Tag Archives: future technology

The Future of Cyber Warfare Is Here – What’s Next?


Programming computers is a skill that can be learned, and a lot can be learned about it with very little investment in hardware and software.  That enables people from almost every society on earth, including dangerous psychopaths, to build programming skills and use computers as they choose. Civilization is so dependent on the internet here in 2015 that I expect we have passed the point where a major, multi-day failure of the internet wouldn’t be accompanied by at least some people starving.  That puts a lot of power at the fingertips of internet users, but a great deal more in the hands of those who can write software.  People never stop learning, and some of them, rogue programmers, are sociopaths with bad intent for the rest of us.  So what bad deeds are they carrying out that we don’t know about yet? Can  we know? Continue reading

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From the Detroit Maker Faire: What’s Next for 3D Printing, and After That?


The Maker Faire at the Henry Ford (Museum*) in Dearborn, Michigan, a couple of weekends ago was, as usual, a complete blast, and not just because there was a gigantic “draggin’ truck” attending.

What would the neighbors say if you parked one of These in the driveway?

What would the neighbors say if you parked one of These in the driveway?

If you’ve never been to a maker faire, especially a big regional one like the one at the Henry Ford, you have missed a lot of fun, not to mention the sight of a huge group of people of all ages having more fun than you’ve ever seen before.

I was fortunate enough to have the chance to spend the afternoon with my friends of the Illuminatus Light Show demonstrating and explaining inexpensive laser light show equipment to people of all ages, which was a blast in itself, but the wild things going on everywhere inside and outside the museum were highly entertaining, too.  Robots of every size and description, crazy looking multi-rider bicycles, and amazing costumes and contraptions were everywhere, being demonstrated and with their inner workings exposed to all.  There were a lot of people learning how to solder and construct and program their ideas into a technological form.  That was all great, but there was also a LOT of a most striking current-and-future technology: 3D printing.3D Printing Continue reading

NOW I Understand the Danger in Genetically Modified Organisms!


For years I have watched the debate over genetically modified organisms (GMO), predominantly food items, with interest but not been sure where the problem was.  Recent news articles have given me some new thoughts on the matter and a real cause for concern, however.  Current genetic modifications, predominantly created and promoted by Monsanto, make food crops resistant to weed-killing chemicals so that more of those chemicals can be used without harming the crops.  The higher yield of those crops is offered as reason enough to use these genetically modified seeds.  The GM crops are generally tougher to kill and that, while it has benefits, presents the real problems. Continue reading

A Better Vision of a Likely Future


Advanced technologies will give us excellent data on future disasters.  As we plunge headlong toward a time of population-driven crises, struggling to put band-aids on climate change, pollution, and other results of the population explosion, I see rapid development of new technologies that may not slow the disasters but will provide much better information on them and may connect us each far more intimately to them.  Information technology may not save us, but it will make us much more aware of the details. Continue reading

Clues to the Future: Being Ecologically Responsible Can Save Money!


Here is a clue to how we might live in the future, when resources are expensive and scarce in a world of over 9 billion people. The clue lies in a plugged drain.IMG_0195

Most of us have had to deal with a plugged drain at some point.  I have coped with many as a homeowner.  What do you do when that shower or sink drain starts running slower and slower?  Typically I end up at the store buying a bottle of chemicals which I can pour down the drain, wait a while (in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions) and then follow with the hottest water possible.  This technique tends to work, but I think about the drains of 9 billion people being cleared this way, and the consequences of the use of valuable resources and the cost of cleaning the waste water of those nasty chemicals.  (See a mathematical “thought tool” at the end of this article.) So what can I do differently, and how might we remedy the common clogged drain in the future? Continue reading

Organic Farming Will Replace Current Farming Methods as the Population Peaks


Food systems are going to be of primary importance as population peaks.  If, as the UN says, population will reach more than 9 billion in the 2040’s before beginning a steep decline, the causes of that decline are important to consider today.  A historical review of population reductions shows that neither war nor the natural disasters we’ve seen so far make a noticeable difference, but suggests that famine and possibly disease have the potential to make major reductions in the population.  Decades ago I expected that we might pollute our world so badly that average lifespans would fall, but there has been some progress on preserving the environment and it appears that energy and food shortages created by overpopulation are bigger concerns.  (Of course, the primary concern SHOULD be overpopulation itself, as these other problems are results of it.)  If organic food and farming methods are more costly than agribusiness’ methods now, why would they replace the hugely productive methods used to produce most food in the developed world today? Continue reading

Can We Invent Our Way Out of the Population Explosion? Not the Way You’re Thinking.


We invented our way into this situation. Many of our past inventions made life easier, food more plentiful, etc., and enabled population growth. When anything threatened to kill us off, we fought it with creativity and developed technologies to deal with it.  Except for those inventions specifically aimed at killing people or managing our birthrates (the Chinese “One Child Law“, for example), our inventions have permitted us to thrive and propagate more and more effectively, and to increase our numbers at faster and faster rates.  The problem we perceive now is that sooner or later the needs of our unchecked population will exceed available resources.  This would seem a normal pattern for any life form, but there are plenty of examples where animal birthrates slowed inexplicably in the face of food shortages.  That makes it seem that humans have lost the instinct for avoiding population-driven catastrophes (if we ever had it), which leaves our fate up to us.  It also suggests the population challenge will require types of creativity we haven’t used before, or often.  So just  how smart are we? Continue reading