The World of 2044: Technological Development and the Future of Society
a book by Marcelo Alonso (Editor) and Morton A. Kaplan (Editor) and Charles Sheffield
(our site's book review)
This book concerns technological development and the future of society. It predicts that: “Unless we find the means to alleviate the poverty and hunger of three-quarters of the world’s population, our civilization will crumble and collapse into a new Dark Age of incessant warfare and chaos.” Famine, disease, war and death will be everyone’s future. We have the knowledge and tools to build a world that’s fair, free and flourishing, say the editors, but do we have the will and courage?
We have the knowledge and tools to build a world that’s fair, free and flourishing, say the editors, but do we have the will and courage?
The book advocates using robots to produce so much wealth that the rich countries operating them clearly can afford to give much of it to the poorer countries. It proposes that the World Council of the UN impose a tax on the Have nations and give it to the poor nations, helping to make them richer. (Note: Giving money to people does NOT make them richer unless there are concomitant educational, birth control, industrial development [which may be knowledge industry or service industry opportunities and knowledge] programs as well as social and political programs designed to empower poor people to avoid sliding back into poverty once the money stops—which it surely will. Charity is NOT empowerment.)
The book advocates using robots to produce so much wealth that the rich countries operating them clearly can afford to give much of it to the poorer countries—but charity is NOT empowerment
Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime
The editors assert that fusion power energy production is the key to the ultimate solution of the tremendous problems we face. It can—among plenty of other things—allow the world to reverse desertification by using desalinated seawater to irrigate deserts.
The book seems to consider the U.S. public school system “. . . a vast welfare system for credentialed incompetents” which is set up to produce a great number of “. . . clients for the ‘social science’ graduates who staff the traditional welfare systems.” And things are getting even worse, they say. Industries wonder where they will get their future engineers and scientists.
All people in the world need to have immediate access to free contraception as soon as possible to avoid population catastrophes, say the editors. Women should be given control of their fertility and given choices.
The book has good attitudes and ideas, but none add up to solutions that deal with root causes. Very cheap electrical power via fusion, for instance, even if given free to poor countries, is hardly a panacea. What will people do with it, given that their houses have no electricity, appliances or TV? And even if they had these, wouldn’t this just lead to political upheaval and terrorism as they learned via TVs how they—the Have-nots—live compared to the Have countries? There needs to be more systems thought and ideas that manifest the mindset of those who’ve truly adopted Third Wave, ecological-holistic paradigm thinking. Keep reading this website and you'll quickly run into exactly such ideas.