A while ago, I saw an excellent video of a speech/lecture by an English professor of history (in front of an American audience). In the video, the historian touches on many topics of interest to this community, including the ways modern people are different (more individualistic, more concerned with "rights") from agriculturalists and how things like the industrial revolution occur. At the end, he gives a long discussion of the likely future of humanity, and I think he mentioned artificial intelligence (by brain emulation) and life-extension as the defining technologies of the future.

I think the video was posted one or two years ago maximum. Since I imagine the people of LW probably read many of the same websites as I do, I'm hoping someone will know the video to which I'm referring. If not, suggestions of who the professor might be (or the website it was posted on are much appreciated.

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Ian Morris - "Why the West Rules - For Now". LW discussed it here.

Wasn't him. Thanks though.

I don't know the specific video to which you refer, but it sounds suspiciously like a TED talk - you could poke around there and see if anything looks right?

It wasn't a TED talk. I think the speaker was at some think tank or university.

Not what you asked for, but here is a Singularity lecture by Steve Omohundro that puts the Friendly AI problem in the context of humanity's evolving moral codes.

Nick Szabo recently made a post about the singularity involving a back and forth between hanson and some anti-reductionist guy.

scroll down a bit. http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/