Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Can We See the Near Future--Year 2025? (我們能不能預測不久的未來 -- 2025 A.D.?)

Can We See the Near Future--Year 2025? (我們能不能預測不久的未來 -- 2025 A.D.?)
[創意組織 ]

Can We See the Near Future--Year 2025?

TWENTY-FIVE years ago, there was an empire called the Soviet Union, and there were no kids surfing the Internet. Twenty-five years from now, what familiar institutions will be extinct and what unexpected innovations will have emerged? From artificial intelligence to genetic engineering, will our burgeoning technology make our lives happy or gloomy, content or confused? Will there be more political freedom in the world, or less? Will there be more cultural and ethnic fragmentation, or a world more integrated and unified? What about competitiveness, confrontations, conflicts, wars? What breakthroughs lie ahead? What surprises are in store? In great part, we could not have successfully predicted the changes of the past twenty-five years. Can we do any better with the next twenty-five? We recruited five forecasters to be our time-travelers to the year 2025. Let's see how they do.


Edward de Bono, the author of Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step, teaches creativity in schools and corporations around the world. Edward hopes that new educational techniques will bring about a better future.

Dr. Edward Feigenbaum, a pioneer in expert systems, is co-scientific director of the Knowledge Systems Laboratory at Stanford University. His 1963 book Computers and Thought helped launch artificial intelligence. Ed believes that machines will become our valuable assistants.

Graham T.T. Molitor, author of numerous articles and books on the future, is vice president of the World Future Society. Graham sees, along with an enormous increase in the global population, an increase in knowledge and prosperity over the next twenty-five years.

Dr. Bruce Murray, a professor of planetary science and geology at Caltech, is a co-founder, with the late Carl Sagan, of the Planetary Society, which fosters public interest in space exploration. Bruce is concerned about unprecedented global stress and seeks sustainability and world governance.

Dr. Bart Kosko, professor of electrical engineering at USC, is the author of the science-fiction novel Nanotime. Bart's not-all-rosy vision of the future is stamped by computer chips outpowering and outthinking the human brain.

ROBERT: Bruce, you've stated that the greatest drama in man-the-toolmaker's unprecedented evolution awaits us in this new century. Haven't people always said that the time they live in is the most important? Why are we so special?

BRUCE: We're special because these circumstances will never happen again. I'm sure it may have seemed that way in the past. But never have we as a species been surging so out of control. There have been times when whole civilizations have been eliminated, there have been droughts and other natural disasters, but never has the globe as a whole been so stressed. There are objective indicators. Never has the globe held anywhere near as many people as it does now. Never has the globe had this tremendous technological progress you just mentioned. There is an unprecedented use of fuel, and the like. If you were an alien looking down at planet Earth now, you could detect our presence simply from the gases in the atmosphere, from the changes in plant life that you could see from space at great distances. It's this combination [of technological progress and overpopulation] that makes the present time unprecedented--and also unsustainable: the planet can't go on like this--and therefore we can't predict the future.

ROBERT: Bart, Nanotime is a World War III futuristic thriller, in which--thirty years from now--computer chips begin to replace brains. How seriously should we take your fiction?

BART: I'd take it with a big fuzzy grain of salt. But the concept behind Nanotime will come to pass--in the next twenty-five or thirty years, the power of computer chips will exceed that of the human brain. Whether we can get chips and brains to interact is the question we'll be exploring within the next decade.

ROBERT: Ed, what is artificial intelligence, and what will it be doing for us, or to us, in the next twenty-five years?

ED FEIGENBAUM: We're going to see artificial intelligence techniques ride on top of other waves that are pushing the information revolution along--the wave of communications, the wave of increased computer power, and especially the wave of connectedness. The connectedness generates a great deal of what you might call information clutter in our world--clutter that artificial intelligence techniques may help to sort out for us.

ROBERT: Graham, you're a leading futurist, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of the Future. What are the major trends of the next twenty-five years?

GRAHAM: There are so many that it's hard to choose among them. Population is critical. Auguste Comte, the great sociologist, stated that demography is destiny. Truly it is. In the time span we're looking at, there will be a tremendous increase in population. I think the global population ultimately will go as high as sixty billion. The density in this country is about seventy-five people per square mile. In other countries, it's almost a thousand, [but] there's plenty of room for lots more people.

ROBERT: Edward, as a pioneer in creative thinking, can you help us do some creative thinking here? What's the role of education in the next twenty-five years?

EDWARD DE BONO: I want you to imagine a ship on the high seas, in which the engines keep stopping, the lights keep flickering, the crew's very demoralized, and things aren't good. Then we helicopter in a new captain, new senior officers, we fix the engines, the lights don't flicker, morale goes up, but the ship's still going in the wrong direction--and that's education. Education in most countries is really a disgrace. Three key things need to be taught in society. The first is how value is created; this is not taught now. The second is the relevant skills; these are not taught. The third is basic thinking; again, not taught. Education is helplessly out of date.

ROBERT: Bruce, let's get back to the planet. You talk about global sustainability, generational equity, intervention versus market forces. Unify these thoughts for us. What's the ultimate outcome?

BRUCE: The primary impact will be on governance, not government--we'll see a decline in the power of central governments. That's already happened in China, it's happened in Japan, it's happened in Western Europe.

ROBERT: What are the underlying causes?

BRUCE: Increased communications is a big one. And as this decentralization is going on, global challenges are rising: we have to keep order, we have to provide populations with food and supplies. So we have to invent, for the first time, a system of planetary governance that doesn't depend upon an imperial boss or a ruling party or something like that. That's the big challenge.

ROBERT: Is that a pipe dream?

BRUCE: No. It will happen, well or poorly.

BART: Bruce, how can you argue that the power of central governments has decreased? The IMF--the International Monetary Fund--keeps statistics on how much [the governments of] the major countries spend of their gross domestic product. In the 1870s, it was about twelve to fifteen percent, and it's risen nonstop, so that at the end of the twentieth century the average large government is spending about forty-seven percent of its country's GDP. There's been no decline whatsoever. Governments seem only to grow over time.

BRUCE: I guess we're looking at different measures. Certainly you can't argue that the Soviet Union hasn't been decentralized.

ROBERT: What about the surge in nationalism, ethnicity, commercial enterprises, social fragmentation?

BRUCE: Right. The fact is that the world is a more diverse place than it was before 1989. In China, economic reform has diversified the society. In Japan, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party collapsed and has not been replaced by a working majority. In Western Europe, there have been minority governments continually for about the last ten years.

ROBERT: If we agree that decentralization is being energized through political processes, the rise of nationalism, and the Internet, what's the end result?

BRUCE: There's a natural tension between a retreat into hatred--a narrowness that shows up in religion and in politics--and a global vision that's sweeping the planet, with people really identifying with people in other parts of the world. These are the two competing pressures.

EDWARD DE BONO: I would say they're not pressures. They're two opposite directions that can coexist. You see the fractionalization of geographic segments into smaller regions, cities, and so on. At the same time, you see unification, like the European Union. Both trends are happening simultaneously. I think nationalistic hatred is a phase that will pass; it won't be a major factor in the future.

ROBERT: You don't think that's Pollyanna-ish?

EDWARD DE BONO: No. What's happening now is that people in most countries--most communities, like the business community--are working toward similar goals, have the same values. Nationalism and ethnic conflicts are remnants, the dying embers of our traditional hatreds.

ROBERT: Bart, what are some myths of forecasting the future?

BART: One myth is the assumption of military stability. It's now becoming cheaper to attack than to defend. I call this a smart war, and it's something new in military history. It always used to cost a lot more to attack; the Greeks had to launch a thousand ships to attack Troy, whereas the Afghan rebels could take a relatively inexpensive stinger missile and shoot down a multimillion-dollar Soviet helicopter. Now as cruise missiles get smarter, as we shift into information warfare, it's easier to attack and it costs less. The average real cost of a cruise missile today is somewhere around a hundred thousand dollars, and as chip densities continue to shrink and other economic efficiencies increase, that real cost will fall in a decade or so to about ten thousand dollars--less than the price of a car. How do you defend against cheap cruise missiles? Just as it's very difficult to find a hidden land mine; land mines cost about three dollars to make and about three hundred dollars to find. All this, I think, will be extremely destabilizing. Maybe there won't be big wars, but one country could decide that it's easier and cheaper to launch a smart attack than to resort to diplomacy.

ROBERT: A multiplicity of countries divided by ethnicity feeds further destabilization.

ED FEIGENBAUM: At the end of the twentieth century, there were some hundred and eighty-five member countries in the United Nations. I would think, as countries continue to divide along ethnic and language lines, that by 2025 there will be more like four hundred.

ROBERT: Other estimates of the number of nations in twenty-five years?

EDWARD DE BONO: It depends whether you call them nations or semi-autonomous regions.

ROBERT: The defining characteristic is that they're independently governed.

EDWARD DE BONO: I would say about five hundred.

ROBERT: Or that could mobilize their own armies--I think that's the best definition.

EDWARD DE BONO: No, I wouldn't say that. Five hundred able to be pretty independent, OK--but not necessarily to mobilize their own armies.

ROBERT: How many nations will be able to mobilize their own armies?

EDWARD DE BONO: Much lower--because why would people want their own armies?

ROBERT: Why is sadly irrelevant; they just do.

GRAHAM: You have to keep in mind the size of the countries we're talking about. Some of these nation states have only forty thousand people. Some of them have territories smaller than the neighborhood I live in. Certainly more countries will be coming. After the close of World War II, there were something like seventy-eight nations. Now there are about two hundred and twenty, depending on who's counting, and it will grow.

BART: Some countries are artificial--they contain different peoples, languages, religions--and they could fragment. Some have borders drawn by colonial powers, particularly the British, hundreds of years ago. The Indian subcontinent. Parts of Africa. Perhaps even China.

ROBERT: Why are wars not included in most studies of the future?

ED FEIGENBAUM: Because futurists are just too optimistic. They're too hopeful; they adopt a positive vision in hopes that that will make it more likely to happen.

BRUCE: And I think it's a big mistake. The reason you study alternative scenarios is not to predict--because you can't predict--but to look at the range of outcomes so that you then can get insight into what's likely to be the big driver. And this range of outcomes includes some very messy, unpleasant kinds of worlds ahead of us, even within twenty-five years. Mexico could be out of control; that would be serious for us. The Balkans could lead to a larger conflict.

ROBERT: There are many opportunities for unpleasant surprise.

EDWARD DE BONO: But advancing age is on our side. A lot of people running these countries have grown up in time of war, and their thinking remains that way, but the next generation won't necessarily think that way.

ROBERT: That's been an unfulfilled hope for generations. Let's shift gears. Ed, how do you see artificial intelligence in twenty-five years? Take two fields with which you've dealt, business and medicine.

ED FEIGENBAUM: I just want to start out by saying that I disagree a bit with your opening statement about how difficult it has been to predict the future. The general rule of thumb is, if you want to know what will be out there twenty-five years from now, look in the research laboratories of major universities and corporations. The best example is Moore's Law [that computing capacity doubles every eighteen months]; we've had a curve to follow ever since the late 1960s and early 1970s. The bang for the buck in a microchip doubles approximately every eighteen months. Sometimes the rate accelerates to fourteen months; sometimes it slips to twenty-four months.

ROBERT: What's another example?

ED FEIGENBAUM: In the mid-1940s, Roosevelt's science advisor Vannevar Bush published an article in the Atlantic Monthly about a machine he called a memex, which has a great deal in common with today's personal computers. And there's [pioneer computer scientist] J. C. R. Licklider's wonderful 1962 essay [with W. Clark, "On-line Man-Computer Communication"] about a so-called "galactic network"--his tongue-in-cheek term for what we now call the Internet. So we can indeed make predictions.

ROBERT: So predict. We're putting you on the spot.

ED FEIGENBAUM: Right. In the artificial intelligence world, I think you'll see the use of large knowledge bases to [help us negotiate] the World Wide Web. We're deluged with data on the Web. When we request something from a search engine, a ton of stuff comes out that we don't want. Now, if we could only inject some knowledge of the real world into that search engine, it could answer the query that we're really asking--which is for just a small number of relevant items. This will be the major contribution of artificial intelligence to the business world. It will make the use of the World Wide Web for electronic commerce and for individual interaction a great deal more plausible, pleasurable, tangible and accessible for the average person. In medicine, you have a different story. There you're looking at expert systems, and the question is, Can we gain medical knowledge from practicing experts any faster than we've done in the past? That's been the chief bottleneck in creating expert systems: How do we model human expertise? And here the prediction would be that we're going to see automatic methods to do that. Just as the more knowledge you have the better you can perform a task, similarly the more knowledge you have the easier it is to acquire more. We can use this acceleration effect in learning [software]--for example, programs to read the medical literature and extract knowledge that can be useful in these artificial-intelligence reasoning programs.

ROBERT: Graham, as you forecast world economics, do you see the robust, steady climb continuing?

GRAHAM: There are several things to consider here. One is the extraordinary change since the 1920s, when only several hundred thousand people were in the stock market. In 1999, forty-three percent of Americans were in the market, either directly or indirectly through mutual funds, pension plans, and retirement accounts. The amount of equity that average householders have in the stock market exceeds the value of the equity of their homes and real property. So what's driving this? Well, it's the baby-boom generation, which has about another nine years to work its way through its most prolific spending years--upscale houses, second homes, luxury cars, exotic vacations, the furnishings and collectibles, and all that goes with it. The stock market will probably double or triple within the twenty-five-year time frame.

BART: What happens when the baby boomers cash out?

GRAHAM: When they cash out, there's a fantastic series of things that come along. Think about this: the mega-expenditures of the average individual in a lifetime have increased radically. It's expensive to have children these days: it costs about $179,000 to $359,000 to raise a child through age seventeen. Then every kid has to have further schooling, because, as Edward [De Bono] says, educational is pivotal.

EDWARD DE BONO: Is it pivotal or pitiful?

GRAHAM: It's pitiful, but it's also pivotal--both. And that education costs $50,000 to $250,000. Then don't forget that baby boomers are darn sure to give their kids lavish weddings; that's another $10,000 to $100,000.

BRUCE: But you're not talking about everybody in the United States. You're talking about an important group with a lot of money. But there are other groups that aren't so privileged.

GRAHAM: Forty-three percent of the population are in the market.

BRUCE: How do you deal with the poorly educated?

ROBERT: Doesn't the increasing disparity between rich and poor provoke greater fragmentation in society?

BRUCE: It's happening. It's a fact--society is becoming more fragmented.

ROBERT: And that generates serious social pressures.

BRUCE: Right, and in the long run it makes the system unstable, unless you figure out a way--

GRAHAM: I totally disagree. You know, a rising tide raises all boats. The growth trajectory for linchpin industries is in place, and it will produce a very powerful economy.

BART: In a few years, the disposable income of workers could buy all the stock on all the exchanges.

EDWARD DE BONO: I think in twenty-five years the stock market will just be dead. It's a giant Ponzi scheme.

GRAHAM: That's Social Security you're talking about.

BART: The stock market grows because earnings grow.

BRUCE: What happens when this show is seen in the houses of many Mexican Americans, African Americans, immigrants, other people who are not part of this economic boom. They'll say, "What are we hearing? These guys must be from another planet." To ignore the fact that a significant fraction of the people in this country are not sharing in our material success or getting the tools to be effective in the future is delusional.

ROBERT: The accumulation of wealth can exacerbate divisions in society.

BRUCE: Right, and remember, we're in a particularly favorable time. Those tensions are not nearly as manifest as they've been at other times and will be again in the future.

EDWARD DE BONO: That's why education is so important. If it weren't for education, these people would just be playing catch-up. But if we can really improve education--which we can--they'll become much more productive and much less dependent. Without a change in education, though, we're just going to repeat the steps that got us where we are today.

ROBERT: Let's go into space. Bruce, for decades you've been a leader in the American space program. What can we look forward to in the next twenty-five years? Any practical applications?

BRUCE: There'll be a series of utilitarian benefits--there already are. Satellite communications are so common that people take it for granted. What's becoming equally embedded in our social infrastructure is the fixing of locations by GPS--global positioning satellites. It's become another utility.

BART: It's something, by the way, that you could jam during a war.

BRUCE: But it's commercial.

BART: No, the military has to deal with them.

GRAHAM: Even more of a problem when you have thousands of satellites.

BRUCE: Well, you can also set off nuclear bombs [in the atmosphere] and knock out a country's electrical power systems--but that hasn't happened.

BART: Information warfare will undermine these communication structures.

BRUCE: If you go to war, it doesn't make a lot of difference whether you do it on the earth or above the earth. But the real issue about space is not utilitarian; the issue is what it can do for our spirit, not so much for our bodies--how space can inspire humanity.

ROBERT: And what space exploration says about us as human beings. There's no way you can justify going to Mars on an economic basis.

BRUCE: That's right. And obviously one answer to that is pure science. Another is earth science. The more we learn about planetary environments, just as we did on earth, the more it helps us overall. And that's certainly true with Mars or Venus or other places.

ROBERT: Do you send carbon [humans] or silicon [robots]?

BRUCE: We've been sending silicon, because that's all we can send. I'm not going to answer your question about twenty-five years from now. You know that I'm advocating and trying to make it possible for humans to go to Mars, somewhat the way we first went to Antarctica. But there may be another trajectory. Just as Moore's Law operates in terms of computation speed, it also operates with respect to communications. Communications is an enterprise that's doubling in power about every two and a half years. And it's not the result of government efforts; it's going to happen regardless. So whereas human beings stay about the same--our physical bodies are no better than those of the early polar explorers--there will be more and more capacity on the robotics side. And a fusion between humans and far more sophisticated machines is going to emerge that will be unlike anything we've ever seen before, and that's the way most of us are going to see the solar system.

ROBERT: Will that help our collective spirit?

BRUCE: So far it has. I'm the president of the Planetary Society [planetary.org], and we survive at the pleasure of a hundred thousand people who send in their dues every year. We don't have any big aerospace companies backing us, and we don't have any government grants. We survive because we represent hope. We represent a link to the possibilities of the future. We will continue, provided that our space systems bring back new stuff--stuff that's interesting and, most important, interactive. The new phase of space exploration will see humans interacting with robotic systems operating on Mars and other such places.

EDWARD DE BONO: What space illustrates to me is our ability to deal with linear, predictable systems and our inability to deal with nonlinear loop systems. The more we put our efforts into, say, bigger rockets, better robots, and so on, the more we move away from and neglect the more complex social systems, behaviors, and interactions--poverty and crime, and so on. If we put as much intellectual and financial resources into those areas as we do into the linear systems, we'd make a better world.

BRUCE: You should feel good; we're doing exactly that. We're reducing both the absolute and the relative expenditures on space exploration in this country and in every other country.

BART: And spending more on prisons than ever before.

BRUCE: We're also spending more on consumption, on commercial products.

ROBERT: This contrast marks our human heritage, reaching for the stars while living in the dirt. As Bruce [Murray] said, space exploration feeds our spirit more than our body.

BRUCE: It's an old argument. It's the argument of the sixties. Societies have made their judgments; part of it is decentralization of services, and there's less going into space.

EDWARD DE BONO: You're misunderstanding what I said. I didn't say that there should be less going into space; I said that we should put more into other areas.

BRUCE: Look, the gross national product is doubling every ten years; the space fraction is going down; obviously, resources are going somewhere else.

EDWARD DE BONO: They're not. That's my whole point. If you're spending less on meat, it doesn't mean that you're spending more on milk.

BRUCE: But you're spending on something.

EDWARD DE BONO: If society would give the same priorities to poverty and crime and education as we gave to space, it would make a huge difference.

ROBERT: I think we're all just a bunch of narrow-minded technocrats. Where are the humanists, the theologians, the philosophers who can guide us through the next twenty-five years?

ED FEIGENBAUM: Hey, I'd like to defend the technocrats. I'm a technocrat myself. Take the example of life extension. Average life span increased little by little, until [Scottish bacteriologist Alexander] Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, until the advent of sulfa drugs, and then there was a dramatic increase in life span from about fifty-nine years to about seventy-two years.

ROBERT: That's a real discontinuity.

ED FEIGENBAUM: We need to look for such discontinuities during the next twenty-five years.

EDWARD DE BONO: Living longer doesn't necessarily improve quality of life. If one old lady living in a small town gets mugged, the quality of life for every old lady in that town is seriously impaired. Being free from the fear of crime--that is quality of life. Just achieving technological extensions of life is like being bombarded with useless information by E-mail. That's not quality of life.

BRUCE: Let me jump in, because I think the issue of being technocrats is justified. I feel uneasy about this, but the problem is that the people who specialize in understanding social behavior or history tend to be backward-looking. Let me tell you what I think is the most important diagram of our times. It plots world population from 1750 to 2150, with the explosion starting in the early twentieth century. And I argue that this geometric increase in people is transforming not just the surface of the earth but also--and partly due to technological change--the way we think.

ROBERT: Creating a kind of global consciousness?

BRUCE: Right. We're immersed in a new kind of culture. We're talking here as though we're external from earth, speculating what life will be like "over there" in 2025. The most radical change going on is not the increase in human life span but the changing cultural and social attitudes.

ROBERT: What's happening to privacy amid all this change?

BART: It's diminishing.

ROBERT: Despite all the clever gadgets cluttering up our kitchens and cars and so forth, doesn't the erosion of privacy depress our quality of life?

BART: We leave ever more footprints to be picked up by digital devices manned by friendly and unfriendly sources alike. The government has twelve underground acres of computers at Fort Meade just to crack certain kinds of codes that people don't even know about. We've taken it for granted that we can have a conversation in a supermarket, or on a street corner, that won't be recorded. Soon we won't be able to do that.

EDWARD DE BONO: Why do you care who's listening, unless you've got something to hide? Why does it matter?

BART: Let's put a camcorder into your living room.

ED FEIGENBAUM: If privacy mattered, people would turn on the encryption feature of their browsers when they send E-mails--and nobody does. How many of you have ever sent or received an encrypted E-mail?

BART: I have, and I think more people will, as they learn how to do it.

ROBERT: We don't appreciate how much personal information is being gathered and used already; people aren't sufficiently sensitive to that yet.

BRUCE: Look, instead of saying how we feel about privacy, we ought to agree that it's important to our society and that we have a body of law concerned with it. Other societies don't. Privacy is one of our culturally dependent mores, and it's probably going to be much more difficult to maintain. The Western tradition of privacy is not a free good, and it is certainly at risk.

ROBERT: But is privacy a fundamental human right?

EDWARD DE BONO: Not at all.

BRUCE: No, it's not fundamental in the sense that there are many societies that don't [privilege privacy].

ROBERT: Would you give up privacy in exchange for more gadgetry, more technological comforts?

BRUCE: Not me, but others might.

ROBERT: Twenty-five years from now, looking back, what's the biggest surprise unforeseen today?

BRUCE: The biggest surprise will be something we probably can't appreciate now, because our descendants will have changed in a way we wouldn't recognize. Just as my grandfather and I are separated forever by cultural and psychological differences.

EDWARD DE BONO: I'll be wearing face jewelry. [Note: In fact, Edward did wear face jewelry on this one television show--a large silver safety pin that was attached prominently to his nose. None of us knew quite what to say or do, which, no doubt, was Edward's point.]

GRAHAM: I think what will come to pass are extraordinary advances in human intellect and understanding, with information doubling every five years and knowledge every two and a half years--six to eighteen months in some disciplines--and the ability to acquire knowledge and use it efficiently and effectively for the cause and the course of humanity.

ED FEIGENBAUM: The biggest surprises are going to be biological: on the positive side, gene therapy to cure a range of human diseases, and on the negative side, a very scary future for biological warfare.

BART: I agree; we'll soon be able to manipulate our genes, at least to some degree. There will be artificial eyes. At the social level--on the small level, we'll have mail on Sunday--and drugs will be legalized, so this massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to drug dealers will be gone.


EINSTEIN once said, "I never think of the future. It comes soon enough." One prediction I'm sure about: the future is coming quicker and sooner. Does the year 2025 seem forever in the future? For many of us, the year 1975 seems hardly in the past. The safest way to forecast the future is a standard extrapolation, which means taking what has happened and projecting it forward at the same rate to predict what will happen. For example, since the world is becoming tightly wired, if economic prosperity continues, educational equality will ultimately come to all nations and peoples. But in 1943, Thomas Watson, the chairman of IBM, said that the world market for computers would be "maybe five." So much for extrapolations. The theory behind the study of the future is that if you plan for the future--even if your plans are wrong--you get two benefits: you can more likely influence the flow of events and you can more quickly react to surprise. Yet here's a hunch; I give it, say, one in twenty that something unexpected--really unexpected--will have occurred by the year 2025. As for me, I hope still to be doing this show, with less hair and more makeup, amused at how naive I was twenty-five years before. And finally, after all that time, I may find myself closer to truth.

Editor's Translations:

BRUCE: The fact is that the world is a more diverse place than it was before 1989. In China, economic reform has diversified the society.
[事實是, 世界比在1989年之前是一更多元化的地方。 在中國大陸, 經濟改革已經把社會多元化。]

ROBERT: What's the end result?

BRUCE: There's a natural tension between a retreat into hatred--a narrowness that shows up in religion and in politics--and a global vision that's sweeping the planet, with people really identifying with people in other parts of the world.

EDWARD DE BONO: I think nationalistic hatred is a phase that will pass; it won't be a major factor in the future.
[我認為國家主義仇恨是一個會過去的階段; 將來不會是一個主要因素。]

ROBERT: You don't think that's Pollyanna-ish?
[您不認為這過度天真樂觀? ]

EDWARD DE BONO: No. What's happening now is that people in most countries--most communities, like the business community--are working toward similar goals, have the same values. Nationalism and ethnic conflicts are remnants, the dying embers of our traditional hatreds.
[不。 在多數國家, 多數社區裡的人士, 像工商業界, 都在往同樣的目標努力, 都有同樣的價值觀。 國家主義和種族衝突不過是殘餘, 是我們傳統仇恨垂危的炭燼。]

-- Bevin Chu

Explanation: Can We See the Near Future--Year 2025?
Illustration(s): Edward de Bono, Edward Feigenbaum, Graham Molitor, Bruce Murray, Bart Kosko, Robert Lawrence Kuhn
Author(s): Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn
Affiliation: CLOSER TO TRUTH (CTT)
Source: http://www.closertotruth.com/topics/technologysociety/106/106transcript.html
Publication Date: N/A
Original Language: English
Editor: Bevin Chu, Registered Architect

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