The future of 2050 might be different in many ways if, for example, climate change were mitigated, abortion laws relaxed, marijuana legalized, or the power of different religious groups changed. Which of the following types of differences matter most to you? To most people?
I'm interested in how this affects the debate between transhumanist and pro-human positions. In favor of the transhumanists would be that people don't care about tradition. But that they don't care about development or technological innovation seems to favor the pro-human side. And which position is more "warm"?
Maybe very-far mode is concerned with morality because the moral character of the group's future was what primal humans had the most control over. [Edit: But note, this assumes group selectionism or that the selection involved is cultural.] They could tell what practices, if extrapolated, damaged societal morals, but their technologies were too feeble to allow them knowingly to influence the distant future in more directly productive ways.
Anyway, if people are interested at all in the distant future, it's to influence it. Nobody wants to read about a dystopia except (if even then) accompanied by a political program to avoid it.
Is that what you did?
Then the study basically aksed "do you want your boiled eggs solid or boiled for 6 minutes". Of these synonyms people tend to choose the one that provides the most opportunity for signalling, then you go say they don't care about the future?
They use multivariate regressions to tease out which of several correlated things people care most about.
"and to the extent they do care, a recent study (details below) suggests that the main thing they care about from the above lists is how warm and moral future folks will be. That is, people hardly care at all about future poverty, freedom, suicide, terrorism, crime, poverty, homelessness, disease, skills, laziness, or sci/tech progress."
Are those entirely unrelated? Does having a warm and moral (ethical would be better but most people don't know the distinction, so they might have meant ethical) society not reduce crime, poverty, etc..., or at least people believe it will?
Go live as a woman in Saudi Arabia and you'll get it...
I got as far as "gender inequality" in the first list. And as I can't see gender inequality on the same level as murder, I decided the whole question was meaningless.
Some of these categories don't seem to be clearly defined. E.g. there seems to be considerable overlap between Dysfunction, Warmth, Morality, and even Self-Transcendence ("honesty"). Plus, there are also dependence relationships: it would be hard to have a "Self-Transcending" society that was full of all the things listed under "Dysfunction". So I'm not sure this tells us very much about people's future preferences being drastically different from what we would like.
I do agree that most people think about the future in far mode, which isn't good for achieving better futures. But that's my default assumption, not something I think I learned more about from this study.