A portrayal of how our world may be changed: Plunge is the title of an installation created by Michael Pinsky scattered at sites across London. Halos of blue LED lights mark the water levels across the city one millennium into the future, if/when sea levels rise due to temperature increases.
Tag Archives | Future
A company named Luxury-Sea is building a boat with a special device that is claimed to generate electricity from ocean water, to both produce hydrogen to fuel its engine as well as power its on-board electronics. A boat that requires no fossil fuel and that has an infinite range would be a true breakthrough. The French company Luxury-Sea claims to be building such a boat, named the MIG 675. Allegedly, it utilizes a patent pending technology that generates up to 50,000 volts of electricity from ocean water. The electricity generated is used both to power on board electronics, and to generate hydrogen to fuel a powerful 500 horse power engine... Of course the most amazing aspect of the boat is that it runs off salt water. No details are given about how it works, and no evidence is provided. Here is a video of the boat in action, but there is no way to determine if it is really powering itself using ocean water. The inventor of the technology, Angi Le Floch, is asserted to be self taught...
Gerald Celente of Trends Research International has a habit of predicting nasty events before they happen. He just emailed us his selection of 12 things we’d rather not see in 2012:
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One megatrend looms on the near horizon. And we forecast that when it strikes, it will be a shock felt around the world. Hyperbole it’s not! Our research has revealed that at the very highest levels of government this megatrend has been seriously discussed. Read on:
1. Economic Martial Law: Given the current economic and geopolitical conditions, the central banks and world governments already have plans in place to declare economic martial law … with the possibility of military martial law to follow.
2. Battlefield America: With a stroke of the Presidential pen, language was removed from an earlier version of the National Defense Authorization Act, granting the President authority to act as judge, jury and executioner.
Pretty interesting where robotics is going. It will really get interesting with the merging of artificial intelligence, prosthetic development, innovative CPU processing developments, low cost storage (SSD) and a connected Internet.... the next 50 years will allow for some crazy and perhaps scary, developments.
All signs point to our heading towards a future in which we will exist surrounded by software-enabled touchscreens. Why this could be a grave mistake, via Slate:
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What touchscreens lack is something called affordance — an object’s built-in ability to tell you how it works. A doorknob affords turning. The button on a car stereo affords pushing. A touchscreen affords nothing. It relies on software for any affordance, which in turn relies on total immersion for the user.
What we want, apparently, is to surround ourselves with touchscreens of varying size—tiny ones in our pockets, medium-size models for our laps and dashboards, and massive versions for our walls. We want tomorrow’s vintage shops to be lined with identical, blank, anonymous slabs. We want things to be vessels for software, and nothing more. Immersion is a fantastic quality while flicking virtual birds at digital pigs in your smartphone. Immersion at 80 mph is less desirable.
Pasta&Vinegar on a fascinating 10,000-year design conundrum: how to house our radioactive waste in such a way that the next 400 generations will understand the danger, and not try to tamper or remove the markers. One would assume that over that period, most of our civilization, language, symbols, and physical structures as we know them will cease to exist:
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“Permanent Markers Implementation Plan” is a project initiated in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Energy in order to provide a permanent record which identifies the location of nuclear waste repository and its dangers.
This report described the task handled by one of the expert group made of an anthropologist, an astronomer, an archaeologist, an environmental designer, a linguist, and a materials scientist. The brief for them was basic:
“The site must be marked. Aside from the legal requirement, the site will be indelibly imprinted by the human activity associated with waste disposal.
Taking, for example, the New York Times’ inability or unwillingness to properly cover the Occupy Wall Street protests, maybe this news isn’t all that bad. AFP reports:
Newspapers will disappear and be replaced by digital versions by 2040, the UN intellectual property agency’s chief said in an interview published on Monday.
Francis Gurry, who heads the World Intellectual Property Organisation told the daily La Tribune de Geneve that “in a few years, there will no longer be printed newspapers as we know it today.”
“It’s an evolution. There’s no good or bad about it. There are studies showing that they will disappear by 2040. In the United States, it will end in 2017,” he said.
Gurry noted that in the United States there are already more digital copies sold than paper copies of newspapers. In cities, there are also fewer bookshops.
A key problem is the revenue system.
“How can editors find revenues to pay those who write these articles?” asked Gurry, noting that “the copyright system must be safeguarded as a mechanism to pay these writers.”
If and when Earth is no longer able to sustain human life, where should we go? NASA says that a colony could be dug several feet below the surface of our moon (with a cover to protect residents from high-energy cosmic radiation, which can damage our DNA and lead to cancer).
Or we could head for the resource-rich moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Mars is very Earth-like, with enough carbon in its soil to grow plants, and daytime temperatures that reach 70°F. And that’s only the start of our options. Popular Science explores:
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Earth won’t always be fit for occupation. We know that in two billion years or so, an expanding sun will boil away our oceans, leaving our home in the universe uninhabitable—unless, that is, we haven’t already been wiped out by the Andromeda galaxy, which is on a multibillion-year collision course with our Milky Way. Moreover, at least a third of the thousand mile-wide asteroids that hurtle across our orbital path will eventually crash into us, at a rate of about one every 300,000 years.
Could ongoing experiments involving the mixing of human and non-human DNA produce monstrous, over-intelligent hybrids down the road? In the U.S., human cells are already being implanted in mouse embryos, so we’ll likely be facing the rats of NIMH, rather than talking chimps who smoke pipes. The Telegraph reports:
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Action is needed now, according to a group of eminent experts. Their report calls for a new rules to supervise sensitive research that involves humanizing animals.
“The fear is that if you start putting very large numbers of human brain cells into the brains of primates suddenly you might transform the primate into something that has some of the capacities that we regard as distinctively human..speech, or other ways of being able to manipulate or relate to us.”
Currently research involving great apes, such as chimpanzees, is outlawed in the UK. But it continues in many other countries including the US, and British scientists are permitted to experiment on monkeys.