This article from Wired magazine shows the weakness of American popular culture. It is good that the authors see potential problems from the population explosion, and try to come up with a way to feed the 9 billion humans expected to live by 2050, but this is a very shallow consideration. Certainly much thought and work should be applied to this issue, but do the authors think time and the population explosion will stop there? What do they expect to do when the population – enabled to have even more children by the plentiful food supply – continues to explode and reaches 10 billion, 11 billion, and then 12 billion? Continue reading
Tag Archives: future
Automakers, legislators, and others are excited about putting autonomous vehicles (AV’s) on the road as quickly as possible, and they cite many benefits. They’re pushing hard and investing a lot of money, but there are simple reasons why self-driving cars will not rule the road any time soon, no matter how beneficial they might be. For starters, some people will prefer to drive themselves or ride with a human driver. Inevitably some people will feel insecure riding in an AV and will refuse to ride in one, let alone buy one. While the numbers of those rejecting AV’s for such reasons may be small, they will sustain a demand for self-controlled vehicles to remain on the roads longer, presenting serious problems for AV operators. But that’s just the beginning – there are other major problems with AV’s that are not often mentioned in the media. Continue reading
Simple math: If a nanobot had wheels 20 nm in diameter, it could move about 62 nm in one rotation of those wheels. If the wheels can be made to turn at one million RPM, possibly through agitation by high frequency radio energy, the nanobot would travel at 62 million nm per minute, 1 millimeters per second, 3.6 meters (12 feet) per hour, or 89 meters in a day. This seems quite fast for something so small, but I am not reflecting on the feasibility of such rapid rotation or any other physical problems with using wheels at this scale. Of course, if the nanobot’s wheels can be made to turn at only one rotation per second its speed would be reduced to about 0.2 millimeters per hour or about 5 millimeters per day, but that is still fast enough for some important tasks as long as the nanobots are delivered quite close to where they will be needed and sufficient time is available for them to make the journey. Clearly, mobility will be needed for many nanotechnology applications, but how else might it be achieved? Continue reading
Globalization has changed me personally. 20 years ago I knew about the population explosion. I had been aware of it and watched it since I was a teenager in the 60’s, but I now realize I was watching from the sidelines. I lived my life like those around me, and certainly wasn’t putting two and two together to come up with a very complete picture of where we appear to be going, nor was I integrating my expectations and actions with where we are, where we have been in time and history, and where we can expect to go. The times are changing rapidly, though, and have brought me some striking revelations. Continue reading
If We Must Fall, Can We Manage to Do It Gradually? Every civilization in history has fallen except the current one. That is simple truth, and we have no reason to think that we can carry on indefinitely as we have been. In fact, there are many indications that we are headed into a decline of our own: population exceeding the global capacity in more and more aspects, significant signs of negative impact on the ecology, the accelerating extinction of many species in our highly interdependent environment, overuse of important resources leading to exhaustion. All this brings up the important questions: Are we any smarter than our predecessors, and can we understand what is happening and work together effectively to control the decline and mitigate the suffering involved? Continue reading
After a lifetime of thinking about the future, often with depressing and disastrous scenarios involved, I awoke from a dream of a brighter future this morning, and felt it was a good starting point for my first blog on the future. I will do more focused study on this topic in the future, and do more reading of similar blogs as I find them (I have always read books and articles, and been involved in discussions with the smartest people I know, about what the future may hold given what we know today).
Here is the dream, as I recorded it in my planner/journal: ————————–