Our bright, glorious, and deeply disturbing future...

Our bright, glorious, and deeply disturbing future...

This is a discussion on Our bright, glorious, and deeply disturbing future... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This may well be the most off-topic post ever made at DeeCeedotcom. This comes from another forum I participate in, and it stimulated a fascinating ...

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    Our bright, glorious, and deeply disturbing future...

    This may well be the most off-topic post ever made at DeeCeedotcom. This comes from another forum I participate in, and it stimulated a fascinating discussion... well, fascinating for me, anyway... What follows are some edited and merged posts from that discussion. It's a very loooong read, but if you like sci-fi or science and technology discussion, you should like this.

    Charles F. Kettering has a quote I have loved for years... ‘My interest is in future, because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.’




    Not long ago, I saw Ray Kurzweil on Glenn Beck's show... he's an inventor and futurist that has some amazing and possibly disturbing ideas about what our world will look like in 100 years. Being a big sci-fi fan, I'm surprised I had not heard of him before. His most noteworthy invention is an optical text reader that can scan a book or a letter or a menu, and speak the text to a blind person.

    The first one was the size of a washing machine, now it is the size of an iPhone. This tremendous reduction in size is evidence of what Kurzweil calls "The Law of Accellerating Returns", ie, technology is advancing in an exponential fashion, rather than a linear one.

    Case in point, your computer. The computer you use today has double the power (or more) of your last one, for basically the same price. This trend will continue, and the next computer you buy will have double or quadruple the power of your current computer. Your kids or grandkids will look at your fast, ultra-powerful Dell laptop in the same way you look at your grandfather's antique mechanical cash register...

    Oh, that's right... lots of people don't remember when cash registers went "chu-CHING"...

    Somewhere in my garage, I have one of those black 5 pound rotary-dial telephones... remember those? That heavy black plastic sucker with the spiral cord you could beat someone to death with...? I was looking at my cell phone the other day, and it struck me that if I had gone into a coma in 1979 and woke up today, I would not recognize that it was a telephone. In 30 years, the ubiquitous and iconic telephone is unrecognizable...

    However, this Law of Accelerating Returns will ripple throughout human society, into robotics, biotechnology, and other scientific fields... here's where it gets weird. Kurzweil and others believe that in the next 100 or 200 years, man and machine will merge, literally. Advances in medicine will allow virtual immortality, and computers will be running the world, for the most part. Some say that this is the inevitable next step in human evolution, some calling it the evolution from homo sapiens to "robo sapiens" or "cyber sapiens"...

    In the not so distant future, when you are born, you won't get the standard vaccines and inoculations... instead, you will be injected with nanites, tiny machines small enough to enter individual cells in your body. They will swim about in your bloodstream for the rest of your life, and when they encounter a germ or virus, they destroy it before you get sick. If they see a blood clot forming in a blood vessel, they break it up before you have a stroke. If they find a polyp forming in your colon, they destroy it before it becomes a cancer. If you break your leg, they begin repairing the break at the cellular level.

    This in conjunction with other medical advances would double the human lifespan... people would expect to live to 160 or 180 years, or longer. Not long after that, death would become a CHOICE, not an inevitability...

    Computers as we know them will soon disappear, but they will be EVERYWHERE, even in your clothes, your toaster, your LazyBoy recliner, and your screwdriver set. You will be wired internally for internet access, and what we so quaintly call a "telephone" today will be installed into your skull. He predicts glasses or contact lenses (and later, actual ocular implants) that will project information right onto your retinas, like the "heads-up display" in a fighter jet. So, if you need a recipe for apple fritters, you mentally access the internet and the recipe gets projected right onto your eyeballs.

    Everyone has heard of computer hardware and software, and you've also heard of spyware and malware... one thing you don't hear about often is "wetware"... that being the "wet" infrastructure of the human mind. They are already bridging that gap of computers and human thought... I saw a story about total paraplegics with stereo jacks in their heads attached to computers, and with only the power of their mind, they are able to move a computer cursor and type...

    So in the future, if you are taking a vacation to Portugal and you don't speak Portuguese, translations of speech will be projected on your eyeballs, and a few years later, you will actually be able to download the Portuguese language from the internet and "install" it in your brain (your wetware). You now speak Portuguese fluently... sounds like Neo learning Kung Fu in "The Matrix"...

    Computer intelligence will surpass human intelligence in just a few years... that's a fact. IBM's "Deep Blue" has already defeated the world's greatest minds in chess, as Kurzweil predicted that several years ago. Soon, humans won't drive vehicles; computerized vehicles will be aware of each other and by removing human error from the equation, the "auto accident" will never happen again.

    Computer intelligence will become self-aware, sentient, and even emotional. And they will be able to work independently of human guidance; computers could work on complex problems and exchange data with other computers, like a scientist today labors on a cancer cure and shares his findings with other human scientists. Because computers are faster and smarter than people and will be able to communicate discoveries and advances instantly, all sorts of advances will come faster than humans could ever hope to bring them...

    This stuff raises all sorts of questions... I'm just scratching the surface here, but from a technological standpoint, it's just mind-boggling. And I don't even want to THINK about the philosophic and theological ramifications of this...

    I'm reminded of inside cover of the Alan Parson's Project album I Robot (anyone remember vinyl albums...?)

    "I Robot- the story of the rise of the machine and the decline of man, which paradoxically coincided with his discovery of the wheel... and a warning that his brief dominance of this planet will probably end because he tried to create robot in his own image."




    Here's the Wikipedia page on Ray Kurzweil... and here is a page on his book The Singularity Is Near... simply mind-blowing and amazing reading. Scroll down about half way and you will see summaries of some of his predictions of the future.
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"


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    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    In 100 years, we have gone from the Wright flyer to the Space Shuttle and today we have 6 vehicles orbiting or working on the Martian surface. The technological leaps will go even faster once the machines are doing it...

    From the Wikipedia site...
    (In 2045) Technological development is taken over by the machines, who can think, act and communicate so quickly that normal humans cannot even comprehend what is going on. The machines enter into a "runaway reaction" of self-improvement cycles, with each new generation of A.I.s appearing faster and faster. From this point onwards, technological advancement is explosive, under the control of the machines, and thus cannot be accurately predicted.
    Several of Kurzweil's predictions have not come to pass on schedule, but hey... I'm still waiting on the jet-pack I was promised in the 60's....

    And where the heck is my flying car...?

    I remember years ago when Honda introduced the Asimo robot...



    My friend Rusty said to me, "Well, it's no Terminator..."

    And I remember saying that a robot that could pass for human was a very, very long way away... on the other hand, cybernetically enhanced human beings, like the Borg in Star Trek are very, VERY possible, and we are already seeing that happen. Artificial hearts, pacemakers, conchlear implants to cure deafness... Prosthetic limbs have gone from crude plastic 20 years ago to highly functional limbs today... is it a leap to think they might even be superior (in performance) to human limbs in 10 or 20 years?

    I don't think so... anyone remember The 6 Million Dollar Man...?

    Medical science and biotechnology is the fascinating part of this for me... I've always been a believer in eugenics, or breeding control for the good of the species. I don't say that too loud or too often, because some nitwit is always there to start babbling about "the master race" and "racial superiority", and the next thing I know, I'm a bigoted jerk and the discussion degenerates into something I never intended. 20 years ago, I came up with the idea of simply sterilizing everyone with an IQ under 120... if we did that, this would be a different planet in three generations...

    Eugenics works... ask any cattle rancher. If you breed for superior meat, you get superior meat. If you breed for muscle and power, you get great bucking bulls. If you breed for milk production, you get better dairy cows. I always thought weeding out morons would be beneficial to our species as a whole...

    I usually think about this while standing in line at an ATM, while the dipstick in front of me is attempting some incredibly complex financial transaction, like refinancing his house with a Singapore bank...

    Beep beep boop beep boop beep boop beep beep boop beep beep beep...

    But now, with the human genome completely decoded, I think science has an obligation, nay, a DUTY to fix the genetic flaws of our species. DNA is basically a self-replicating computer code that determines what you look like and many of the ailments you will contract in the future. Soon, we will have the ability to "turn off" the genetic switches that make you get Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, Lou Gehrig's disease, dwarfism, cleft palette, many cancers, and a plethora of other maladies.

    By the same token, we could "switch on" some dormant genes in our DNA... we possess the same gene that makes cockroaches resistant to radiation; we could turn that gene "on" for astronauts and people colonizing another world with high solar radiation, like Mars... the possibilities truly are endless. We could have eyesight comparable to an eagle (able to read a newspaper at 1/4 mile), the hearing of a bat (echo-location), strength and endurance could be increased, intelligence could be doubled... Someday, human beings could possibly come in several varieties....

    I saw a show about interstellar travel where they were saying that it would take a generational ship to reach our nearest stars, so while Captain Jones was in command when the ship left Earth, his great-great grandson would be in command when the ship arrived. And as a member of that ship's crew, you would spend your entire life in zero-G, so you wouldn't really need legs, as you would never "stand" anywhere in your entire life. In that circumstance, it would be smarter if the people on the ship were genetically engineered to have 4 arms, instead of 2 arms and 2 useless and vestigial legs... weird, I know, but imminently practical.

    Philosophers and theologians argue that genetic engineering and cloning are wrong, but allow me to let you in on a little secret... the genie is out of the bottle. If we do not take charge of this and steer it into the right direction, someone else will. You thought China or North Korea is scary with nuclear technology...? Do you really want Pyongyang to be at the forefront of this genetic technology? No useful technology is ever abandoned until a superior technology supplants it... genetic engineering and cloning are here to stay. We better remain at the forefront of the field.

    I'm picturing the scene from "Blade Runner", where the genetic engineer has a street stall in Chinatown next to the noodle stand and the fish monger, or the marginally competent doctor that does the eye transplants in a filthy, seedy hotel room in "Minority Report"... I personally have no qualms about having a clone of myself, "up on blocks" in the garage, where I can snag a heart, liver, or spare kidney, if needed...

    I dunno... maybe I've been exposed to too much science fiction... but I have trouble believing that once machines are smarter than man, they will be kind and benign to us.

    Also from the Wikipedia site...
    The Singularity (the merging of man and machine) is an extremely disruptive, world-altering event that forever changes the course of human history. The extermination of humanity by violent machines is unlikely (though not impossible) because sharp distinctions between man and machine will no longer exist thanks to the existence of cybernetically enhanced humans and uploaded humans.
    Hmm...

    Organic human beings are a small minority of the intelligent life forms on Earth. Even among the remaining Homo sapiens, the use of computerized implants that heavily augment normal abilities is ubiquitous and accepted as normal. The small fraction of humans who opt to remain "natural" and unmodified effectively exist on a different plane of consciousness from everyone else, and thus find it impossible to fully interact with A.I.s and highly modified humans.

    "Natural" humans are protected from extermination. In spite of their shortcomings and frailties, humans are respected by A.I.s for giving rise to the machines.
    That sounds like there will be a "nature preserve" for aging hippies that won't get implants and nanites... we'll all live in Jellystone National Park, and R2D2 will bring other people's cybernetically-enhanced kids by to see how humans used to live in their "natural environment", like chimps at Busch Gardens...

    "Hey, Boo-Boo...! Whaddaya say we go try to steal some pik-a-nik baskets from the droids...?"
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

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    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    On that Glenn Beck show, Kurzweil said that the telephone conversation is actually the crudest form of virtual reality... actually, that's pretty insightful, if you think about it... even though you and I may have never actually met, we can talk and interact across vast distance thru technology... many of us spend hours per day on the internet, for work, recreation, education, romance, socializing... the internet is the next step in VR.

    Kurzweil says that he thinks that by 2030, most people will spend a great deal of time in full immersion virtual reality and points to The Matrix as an example of what it will be like, without the dystopian (opposite of utopian) twist... just like Neo in that "barber chair" on the ship, you would connect to the virtual world and it would all be indistinguishable from reality.

    Instead of commuting to your 9 to 5 office job, you might have a chair in your home that is your "VR station", rather than a home office or computer desk... you would get up in the morning, get your breakfast, sit down at your VR station, "log in" to the system, and voila!- you are at work. You'll smell virtual coffee brewing in the break room, possibly even virtual bad breath from the dork that sits in the next cubicle. If someone taps you on the shoulder in the virtual world, signals are sent to your brain and you will PHYSICALLY feel the touch on your shoulder.

    When work is over, you can disconnect from the system, or stay in VR for a while... perhaps go to a virtual happy hour, where your friends are all waiting for you in a virtual bar. Of course, they are all really sitting in THEIR VR stations, but you can talk to them, laugh with them, dish the dirt, and perhaps even get a simulated buzz on... it is possible that if you drink too much in VR, the system might be able to give you giddy feelings, then slurred speech, then spinning rooms, and finally nausea and virtual vomit... you'd feel like hell until you "unplugged" and came back to your VR chair... once disconnected from the system, you'd feel better, because you never actually drank any alcohol; it was just input into your brain that made you feel what you would have felt, had you really ordered that 6th virtual double margarita...

    Kurzweil says that he thinks most people will spend most of their waking hours in VR, and your boss and your best friends are people that you have never physically been in the same room with.

    He also thinks that most sexual activity will take place in VR... much safer than a tawdry tryst with that busty barmaid after too many tequilas in the real world. But all the sensations will be "just like you were really there". As Morpheus explained in The Matrix, what is reality? What you can see, hear, feel, smell, taste...? All those "sensations" are merely electrical impulses transmitted to the proper areas of your brain. Is it live, or is it Memorex...?

    Dennis Miller said something years ago that has stuck in my head ever since... he was talking about virtual reality and said,

    "When an unemployed construction worker can sit in his Barcalounger with a beer in one hand and a remote control in the other, and have virtual sex with Claudia Schiffer for $19.95 on pay-per-view, it's gonna make crack cocaine look like Sanka..."

    What about virtual infidelity? As stated above, the sensation of the VR world would be just as intense as the real world... so what if you were having a virtual affair with someone on the other side of the country? Would you be cheating on your real-world spouses...? How can it be cheating if you have never been within 2000 miles of each other...?

    Girls, what if you logged on and discovered your spouse cavorting with some waitress in Minneapolis...? Or worse yet, hangin' out in the airport bathroom with a virtual Senator Larry Craig...?

    These are the thoughts that kept me out of the finer schools...
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

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    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    I asked my hunnee what she thought about "virtual infidelity"... she said that it would indeed be cheating, saying, "it's not where your 'stuff' is, it's where your heart is..."

    And I said, "By heart, you mean mind, don't you? The heart is a fluid pump; love springs from your consciousness... from your sentience, correct?" She said yes...

    Hold that thought...




    Kurzweil predicts that in the 2030's, you will be able to make a backup of your mind... burn your consciousness onto a floppy disk or CD or whatever data storage medium we use in that time. Your first Christmas, your first day of school, your first puppy, your first date, your first kiss, your wedding day, your 1st child's birth, and the grocery list you took to Kroger's yesterday...

    But it won't be like a "movie" of what you did, it will be YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS... how magical that first Christmas was, what a lame kisser Suzy was on your first kiss, how happy you were walking up the aisle at your wedding, and what a nasty wench the checkout girl was at Kroger's. Your memories, your beliefs, your attitudes, your feelings, your fears and aspirations, your hopes for the future, all "backed up on disk".

    Thousands of doctors and scientists are working on understanding the functions and processes that go on inside the human brain. Like your senses, your memories and consciousness are functions of electrochemical signals in the brain. In the auto industry, they call that "reverse engineering"... take a working system (like a new hybrid car or a human brain), study it, disassemble it, and figure out how it works, so you can replicate it and bring new technology to that system and modify or improve it.

    Now, suppose you were to die, from old age, a disease that is not treatable today, or even in a plane crash or traffic accident. You could have an inanimate clone of yourself standing by (maybe when you were 20 years old instead of your current age) and "reinstall your backup"... it would be "you"... your body with your consciousness. This was the premise of a Schwartzennegger film called "The Sixth Day" with Robert Duvall... a fascinating film. I'm sure it's a cheap rental at Blockbuster, you might like it...

    Immortality.

    But what if Sixto, for example, really likes his occupation as a police officer, but it keeps him too busy to pursue his childhood dream of being a classical concert violinist... in theory, he could make a backup and install his consciousness into a clone of himself at the age of 5. Now there are TWO Sixto's, one his current age, the second one five years old, but both have all his memories and experiences. Sixto 1 could continue in law enforcement, and Sixto 2 could pursue his musical aspirations...

    Now, ready for the deep end...? Does Sixto have one soul, or two...?

    Hold that thought ...



    Kurzweil also believes that somewhere around 2030 or 2040, we will have something called (today) "Utility Fog". This goes back to the nanite technology I mentioned in the original post. "Utility Fog" would be composed millions and millions of tiny machines... thousands could fit into a single blood cell. A "movie" example of this idea is in the 3rd Matrix move, "Matrix Revolutions", when Neo is goes to the "machine city" and tells the machines that he is the only one who can stop the runaway program Agent Smith... the machines manifest themselves as a "face" made up of what looks like metallic dust or glitter...

    Check out how this would work...



    Nanotechnology is based on the concept of tiny, self-replicating robots. The Utility Fog is a very simple extension of the idea: Suppose, instead of building the object you want atom by atom, the tiny robots linked their arms together to form a solid mass in the shape of the object you wanted? Then, when you got tired of that avant-garde coffeetable, the robots could simply shift around a little and you'd have an elegant Queen Anne piece instead.

    The color and reflectivity of an object are results of its properties as an antenna in the micron wavelength region. Each robot could have an "antenna arm" that it could manipulate to vary those properties, and thus the surface of a Utility Fog object could look just about however you wanted it to. A "thin film" of robots could act as a video screen, varying their optical properties in real time.

    Rather than paint the walls, coat them with Utility Fog and they can be a different color every day, or act as a floor-to-ceiling TV. Indeed, make the entire wall of the Fog and you can change the floor plan of your house to suit the occasion. Make the floor of it and never gets dirty, looks like hardwood but feels like foam rubber, and extrudes furniture in any form you desire. Indeed, your whole domestic environment can be constructed from Utility Fog; it can form any object you want (except food) and whenever you don't want an object any more, the robots that formed it spread out and form part of the floor again.

    You may as well make your car of Utility Fog, too; then you can have a "new" one every day. But better than that, the *interior* of the car is filled with robots as well as its shell. You'll need to wear holographic "eyephones" to see, but the Fog will hold them up in front of your eyes and they'll feel and look as if they weren't there. Although heavier than air, the Fog is programmed to simulate its physical properties, so you can't feel it: when you move your arm, it flows out of the way. Except when there's a crash! Then it forms an instant form-fitting "seatbelt" protecting every inch of your body. You can take a 100-mph impact without messing your hair.

    But you'll never have a 100-mph impact, or any other kind. Remember that each of these robots contains a fair-sized computer. They already have to be able to talk to each other and coordinate actions in a quite sophisticated way (even the original nano-assemblers have to, to build any macroscopic object). You can simply cover the road with a thick layer of robots. Then your car "calls ahead" and makes a reservation for every position in time and space it will occupy during the trip.

    As long as you're covering the roads with Fog you may as well make it thick enough to hold the cars up so they can cross intersections at different levels. But now your car is no longer a specific set of robots, but a *pattern* in the road robots that moves along like a wave, just as a picture of a car moves across the pixels of a video screen. The appearance of the car at this point is completely arbitrary, and could even be dispensed with--all the road Fog is transparent, and you appear to fly along unsupported.

    If you filled your house in with Fog this way, furniture no longer need be extruded from the floor; it can appear instantly as a pattern formed out of the "air" robots. Non-Fog objects can float around at will the way you did in your "car". But what's more, your surroundings can take on the appearance, and feel, of any other environment they can communicate with. Say you want to visit a friend; you both set your houses to an identical pattern. Then a Fog replica of him appears in your house, and one of you appears in his. The "air" fog around you can measure your actions so your simulacrum copies them exactly.

    The pattern you both set your houses to could be anything, including a computer-generated illusion. In this way, Utility Fog can act as a transparent interface between "cyberspace" and physical reality.




    Kurzweil says that you won't necessarily NEED a clone to install your backup... in fact, your consciousness would be highly portable, like a music MP3 file that could be stored, emailed, and put into a variety of music players. You could transfer yourself into a robotic body and back. So instead of physically travelling to that vacation to Portugal, you could "email" your consciousness to Portugal and be transferred into a robotic body... think of it as a "vacation rental car" for your mind. Once you've seen Portugal, you would simply upload out of the robotic body, transfer across the internet, and you are back at home...

    Your "normal" or "usual" body could be a cybernetically-enhanced human body, a robotic body, or even a box on wheels. But Kurzweil believes that your consciousness could inhabit Utility Fog. Your physical form could be ever-changing....




    Now... back to Sixto... he has his original human body, his violinist clone, and he divides the rest of his time between a robotic body he likes and a cloud of microscopic machines that can alter it's appearance in a microsecond...

    Clearly, we are going to need new definitions of what a "person" is... I'll leave the philosophical questions of "who has the soul, or do they all have the soul" to brighter minds than mine...




    So back to my original premise of virtual infidelity... I'm an immortal fog of tiny machines, spending a great deal of my life in virtual reality, and I'm having a hot torrid affair with a girl in Mongolia... are we cheating on our real world spouses...? Are we still advocating "mental monogamy", century after century?

    Try to wrap your head around THAT...
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

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    I attended a seminar with Ray Kurzweil and Pat Metheny back in the 80s when they were pushing the Kurzweil Sampler. Mr Kurzweil was amazing and you could see how much he loved what he did. He did look a bot off center, but what genius isn't?

    BTW, he was one of the first to talk about music machines that would reproduce music without the use of mechanical or any moving parts.... that was 1983-1984. Many laughed becauuse digital was barely starting to emerge (CD players were something new and amazing...plus $2,500 for a basic model that nowadays costs $30) but today we have the MP3 players and such.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

    Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
    Signed: Me!

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    As much as I'm amazed at the pace technology is moving, I cannot agree with most of that.

    C'mon, Microsoft still can't make a Windows that doesn't run slow as sap, or crash all the time. How are we going to have tiny little intelligent robots running around?

    I don't think that will happen anytime soon. Remember machines are only as smart as the people who program them.
    "Naked and Starving as They are We Cannot Enough Admire the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity of the Soldiery" – George Washington, Valley Forge, 1777.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PointnClick View Post

    Several of Kurzweil's predictions have not come to pass on schedule, but hey... I'm still waiting on the jet-pack I was promised in the 60's....

    And where the heck is my flying car...?
    Both exist in multiple forms. Jetpacks have been around for decades. "Flying cars" as well. Problem with the flying cars is that Uncle won't give his stamp of approval. All the flying car versions I've seen use a ducted fan design. The Moller Skycar seems to be the most viable if they can get uncle to pass them(but they wont...imagine 30k people flying in and out of any given suburban neighborhood for rush-hour...you think tc's on dc's beltway is bad...).
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

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    Yes. You Are cheating.
    Sin begins in the mind. What you think eventually becomes what you do.

    (Prov. 23:7)! “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart [mind]; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders [Sixth Commandment], adulteries [Seventh Commandment], fornications, thefts [Eighth Commandment], false witness [Ninth Commandment], blasphemies [Third Commandment]: These are the things which defile a man” (Matt. 15:18-20).

    I feel that way.
    That it begins in the mind. Everything begins with the First thought. Isn't the best made Love, has the Mind involved?
    If you want to tell yourself it is OK than fine for you. But what path does that lead? What base do you have? Reminds me of the argument about the Word "IS" , from someone with very low morals. We all know what he meant by "IS". All he did was to hide behind a word.

    About those little Nano Bots. Lets say we used the litter buggers to say umm Clean up an oil spill so it won't hurt the penguins. We release them in the spill, and they go to work breaking down the molecular structure of the oil. When they finish something goes a bit odd, they somehow start to Break down anything that maybe, umm, "IS" Carbon based? (if you saw the movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still" New version, the one with the Matrix guy. Neo.. (Wow this is like six degrees of separation) you can get an idea of what they could do.)
    Many things don't go they way we think they may. Like the movie 2010, we ain't no where near that. Or even near 2001 a space odyssey. Or with the computers becoming faster and smaller all the time. That no longer works. Circuitry has become so small, that electricity running thru the connections generate heat that can't be displaced, thus slowing the process.

    What if mans next, true evolution is that Man learns how to use his Whole brain. Maybe we don't use our whole brain yet because we aren't ready yet. Like the crazy 13th century thinking religious extremists should not have the power of the atom yet.
    Just my simple mind wandering.

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    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    RCSNPR sez...

    Or with the computers becoming faster and smaller all the time. That no longer works. Circuitry has become so small, that electricity running thru the connections generate heat that can't be displaced, thus slowing the process.
    You are assuming the technology of the circuitry won't advance, too...

    Vacuum tubes had heat limitations, too, until transistors came to be... and transistors had limits too, until silicon chips came along...
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

  10. #10
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PointnClick View Post
    You are assuming the technology of the circuitry won't advance, too...

    Vacuum tubes had heat limitations, too, until transistors came to be... and transistors had limits too, until silicon chips came along...
    The problem with these 'visionaries' is that their predictions are rarely grounded in physics. Like mediums, they make a bunch of predictions, most of which are never realized, and if one or two comes true they are hailed as the next Nostradamus.

    rcnspr is exactly right. There are physical issues that prevent technology from growing infinitely small or infinitely fast. Light has a speed of 2.998e8 m/s and is a physical constant. Integrated circuits can be made smaller but electrons can never move faster than the speed of light.

    The most important thing to remember while assessing [crackpot] claims is to understand that computers can calculate rapidly. They cannot nor will they ever be able to think. They can solve problems that would take humans millenia to undertake but they cannot formulate the problem.

    Computers are tools just like guns. And we all know that guns to not go off by themselves.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    SelfDefense sez...

    The most important thing to remember while assessing [crackpot] claims is to understand that computers can calculate rapidly. They cannot nor will they ever be able to think. They can solve problems that would take humans millenia to undertake but they cannot formulate the problem.
    Not today, they can't... Of course, in your great-grandfather's day, you couldn't fly across the Atlantic Ocean, either...

    But this in no way diminishes or discredits Mr Kurzweil's predictions. Just because you and I don't know how to do something, does not mean our children will not be able to figger it out...

    Did you think just 10 or 15 years ago that someday every idiot on the road would have a pocket-sized cell phone plastered to the side of their heads...?
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

  12. #12
    Member Array rcsnpr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PointnClick View Post
    RCSNPR sez...



    You are assuming the technology of the circuitry won't advance, too...

    Vacuum tubes had heat limitations, too, until transistors came to be... and transistors had limits too, until silicon chips came along...
    No, I meant now, not later. My post was to show that a Theory (Moore's Law) that is over 40 years old has hit a wall, Now.
    It has stumbled.
    It may regain with new technologies, but not yet. Who could of foreseen this?
    I have seen computers run submerged in liquid (non-conducting liquid).
    We can help speed up the speed of light by running systems on a parallel setup.

    But I thought this was about you having sex with someone else and hoping your wife doesn't get mad.

    And my answer is still, Yes you Are cheating!


    The end of Moore's Law. - By Adam L. Penenberg - Slate Magazine

    The End of Moore's Law
    Microchips are getting smaller—and that's the problem.
    By Adam L. Penenberg
    Posted Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2005, at 3:15 PM ET
    Until recently, Moore's Law, the observation that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every 18 months to two years, seemed a self-fulfilling prophecy. When Intel co-founder Gordon Moore issued his famous prediction 40 years ago, a chip could hold a few dozen transistors. Today, Intel can cram almost 1 billion transistors, each of which is less than 100 nanometers in size, on a single microchip. (One nanometer is 1 millionth of a millimeter—the equivalent of about 10 hydrogen atoms.) The transistors on Intel's chips are so tiny that they're not visible to the naked eye.*

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    SINGLE PAGEYahoo! Buzz FacebookMySpace Mixx Digg Reddit del.icio.us Furl Ma.gnolia SphereStumbleUponCLOSEGiven the state of today's technology, chips can only get so small. When Intel churned out a 90-nanometer chip called "Prescott" last year, it went from pushing the boundaries of miniaturization to the realm of nanotechnology. Unfortunately for the chipmakers, this level of shrinkage has side effects. Not only was Prescott slower than its predecessor, it generated more heat—the mortal enemy of laptop motherboards. The smaller the chip, the hotter they run. The heat created by so many transistors stuffed onto a tiny sliver of silicon has pushed the thermal conductivity of the copper interconnects to their limit. When they overheat, the interconnects can fail.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Related in Slate
    In February, Paul Boutin toured the nanotech labs at HP's Palo Alto, Calif., research digs. If you want to know what Moore's Law really means, check out Boutin's piece from 2003. In 2004, Josh McHugh mulled over the possibility of implanting RFID chips in humans.Since it has hit a "thermal wall," Intel can't continue to shrink its chips to increase speed and computing power anymore. And it isn't alone. The International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, which reflects the consensus of the major microchip trade organizations in the United States, Europe, and Asia, reports that the interconnect issue is a huge stumbling block. Unless chip manufacturers figure out some new techniques, the march to miniaturization could stall.

  13. #13
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    O.K. As a genuine old dude I can think back about 60 years and have fairly good info on what life was like 100 years back from either the stories of parents or grandparents or various situations in which we lived with fuel oil lamps, outhouses, no radio or tv etc. To say nothing of wind up watches instead of electronic, 78 rpm records instead of iPods, and so on, no antibiotics, and none of the drugs that keep our hearts going and our prostates small.

    Science fiction with respect to space exploration was in vogue on the early TV shows. The space program didn't exist, but people were contemplating it.

    Our school teachers would sometimes give us "thinking" assignments challenging us to imagine what life would be like in the year 2000. One of the most popular predictions was the car that would also fly; another popular prediction was sky-scraper-cities with all needs present within the artificial environment. Absent, always, was any social or political or cultural vision of a future. No one predicted a dead American auto industry, a war in Afghanistan, or the end of the Soviet Union.

    Looking back, we were generally quite wrong.

    By the time I graduated from college I fully expected to see several things happen in my life time:

    1) an electric economy based on hydrogen fusion
    2) a real cancer cure
    3) a real "antibiotic" for a variety of common viral ills
    4) a hugely expanded life expectancy

    In reality we have made only the most modest progress on any of these, if we have made progress at all.

    NO ONE predicted personal computers, GPS navigation, satellite tv., eating fresh veggies all year round, buying almost everything from China.

    O.K. Here are my fearless forecasts for the future:

    1) Massive starvation and even more massive poverty as the population continues to climb (unless the nukes or the next pandemic get us).

    2) Uncontrolled pandemics - also a function of excessive population

    3)Technological breakthroughs and products which we are not now even imagining, so no point in guessing at what they might be

    4) At some point a nuclear war will happen; maybe not involving us directly. Maybe involving other antagonists we aren't even thinking about now. How about Brazil and Mexico?

    GAME OVER.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    The problem with current chip designs is that they are getting into the nano range where quantum effects start to take place, but are not designed to take advantage of said quantum effects. A true quantum computer would be much faster than today's computers, limited only by the speed of light (it would also use light instead of electricity to transmit data between components). Right now it is a theoretical device, but the individual components are being built and tested (like an optical transistor).

    The real limitations to longer life and integrating technology with humans is our lack of knowledge about how biological systems work. On a mechanical level we can replace parts, but on a more sophisticated level we don't know how our senses work, how our brains process and remember and how to safely connect ourselves to our technology. Another problem is the limitations we place on medical research, even when the people volunteering for the research would be no worse off if it failed miserably.

    The greatest threat to our civilization is the opposition to the philosophy that underlies it. We are where we are today because of the belief that expansion is good, be it exploration, knowledge, technology, etc. Our civilization depends on high technology, and its ever expanding abilities. Take that away and our civilization will crash, and the level we are currently at will, in all probability, never again exist or take many more thousands of years to re-attain than it did in the first place.

    That is why I find the current situation in our country so disturbing. You can't just tell people to ignore the best current technology & ideas and go produce new things or else. That is not how creative, brilliant people produce the next great thing.

    Sorry, guess I kinda wandered a bit here, but this thread got me thinking.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    AutoFan sez...

    Sorry, guess I kinda wandered a bit here, but this thread got me thinking.

    That was the plan all along...

    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

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