Category Archives: Futurism – Warnings

Survival of the Richest

Robots revolt in R.U.R., a 1920 play

Professor and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff recently penned an article that went viral,
“Survival of the Richest.” It outlines how the super-wealthy are preparing for doomsday. Here is a recap followed by a brief commentary.

Rushkoff was recently invited to deliver a speech for an unusually large fee, about half his academic salary, on “the future of technology.” He expected a large audience but, upon arrival, he was ushered into a small room with a table surrounded by five wealthy men. But they weren’t interested in the future of technological innovation. Instead, they wanted to know things like where they should move to avoid the coming climate crisis, whether mind uploading will work and, most prominently, how to “maintain authority over [their] security force after the event?” Continue reading Survival of the Richest

Summary of Jaron Lanier’s “Who Owns the Future?”

Lanier blowing into a woodwind instrument with several chambers

Jaron Lanier‘s recent book, Who Owns the Future? discusses the role that technology plays in both eliminating job and increasing income inequality. Early in that book, Lanier quotes from Aristotle’s Politics: Continue reading Summary of Jaron Lanier’s “Who Owns the Future?”

What Are Slaughterbots?

The above video was produced by

While lethal, fully autonomous weapons systems, or killer robots, aren’t yet able to select and attack targets without human control, a number of countries are developing such devices. And a number of organizations including The Future of Life InstituteHuman Rights Watch, and the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, have all warned against their development. Continue reading What Are Slaughterbots?

Summary of Bill Joy’s, “Why the future doesn’t need us,”

Bill Joy at World Economic Forum (Davos), 2003-01 (cropped).jpg

Bill Joy (1954 – ) is an American computer scientist who co-founded Sun Microsystems in 1982 and served as chief scientist at the company until 2003. His now famous Wired magazine essay, “Why the future doesn’t need us,” (2000) sets forth his deep concerns over the development of modern technologies Continue reading Summary of Bill Joy’s, “Why the future doesn’t need us,”