How Should Humanity Steer the Future?

By on January 28th, 2014 in Ethics, Societal Impact, Topics

The Foundational Questions Institute, in collaboration with Scientific American, the Templeton Foundation, the Gruber Foundation, and Jann Tallinn is sponsoring an essay contest (9 pgs max) with submissions due by April 18th with the topic headlined in this post. See the contest rules if you want to make a submission.

There is a window for you to vote on your choices based on relevance and if the presentation is interesting.  This, IMHO, is right in SSIT’s ballpark. So I encourage all SSIT members and ‘similarly interested folks;’ to join the FQXi community, read the entries (after April 20th or whatever) and select your preferences before the May 30th deadline.

“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.”