This is the first of three parts as we explore possibilities that are just around the corner. Or, as we like to say, one room over. This is a follow-up to an earlier show on possibility, The Future and Unlimited Possibility. Part one covers the Adjacent Possible.
We are grateful to Steven Johnson for coming up with the idea of the Adjacent Possible, as originally mentioned in this piece:
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.
The phrase captures both the limits and the creative potential of change and innovation. In the case of prebiotic chemistry, the adjacent possible defines all those molecular reactions that were directly achievable in the primordial soup. Sunflowers and mosquitoes and brains exist outside that circle of possibility. 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.
The strange and beautiful truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore them. Each new combination opens up the possibility of other new combinations.
Some Potentially Adjacent Possibilities
Controversial claim: “Elizabeth Parrish, CEO of Bioviva USA Inc., has become the first human being to be successfully rejuvenated by gene therapy, after her own company’s experimental therapies reversed 20 years of normal telomere shortening.”
Cure for Obesity
This might sound incredible, but will be easier than conquering aging – and really could be considered part of that revolution. Comparing to life extension – curing obesity is A relatively simple altering of some chemistry not to hoard every morsel as fat.
Maybe finally adjacent?
The technology is not adjacent; it’s already here and rapidly improving. What’s adjacent is a world where autonomous vehicles are in widespread use / on course to replace most or all human-driven vehicles.
This scenario is the adjacent possible.
Electric cars. Also adjacent.
Flying cars. Deep.
Conversational User Interface
Or listen on SoundCloud.
Next time: The Deep Possible
Eternity Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) | Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License | http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0