What will life be like in 2200? Of course, nobody can predict
the future with absolute certainty that far ahead; however, by
multi-tracking technology advances and mixing reality with a dash
of imagination, we can create a plausible scenario of what life
might be like 192 years from now.
2200 citizens enjoy intelligence-multiplied a trillion-fold over
2008 biological brains. During the last 150 years, no one has
experienced aging, unwanted death, or poverty; and in 2200, more
people make their homes in space than on Earth.
The world was astounded in 2050 when NASA/EU probes discovered life on a planet five light
years away. Inhabitants of this faraway world were sending similar
probes to Earth during this same time period; each planet detected
the other’s signal and both civilizations experienced their first
contact with intelligent alien life.
By 2075, utilizing newly-developed wormhole messaging systems,
we had exchanged numerous communications with our new friends from
planet “Darth”. We discovered many common interests as both worlds
had recently experienced huge intelligence growth, which resulted
in the transformation of their species into non-biological beings.
It became obvious that cooperation would yield benefits to both
worlds; thus Earth and Darth were first to join what would one day
be known as “The Federation”.
As early as 2050, most humans sported non-biological bodies with
powerful minds. Those who remained “biological” often found
themselves struggling to find happiness and success; so by 2075,
nearly everyone had switched to the stronger, but still considered
to be human, non-biological body. The few conservatives who still
resisted this technology eventually died out. (cont.)
While just about half of the Future Blogger poll respondents
answered that it’s to early to hazard a guess, it’s interesting to
note that 2/3 of the remaining half believe that, yes, the
singularity will serve as our savior, just as 1/3 think it will
not. In other words, a significant amount of readers believe, as do
futurists like Ray Kurzweil, that
runaway exponential growth of technology, information and
intelligence will trump war and man-made disasters as we venture
further into the acceleration era.
Whether an educated guess, an underlying
faith, or a mix of the two, the sentiment is significant in and
of itself as an indicator of the human reaction to our rapidly
changing environment. However it plays out, it’s clear that the
notion of a positive-outcome singularity continues to pick up
meme-steam, which means that we should expect the idea of the
singularity to continue spreading to brains all across the globe,
especially as cognizance of acceleration increases.
“What you do is replace about 10% of your blood with these
respirocytes and then you would have literally 4 hours where you
can hold your breath,” lays out Fritz, “So if you had a problem
with your heart stopping you could just leisurely call the hospital
and tell them ‘Well, i’ve had a heart attack, my heart is
Or another option, as Fritz points out, is that “you could go
scuba diving without any gear.”
Check out the full Fritz interview by Dean Rotbart, Director of
the Low-Volume Manufacturers Association, here. (Would have
embedded the vid, but the youtube code is buggy.) (cont.)
When the next president of the United States is sworn into
office on January 20, 2009, six of the nine justices on the Supreme
Court will be over 70 years of age. The prospect that a majority of
the members of the court could be selected by the next president —
especially if he or she wins a second term — is very real.
Regardless of one’s political leanings this is a serious issue
and it transcends the fear of a future court being packed by
ideologues whose views counter to one’s own convictions.
Every day radical advances in medical technology bring society
ever closer to new treatments and possible cures for cancer, heart
disease and a host of other ailments. Among the many things that
this implies is that society could soon be on the verge of
achieving life expectancies of 100 years or higher.
Combined with the possibility of so many new and younger
justices being appointed by the next president this means that
there is a reasonable chance many of these justices could still be
on the court in the year 2060 – 2060!
It is hard to imagine that the Founding Father’s—who were
interested in insulating Supreme Court justices from the political
pressures typically associated with legislative and executive
branches of government—ever contemplated the prospect of
wide-spread radical life extension when granting the justices
One solution which has been proposed by law professors Steven
Calabresi and James Lindgren of Northwestern University is to cap
the justices’ terms at 18 years—or the equivalent of three U.S.
Senate terms. (Under their plan a constitutional amendment would
grandfather in all existing justices and then create staggered
18-year terms such that every president would be ensured of
selecting a minimum of two justices.) (cont.)
Futurist and professor Paul Saffo thinks
that just as Japan will transition to a robotic society, so too
will the United States and the rest of the world. He predicts the
transition over here will be “more messy” and that a booming
robotic manufacturing industry could potentially devastate the
“New technology may destroy old jobs, but it also creates more
jobs than it destroys,” explains Saffo in a recent Fora interview (see below), but
“that may not be the case with the world of ubiquitous
He points out that rapidly advancing robotics are replacing
large manufacturing chunks one industry at a time. “What you see
are industries calving off like icebergs, just a whole industry
drops away, suddenly the human operators disappear,” he says.
The world was rocked this morning by the death of America’s
first “immortal,” Madeline Marie Samms, who had only three months
ago reached her 175th birthday. At around 6:45 a.m., a piano was
accidentally dropped on her head as she stepped out of her
first-floor Wyandotte County apartment on her way to the market.
The irony is that she had once credited this daily walk as the
biggest reason for her longevity. It was even more important, she had felt, than
her nightly pink-lemonade-flavored telomerase cocktail, her weekly
stem-cell injections, and her numerous casual-sex encounters.
“People can’t go a measly few blocks to get their organics?”
she’d once wondered, incredulously shaking her head. “They gotta
have ‘em delivered by one of those good-for-nothin’
robots? What’s this world comin’ to? That’s what I wanna
know. ‘Cause them robots are kinda scary, if you ask me. I mean,
why do their eyes have to be red like that? Why does one
of their hands always have to be a claw hand? Why on earth
do they gotta have a laser saw hangin’ off their shoulder
at all times? For God sakes,” she continued, “what do they need
teeth for? And just why do those teeth have to be all
pointy, like shark teeth? You know, one of them things
tried to help me across the street one time. I had to beat him off
with my purse. Thought I was bein’ attacked.” (cont.)
One of my preferred methods for trying to understand where the
future might be headed is to look for those areas where technology
can address a compelling human need. To this point, this past
weekend I read with great interest this opinion piece in the Wall
Street Journal entitled “Why We Need a Market
for Human Organs.” It’s a well-reasoned piece and the sentiment
appeals to my more libertarian and free market-oriented
sensibilities. Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that within the
next 10-15 years advances in tissue and organ regeneration
technology will render the need for “organ markets” obsolete.
I have written about this idea before, but I’d encourage you to read this new
government report entitled “2020: A
New Vision – A Future for Regenerative Medicine.” According to
the report the current world market for replacement organ therapies
is in excess of $350 billion. More disturbing, however, is the fact
that there are currently over 100,000 patients are on a waiting
list for an organ donation and an estimated 8,000 people on that
list will die this year while waiting for a transplant. (cont.)
As the lines between human and biological entities blur, and sophisticated mind communication networks are formed, what could be the potential impacts on society?
Imagine a world some point during the middle of the 21st century where virtual communities and direct mind to mind communication is possible at ever increasing speeds, Where human-machine entities can share information they choose at near the speed of light from any positions on the globe, imagine being able to understand almost as if it were your own cognitive processes how to read and write Japanese as someone from japan, or understand medicine or physics like a PhD graduate.
Difficult to imagine? Perhaps sounding a bit like the Borg from star-trek? well resistance is futile because the explosive nature of Nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and most importantly information transfer all point towards a future much more vast and incomprehensible than this.
Since the dawn of single celled organisms life has grown to complex networks of single cells to organisms to human cognition itself and each explosion is not only an explosion in the capability to manipulate and adapt to the environment, its also an explosion in consciousness itself. And best of all it functions on very simple evolutionary principles that hold to this day (albeit in a slightly more complex batch of interactions).
To imagine what i mean think of a petri dish called earth and place inside that petri dish one single celled organism, provide it with a suitable environment and watch it divide exponentially till copies of itself cover the whole petri dish. Well then what? (cont.)
Here in glorious 2059, things are a bit different than they were
back in, say, 2008. How so? Well, for one thing, a Starbucks coffee
might have run you three dollars, back then, but now you can be
sitting at home and just think of a Starbucks coffee, and
your nanounit will “build” it for you and then automatically charge
thirty dollars to your account!
Back in the neo “Dark Ages” of old 2008, you could only
dream of having sex with androids, or watch actors
pretending to have sex with androids in movies; heck, even just
five years ago, sex with androids was still mostly frowned upon,
and more painful, really, than pleasurable. But now, in 2059,
everybody’s having sex with androids (even other
androids!), and at worst it only causes a mild pinching…and
degrades the android.
In case you’re wondering, we don’t use the word cool
anymore (“cool” is so 2055). We use awesome now
in most situations where cool would’ve been applied, except when
we’re talking about the temperature: then we say “chilly” or “cold”
or, in certain eco-important situations, “under-warm.” Some
outsiders have recently started using awesome to describe
chilly weather (“It’s awesome out,” they’ll say, or “Man, I wish it
was just a little less awesome today,” or “Yesterday, it was so
awesome I had to wear a jacket!”), but these people are hardly ever
taken seriously, and, in some cases, they’ve even been banned from
having their own talk shows.
Yep, 2059 is pretty fascinating, if you ask me. Oprah is still
alive, and editing her magazine from the confines of a gelatin
cocoon she shares with Dr. Oz and gal-pal, Gayle King. Madonna, and
The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince,
have just collaborated on a new album entitled Still Mostly
Human (Madonna’s pseudo-butt looks great!). (cont.)
The signs are all around us and yet, rather surprisingly, there
is very little public discussion of an issue that is going to have
profound moral, ethical, and political ramifications for all of
Last week, I discussed why the future is accelerating
and before that, I encouraged readers when thinking about the
future to “think 10X, not 10%”; and the more I
think about health care and human longeveity, the more I think both
of these lines of thought apply to this field in particular.
It was the summer of 2022 and I was invited to go
rock-climbing with some friends. I had never attempted this
exercise before, so naturally, I was concerned.
My friends simply dismissed my unease, saying “rock-climbing is
not what it used to be”.
They were right.
Body line pressurized suits have been in use since 2012; first
in NASA spacewalks and then were quickly
introduced to the public. At first they were simply pressurized and
used as a space suit based wrap. It increased mobility and
decreased its size. Since then electronic fibers were introduced to
manipulate the structure of the “smart” fabric thus magnifying the
strength of movement while wearing the suit. Making the user of it,
astoundingly stronger. I knew that hours in the gym would not be
needed for what would be a grueling rock-climbing trip, because my
hire suit enhanced my strength five fold. The trip turned out to be
great, getting to the top was definitely worth the now-easy trip.
Next month we will go kite surfing, I think I might need hire the