Author Iain Banks answered questions solicited by his publisher from the general internet, and it came out just fine:
From Mark Wilson:
Q: What do you think is the one, single, most vital collective development that humanity needs to make before it has any hope whatsoever of evolving into a Culture-like society?
Iain Banks: Genetically modifying ourselves, I suspect. Finding the set of genes that code for xenophobia in general - these days usually expressed though sexism, racism, homophobia, anti-semitism, Islamophobia, Romaphobia and so on (and on, and on) - and knocking them out. Possibly then we'll be nice enough for the Culture or something like it. Of course maybe inventing true AIs will be enough, always assuming that they're as benign - and yet sympathetically interested in us - as they are taken to be in the Culture.
The one thing that won't be enough is getting to a post-scarcity society; a statistically valid number of us have lived in something very like that for the past decade and a bit and we still collectively behaved like slavering morons, so it'll take more than just having more toys than we know what to do with to make us truly civilised.
I mean, nil desperandum and all that, but - still - don't hold your breath.
This is amazing.
The National Association of Scholars is a tiny, hydrocarbon-industry backed organization that is not to be confused with the National Academy of Sciences.
These hand boilers are a hell of a lot of fun, even if you aren’t stoned. Not just fun, this is science! Use your body heat to teach a child about distillation! Every child needs to know how to create the water of life. Honestly, I love my little hand boiler. I keep it next […]
Most of us understand that when we visit a website, we’re subjecting ourselves to surveillance by trackers. And, while these tools are usually used for innocuous purposes, like determining which ads to show you, they can be leveraged for much more nefarious goals, and they have the potential to tank your browsing speed as well as […]
Learning how to code is a great way to improve your hiring potential and open the door to more lucrative careers, but getting the ball rolling can be a bit daunting considering the number of languages out there and steep price associated with training. However, the Pay What You Want: Learn to Code 2018 Bundle is […]
Our world is a colorful one, and when it comes time to repaint the house or create a new design, many of us look to our surroundings for inspiration. However, matching colors from the outside world to our canvas isn’t the most precise process when we’re just eyeballing it. The Nix Pro Color Sensor removes the […]