[extropy-chat] Futures Past

Hal Finney hal at finney.org
Mon Oct 10 17:41:36 UTC 2005

For another source of Extropian predictions, a couple of years ago
I posted a table from Extropy #15 from 1995.  This had predictions
from Gregory Benford, Steve Bridge, Eric Drexler, FM-2030, Mark
Miller, and Nick Szabo.  You can see it from the list archives here,
but unfortunately the lack of monospace font makes it hard to read.
I put a copy up at <http://www.finney.org/~hal/extr15_predictions.txt>
which is more likely to show up in readable form.

Here are some comments I appended at the time:

> Lots of figures here, and it's pretty hard to see the logic behind some
> of them.  Benford and Szabo put Reproducing Starships out in the 24th
> century, while Drexler could have them coming out the year after next.
> Actually, Drexler is kind of a one-note-Charlie here, putting almost
> everything in the 2006-2026 time frame, even Big Fraction of Economy out
> of Solar System.  I guess he assumes a nanotech singularity scenario.
> The interstellar economy would presumably be self-reproducing space probes
> zooming away from Earth in all directions and furiously converting nearby
> star systems into computronium or some such.
> I see Benford and Szabo as the most conservative, with Bridge and More
> taking a middle ground, and Drexler and FM-2030 being the most aggressive.
> FM's predictions don't make much sense to me but maybe they should be
> thought of as somewhat metaphorical or poetic, which is how I perceive
> his writing.
> Other interesting aspects of the survey include the topic selection,
> which is kind of a snapshot of the items of interest to the Extropian
> community in the 1995 time frame.  I also note the absence of Eliezer
> Yudkowski's influential conception of the Singularity as a sudden
> transition to world whose rules, possibly even whose physics, are
> determined by AIs of virtually infinite intelligence.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list