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What Ever Happened to the Futurists?

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posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 12:06 PM
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I've recently been re-reading some of my Robert Anton Wilson and Bucky Fuller materials. Specifically the stuff from the late 70s and early 80s, and it's really kind of mind boggling. If you take a look at Fuller's work, particularly Critical Path and the World Game Experiment, you get a very real picture of viability of a technological utopia of sorts. Compound that with RAW's various reports from the cutting edge/fringes of the scientific communities and you can see very strong movement towards harnessing the full power of technology available at the time (from roughly the late-sixties onward) and is still available today in order to secure a basic standard of living for a majority of the world's population.

Admittedly, much of this technology was championed by people whose relatively mushy-minded faith in the inherent good of humanity led them to believe that various forms of Collectivism would be somehow free of the corruptions and clusterfoolery of our nations distorted Capitalism system, but what was being put forward was technically sound.

The general vision (and each futurist had their own variation on the theme) was a world where the following resources were "free": Food, Shelter and Energy. With those three fundamentals being a given simply by providing people with the technology needed to be self-sufficient, people would be happier in their work since they would be working for Wants rather than Needs, thus eliminating the sense of quiet desperation that causes mankind so much misery which lay at the heart of so many of our world's plagues (crime, war, religion).

The boost in free/leisure time would allow people to devote their personal resources (skills, labor, thoughts, energy) to that which interested them. Soon, advancements in the technology and the arts would begin to advance exponentially as humanity's greatest untapped resource (the human mind) was unleashed from a life of worry and depression.

I know. I know. This is your typical Utopian claptrap; the kind of thing the Global Elites would NEVER allow because it endangers their profits. If we use technology to give every man woman and child the quality of life of a billionaire (something Fuller calculated as possible using known resources as of 1979), then what would the billionaires do to feel special?

Still, I look around at how utterly FUBAR we are as a planet, and I have to wonder. Where the heck did all these visionaries go? Is there not one example of these ideas put into practice? How thoroughly did the TPTB have to squash these people that we see so little real progress in terms of quality of life while the technology for frivolous distraction advances at a pace that proves a lot about what the futurists were predicting?

RAW's dead, Bucky's World Game was bought by a consortium which now uses it for BS corporate exercises, Barbara Marx Hubbard is hocking abstract concious evolution seminars, Toffler's stuff is still talked about as fantasy even though much of the technology is viable today.

Architecure and engineering students design "Houses of the Future" that are almost identical to the models built in the seventies. The technology is negligibly better and as out of the average person's reach as ever if not more so.

The closest thing it seems we have is the amazing work being done at Arcosanti, but considering the momentum that was brewing 30 years ago, it seems a shamefully small step for humanity.

Thoughts?




posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 12:07 PM
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Incidentally, if this is in the wrong forum, please move it. As it stands, I picked generally conspiracy because this seems to hint at a tremenous coordinated effort to deprive the masses of the full benefits of our technological advancement.



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 12:15 PM
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From the perspective of one human life things may be going slow, but from lets say, a 1000-year viewpoint, things have been really speeding up in the last 100 years. Take Internet alone for example...something the futurists once talked about as a distant dream is now reality. Its happening. Its happening.

As for people like RAW, etc....they influence a number of people who again influence a number of people, etc...and within only a few decades certain visions come true.



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


True. If we want to look at things on an evolutionary timeline, the winds of change are blowing the hair right off our heads.

At the same time, I look at the timelines that people were going on at the time that they were making their predictions and we as a culture are coming up way short.

I would be okay with the fact that I am neither taking a jetpack to work nor vacationing on the moon if I at least thought that my children would be living in a substantially improved world. Instead, I see people chasing as barely attainable dreams those advances that were seen as imminent three decades ago.



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 01:49 PM
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I agree there’s a general lack of vision nowadays……..People are convinced it’s the end of the world so no-one bothers trying any-more. But there's also a real hunger for change.



Instead, I see people chasing as barely attainable dreams those advances that were seen as imminent three decades ago.


Yes things are slow but its completely untrue that these things are barely attainable. There are tons of projects going on all over the world… They are just under-reported....

I did my best to contribute my ideas here:

The Great Awakening

The problem is not capitalism…. Neither you, I, nor anyone else reading this thread has ever experienced free-market capitalism so none of us can comment. We are living in a plutocracy/technocracy.

Yes there’s a kind of mushy mindedness in some visionaries… In my piece I tried to make people aware of the fact that the pioneers of basic needs technology are going to end up taking a chunk of an eventual trillion-Euro market…. I didn’t bother with preaching love at people, just showed the latent markets sitting there waiting to be exploited. Check out

www.ecogeek.org

When I look at society I see:

1- A small group of power-mad heartless oligarchs (less than 10 percent of the population)
2- A small group of visionaries and humanitarians (lessthan 10 per cent)
3- A massive grey area of people who want to do the right thing but are lukewam either way…..

So the issue becomes making the silent majority aware of technology that can benefit all of us. As most of it has broken out of supression and is currently being sold commercially it becomes an awareness issue. Basic needs tech is not being pushed in the mainstream media. We can’t blame them any more, because with Google video, we have the tools to reach millions of people, so it becomes a case of initiative.

*

I agree with a lot of your post but I see a general vibe that you are waiting for other people to do things. Unfortunately it looks like we’re going to have to do it ourselves…

*

Make consumers aware of the benefits and it will all take care of itself……… it might still take decades but at least it’s a step in the right direction.








[edit on 011f20092pmTue, 03 Nov 2009 13:52:43 -060043 by HiAliens]



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by RobertAntonWeishaupt
The boost in free/leisure time would allow people to devote their personal resources (skills, labor, thoughts, energy) to that which interested them. Soon, advancements in the technology and the arts would begin to advance exponentially as humanity's greatest untapped resource (the human mind) was unleashed from a life of worry and depression.


I can sum up my thoughts with two quotations:
"They told us that in the future we'd have more leisure time. They didn't say we'd spend it sorting our garbage." (Faith Popcorn)

"It's 2003! Why can't I teleport!?" (Lewis Black)



posted on Nov, 3 2009 @ 05:43 PM
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I think you can put the dividing line about around 1970, when Postmodernity began, from a shift in Utopian visions of the future (ie, Star Trek) to dystopian (ie Soylent Green).



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