Drake's Last Term

OLLI Tuesdays, 11/7 - 12/5 in Manchester .9:30-11 short URL is: https://is.gd/DrakesLastTerm

Radio astronomer Frank Drake proposed an equation that calculates the number of communicating civilizations in the Universe. The "Last Term" (L) is the length of time an intelligent civilizations releases detectable signals into space. Clearly for a given civilization this has a start time, and most likely has an end time. Pessimists have observed that the technology for global self destruction emerges about the same time as the technology for extraterrestrial communications and the absence of signals may indicate that few civilizations survive long enough to connect with galactic neighbors.

This class will focus on the only known such civilization and ask the question, "can we survive?".

The class will use perspectives from a number of trends and futurists to identify the factors involved, the challenges we face, and discuss how we might respond.

  1. Setting the context - Homo Deus, et al
    • For the last 10,000 years we focused on famine, pestulance and war
    • We established humanist values to drive principles
    • Liberal (individualism), community based (communism), evolutionary (facism & genocide)
  2. The future of work
    • Outsourcing, offshoring
    • Robosourcing and AI
    • Rise of the useless class
    • Concepts - universal basic income (reverse income tax)
  3. Re-invention of Life and Death
    • virtual immortality?
    • Haves and Have-nots - inequality for all