In the year 2036...  

Posted by Wayne Bretski

...and I quote:

"[T]he car, the plane, the bicycle, the voice-only telephone, the espresso machine and, luckily, the wall-to-wall bookshelf will still be with us...
The world will face severe biological and electronic pandemics, another gift from globalisation. Religious practice will experience a revival, seen as a conveyor of robust heuristics, cultural values and rituals...[W]hat is now called academic economics will be treated with the same disrespect that rigorous (and practical) minds currently have for Derrida-style post-modernist verbiage.

Nassim Taleb, of the Extremely Important Concept known as the Black Swan Theory, writes in The Economist about how he sees various institutions in 25 years. Although these are things I occasionally think about, I don't have much additional commentary on this article. It is not immediately clear to me that everything he notes is true (See Robin Hanson on Near vs. Far thinking and Yudkowsky on A.I.; Kurzweil has a different take on the progression of science, at least as it pertains to engineering technology.)

Notably, education, especially in the classical vs. modern sense, is not discussed (how will increasingly entrenched religious beliefs affect the present-day concept of the university? I would infer a move toward madrassa-style disconnect, while many of the other predictions take a very World Is Flat view.)

It is very short, and should definitely be read in totum, if only as food for thought in light of the author's prescience regarding matters in the immediate past.

Reading anything by Taleb is personally very interesting because his book was just coming out the last time I traveled abroad, to Scotland. Not only was I stockpiling a lot of American periodicals for the trip, and thus reading the reviews all at once, I was also reading a lot of English periodicals along the way that were also reviewing his ideas. And at THE SAME TIME I was listening to a lot of Thom Yorke's solo album, which Miss Bee was lovely enough to have purchased beforehand and which I had ripped to my computer. Here is the song that I always think about:

Download directly here.

I wish I could drop some kind of killer, never before heard, ultra-maximum remix, but sometimes life gives you lemons.

Also, if anyone that reads this has a concise opinion re: Taleb's mention of gold replacing individual currencies, please drop me a note. It seems very rare for technologies, concepts, institutions, and theories to jump back 120 years, bypassing the interceding period with nary a backwards glance. Is there any way that the Federal Reserve experiment has yielded so few lessons that we can't even begin to build on it? Inflation is definitely a problem to consider, but in the age of iPod, Kindle, and 1 Terabyte hard drives for a couple hundred bucks, do we want to revert to storing massive amounts of gold ingot?

And now for something completely different.

One of my second-graders got off the bus the other day walking in a very unusual fashion, for no apparent reason. The bus was late so there was no one else around, so I indulged his whimsy and walked halfway to class without looking back. When I did so, not only was he still walking in this ridiculous way, another student in line behind him was also conveying himself about the grounds in a most peculiar fashion. Incidentally, we got a new PE teacher who started that very day, and who watched me and these students behave rather oddly. I said hello and began my day calmly - like a black swan who looks so serene above water but is paddling furiously - and in perhaps a somewhat embarrassed fashion, below.

The initial walk was something between the high-stepping element of this (first :10) -

and the careening nature of this (skip to :40 in) -

Toss in a little Jack Sparrow and you've got the idea.


What a nice post. I really love reading these types or articles. I can?t wait to see what others have to say.

I give birth to infer from a scarcely any of the articles on your website in the present circumstances, and I extremely like your fashionableness of blogging. I added it to my favorites net age muster and resolve be checking promote soon. Will check into public notice my put as ok and fail me be familiar with what you think. Thanks.

О! ما وظيفة لطيفة. أنا حقا أحب قراءة هذه الأنواع أو المقالات. هل يمكنني ذلك؟ تي ان ننتظر لنرى ما يقول البعض الآخر.

Post a Comment

Recent Comments