A Future Utopia of Sex, Drugs, and Robotics with Jamais Cascio

A Future Utopia of Sex, Drugs, and Robotics with Jamais Cascio


Matt: You described yourself previously as
a natural pessimist, what are you optimistic about? Jamais: My impending death… No, actually I’m a longterm optimist short-term
pessimist. I think that things are going to get a lot
worse before they get better. But the things the tools and the ideas that
we have the end of this century could be just a near utopia. If we can get through the first half of the
century. Because of the kinds of tools that are in
development, the kinds of things that we know how to do already, the changes we can make
in terms of economies, the changes we can make in terms of inequalities. There is so much that we can do to make the
world better and we know how to do it. That if we can get through the massive shock
of the first half of the twenty-first century. There is a very real possibility, and I think
it’s in us to actually make the world a wonderful place for just about everybody. What humans can do to ourselves and to the
planet and what we have the potential to do, you know we have, there is a very real possibility
that we can kill ourselves. But there’s also a very real possibility that
we can make the world better, the thing is its just going to take some time. I’m not going to see it, you may not see it,
but you know my nieces and nephews probably will. Matt: I get very different timescales from
people, what free technologies are you most excited or find most promising today or in
the next fifteen years? Jamais: Crispr, Crispr I think is going to
be utterly revolutionary. You know as we start figuring out exactly
what we can do and what we cant do. With this ability to essentially treat genetics
like a word processor. The potential there is for health care improvements,
there is potential there for climate improvement. I’m really optimistic about what can be done
to eliminate horrible horrible diseases using a tool like crispr. I’m also optimistic, long-term optimistic
about the world of automation, you know setting aside any questions about the singularity,
and self-aware machines, and all that. Simply the increasing complexity and power
of automated systems to do tedious work. I think that one of the hallmarks of the near-utopia
at the end of the twenty-first century that I think is a distinct possibility will be
that humans do very little work and they do a lot of art. You know about burning man, the burning man
festival? If you think about if you ever been, burning
man is essentially nearly a week of people making art, taking drugs, having sex. Imagine that as the future, that we have machines
to do all the work, machines to do all the tedious stuff and humans are free to do, make
art and have fun, however, they want to think about fun. And maybe its getting immersed in a video
game system, maybe it is just having sex with all sorts of wonderful sex robots, or whatever. That I think is a very plausible future for
eighty years from now. In many ways the hardest thing about getting
there will be getting over the hump of feeling like its wrong, it’s not going to be difficult
to do, it’s going to be difficult to accept. especially for people who grew up thinking
that work is how you define yourself, and being sober, and calm, is the right way to
live. The Protestant work ethic in the US. Matt: On the flipside though, there is the
argument that a lot of people have, marijuana is a much safer drug than alcohol, and all
pretty much all studies etc. But at the same time, you kind of get into
the slacker syndrome, of you don’t ever think bigger. What happens if we do to a society where society
doesn’t ever think bigger? Jamais: Society doesn’t ever think bigger,
here’s the dirty little secret, most people are slackers and whether they are slackers
but they are worker slackers but they raise their kids. Very few people in our society and I mean
that not just in the United States, but globally. Very few people actually think big about the
future. I don’t expect that to change. So if we’re looking at 2099 and we have a
lot of people who are doing the latest drugs and having all sorts of crazy sex and making
a lot of interesting art and playing a lot of video games. There will still be a percentage of people
who find themselves inspired to think big. Not because they’re going to make a lot of
money out of it. But because its just fascinating, and that
what you see right now, you see a lot of people who do this kind of stuff because it’s fascinating. I don’t make a lot of money but I make enough
to get by and I do this kind of stuff cause its really interesting not because it’s my
best path to a retiring to a yacht, I don’t expect there to be a yacht in my future. Matt: We can get you a VR yacht, I’m sure
we can set that up.

1 thought on “A Future Utopia of Sex, Drugs, and Robotics with Jamais Cascio

  1. I'm optimistic about the future but I think to get to that stage where all jobs and labor will be done by robots is govt to inevitably bring suffering to a large subset of the population.

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