The Speculist: What Changes? What Remains the Same?

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What Changes? What Remains the Same?

In response to the video I made last year asking attendees at a library conference how much change they will see if they live to be 100, a filmmaker, visionary, and old high-school buddy of mine offers this compelling scenario:

So take that, grandma!

For your reference, here's the original video:

Something that caught my attention on a recent viewing of this video was Bob Treadway's (second) answer to the question: "maybe what's more interesting is what won't change." Being a Speculist and all, that struck me as a kind of contrarian answer. So it's interesting to note that in starting to read John Naisbitt's Mind Set!, his first and establishing mindset is as follows:

While many things change, most things remain constant.

What's great about this idea is that it is infinitely arguable. Of course, bear in mind that if you take the "more things change than don't" position, you aren't just arguing with Bob Treadway; you're arguing with the Megatrends guy.

So let's hear it, folks. Do more things change or do more things stay the same?


Comments

Err, I think its time we institute a dress code here at The Speculist.

Well, Harvey looks pretty good, but I'm not yet ready to declare that everybody HAS to wear an aluminum foil mask.


...or did you mean something else?

Actually, it is quite interesting to figure out what doesn't change. In math, these things are called invariants and many fields deal with them in some way.

Actually, it is quite interesting to figure out what doesn't change. In math, these things are called invariants and many fields deal with them in some way.

It's interesting how much futurism equals "today-ism". SF set in the future has always been a projection of the tensions of the now. All those people in the second YouTube sound like they're talking about 2008.

I know what I'd predict: a lot of broken conceptual boundaries that people had lazily assumed were features of the universe. Life blends into machine, computer into mind, information into matter. The concept of species all but goes away; humanity itself becomes a continuum. Gender smears out and becomes very subjective. Your personality might be dispersed over several bodies or share one. Real individual uniqueness (which we nowadays would call "freakish") becomes the rule and not the exception.

I also recognize that my answer says more about my viewpoint of 2008 than it does about 2076.

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