Technology Utopia with Michael Solana

Technology is pushing us rapidly toward a future that is impossible to forecast. We try to imagine what that future might look like, and we can’t help having our predictions shaped by the media we have consumed.

1984, Terminator, Gattaca, Ex Machina, Black Mirror–all of these stories present a dystopian future. But if you look around the world, the most successful technologists are mostly guided by a sense of optimism. Technologists themselves are mostly idealistic–they see the future through a utopian lens. Popular media largely tells a different story: that we are headed for a dystopian world.

Why is there such a gulf in the level of idealism between technologists and the media?

Mike Solana found himself asking that question on a regular basis during his work at Founder’s Fund, where he is a vice president. Founder’s Fund has a bias toward funding difficult, cutting-edge technology like gene editing, robotics, and nuclear energy. This technology that Mike was seeing made him excited about the future–which led to his creation of the podcast “Anatomy of Next.”

“Anatomy of Next” has explored biology, robotics, nuclear energy, superintelligence, and the nature of reality. Soon the podcast will be exploring how our civilization will explore and settle the solar system–specifically Mars.

I’ve listened through the entire first season of the show twice and enjoyed it so much because Mike explores questions that are on the border of philosophy and technology–questions about the nature of reality, and what makes us human–and nobody can give perfect answers to these questions. But Mike interviews top experts on the show, which provides us with a framework. Guests on “Anatomy of Next” include Nick Bostrom (the author of Superintelligence), George Church (a pioneer in gene editing), and Palmer Luckey (the founder of VR company Oculus).

Mike joins the show to talk about why he started “Anatomy of Next,” and his own perspective on the future.

Transcript

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