I belong to a number of facebook groups. A lot of science groups – including of course the almost obligatory IFLS.
Lately, though Futurism has been publishing a lot of articles that leave little footprints in the future – telling us about what the future will be like.
- Transparent Solar cells – in short – if these can be economically produced would help change our power grid from a highly centralized concept to a distributed concept. It would reduce risk to the population of a single terrorist attack taking out the power infrastructure. It would lower monthly costs for those that have them. How long do they last? What is the ROI for homeowners? The devil is in the details; however, this does seem feasible.
- Lab produced pork – while not the only source of lab grown protein – steak was produced by an earlier effort by a different group – this ability sounds like it is more viable to become a standard practice. If we could have meat (specifically bacon) without destroying animals then we should do it.
- Breakthrough in Quantum Computing – this is focused on removing excess heat. This is long the bane of any computer’s existence. The joy of tinkering with a desktop computer and adding liquid cooling – would be so much better if I didn’t have to do that at all. Quantum computers are expected to generate a lot more heat than typical computers – so this could be a great lead for quantum computers to be a reality. Still, someone has to actually make the quantum computer for there to be a place for quantum computing cooling.
- UK genetic scientists give the ok to alter human DNA. Now, this isn’t an ok to go ahead and alter human DNA and bring a genetically altered baby in to existence. It is an ok to learn if they can, how specifically they can, and if the potential life would remain viable. It is a very important step. Perhaps someday we will be able to test for genetic disease and treat the embryo and remove these diseases from existence like we would communicable diseases.
What would life be like for future humanity if all 4 of these mature in the next 10 years? Imagine a world where cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, Down syndrome, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and Sickle Cell Anemia don’t exist. This world has plenty of pork, but the only pigs that live are wild pigs. The massive pollution (lakes of pig urine and feces) would never be created and ethical vegetarians have a meat option. Corporations will no longer dictate costs of electrical power as a distributed model of electrical production reduces everyone’s reliance of centralized coal burning power plants. Finally, quantum computing would really make it possible – possibly even easy – to make codops (computerized doppelgangers) – our electronic counterparts.
Diseases cured. Virtual immortality. Ethical meat production. Power everywhere.
It could be a very great future indeed. Here is hoping nobody screws it up.
In other news, I’m working on multiple outlines for my futuristic science fiction book. Collecting excellent information like this is just how to get started.