The technology boom isn't over but we must focus on preserving our resources and nature. Sustainable growth is an oxymoron. We must stop eradicating nature's plants, animals, and other organisms. We must find an equilibrium with all species. An alternative lifestyle can be more fulfilling and satisfying. On a TV documentary, I saw a young woman biologist at remote, frozen, Lake Baikal in Siberia say living there gives her "Freedom and a sense of beauty." Do you get that from megacities?
Free Will should be fresh breathing space for the open and inquiring mind. With free will, we should be able to unleash our imagination and be more creative. Some scientists say, however, that free will is a fiction—our mind’s wanderings are determined before we can exert independent thought. I think it depends on the reaction mode and kind of choice to be made. If you instantly retract your finger from touching a hot stove, that is a deterministic reaction, not free will. If, on the other hand, you are contemplating marriage and a marriage partner, that could well be a free will decision.
Maybe in a few years our minds can be connected to massive computers and the combination will have free will. Probably the computers would be in the clouds and the connecting link would be the smartphone.
This may be the theme of my next book.
Larry Kilham is a Sloan School of Management graduate from MIT, received three patents, and has founded two high-tech companies. Many of his product designs required innovative use of computers, and as early as the 1960s he was researching artificial intelligence (AI).