1. write a one paragraph summary statement about the article characterizing the main message of the article?

As technology increases in power and complexity it threatens the human species. The old threats posed by technology were significantly less likely to replicate compared to the new threats posed by genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics.

2. Who is Bill Joy?

Bill Joy was co-founder of Sun Microsystems and chief scientist of the company until 2003. He wrote vi a popular text editing program for Unx systems. It was originally packaged with Berkeley Unix, which also included Bill Joy's versions of the TCP/IP protocol and the csh shell.

3. what did you find

3.1. interesting about the article?

Bill Joy's "The Future Doesn't Need Us Anymore": Midnight masterpiece or virulent meme? I had read the article when it first came out in Wired, since I used to have a subscription. I found it interesting that Bill Joy had been so worried. I guess, out of ignorance, I hadn't been quite as aware of the problems technology poses until I read this article. Specifically, I found the gray goo problem to be very interesting. I have read Kurt Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle," which was mentioned in the footnotes, and involves a lab accident with a compound called Ice Nine which freezes the interminable waterways of the Earth.

3.2. not find interesting about the article?

I was turned off by Joy's grandiosity. He is one person and he does not have to take the world on his shoulders. He is one man, and it is senseless for him to try to deal with Pandora's box (so to speak.) While it is noble for him to speak, I wonder how long it took him to write the article. Knowledge has always been an asset and a liability. This concept is ingrained in a number of world religions. In the Bible there is the story of the Garden of Eden, in Buddhism there is the concept of prajna, etc. It is up to people as a whole to determine just how practical and robust we are as a species. In a way, it is hard for me to criticize this article. While I know it places too much burden on the individual by calling everyone to arms ("The Future Doesn't Need Us Anymore"), it is still important for some work to be done. What is missing here for Joy it seems is a concept of balance. He is very extreme, because he is imagining the worst as his own personal problem. Rather it is the problem of humanity, and he only has a right to a small piece of it.

4. with which arguments (focused on predicting future developments) do you

4.1. agree

Robots will be able to manufacture themselves eventually and may become a concern

Biotechnology and nanotechnology have the potential to act malignantly with complex systems that are before we understand the ramifications clearly.

4.2. disagree

The idea of robotic humans is dangerous.

The idea that technology is incredibly foreign and therefore scary.

The idea that becoming too dependent on technology is anything worse than shameful.

5. does the article relate to

5.1. other topics / themes you have studied at CU?

Yes, it relates to many themes that have been brought up in my modern literature class. Specifically, it has ties to secularity in modern times, which has been attributed to a newfound emphasis in our society. It relates to absurdity, which is a good frameork to view the "gray goo" problem in.

5.2. to your personal interests and life?

I am interested in helping to make technology more beneficial. I also believe that it should be used more appropriately, that greed is an issue that needs to be addressed intelligently and compassionately.

6. how should we react to this article

We should read it as carefully as we feel the need to.

6.1. on an individual basis?

I believe I should at least have the heart to take a little bit of the responsibility of being technologically ethical off of Bill Joy's back. He needs our help, and that's all he was asking for. You are welcome to do the same as I do, but I am not going to make anyone do as I do.

6.2. on a societal basis?

Anyone who is interested and capable should build the proper infrastructure needed to solve and address the severity of the problems in a group setting.

7. which concepts /names mentioned in the article did you not understand?

The Pugwash Meetings ... What exactly are they?

The problem of aligning plants with economic, not biological, success. I am not quite sure exactly what problems it would pose for the ecosystem. What is the chain of events that is supposedly so bad?

8. would you consider yourself

8.1. a techno-utopist (“glorifying the future”)

Yes, I glorify the future. I am quick to see the potentials in new technologies. I think GPS is very cool, enjoy using computers (and see them as a good tool for creating art as well,) and am enthusiastic and optimistic about mobile computing devices.

8.2. a techno-pessimist (“glorifying the past”)

I am not too much of a techno pessimist. The only problem I see with technology is that it doesn't match nature enough. In my opinion I think superior engineering will eventually converge with nature. In other words, in our process of refining engineering we will eventually discover that nature is the best designer. The work of Adrian Bejan at Duke University seems to imply this.

8.3. or how would you characterize your own position?

I guess I am a technaturalist. I believe nature is the best engineer, and we are just learning its tricks.

9. how well have futurists succeeded or failed to predict the disappearance in the digital age of

9.1. paper

I believe not very well at this stage. I still use reams of paper. I think it will take a long time for us to be in a paperless society.

9.2. books

I don't know what futurists say, but what is the alternative, an E-book? Ugg. I would just print it out, use more paper, and take my portable creation, away from the CRT. A personal preference, but I know others share it. I am excited about the electronic paper that will eventually become available. That will be somewhat of an improvement over an old book, I suppose.

9.3. physical libraries

I don't think physical libraries will dissapear immediately when it becomes practical to store and view information in the needed manner. I like physical libraries because they are a unique social space. My favorite part is the solitude they offer for studying. In the future studying may become outdated. You will be able to plug in a learning module. Nevertheless, I think physical libraries will be operating for a while, books have an appeal if they are well typeset and bound.

9.4. distances between people

People are inevitably going to get closer. Population growth will either progress as Malthus expected, or if checks are imposed, people will become closer in a virtual sense. I am confident that the many women and men of the world value communication technologies enough to bolster their production, refinement, and use.