[ExI] Forget Your Five-Year Plan: What If We Visualized Humanity’s Future in Centuries, Millennia, and Beyond?

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 1 17:28:42 UTC 2021

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” It’s a classic job interview
question, designed to probe your level of ambition and aspiration. And it
probes about as far ahead as many of us are likely to think: with so many
distractions in the here and now, so many crises and challenges and
opportunities that will arise, and so much that seems likely to change, who
can meticulously sit and plan for decades ahead?

This isn’t unique to humans as individuals; it’s true of organizations as
well. Financial investment is motivated by the desire to realize a profit,
usually on a short timescale. Our political systems are dominated by short
four- or five-year electoral cycles. The ever-accelerating pace of
technological innovation makes the long-term future
<https://singularityhub.com/tag/future/> difficult to visualize—and also,
perhaps, misleads us into thinking that change can only take place in years
or decades, rather than centuries or millennia.

Our own limited lifespans often set the upper limit to the timescales we
consider: at most, those who have children might start to imagine what life
will be like when they grow old. Unfortunately, it’s precisely our
short-term thinking that could mean life is far worse for future
generations than it might otherwise be. How can we combat this deeply
embedded short-termism and get people to think about centuries, millennia,
and beyond?"
What are your long-term goals?  :  )

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