It’s funny how the future always seems so far away. We sit in our homes and watch satellite television, eat chocolates and blow dry air-conditioners as if those things were not important to life. Even with all of our technological advances, the future seems awfully far away. A recent article in Esquire Magazine suggested that by the year 2021, it will be possible for the first humans to walk on the moon.
The future society, founded in 1966, is a worldwide network of future thinkers and futurists. In its formation, it was made possible through the participation of many people from different cultures and economic backgrounds. Futurists from Japan, France, West Germany, Canada, and the United States have come together under the umbrella of the World Future Society. It brings together individuals who are interested in different areas of science fiction and non-fiction, politics, philosophy, history, and anthropology.
The most prominent thinker and futurist of the World Future Society is Robert J. Gropman, a professor at the University of California, Davis. He is known for his controversial works including “Manifest Destiny,” “ets,” and “the Starry Star.” Others associated with the society include Maxicentrice Fontain, Gail Laguna, and indefinite dimension cosmology professor Phillip R. Miller. All these individuals are considered to be involved in “post-postmodernism,” a style of theorizing that is considered to have become popular in the 1970s.
Some futurists of the World Future Society think that the main difference between present day society and the future societies is time-preference rate. They hold that human beings have evolved with a time-preference rate of “past life.” This is based on the fact that our ancestors lived for thousands of years before us and they have no memory of their ancestors. Our current society consumes goods and services on a much faster rate than their ancient ancestors, who had a much smaller population. Futurists believe that the only way humans will adapt to the changes in the world’s economy and lifestyle is by evolving along the same line, evolving to the point where they have a much larger time preference rate than the present society.
In order to test this theory, Dr. Gropman created the Gropman Box, an apparatus which allows humans to monitor their consumption and save data. It contains a microwave transmitter and a storable disc. The disc contains a copy of the information on the storage disc, while the transmitter sends the information on to the receiver within a fraction of a second. The receiver then uses its own time-preference rate to determine how much to purchase and how much to save. Because this system is time-dependent, it uses a different set band than the one used by the present society.
The storable disc used in Dr. Gropman’s device can be made larger, thus allowing everyone in the society to have a different discount rate. Thus, instead of having two different interests, each interested party will have the same interest, which helps to reduce the time-preference rate. This system is also time-dependent, because it depends on the discount rate for predicting when someone in society might have an extra purchase. If someone wants to buy now, he pays a higher discount rate than someone who wants to wait, and vice-versa.
As exciting as this technology may sound, many people are not yet comfortable with it. Many people fear that it eliminates free will and the ability for individuals to make decisions based on their own private decisions. Some people also fear that this will usher in a new form of slavery where people will spend their lives catering to the needs of a corporate elite. Proponents of this technology claim that all aspects of society will be able to interact harmoniously based on the present discounted rates that everyone has access to.
The truth is that there is potential for this new digital technology to benefit everyone in society. Although it has some definite pitfalls that must be worked out, it will most certainly create a smarter, more efficient, and more democratic society. As we move into the next stage of development, smart societies will be able to address pressing issues and problems in a more efficient and effective manner. Policy makers will be able to make informed decisions based on evidence and technology instead of being forced by popular demand to enact policies that may not benefit them. Given this potential, it is encouraging to see the interest of government and other interested parties in supporting the development of digital technologies that will have a positive effect on the future of society.