Into the 21st: The Future of Commerce, Economy, and Culture
Bestselling author and global policy shaper Jeremy Rifkin speaks with WIE associate editor Melissa Hoffman about some of the far-flung possibilities likely to transpire as our future fast approaches. A brief preview:
As the age of information progresses, machines will get better and better at producing the goods and services we require. With only a handful of expert individuals needed to maintain this machinery, what will the countless working people of the world do with all the free time they'll have? Will society gracefully make this shift away from labor intensive economies or will the transition lead to unparalleled social upheaval?
Rapid advances in genetic engineering have created a biotech revolution in which the ability to create new life forms, including new forms of ourselves, is imminent. What of the ethical implications? Are we really willing to play God without any ground rules? Will we ultimately choose to regard life as possessing intrinsic value of the highest order or as an object of utility to be created, used, and discarded?