Facing Reality – Reflections on the IFG’s Techno-Utopianism Teach-In

While we invent or brilliantly adapt to a precarious future we need to keep faith with our humanism.


Occasionally, an acronym does the work of an entire argument. Case in point: FRED, which stands for Facing the Reality of Extinction and Doom. A good acronym need not be optimistic, and it can trade in the hyperbolically humorous, but even more than an “ism” it may provide us with a succinct formulation for confronting a much more complex problem. What FRED indicates is not necessarily a political orientation or a specific plan for action – but instead it dares to name the direness of the situation: we are in throes of the 6th mass extinction and a giant question mark hovers above our future. And though it is not specifically named in the acronym, the subtext of FRED is a recognition that “facing the reality” involves coming to terms with the uncomfortable truth that technology will not miraculously save us.

FRED, to oversimplify, may be the most succinct way…

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