Contest closes to entries on April 18, 2014. ...I am drafting a submission, based on recent postings to this blog. No, I am not going to shoehorn anything about quantum computing, as that subject may have gotten me blackballed in the past.
The theme for this Essay Contest is: "How Should Humanity Steer the Future?".
Dystopic visions of the future are common in literature and film, while optimistic ones are more rare. This contest encourages us to avoid potentially self-fulfilling prophecies of gloom and doom and to think hard about how to make the world better while avoiding potential catastrophes.
Our ever-deepening understanding of physics has enabled technologies and ways of thinking about our place in the world that have dramatically transformed humanity over the past several hundred years. Many of these changes have been difficult to predict or control—but not all.
In this contest we ask how humanity should attempt to steer its own course in light of the radically different modes of thought and fundamentally new technologies that are becoming relevant in the coming decades.
Possible topics or sub-questions include, but are not limited to:
* What is the best state that humanity can realistically achieve?
* What is your plan for getting us there? Who implements this plan?
* What technology (construed broadly to include practices and techniques) does your plan rely on? What are the risks of those technologies? How can those risks be mitigated?
(Note: While this topic is broad, successful essays will not use this breadth as an excuse to shoehorn in the author's pet topic, but will rather keep as their central focus the theme of how humanity should steer the future.)
Additionally, to be consonant with FQXi's scope and goals, essays should be sure to touch on issues in physics and cosmology, or closed related fields, such as astrophysics, biophysics, mathematics, complexity and emergence, and the philosophy of physics.
Monday, April 7, 2014
How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
Time for the annual FQXi essay contest: