Life,  Tech

Surf the Tsunami of Change: Embrace the Unknown and Unlock a New Life in the Next Decade

Facing the unknown, the attitude you adopt will determine the problems you face and the life you will live. We are all ants in the torrent of this era. Since we cannot change the direction of the torrent, it is better to go with the flow and find the right path. Our unknown territory, if we bravely try to break through our own limits, we may usher in a completely different life. ”

The changes brought about by technology will completely subvert everything

PART 0 1

Times change

At the beginning of the new year, let us change our perspective and still adhere to my first principle of personal investment: go out with a large scale and come in with a small scale . First, let’s zoom out a little further and talk about the future.

2023 will not be smooth sailing for some people who have made a lot of money from the rapid development in the past three decades. Many people who once stood on the Forbes rich list have fallen into troughs, defaulting on contracts, going into debt, heightening restrictions, and even going to jail. 23 years has also been full of challenges for many industries. China’s economy has not experienced a big rebound after the epidemic as expected at the beginning of the year. The global situation has become increasingly complex, and 2023 has become a year when many people have lost confidence.

However, at this time it is even more necessary to extend the time scale slightly and look at things from a more macro perspective. Because many times, once you extend the time scale, you will find a completely different world. Many problems that seem difficult to solve at the moment will no longer be a problem within a time span of five or ten years. Just like in middle school, a bad exam makes people feel like the sky is falling, and it may have been forgotten ten years later. When a love letter was discovered in high school, the whole world seemed bleak, but ten years later it might have become a joke. A certain difficulty in the early days of work or being misunderstood by the boss may seem like a hopeless future, but it may have been forgotten ten years later.

Especially in the current situation of great changes unseen in a century, the emergence of new technological waves has given people unlimited possibilities in the changes in the next decade. When we try to imagine the new world brought about by new technologies in the next ten years, we will find that the lack of confidence and lack of hope we currently feel is actually an inevitable stage in the early stages of this great change, and the inevitable last stage before dawn. Darkness is an inevitable adjustment period before the overall lifestyle, cultural environment, work mode, etc. are switched. When you realize this, many of the troubles and troubles you are facing will naturally go away like the breeze blowing on your face .

In the previous article, we talked about that if the time scale is slightly longer, we will find that many things that we modern people take for granted are unheard of and unimaginable in other eras. The moral and legal judgments faced may be vastly different or even diametrically opposed.

When we live in an era for a long time, we may have adapted to everything in this era, taking it for granted, and it should be the same in the future. After all, in the few thousand years of human written history, human lifespan has been relatively short, averaging only a few decades. Many people may only live in one era in their lives, or even several generations may live in one era, causing many things to become accustomed and taken for granted . Technological changes, especially the core technological changes, are often the key signs of changing an era.

Therefore, the concepts surrounding our work and life that we are accustomed to today, whether it is systems, culture, habits, etc., were all created in the last major productivity adjustment cycle to adapt to the development of productivity. As generations adapt, these concepts become part of what we take for granted.

Today, we are once again standing in a “big change unseen in a century,” an era of big changes that may exceed our imagination. The breakthroughs in productivity brought about by the great changes in technology in this era may once again change all the things we are accustomed to. Everything, culture, work and living habits, etc.

PART 02

technological breakthrough

In a previous article, I mentioned that there are three core technologies that I believe are on the verge of breakthrough. Because the jigsaw puzzle of these three core technologies has basically gone through ups and downs in the past two decades, and now it has almost been put together and is in the final stage of full commercialization and rollout.

0 1 Artificial Intelligence

When it comes to technological disruption, the first one to bear the brunt is the comprehensive popularization and commercialization of AI . The focus of discussion centered on whether carbon-based humans will be replaced by silicon-based life, whether AI will replace 80% of jobs, and how anthropomorphic robots will profoundly change moral values ​​such as life and marriage. I won’t go into details about these issues that everyone is already aware of and recognize. Let’s talk about the comprehensive disruption that may be brought about by two other technologies that few people talk about in depth.

02 Controllable nuclear fusion
This technology is on the verge of a breakthrough. At the Saudi New Energy Summit in December last year, U.S. Department of Energy officials stated that controllable nuclear fusion may be fully commercialized before 2030. Many people may not fully understand the disruption brought about by this technology. The novel “Three-Body” depicts Luo Ji waking up after 100 years of hibernation and discovering that the earth has achieved commercialization of controllable nuclear fusion. At this time, the first thing to be changed was people’s understanding of destination. The geographical divisions of the past no longer exist, replaced by two major groups: the space fleet and the residents of the earth. Some people live on earth, while others wander in space, chasing the stars. A core issue in controllable nuclear fusion is the feasibility of interstellar travel. Once interstellar travel becomes a reality, many worldviews and values ​​that previously only appeared in science fiction films will actually become a reality.

From a certain perspective, the history of human development is also the history of effective utilization of energy. From the beginning of primitive society, humans could only simply use the burning of grass and trees to obtain energy. This very inefficient use of energy also shaped the social system, culture, and moral environment at that time. With the gradual mastery of technology and the entry into the fossil energy era, humans began to be able to utilize fossil energy, and subsequently experienced a new era, forming today’s world structure, cultural system, moral standards and codes of conduct. Therefore, it can be reasonably inferred that in the era of controllable nuclear fusion, this new level of energy utilization model will bring huge changes and impacts to the existing social structure, moral standards, and codes of conduct. And these are not things that are far away in the future, but things that are about to happen in the next ten years.

03 Life Sciences
Many breakthroughs were made in 2023, such as the first successful case of pig heart transplantation into humans at the University of Berlin, and the successful reanimation of a confirmed dead pig heart for 24 hours. Technology related to human genes has made leaps and bounds in the past decade. It has gradually transitioned from gene reading to gene editing, and 100% of the genome can be read, written, and edited. The gradual breakthroughs in these technologies will actually bring about two significant changes. First, it will become a reality for humans to live healthy to 120 years old. Secondly, humans can exceed the upper limit of life span of 120 years.

With the breakthrough of this technology, it is not difficult to imagine that when people are still very healthy at the age of 90 or 100, many of the culture, living habits and even family relationships that are taken for granted in society will undergo huge changes. In primitive societies, the average life span of humans was less than 30 years. After gradually entering an agricultural society, the average life span increased to 50-60 years, and a new cultural and moral system was formed. After the industrial society increased the average life expectancy to 70-80 years, a new social structure was formed. For example, the term and state of retirement are also new terms that emerged only after the industrial society. When the average life span of human beings exceeds a hundred years, another completely different social state will inevitably usher in.

In fact, whether it is AI, controllable nuclear fusion, or life sciences, judging from the current situation, it is likely to enter the era of full commercialization in the next ten years. More importantly, as we gain a deeper understanding of these technologies, these commercializations will inevitably bring about comprehensive social reforms, life changes, cultural adjustments, and the reconstruction of habits.

However, when we zoom out to a ten-year time span, we will find that many of the problems that currently plague us will no longer be problems. Because when you find yourself in an era of extreme change, many of the worries and troubles you once had will no longer be an obstacle with the development of time and technology.

2023 is not going well for many people. Both China’s economy and stock market are performing unsatisfactorily. Therefore, “lying flat” has become a natural choice for many people. This also brings a lot of negative emotions and the concept of losing “confidence” in the future, becoming an easily resonant theme in 2023.

However, as I mentioned before, in the not too distant future, within just ten years, the entire world will change completely and become a world that we can barely recognize. By then, concepts such as culture, lifestyle, and family relationships that we are familiar with will be redefined. If we think boldly about this future that may be beyond our imagination, will the current dilemmas and problems still be problems? Will the unknown of the future bring you more excitement and expectations? Maybe you will have new ideas and plans for 2024.

The attitude you adopt when facing the unknown will determine the problems you face and the life you will live. In the tide of this era, we are all ants. Since we cannot change the direction of the torrent, it is better to go with the current, find unknown areas that suit us, bravely try to break through our own limits, and perhaps we will usher in a completely different life.

Let me end with a sentence of antifragility:

We must always learn how to benefit from the uncertainty of the future .

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