The Future and Unlimited Possibility

Phil and Stephen discuss three varieties of possibility and list examples of each:

1. The Adjacent Possible

The adjacent possible is a kind of shadow future, hovering on the edges of the present state of things, a map of all the ways in which the present can reinvent itself.

Possibilities that we are only a step or two away from.

The Robot Lawyer
Chatbot lawyer overturns 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York

See also: Conversational User Interface

Going to Mars
Elon Musk Charts Path to Colonizing Mars Within a Decade

2. The Distant Possible

Possibilities that we can imagine but that are not on the immediate horizon

Time Travel
Interstellar Travel
Digital Immortality

Question: where do we put life extension, cure for cancer, jobless economy?

3. The Hidden Possible

Possibilities both near and far that we haven’t thought of yet., e.g. when Amazon said they were looking into doing deliveries via drones.

Uber, Lyft, AirBnB

Improving health via gut bacteria

Some ideas are well known by some but still the hidden possible for many others:

The Singularity


WT 176-483