Tuesday, June 03, 2008

DO STOP THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW. I find myself short of time, so let me take the lazy man's route to blog fulfillment and point you to editor Martin's site, where my favorite health reporter considers the Singularitized vision of our future:
Today the Times has a piece on [futurist Ray] Kurtzweil's latest predictions.
"Do you have trouble sticking to a diet? Have patience. Within 10 years, Dr. Kurzweil explained, there will be a drug that lets you eat whatever you want without gaining weight."
Oh, gross. Imagine all the skinny people gorging themselves constantly and shitting grease.

When we all get diabetes from overeating, there will be a nanobot-filled pill to fix that, too.
"Are you depressed by the prospect of dying? Well, if you can hang on another 15 years, your life expectancy will keep rising every year faster than you’re aging."
Unless, of course, you're black, or you live in the South.
An endorsement of Kurzweil and John Tierney from the Perfesser here. We all hope for the best, and the many brilliant successes of the modern age give us reason for hope. But we ought to be careful about shrugging off the past and present on the grounds that the future will fix them.

It stands to reason that conservatives would prefer the forward-looking approach, as the rear-view and the side-view too are very grim. At National Review, Yuval Levin is predicting that the coming election will "turn into more or less an up or down vote on Obama" -- as if the past eight years of the Bush Administration and Republican rule, poorly regarded as they are by the voters, may be forgotten. It is understandable that people who know they've fucked up would engage in this sort of wishful thinking, and hope that their fellow citizens will yet trust them to deliver on one more shining vision of tomorrow. But optimism only goes so far, at least among people who are more interested in the small gains that may be achieved by a change in government than in the big dreams of professional fantasists.

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