Earth 2200 -- life in a Star Trek world

June 12 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future
Category: Space   Year: Beyond   Rating: 5

By Dick Pelletier

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.)

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Survey Results: Will the Singularity Save Us From Ourselves?

June 03 2008 / by memebox / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 5 Hot

So, will the singularity save us from ourselves?

This was the question we posed at the conclusion of Al Fin ’s excellent post titled “Can the Singularity Save Us From Ourselves?

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 the 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.

To add your answer to the poll go here.

Also be sure to check out Will’s great response to Al Fin’s initial post.

Nanotech Will Enable You to Hold Your Breath for Up to 4 Hours

May 30 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 7 Hot

At the recent Low-Volume Manufacturers Association conference, Boris Fritz, a senior engineer technical specialist at Northrop Grumman, said he expects nanotechnology in our lifetime to enable small devices called respirocytes that permit us to hold our breath for up to 4 hours.

“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 stopped’.”

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.)

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18 is Enough

May 29 2008 / by juldrich / In association with Future
Category: Culture   Year: Beyond   Rating: 14 Hot

By Jack Uldrich

An opinion piece.

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 life-time tenure.

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.)

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When Will You Lose Your Job to Robotics?

May 27 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 6 Hot

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 economy.

“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 manufacturing robots.”

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. (cont.)

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The Future of Tennis

May 22 2008 / by Accel Rose / In association with Future
Category: Entertainment   Year: Beyond   Rating: 4 Hot

Here’s a cool vision created by tennis equipment manufacturer Lacoste of the sport as it may look 75 years from now:

My hunch is that if tennis does evolve in such a direction that robotic exoskeletons and augmented reality will make this vision possible sometime before 2030.

Will tennis still be a around in 2030?

or Show Results

from The Kansas City Star’s Running Cerebro-Transmission, March 7, 2115:

May 19 2008 / by Jason / In association with Future
Category: Information   Year: Beyond   Rating: 6 Hot

By Jason M. Vaughn

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.)

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Inflection Point: Tissue Regeneration

May 19 2008 / by juldrich / In association with Future
Category: Biotechnology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 7 Hot

By Jack Uldrich

Cross-posted from

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.)

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Unification across space-time dimensions.

February 29 2008 / by Virulent / In association with Future
Category: The Web   Year: Beyond   Rating: 8

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.)

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You Wish You Were Here

May 17 2008 / by Jason / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 15 Hot

By Jason M. Vaughn

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.)

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10 Reasons You Will Live to 1000

May 07 2008 / by juldrich / In association with Future
Category: Business & Work   Year: Beyond   Rating: 16 Hot

By Jack Uldrich

Cross-posted from

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 society.

The issue of which I speak is the possibility of immortality. In just the past few days, however, the New York Times has run an informative article on how advances in genomics are improving the treatment of disease; the Economist has discussed the impressive progress being made in the field of gene therapy, and Technology Review covered the extraordinary advances that researchers at the University of Minnesota are making in growing a human heart.

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. (cont.)

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The Chronicles of Extreme Future Part 2: The Strength Suit

May 06 2008 / by Fictionthis / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 6 Hot

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 suit again.