‘Our Synapses Are Cracking’


Published in the Knowledge Edition for March 1st, 2019

To cope with this (or other, equally existential) challenges we must look to history for new approaches to solving our problems. Our quest is widely shared and must certainly include the researchers pioneering the use of genetic material to disrupt what we can perceive and understand. Indeed, this “Synthesis Revolution” is more important than ever.

Ethan Nadelmann. USA, founder of the International Data Forum On Genetics. “Better ways to understand the world” is the theme that comes with this issue. Current affairs and world affairs are an integral part of this quest and so it is that we turn to Nadelmann to see whether we can learn lessons to help us cope with the changes to come. Specifically, Nadelmann wants to end centuries of cringing and awe at human nature. On this he has made a number of exceptionally important comments:

Genetic modification of food will become common place in the not too distant future

Vulnerable species and species going extinct will become increasingly evident, but how to respond to them remains a question we are yet to answer

Disruptive technologies will go on “decawing other systems”

For humans, the future can look like this:

A world for the aged may find support in pension systems that will let us choose a ‘nanny state’

The majority of political parties may regard themselves as supporting further progress towards sustainability

Of course, these are just a few of the inevitable implications of a “Synaptic Revolution”. While the prophecies may be exaggerated, will they not be accurate?

The Knowledge Edition also contains an article by Phil Francis about why conventional resource-based cities cannot provide us with enough to live and work in. That we are running out of things to be happy about adds an extra dimension to the challenge of developing new ways of having a “Synaptic Revolution”.

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