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We should look forward to the future

Gina Miller writes "Guardian Unlimited Observer has a commentary, We should look forward to the future (30 June 2002) by Charles Leadbeater. The author discusses the fears of future technologies, how it is provoked by certain publications, and how with previous advances there was also fear of those things that now seem mundane. In summary he says: "Science may bring new genetic risks but also new energy sources, cures for disease, ways of growing food, opportunities for communication, cultural expression and democratic debate. The future will be messy and complex, disappointing and surprising, but we should not fear it so much that we seek, Canute-like, to keep it forever at bay." "

One Response to “We should look forward to the future”

  1. Mr_Farlops Says:

    Expect the unexpected

    It is rather interesting to see an editorial like this in the Guardian. My knowledge of the media in the UK is limited but I've been lead to understand that the Guardian is often associated with the left side of political spectrum.

    Being on the left side of moderate myself, it's good to see that wiser heads are prevailing and that the gloom of the green movement is still in the minority of leftward opinion.

    I am also glad that there is moderation on the right, which I, perhaps incorrectly, associate with the libertarian wing. The hysteria of some religious conservatives is still in the minority. Despite some outraged speeches in the US Congress, total bans on stem cell research and theraputic cloning have not been enacted.

    Anyway, I agree with most of the editorial. If anyone seriously thinks about the future and technological change, they come to understand that it's not all good or all bad. They come to understand that the only certainty is that change is always surprising. If your predictions seem obvious, they're probably wrong or at least incomplete in some fundamental way. The futures depicted in Huxley or Orwell or Minority Report are in some sense obvious and simple extropolation of current trends and this is why they never really come to pass.

    It's the surprises that we have to be mindful of, that we have to watch for.

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