Sunday, April 05, 2009

Societal Design 101

Social construction and economic design like that in Dubai/the UAE is particularly interesting in two ways: what it suggests for the future of technology on Earth and in the context of designing space-based societies such as on the Moon, Mars, asteroids and orbiting satellites.

Newtech adoption as geopolitical strategy

On Earth, as technological advances are accelerating and emerging in more areas, early adopter societies, particularly less democratic ones, could mandate technology implementation and move ahead quickly. Imagine that Singapore for example, has a big push into molecular nanotechnology and develops diamond mechanosynthesis or requires adoption of life extension technologies, generating a citizenry suddenly much healthier and more productive with longer life spans, perhaps increasing GDP by one or more orders of magnitude. There will likely be a variety of worldwide responses and uptake patterns to futuretech as it emerges, possibly creating a far greater range of human diversity than currently exists. Genetically-modified food, human genomic testing and stem cell research are contemporary examples of diverse national responses to newtech.

Space-based societal design
Constructed rather than organically grown Earth-based societies are a good template for a potential Moon base and other space-based communities; societies like the Antarctic science outposts and managed economies such as Dubai and the UAE. There could certainly be any variety of non-Earth-based societies with differing levels of political and social restrictions and freedoms. Especially in the early days, stricter regimes are more likely to prevail for survival, safety and cohesion reasons.

blog comments powered by Disqus