Just so ya don't get too happy and optimistic on this fine Saturday morning, I ran across a 'Top Ten' list on the 'Gizmodo' site that should drive you back into the depths of despair!
10 predictions about the future that will scare the hell out of you!
1. Virtually anyone will be able to create their own pandemic
The fear is that a rogue state, terrorist group, or a malign individual might create their own virus and unleash it. Natural selection is good at creating nasty and highly prolific viruses, but imagine what intentional design could concoct.
2. People who transfer their minds to computers are actually killing themselves.
This is what’s known as the “continuity of consciousness” problem. Sure, we may eventually be able to cut, copy, and paste the essence of a person’s personality and memories to a digital substrate, but transferring the seat of consciousness itself may be an untenable proposition. Mind uploading will likely require destructive atomic-scale scanning of the brain. It would be similar to the way teleportation is done in Star Trek. Indeed, one of the dirty little secrets of this sci-fi show is that the person being teleported is actually killed each time it happens, replaced by an exact duplicate who’s none the wiser. Mind transfers could be similar, where the original brain is destroyed, replaced by a digital being who’s convinced they’re still the original—but it would be a delusion.
3. Authoritarianism will make a comeback
The threats to national security will have to be severe to instigate these changes, but history has precedents. Following the September 11 attacks and the subsequent mailings of anthrax spores, the US government enacted the Homeland Security Act. This legislation was criticized for being too severe and reactionary, but it’s a perfect example of what happens when a nation feels under threat. Now imagine what would happen if another 9/11-type event happened, but one involving hundreds of thousands of deaths, or even millions.