Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies


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Ambiveillance


Jamais Cascio


Open the Future

August 22, 2013

One of the first rules one is taught as a futurist-in-training is to avoid “normative scenarios”—forecasts that describe what you want to see, even when the signals and evidence at hand make the scenario highly unlikely. This is much more of a challenge than non-futurists may think, as a good scenarist can usually come up with a plausible set of early indicators and distant early warnings to support just about any forecast. If one’s work focuses on issues that have a strong ethical component (around human rights, for example, or the global environment) the problem is further multiplied.


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COMMENTS



Posted by Henry Bowers  on  08/23  at  11:58 AM

I think a question for ethics is:  can the good still be perceived and actualized regardless of any present or future facts?  I think all the scenarios we choose are normative, and we won’t know them fully (or close to fully) until we’re plugging away at them.  Speculation about future roadblocks isn’t yet practical reason at work, and so what’s better than being secure is being confident.






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