April 11, 2006 6:37 AM Subscribe
Six Visions of the End: Fall Down Six Times, an essay by Ran Prieur, describes six possible scenarios for the near future: Worst Case ("Meanwhile computer technology keeps accelerating, leading by 2050 to an insane and nearly all-powerful artificial intelligence, which exterminates all life on Earth except a single human, who it keeps alive to torture for all eternity: you."), Ridiculous Best Case ("In 2016 Dean steps down and the new president is an anarchist who spends eight years peacefully dismantling the federal government and building local systems that make central control irrelevant and impossible."), Naive Sci-Fi Utopia ("Everyone can live forever, and have kids, and enjoy wide open spaces. No one is sure how this is possible, but it probably has something to do with the Mayan calendar or the word "quantum.""), and three others. Whether or not you agree with his vision, the exercise of imagining different futures is a useful one that might help us see a way through the multiple crises the Earth is going through. What does your apocalypse look like?
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