A world without limits

Posit, for the sake of argument, that we get to the point where technology is not the bottleneck. Whether it turns out to be nanobots, the Holodeck, or just Ray Kurtzweil tapping into our cyber-transcribed brain circuits to say “I told you so” in his singular way.

In any case, suppose we can do anything — transport ourselves instantly, acquire unlimited possessions, live forever, read each others’ minds if we wish. What would we, as humans, do with all this?

Would we be able to live in a world utterly without limitations? Or would such a reality simply fry our brains, being the very opposite of the sorts of situations that human minds evolved to cope with?

Perhaps we would inevitably rebuild all of the problems humanity currently faces — war, famine, crime, prejudice, disease — simply because that is the only sort of reality in which our human need to solve problems makes any sense. It may be the only sort of reality in which we feel sane.

You can ask this question for yourself: Would you want to live in a world without limits?

4 thoughts on “A world without limits”

  1. This seems to be the problem. Thankfully, as Clinton articulated in the DNC speech: humans need each other. We rely on each other to cooperatively farm food, transport it to us and to make all the pieces that we use to make up our world. If limits became unnecessary, we’d still need human cooperation to survive.

    I don’t think a world “without limits” would work for very long. It might be great for the plants and animals though, after the humans all died out from lack of cooperation with each other.

  2. One (fictional) case of this is Harry Potter. Here you’ve got a guy with access to outright magic, able (with some training) to conjure up anything he wants. Yet, overall, his life is pretty stressful.

    Judging from that example, life is just as complicated when everybody around you has the same (lack of) limitations.

  3. Inspired by the post and talked to several friends. Some interesting responses:

    If we conquer our existing limits, we will just meet new limits.
    And what we use to overcome the limits may bring new problems.
    For example, going to the moon was once a dream. Now that it’s conquered, we have new fantasies.
    With all the technology that allowed us to achieve our dreams, we ended up having more to worry about.

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