A Quote by John Horgan on future, skepticism, hype, and heaven scenario

Indeed, now and for the forseeable future, cyber-evangelism is best understood as an escapist, quasi-religious fantasy, which reflects an oddly dated, Jetsons-esque faith in scientific progress and its potential to cure all that ails us. Even those cyber-evangelical books published well after September 11, 2001, and the end of the dot-com boom echo the hysterical techno-optimism of the late 1990s. At their best, they raise some diverting questions: Would you rather live in a pleasant virtual world, or in an unpleasant real one? Would cyber-sex satisfy you? Would we still be recognizably human if we were immortal, or had IQ's over 1,000, or were immune to pain?

But I felt my cognitive-dissonance alarm clanging whenever I reminded myself of the issues that preoccupy most mature adults these days: terrorism, overpopulation, poverty, environmental degradation, AIDS and other diseases, and all the pitfalls of ordinary life.

I try to forget this vale of tears myself now and then by reading books like William Gibson’s Neuromancer or watching movies like The Matrix. But I also try not to confuse science fiction with science.

John Horgan

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education, June 3, 2005 - "Brain Chips and Other Dreams of the Cyber-Evangelists"

Contributed by: Ryan