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In the Presence of the Future

Mapping the Roads to Tomorrow

Georg Schmid

The divide between the techno-scientific and the humanities paradigm has critically endangered general comprehension. The prolegomena to a «unified field theory of futurology» presented here attempt to reconcile these epistemological models by meticulously investigating a gamut of supposedly separate areas, from the social use of art or religion via demographic, economic and technological data to moral and political philosophy. This highly panoramatic and integrative inspection of problems humankind will be facing in the near and foreseeable future yields novel perspectives and a superior grasp of beneficial social practice.

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Part B – The Mains

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IV – The Curse of Large Numbers or The Demography of Despair 1 – The Limits, How to Push Them, and Where Things May Come to a Full Stop A little over two centuries ago humankind was finally able to break the Malthu- sian jail. Or rather, the most developed societies of the planet were able to. Should one despair of achieving this escape for all societies, even those that are– remarkably condescendingly–referred to as (already) developing countries? After all, some of them at present seem to be in better (or more promising) shape than the so-called developed, rich states. What Gregory Clark, with delightful irony, has referred to as "survival of the richest" (Clark 2007:112-132) expresses well that there is more to a pleasing (or at least passable) life than mortality and fertil- ity specifics and how statistics express them. Less sardonically put, the desperate dilemma of increase in population/pauperization, for eons the basic pattern of human existence and seemingly only overcome two centuries ago, remains one of the great enigmas and is by no means simply a thing of the past. In order to remain in that blessed state, abundance has to be permanently brought about to a power several times superior to simple subsistence. Generating "wealth" is an inescapable necessity–if only it were more evenly distributed. It is, however, worrisome that–although for some time we seemed to be on a promising trajectory–one can by no means be certain not to be forced back into...

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