“If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants.”
— Isaac Newton (and many others)
Over time the concept of human flourishing has changed dramatically. It will continue to change, even more dramatically.
We define human flourishing as “the state of living a life one most wants to live, given one’s values.” For our full theory, please reach out and we can present to your company, organization or community.
Flourishing one million years ago centered around having enough to eat, staying warm in your cave, and fending off predators. Survival was a central concern.
Flourishing today is complicated. It may involve self-actualization, enlightenment or “winning”. It may involve collecting lots of small rectangles, getting “likes” on tiny glowing machines, and helping billions of intelligences.
Flourishing between 2024-2100 is extremely hard to predict. Humanity is inventing new technologies we cannot understand, let alone control. They will radically change us and the world. Survival of our species is uncertain.
What’s possible in the design space of a flourishing life is heavily dependent on what’s conceptually knowable and technically achievable. Below are just a few key advances that have shaped how we think of what it means to flourish in modern-day society. For better or worse, both the concept and “how to manual” are always evolving. We learn new concepts, tools, and/or techniques to incorporate into UP nearly every week.
These advances have enabled the current version of UP and the current possibilities of human flourishing today. But what we can do now is only the beginning.
Over time inventions like machine learning, neurohacking, and forecasting systems will bring better critical thinking to billions. Advanced control systems and distributed workforces will help us better accomplish our goals. Regenerative medicines will lengthen human healthspans, perhaps indefinitely. And ultimately, if we survive long enough, there will will be artificially intelligent beings that redefine what it means to be human.
Right now, the best we have to augment your flourishing are HIs (human intelligences) that wield humanity’s latest conceptual and technological stack (including narrow AIs). UP in its current form can be considered an HI on-demand service. We can’t clone you (yet), but we do the next best thing: act as your second brain and set of hands. This is an immediate cognitive and executive upgrade.
In the near-future, UP may move from an HI-led model to a narrow AI-led model. And in the long-term, our aim is to incorporate every relevant conceptual and technological advance our species develops. UP in 10 years will likely look radically different than UP today. And UP in 100 years, who knows…