Science and Technology

The Future Will Be Weirder Than We Think

By Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg

How weird is the future going to be? Just a little bit — or plain flat-out radically unthinkably weird? And is this future 1,000 years from now — or 100?

The notion that the future will be weirder than we think, and come sooner, is a possibility raised by Holden Karnofsky, the co-chief executive officer of Open Philanthropy. It’s an intriguing and provocative idea.

One complicating factor will be different forms of genetic engineering. As genomics progresses, we will be able to alter the future course of humanity. The simplest method is embryo selection, by which parents can choose a boy rather than a girl, or a child with some characteristics rather than others. Our ability to do this will become increasingly precise. More direct forms of genetic manipulation will likely be feasible as well.

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