Up to: Futures
Here are some principles.
Here are some ideas about what constitutes progress.
We don't envisage the same future for everyone. Present industrial society permits more varied occupations and ways of life than did earlier societies. Advanced societies offer a greater variety than do backward societies. The differences will be larger among individuals and voluntary groups than among nations. There is no more an Indian way of life to which all Indians must adhere than there is an American way of life to which all Americans must adhere.
What we can get is limited by science and technology. As my Sustainability of Progress essays show, continued material progress is sustainable. However, people whose dream of the future involves everyone living in what they regard as the best or most authentic lifestyle are bound to be disappointed, I hope.
The main problem with life is its shortness. Medicine and very likely computer technology will lengthen it a lot, but this is unlikely to be in time to do me much good and maybe won't much lengthen the life of my son born in 1985.
Perhaps some groups of people will want to go off in space in order to have their own societies. Larry Niven wrote science fiction about that. An indication that it won't happen much is that hardly any designed communities are being formed anywhere in the world today, even though the tolerance of such things is very high. Curiously, the income tax laws of the United States are very favorable to communities, because labor exchanged internally without the payment of money is currently untaxed. Another favorable fact is that communities could expel their criminals or even their expensively ill for the outside to take care of.
There are many possible future societies.Up to: Main future page.
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