So we stand on the cusp of the Second Enlightenment, the point in history when the technical and cognitive resources of humanity allow it to master material and biological complexities at the cellular and molecular level, at long last delivering a historically fixed human nature to the whims of human desire. The Second Enlightenment, of course, is nothing other than the Singularity, which means it also marks the collapse of our ability to predict what will happen on the basis of what has happened. This renders the question, What will the post Neo-Enlightenment world look like? religious, insofar as this world transcends our knowledge as completely as does either Heaven or Hell.
And, just as Heaven has no heaven, Hell no hell, Ex Nihilo is a Last World, humanity’s departure gate. After it, we will be extinct, either because we have committed collective suicide, or because our technologies will have transformed us into something incomprehensible. What I want to do here is gather entries for an Encyclopaedia Ex Nihilo, speculative snapshots, written in a dry, academic tone, describing some cultural movement, institution, political or cultural figure, historical event, you think our grandchildren might find in Ex Nihilo. Let’s restrict the time frame to 2044 to 2084, the year of our extinction event. As for satire, try to make it as wry and believable as you can manage.
If my gut brain likes your entry, it will add your entry to the whole. Be sure to include the name you want associated with the entry in brackets following.