The future isn’t just about being able to jump into rocket ships – or flying cars – and transporting our human dramas to new locations high above the ground. Instead, the possibilities are a lot weirder. And what can help us wrap our heads around these prospects is to revisit some of the fairy stories that variously frightened us and thrilled us when we were children.
That’s the suggestion of futurist and author D.J. MacLennan, the guest on Episode 10 of Humanity Unshackled. That episode opens with the surprising claim that the future will be more fairy tale than science fiction. In this way, D.J. challenges us to be more open-minded about the types of change that may soon arise. He goes on to say, “we don’t know how good things can get”.
The conversation covers the two books written by D.J. and includes a range of eclectic tangents. You’ll hear about D.J.’s encounters with transhumanism, cryonics, zen, and, yes, fairy tales. Show co-hosts Rusty Burridge and David Wood add their perspectives on the possible bright and grim futures envisioned by D.J. – or should that be “Grimm” rather than “grim”?
To listen to this episode, click on the audio player at the top of this page.
Alternatively, listen to this episode on Soundcloud, or visit the corresponding Radio Hydrogen page.
To dig more deeply into some of the ideas in this episode, take a look at:
- D.J.’s 2015 book Frozen to Life: A Personal Mortality Experiment
- D.J.’s 2021 book Future Bright, Future Grimm: Transhumanist Tales for Mother Nature’s Offspring
- Ray Kurzweil – The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
- James Hughes – Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond To The Redesigned Human Of The Future
- More about Ray Kurzweil’s background
- Douglas Hofstadter – Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (consciousness as a “strange loop”)
- Thomas Metzinger – The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self
- Robert Ettinger – The Prospect of Immortality
- Alcor – “Extend your life with cryonics” (website)
- What is Panpsychism? with Rupert Sheldrake, Donald Hoffman, Phillip Goff, and James Ladyman (YouTube)
- Will Cryonics Work? Examining the Probabilities – by Steven Harris and Michael Perry
- Giulio Prisco – Tales of the Turing Church: Hacking religion, enlightening science, awakening technology (2nd edition)
- Cosmism and the Future of Religion – a conversation between Giulio Prisco and David Wood (YouTube)
- Frank Tipler – The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead
- Eudaimonia (Wikipedia)
- The AI Control Problem
- Norbert Wiener writes about the AI Control Problem in 1960
- San Junipero (Black Mirror episode) on IMDb
- Hans Moravec – Mind Children: Future of Robot and Human Intelligence
- Calabi–Yau manifold (Wikipedia)
- Alternative History forum
- “The Man in the High Castle” on Amazon Prime
For a complete listing of Humanity Unshackled episodes, see the Future Surge Media page.
Technology, Legals, and Australian FM Radio Network Liaison: Chris John Doe.
Music: “Far Away 6,” written and performed by Sean Anthony Brennan
Radio Hydrogen Artwork: Eleanor O’Donnell
Thanks also to Bob Evans and all at Tribe FM 91.1 Willunga.
Published on 16th September 2022.