Discovery News

What Happens to the Future When It’s Severed From the Past

No one can say when exactly the modern age began, but it was clearly tied to the Reformation, Renaissance, and the Scientific Revolution which had their roots in 14thand 15thcentury Europe.

The reformation of church corruption and pursuit of spiritual truth promoted by Martin Luther had its analog with the pursuit of truth regarding the physical universe by contemporary Nicholas Copernicus, who is credited as a key founder of the scientific revolution. Copernicus’ empirical evidence and reasoning upset the prevailing geocentric view that the earth was the center of universe with the heliocentric model that took its place — placing the sun at the center, with the earth and other planets orbiting it.

The Reformation and Renaissance set in motion a cultural awakening as well as an unusual concentration of human genius and extraordinary wisdom that culminated in the birth of a new nation, the United States — dedicated to the rule of law, separation of powers and limited government, and accountability to its citizens whose rights were God-given and thus unalienable and not subject to infringement by the state — a truly revolutionary model that subsequently influenced other nations worldwide well into the 20thcentury. Read More ›

The ‘Everything Handmade’ Trend Will Curb Job Losses

Experts have predicted the looming automation of everything, with machines replacing labor and putting half the population out of work. This forecast seems to follow from basic economic logic: Economic growth is about getting more output from less input. Labor is an input. We are now devising powerful forms of automation, which will dilute our labor to homeopathic levels—especially in middle skill, blue-collar trades. Therefore, much of the population will soon be jobless. That inference is too simple. There’s disruption ahead, but other trends may fend off the job famine. Here’s one: As ever more goods become cheap commodities, the economic value of the human touch—of literal labor—goes up. Starbucks provided early evidence that an automation apocalypse isn’t inevitable. Fifty years …

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Will the Machines Take Over?

“Will the Machines Take Over? Human Uniqueness in the Age of Smart Machines” an event celebrating the launch of Discovery Institute’s new Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence. Physicist Stephen Hawking warned humanity that “the development of artificial intelligence (AI) could spell the end of the human race… Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and Read More ›