it’s just as likely that it doesn’t. Or rather, it can only meet part of our energy needs, and we move to a low-energy future.

      One thing that people need to keep in mind is that electric infrastructure in industrialized countries is built for PEAK DEMAND. If you don’t have peak demand, you have constant blackouts. Solar (and wind) is terrible at meeting peak demand. I saw a report that renewables account for 20-30% of Europe’s energy needs, but can only meet 4% of peak demand. Building a system that relies entirely on renewables + batteries to meet peak demand would be insanely expensive.

      So in the low-energy, solar-dependent future, electricity is more expensive and unreliable. If you’re far from the equator, you may have long periods during the winter when the power only comes on sporadically. The net result is that people begin to organize around the assumption that they often won’t have power. Society becomes more localized, and energy is rationed for the most economically and militarily critical functions.

      Wency

      November 14, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      • Typo above: if you don’t MEET peak demand, you have constant blackouts.

        Wency

        November 14, 2017 at 5:32 pm

  6. Comment on blogs?

    Dave

    November 14, 2017 at 1:09 pm

  7. Interstellar isn’t impossible but it’s unlikely to happen for a very long time. It’s also going to be pretty boring and won’t involve travel at relativistic speeds. Think instead of giant AI managed/robotically piloted starships carrying tens of thousands of frozen human embryos and taking hundreds perhaps even thousands of years to reach their destinations. When they reach their destination embryos are thawed and incubated in automated artificial wombs and raised to adulthood by robots. There’s no problem with the physics.

    Kosher Kowboy

    November 14, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    • Yes, I previously proposed that’s how we would colonize other planets. https://lionoftheblogosphere.wordpress.com/2016/12/18/heinlein-got-the-future-so-wrong/

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      November 14, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    • you don’t need livers and kidneys, in fact you hate them and the future will hate them even more

      emdriveisnonsense

      November 14, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    • We don’t know that if Quantum Mechanical effects can be scaled to the macro world that instantaneous travel wont be possible.

      But why would we want to colonize other worlds? We can easily reduce the population of this one and that would solve all problems related to resource shortage.

      CamelCaseRob

      November 15, 2017 at 10:09 am

      • “But why would we want to colonize other worlds?”

        Answer, we wouldn’t. My suspicion is that even if there were some sort of instantaneous travel the number of people who actually want to be settlers are very tiny. It would mostly be religious and political nuts and refugees who don’t have any options on Earth. I think Americans, because we come from a settler culture, think that sort of thing is normal for people to want to settle new frontiers, but the reality is most First worlders wouldn’t leave their comfort for a lifetime of hardship and third worlders want to move to a place that is already developed. If they knew how to develop on their own, their own countries wouldn’t be shitholes.

        Mike Street Station

        November 16, 2017 at 6:18 am

  8. Half Canadian

    November 14, 2017 at 1:14 pm

  9. Terraforming within the solar system

    27 year old from sailers

    November 14, 2017 at 1:33 pm

  10. The men will fight each other for access to women. The women will engage in Byzantine court intrigues against the other women in the harem of the man who won the most recent war in hopes of gaining advantage for their sons in the next round of conflict.

    Greg Pandatshang

    November 14, 2017 at 2:10 pm

  11. There is a contradiction. If global IQs are dropping as HBD aware folks believe, then the technological ability to maintain automation is dropping too.

    Dan

    November 14, 2017 at 2:54 pm

  12. 1. I think most science fiction writers are aware that human labor will be superfluous for the most part. But it’s hard perhaps impossible to write an interesting story where the characters’ skills are irrelevant, there is no reason for character development, and the solution to any problem us to simply query an app on your phone.

    2. That’s difficult to say. Some people will decline to get augmented, either for cultural/religious reasons or because there are other ways to get the benefits of augmentation.

    3. We already have the technology for inter solar travel, we just don’t want to deal with the radiation. Human beings with advanced cancer treatments, long lives, and holodecks won’t mind spending a few years or decades in transit.

    fortaleza84

    November 14, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    • @ fortaleza84

      I think you meant we have the technology for travel within our solar system. We don’t really, but we’re not far off. Nobody will personally do this though. The solar system is inhospitable, and we can send robots to get resources if we need them, from nearby planets and asteroid.

      On the other hand, for interstellar travel it would take much longer to get anywhere worth going. Multiple orders of magnitude longer.

      We can’t build ships for it either, because we lack adequate sources of energy. The propulsion alone would take more energy than our entire civilization can currently access, and that is setting aside construction, radiation protection, and life support.

      Lowe

      November 14, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      • No, I meant what I said. Look up “project Orion.”

        There is plenty of Uranium available to make the necessary atomic devices for an Orion drive, which should allow travel at .1c.

        Nobody wants to spend 50 or 100 years travelling to another star system and back and nobody wants to release all kinds of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere.

        But with advances in medicine, it’s pretty likely that those problems will be overcome.

        If human lifespan increases to thousands of years, i would not mind spending 50 years screwing around on a holodeck to start a new colony, free of social justice warriors.

        fortaleza84

        November 15, 2017 at 5:33 am

      • 0.1 c is already too much, you’d likely need several thousands of the final payload mass in U235, which would rival all mined U235 even assuming like 500 ton final payload, plus the cooling would suck

        limit it to 4 % c, drop the engine perfromance by a factor of like 20 (exponential)…. and mine the uranium out of seawater…asteroids..than yeah….

        emdriveisnonsense

        November 15, 2017 at 4:02 pm

  13. Or perhaps the future (the intermediate future) will be like this: https://goo.gl/q4kodC

    Luke Lea (@lukelea)

    November 14, 2017 at 3:00 pm

  14. >2. Humans will be augmented through technology

    Or in other words, everyone will be straight and have blue eyes.

    In 100 years China will resemble a nordic country, you heard it here first!

    guest

    November 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm

  15. > 3. Interstellar space travel isn’t going to happen. Based on what we know about physics, it’s impossible.

    It’s very unlikely that humans will ever colonize off-Earth in any serious numbers. Space travel is incredibly dangerous, impractical and expensive for mammals. If we haven’t colonized Antartica with 2017’s technology, we aren’t colonizing Mars with 2117’s technology.

    Humans will probably have an extensive robot pretense off-world, particularly to mine resources from the asteroid belt. AIs or “mind-uploaded” humans may live on other planets. But us meatspace humans will spend the rest of our existence here on Earth.

    Douglas Colkitt

    November 14, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    • we have colonized Antarctica with 1900s and 1960s technology, Arctica with 10 000 bc. technology, are you being obtuse?

      I don’t see extensive human colonization either, because Earth is much easier…but that does not mean that there will be no colonization at all

      ….. but only the Amish will prevail, the rest will live like fragments of programs in sillico or in vitro (chips..) or whatever..they universe has no use for livers and kidneys

      emdriveisnonsense

      November 14, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    • We’ve had the technology to colonize Antarctica for a long time. At the moment, there is a treaty in effect which would make it difficult to exploit the resources there. Also, as nasty as the SJW’s are, there are still less radical means to duck them than moving to Antarctica.

      fortaleza84

      November 15, 2017 at 5:46 am

  16. Who is going to give us this high tech future? Africans and Muslims? Shouldn’t future prediction take into account demographic trends?

    Dan

    November 14, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    • I think you under estimate the Iranian and Turks who make great leaps in terms of science and technology. There are about half a million muslims who are not Arabs and even the Arabs are not that bad. The Africans on the other hand are a lost cause, but they still have their value in dance and music which might be the only thing left for humans when the robots take over.

      Hashed

      November 14, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      • The Iranians can’t even develop nuclear bombs which are 1940s technology.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 14, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      • the threat of variola has and will be enough to preempt any attack on Iran or NK. No army currently exists that can invade Iran and EFPs from 80 mio Persians would cost 10 000s of lives in a few months…. anybody who imagines any serious mil conflict with Iran is not living in this world, the US and SA have half the army needed – combined.

        Hormuz is another story, though

        Iran doesn’t need them. NK has very limited need of nukes.

        emdriveisnonsense

        November 14, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      • Automated twerking. Another great leap forward for mankind.

        Run over

        November 14, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      • Iran/Fertility rate
        1.68 births per woman (2015)

        Turkey/Fertility rate
        2.05 births per woman (2015)

        The only Iranians and Turks in the future will be found in hell.

        HuffPost Reading Diversity Loving SJW

        November 14, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      • They can develop, they just stop themselves from doing it because of the agreements with the west. All estimations are that if they want they will be able to develop a bomb within 2 years, same as Japan. Their military technology is advancing, their students can be seen all over western universities and the only woman to win a fields medal is Iranian.

        Hashed

        November 14, 2017 at 9:53 pm

  17. >>So what will the future humans, augmented through technology and genetic engineering, stuck in our solar system, and with no jobs or careers as we understand them today, do with themselves?

    They will wage war, savage war. Human nature pulls man towards war.

    Daniel

    November 14, 2017 at 4:16 pm

  18. What’s everybody’s opinion about whether invisibility is a capability the cops currently possess. Based on an experience I had recently I claim they already have it.

    anonthistime

    November 14, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    • Well, tell us more.

      CamelCaseRob

      November 15, 2017 at 10:14 am

  19. I think, NASA rated Gattaca as the most accurate movie predicting future in their opinion.

    cannotwest

    November 14, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    • Gattaca is pure nonsense on every imaginable level.

      emdriveisnonsense

      November 14, 2017 at 5:56 pm

  20. I think you overestimate AI and ML, they can’t even recommend me the right stuff on facebook let alone do more complicated tasks in the physical world. I predict a true autonomous vehicle will not be operational in a mixed environment with humans for the next 50 years. They will have to isolate them to non human roads and the algorithms will rely more on cooperation than on an ability to understand the world around us. It will take even more to make a robot who could do normal housework. The leap that is required from a roomba vacuum cleaner to a robot that you can order to make breakfast or clean your house is as big as the gap between moon landing and colonising other planets.

    Hashed

    November 14, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    • indeed. i’ve heard the autonomous trucks will have to be driven in town by people. why not just use trains? a train track is less expensive than a road. isn’t it? and trains are much more fuel efficient than trucks. a trucker can carry three containers at most. a train can carry 100. why are there long haul truckers at all? i don’t get it.

      oh wait. now i get it. capitalists love socialism. the interstates are and were funded by government. the rails have to be and had to be built and maintained by the railroads.

      another example of socialist efficiency.

      yet more proof that libertarians are silly and out of touch with reality.

      sad!

      ron burgundy

      November 14, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      • Trains already require a lot less manpower than trucks, because one guy can drive a train of dozens and dozens of cars. But for whatever the reason, trucks are more efficient because they can go from anywhere to anywhere.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 14, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      • the interstate is a public good in that it allows people to drive rather than sit in a train surrounded by strangers, but the trucking companies pay how much for the roads compared to what the railroads pay for the railroads? nothing. a trivial amount.

        ron burgundy

        November 14, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      • If you live anywhere around urban/suburban rail lines you notice many side tracks that used to run to factory/ logistic operations. They are all weed choked, overgrown abandoned lots now, and they have been since, at the latest, the 1950s. Trucks stole the thunder of rail for the “last mile” back in the 1920s-50s. Still, freight rail is useful, necessary and will increasingly grow in importance, mass bulk shipments of certain products make it so. Right now the American freight rail network runs at 100% of capacity. We actually need to increase our freight rail capacity, but let’s not have any illusion that rail will be running up to factory/ distribution facilities’ doors anymore.

        Daniel

        November 14, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      • People built out truck supplied towns/suburbs and facilities in substantial part during the oil price dips in the 60s and 80s. Most places are in fact mostly supplied by ship, barge, and rail, with smaller trucks for local delivery. Barge is the most efficient, followed by rail. The many towns out west that have sprung up with no major rail corridor and no navigable water are pretty much fucked now and will be withering away. These places are already having problems maintaining the highways and roads to support the truck traffic.

        For a while a lot of industries were pursuing a Just-In-Time logistics approach where you keep inventory and warehousing costs down by ordering in small lots frequently, with the expectation of rapid delivery. In practice this meant a lot more trucking, rather than regional depots and rail lines. The whole thing amounts to arbitraging low diesel costs and artificially cheap trucking against the costs of holding inventory. To some extent this idea is basically already unwinding back to a more fine grained regional warehousing system. You’ll see less interstate trucking.

        bobbybobbob

        November 14, 2017 at 8:55 pm

  21. I admit I’m not the sci fi fan that most here are, but it was always my impression that the future as depicted in that genre was exactly the opposite of what Lion claims, that is, they are always creating wildly improbable future scenarios.

    IMO the human race hasn’t changed much in the last 5K years, why should it change much in the future, except…becoming less white?

    gothamette

    November 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm

  22. The future is a world split between asians, indians, and muslims, and africans (mostly muslim) relatively at peace, and then entirely muslims a few hundred years later.

    You heard it here first, folks!

    The future doesn’t give a shit about AI or technology. Human breeding patterns are more interesting! Not what, who!

    jjbees

    November 14, 2017 at 5:21 pm

  23. I’m curious lion, do you believe in extraterrestrial life?

    toomanyspiders

    November 14, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    • Extraterrestrial life (could be) or extraterrestrial civilizations?

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      November 14, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      • Both, the 1st category seems diabolical when it comes to Hollywood.

        ET was perhaps the only good alien to land on Earth, and he only ate peanut butter candy, unlike other lifeforms who wanted to get a taste of human flesh and live animals.

        JS

        November 14, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      • Either? I can’t remember if you’ve ever addressed this.

        toomanyspiders

        November 15, 2017 at 1:37 pm

  24. Anyone have an idea on whether we’re going to have the fossil fuels to make all this happen?

    njguy73

    November 14, 2017 at 8:35 pm

  25. Interstellar travel is possible if the energy source can be mined in space. A rocket accelerating at 1g for half the journey and decelerating at the same rate for the other half will get you to the Andromeda galaxy in about 50 years from the perspective of the space traveler. On earth, of course, millions of years we have gone by.

    Juan DeShawn Arafat

    November 14, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    • a 1g interstellar engine will turn your ship into plasma as fast as the gamma rays can reach the end of it, or it will at the very least turn your engine into plasma, you’re not going very far with that

      you’d also need many thousands of billions of the final payload mass in antimatter, likely even more

      the higher the specific impulse of the engine is, the more waste heat it generates.. and it’s exponential

      Avatar had about 1g acceleration (ship based) for 6 months and the engine had to produce 50 PW of energy, that assumes perfect energy conversion and no staging… for ship mass of 100 000 tons…..there are no magnets for gammas and no materials strong enough to create wire-frame magnets of low enough cross section

      emdriveisnonsense

      November 15, 2017 at 10:10 am

  26. You really should read Kim Stanley Robinson. His vision of the future is pretty consistent with yours. He has rudimentary interstellar travel in Aurora, but it’s a generation ship, and he brings up a lot of problems with it.

    Re what people do in a world with self-replicating robots, body modifications, etc., he addresses this in the Red Mars trilogy and in 2312.

    Dave Pinsen

    November 14, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    • *Huge* Kim Stanley Robinson fan here. He does a great job of inspiring readers even while showing future societies facing problems. I haven’t read some of his newer books (is “Shaman”, the one set in the Ice Age, good?) but really loved The Years of Rice and Salt and the Mars trilogy.

      Kyo

      November 15, 2017 at 10:53 am

  27. “So what will the future humans, augmented through technology and genetic engineering, stuck in our solar system, and with no jobs or careers as we understand them today, do with themselves?”

    Watch porn?

    Curle

    November 15, 2017 at 12:59 am

  28. We’ve had the demonstrated capability for interstellar flight for 40 years. What we lack, and probably are going to lack forever, is a capability for manned interstellar flight. But nothing stops us from sending robots to the stars, other than the multiple human lifetimes it would take for them to get anywhere and the extremely limited ability to send even tiny amounts of information back. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Longshot)

    SkepticalCynical

    November 15, 2017 at 1:58 am

  29. I will find out when they rebuild my brain and take me out of the liquid nitrogen dewar….hundreds of years from now…

    Propagandist Hacker

    November 16, 2017 at 8:39 am


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