I haven’t read an article this long in one sitting in quite a while, but this one is just too good to stop midway. It’s a report on Oxford’s “Future of Humanity Institute”, and the scenarios for the faraway, “deep” future that are put together there. These scenarios would make great science fiction novels, at least one has already been discussed in Charles Stross’ excellent Accelerando.
Jason Kottke quotes a lengthy section of the essay as “the most harrowing thing I’ve read in months”, and he is right. Taking a look at the future is not always pleasant, but it certainly gives you a bit of perspective. To finally quote Robin Sloan:
Mostly we talk about vanishingly tiny things. And then, every so often, a writer like @andersen asks us to stretch.
And I stretch with pleasure.