Future Fossils #0028: Forecasting the Unimaginabile with Futurist John Petersen
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“You cannot change the present system. This thing is dying, it’s structurally unsustainable. And so to try to somehow fix the present system is just a waste of time. Don’t waste your time on the present system. We have to start working on building the new world.”
– John Petersen

This week we welcome futurist John Petersen of The Arlington Institute into the digital archives, for a challenging and visionary chat about how wrong we’re guaranteed to be about the future – and what we CAN expect about the new paradigm (which is coming sooner than you might suspect)…

John Petersen started as an engineer before advising the military and White House, and has spent decades as a high-level consultant for emergent technologies and social trends. What he’s learned is that the future emerges at the edges of the known – that it will be, to paraphrase JBS Haldane, “not stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we CAN imagine.”

If you’ve been waiting for a “deep end” episode, this is it. Prepare to have your paradigm interrogated and your limits of acceptable considerations challenged.

John’s Links:

• The Arlington Institute

• Berkeley Springs Transition Talks

(Climate Change Presentation is at the bottom)

• FuturEdition Newsletter

(A superb digest email list, one of my main sources for news stories to share and discuss in the Future Fossils Facebook Group)

Topics Discussed:

• Why experts are so frequently wrong about the future

• Systemic social issues and institutional pressures that prevent us from asking the right questions about how to prepare for the unknown

• Climate change predictions of a very different nature

• The mainstreaming of the merger of humans and technology through brain-machine interfaces

• The emergent tension between mysticism and technocracy

• The possibility that information is carried by coronal mass ejections and influences the expression of our DNA

• The potential contours of our next scientific paradigm

• The sculpting and directing of global attention by media as a form of magical reality-manipulation

• Love as a defense against malevolent spirits. (No kidding.)

• The silver lining of our insane situation in the USA right now

• The difference between inner-, outer-, and sustenance-driven psychologies, and their influence on global politics

• What it is going to take for us to re-orient toward building a better world instead of clinging to the systems that no longer work for us

• And how, instead of “Ender’s Game,” where you’re recruiting people into a massive game that turns out to be war, you could have “Beginner’s Game,” where people know they’re contributing their personal skills and purpose toward building a better world…

Books Referenced:

• Yuval Harari – Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

• Ray Kurzweil – The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

• David Icke – Human Race Get Off Your Knees: The Lion Sleeps No More

• William Strauss & Neil Howe – The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy

Others Mentioned:

• Joe Dispenza

• Bob Monroe

Quotes from John Petersen:

“If you do a vector into the horizon that’s a technology-only vector, then you’re missing the bigger parts of this. If you do artificial general intelligence into an extrapolation of the present world, then OF COURSE you’re going to have big problems. They’re going to try to weaponize it. They’re gonna get out of control. But. BUT. If there’s a new consciousness, then it all starts to change.”

“Kurzweil himself said there’s a million times more knowledge that shows up in this century than in the last century. Well, GOD, how do you ride THAT kind of wave with conventional thinking?”

“What you’re watching in politics, and the economy, and the financial systems, and in energy, and technology, and ALL of these things, is this basic, fundamental fragmentation that you can track back to this divergence [between those who embrace change and those who reject it], the emergence of a new kind of a mind-shift that is going to allow the exposure and discovery of extraordinary new kinds of capabilities.”

“You can’t get from here to there without changing who you are and how you see the world.”

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