[ExI] What's Wrong With Academic Futurists?

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Tue Jan 28 10:21:41 UTC 2014

Robin D Hanson <rhanson at gmu.edu> , 23/1/2014 7:05 PM:

I'm talking about the kind of futurists mentioned here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futures_studiesThe kind that publish in the journals listed there. The Singularity Institute isn't part of that.
I sure pay attention to what Anders has to say. Might be a little close to home for you, as a prophet has no honor in his home town.
I don't think Anders Sandberg publishes there much either. 

I have not yet published in these journals, usually because I find journals that are more directed to the speciality (risk, SETI, enhancement) I am talking about. But I have considered it for a few papers, it is just that I never got around to refine my singularity taxonomy paper for Journal of Technological Forecasting (I think) before getting it in The Transhumanist Reader.
Future studies journal IMHO come in two flavours: generalists talking about object level futures (with varying levels of sophistication) or specialists talking more about how to do futures. Generalist ones are fun to read, but often not that high status (why? perhaps because of the variance, but also the lack of specialisation). Specialist ones requires being in the right topic and maybe also in the right inside community, and are less fun to read. 
I think FHI and SI (now MIRI) generally deliberately aims for academic credibility, and does this by publishing weird ideas in as mainstream journals as possible. It would be too easy to get our stuff into Futures. Of course, plenty that could have been published also ends up on LessWrong or as technical reports.

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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