Monthly Archives: August 2005

The Future Of Molecular Manufacturing

Chris Phoenix and Tihamer Toth-Fejel of the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology think humanity will have molecular manufacturing only 10 years from now.

Molecular manufacturing is the capability to build products from the molecular level up. Being able to do this would be very beneficial to humankind. CRNano plans to achieve this by building a nanofactory. A nanofactory would be able to replicate itself quite cheaply, leading to many more nanofactories. All of those nanofactories can then replicate other, useful products. Cheaply, and rapidly. Since the products, built by a nanofactory, are ‘perfect’ at the molecular level, we can expect these products to be on the order of a thousand times more efficient than the products we have today.

One possible application would be CPU’s that are orders of magnitude faster than today’s CPU’s. They would only require 1 or 2 watts to run (as opposed to many hundreds of watts that today’s computersystems use), it would be easy to cool, and it would be really, really small.

It’s obvious that such nanotechnology would be a boon to The Future Of Computers.

Many other benefits exist. As do dangers.

Taking a look at the article in which Chris Phoenix and Tihamer Toth-Fejel are interviewed, we can see that nanotechnologists are already viewing nanoparticles as LEGO-blocks. It’s a sign of the times, really.

“That’s the basic building block,” Toth-Fejel said. “We’ll take one cube and put some fancy organic molecules on each corner and attach another cube to that. You do it again so you have two layers of silica, and this second-generation cube has certain active sites. Under the right conditions, and if you position them correctly, you can use them as building blocks. It’s like LEGOs at the nanoscale.

…..

But that approach isn’t as efficient as using, in effect, a silkscreen model. So Phoenix and Toth-Fejel have designed a simple pore that grabs a cube in a particular orientation. The receiving AFM tip gets a signal, moves and places the cube exactly where the product has been moved to receive it. “You can control the process to a greater extent. No blocks land accidentally,” said Toth-Fejel.”

And:

If Phase II funding is received, he envisions the more primitive model will be validated within a year or two. “If we can get that working, we’re halfway to the smart silkscreen, and if we get there, we can build an atomically precise water filter. For space missions, that’s quite important.”

The same technique would also make possible an artificial kidney, he said. Perhaps after some tweaking, fuel and solar cells and more powerful computers and displays, too.

The silkscreen that is mentioned is an important part of a nanofactory. The whole concept is explained in this pdf. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader (freely available) to read that.

There is also a movieclip (rightclick to save, quicktime required) available of the nanofactory as it is envisioned by CRNano. It’s more than just a movieclip. A computer simulation (complete with physics and stuff) has also been run of this machine. It indicates that the nanofactory would indeed work like shown in the movie if it existed in the real physical world.

Even though…

  • simulations show molecular manufacturing is possible
  • calculations show molecular manufacturing is possible
  • the very existence of our own human bodies show that nanotechnology is possible (that’s right: we could not exist if it weren’t for Mother Nature’s handy protein-machines, which indeed exist at the molecular level)

… there are still a few naysayers. There aren’t many left:

Detractors say it’s impossible. Phoenix says he’s seen plenty of — and done his own –calculations that prove it’s not.

Toth-Fejel agrees. “I’m hopeful that within five years we’ll have some pretty impressive tools, assuming funding. I used to think it would be 15 years, but that’s no longer the case now.”

And their numbers diminish every year.

It really looks like molecular manufacturing will be here shortly. Prepare for a wild ride.

Here’s another interview with Tihamer Toth-Fejel, where he talks some more about molecular manufacturing.

The Future Of Working At Home

Working at home, or telecommuting, has been growing 15% every year since 1990. When something grows a certain percentage each year, it is growing exponentially.

And anybody who has read the Singularity FAQ for Dummies, knows what the implications of exponential acceleration are.

Does this mean that working at home, or W@H as some people like to call it, is the new standard of the future?

Most likely, yeah.

Working at home already is pretty popular right now. It has started a boom in 2004, and it is accelerating in 2005. There is definately a trend going on here. In this post, I’ll analyze why telecommuting should and will become the standard of the future.

Why Telecommuting Is The Standard Of Tomorrow

We know that:

  • Telecommuting is driven by our society’s connectivity, which is basically the enabling technology behind working at home.
  • People have the desire to make use of telecommuting, because of the many advantages (scroll down for a list) of working at home over working at the office.
  • Our connectivity is increasing exponentially in bandwidth, and thus in quality and possibilities.

At some point in time, we will get to the level of connectivity where we will be able to routinely meet each other in a virtual environment that is audio-visually very compelling. Think about live, high quality videostreams and 3D-sound positioning technologies here. In an era where mobile computing is the new standard, we will be viewing these videostreams not with a clunky monitor, but with retina goggles that project images directly onto our retina’s. Later on, we’ll probably be using contact lenses to achieve this. You won’t necessarily see the real person over the videostream, though. It may as well be a virtual avatar… a better looking version of the person you’re communicating with.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need many speakers (such as 7.1 setups) to achieve realistic 3D-sound. 3D-sound positioning can be done with a mere two speakers, or earplugs. After all… we humans have only two ears, and yet we can hear audio come from anywhere around us.

Virtual environments like these, that are audiovisually very immersive, will not allow for touch, taste, or smell. But people that work with computers for a living, are usually not that close to each other, anyway.

Therefore, we can safely conclude that working at home will be the standard of tomorrow… for officeworkers, at least.

Advantages Of Working At Home For The Employee

  • You’ve got your own computersystem, which is often way faster than the average office system, which was bought on a budget.
  • You’ve got your own monitor, which is often bigger than the average office monitor, which was bought on a budget.
  • You’ve got your own tea, coffee, and other beverages.
  • You’ve got the possibility to bake an egg, or toast some bread, and eat it warm.
  • You’ve got your own radiostation. No more battles over the one station that everybody has to listen to.
  • You’ve got your own chair and desk. Since you handpicked these, they are more likely to be suited to your personal ergonomic needs than the setup at the office.
  • You’ve got your own toilet. Who doesn’t hate to walk into a toilet with somebody else’s stink in it, right? I always dread walking into a public toilet myself. Will it be bearable, or won’t it? If not, you’ll have to come back 15 minutes later. Will it then be bearable? Or has somebody else come along ahead of you to stink it up again? When walking into a public restroom, the suspension is always breath-taking. You never know what you’ll encounter.
  • No distractions.
  • Your own working schedule. Better balance between your life and your work. Instead of taking a day off to visit your dentist or your doctor, you can simply plan around it.
  • You’ll lose no more energy by travelling big distances.
  • You’ll lose no more time by travelling big distances.
  • As a result of the last three items in the list: You’ve got more time to spend on your own hobbies, which in turn leads to greater happiness, which in turn leads to a reduced chance of stress related psychological complaints, which in turn leads to a more efficiency, etc.
  • The possibility of playing a videogame, grab the guitar and play for 15 minutes, or lift some weights when you’re on a break. None of those things are available in the office, yet they are so mind-emptying. Very useful when you’ve got an information overloaded brain.
  • The possibility to do your exercise in the morning. Everybody has the right to make investments in their own health, right? Why should anybody have to put up with declining health as a result of a 40-hour workweek?

Addendum for the exercise-argument:

Instead of going to the gym at the end of your day, when you’re already exhausted and you’ve already had your diner, you can do your workout in the morning. Working out in the morning is a good idea because:

You won’t have to spend the first 30 minutes kickstarting your fatburning mechanisms, and then exercise another 30 minutes to actually burn fat. When you work out on an empty stomach, you start burning fat instantly, and 30 minutes will be enough. This saves time.

If you’re smart, you’re morning workout is basically jogging outside. Having a workout outside contributes to yet more fatburning. Jogging outside is so much more of a strain on your body than running on a machine inside the gym is.

So basically, when you do morning jog-sessions, you:

  • do your exercise when you’ve still have the energy for it.
  • do your exercise efficiently, because of how human fatburning mechanisms work.
  • have had your exercise for the day.
  • have had your half hour of fresh air for the day.
  • have had your bath for the day.
  • have still got plenty of energy for rest of the working day.
  • start your day with a ventilated brain full of fresh oxygen, which greatly enhances your efficiency.
  • can look forward to a truly free evening for yourself.
  • are investing in a healthier and happier future for yourself. Your employer will probably also be happy with your increased attention span and productivity, and your decreased absenteeism due to illness.

In other words: exercise is simply begging us to indulge in it in the early morning.

Does our current 9-to-5 system allow for this?

Nope.

Should it?

Hell yeah!!!!

Advantages Of Working At Home For The Employer

From www.prairiepublic.org:

  • Reduced absenteeism costs.
  • Reduced real estate costs.
  • Reduced office space costs.

Advantages Of Working At Home For Society

  • Less congestion.
  • Less petroleum use. This is important in the light of rising gas prices and the current peak oil doomsday scenario hype.
  • Less pollution.

Advantages Of Working At Home For Both Employer And Employee

  • Increased employability. From the wikipedia site:
    Telecommuting options increase the employability of marginalised groups, such as mothers with small children, the handicapped and people living in remote areas. The set up also offers possibilities for increased service and internationalisation (telecommuters in different time zones can ensure that a company is virtually open for business around the clock).

    Imagine that an employee could work for any company in the world, regardless of its physical location. The total collection of companies that an officeworker can choose from would be orders of magnitude bigger than it is now. After all, there’s only a handful of companies within your acceptable-travelling-radius. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such a freedom in picking your future employer? Shouldn’t this already be the norm in our semi-advanced society?

    This argument also works the other way. Imagine that you own a company, and you are in dire need of some serious talent, but you can’t find any in the small acceptable-travelling-radius around your physical location. In a society where telecommuting is the standard, you’ve got access to a whole world of talented people. You’re bound to find your talent at least a lot faster.

  • Research shows that telecommuters are 25% more productive.
  • Reduced employee-fuel costs.

Reasons Why Working At Home Isn’t Happening Way More Often Than It Should

Things need time to grow. You can’t realistically expect that every company will let all their employers work at home, just because I’ve got a blogpost that explains why that’s how it should be.

When an employer tells you the company is not ready for telecommuting… what he’s actually trying to say, is that he is not ready for telecommuting.

Change is gradual. And I don’t mean just mental changes. It will take a change in infrastructure before working at home becomes the norm. Companies can’t and won’t massively sell off their office buildings, after reading this and realizing I’m right. Nor is it feasible to set up telecommuting-Internet-connections instantaneously. These things take time. But they will happen.

More Information

Some people are actually actively helping the future of working at home. Just take a look at www.telecommute.org.

There’s a big report available about the Transportation Implications of Telecommuting. The report lists a number of benefits that are more or less converging with the list I came up by myself:

  • Potential Employee Benefits
  • Decreased Commuting Time, Work Expenses and Stress
  • Increased Flexibility of Schedules
  • Improved Work Environment
  • Greater Job Responsibility and Autonomy
  • Stronger Family Ties

The report also lists some concerns and doubts. Just thought I’d mention it, because I don’t want to come off as biased and blind to all the bad stuff.

Conclusion

All in all, I think it’s pretty safe to conclude that the advantages of working at home by far outweigh the disadvantages of it.

And that is why I think that working at home will be the standard of the future.

The Future Of Virtual Environments

Marshall Brain, founder of the very successful www.howstuffworks.com, is writing a book entitled The Day You Discard Your Body.

The book paints a picture of how humanity will, eventually, make the transition from our current, real life, meat-world into Virtual Environments (VE). The way Marshall describes it in his book is, ofcourse, one of the many possible ways this transition could be made.

Marshall has come up with a system (which is as of yet fictive) called Vertebrane. This system will stop the input from our real life senses and feed our brains a VE instead. Once we decide we like VE a lot better than real life, we’ll move into it permanently, discarding our real life meat-bodies.

Ultimately, it is likely that we will indeed discard our bodies, and take up permanent residence in VE, because of the many advantages that VE has over real life. However, I personally think we’ll get there in another way than Marshall describes. My view differs from Marshall’s in that I think we will be using nanotechnology to accomplish this feat.

The idea is that nanotechnology, about 10-20 years from now, will have achieved the capability of being able to build nanobots: robots at the molecular level that can perform all sorts of useful tasks within our bodies. By that time, we will also have quite a bit of knowledge about the human brain. The reverse engineering of it is accelerating at an exponential rate, and extrapolations show it will be done somewhere around 2030. Once we understand it to such a degree where we could feed our brain artificial sensory input, it will become possible to create fully immersive VE’s for ourselves.

This is how:

Nanobots can be built to take up residence in our brains, and replace our real life sensory inputs with VE input. The same nanotechnology that makes these nanobots possible, will also be able to provide orders of magnitude more computational power than we have available now. All this power can be used to render VE’s right in our heads, that are at least as real as the real life, physical world we are used to. I’m truly talking about Matrix-like quality VE’s here, that encompass all our senses and are therefore fully immersive.

Some advantages of VE over real life:

  • Death and disease are non-existant, since virtual bodies cannot be harmed.
  • Everything is for free, since it takes a computer system no more power to render a king’s castle than a hobo’s alleyway. Money will be irrelevant, and as such we won’t be enslaved to it anymore. We’ll be free to do whatever we like.
  • Because of previously mentioned advantages, crime, and the suffering that goes accompanied with it, will become an irrelevancy. Why bother to steal something when you can get everything for free? Why bother to kill or harm anyone when you know it’s not possible?
  • You can adapt any form you like. You won’t be held back anymore by limitations imposed on you by a bad genetic carddeck. Unfair advantages will not exist. Life will truly be a game, with fair rules and equal chances for everybody. Getting an extremely muscular body will just be a matter of downloading a body-model from the Internet, as opposed to the years and years of strenuous training it requires in the real world. Always wanted to know what it’s like to be a dolphin, tiger or dragon? In VE, this is not a problem at all.
  • You can be with anyone at anytime. Human contact won’t require two persons to be in the same physical location anymore. This especially comes in handy if you’d like to have sexual relations (in which case it’s really important to be in the same physical location!) with somebody you’ve met on the Internet. Today, when you meet an interesting gal/guy online, you better hope he/she lives close to you. Otherwise the relationship is off. What a drag!

Disadvantages of VE over real life are non-existant as far as I can see. Anything that is possible in real life, is possible in VE (provided the sensory input of the VE is of such a quality that it is not surpassed by the sensory input that reality feeds us, but that is just a matter of time). Not so the other way around. Reality is just another window. And a very uninteresting one at that. We will most likely come to view reality as a small subset of our future virtual lives.

For an interesting article that points out exactly how important VE is right now, and where it is taking us, read A World Of Warcraft World.

For anyone who has problems grasping how this scenario might pan out in a relatively short timeframe (I’d be surprised if we’re not here before 2030), there is The Law Of Accelerating Returns. This article explains just nicely why it is that we’ll be making ever more progress in ever less time.

If that article is too lengthy for you, have a try at my Singularity FAQ for Dummies. It explains exponential acceleration, and the implications of it, in less words.

We won’t have to wait for VE’s to become audiovisually immersive for a long time. Those type of VE’s will be here very shortly. Read The Future Of Computers for details.

The Future Of Nano Materials

Researchers at the University of Texas have managed to come up with a production process for sheets made of nanotubes.

Nanotubes are important in nanotechnology. Mostly because they are extremely strong and very conductive. This is the kind of perfection that is achieveable when you get control of things at the molecular level. They can function as basic building blocks for all sorts of future nanotech-products, such as:

Even though there are many more examples to list, the implications of just these three are already vast enough to be in awe of for a few days in a row. I’ll leave it up to the reader to ponder on this for a while.

I have been following news on nanotechnology for years. They have quite a history. And it sure is beautiful to see all this technology growing up. At first, it was all about finding a way to create a nanotube. When that was done, it was all about creating longer nanotubes. After that, it was all about having nanotubes self-assemble into complex structures.

After all these years, we are at the level of mass producing nanotube-sheets on demand. This is quite a milestone, which will eventually lead to products that are orders of magnitude more impressive than those of today. Oh, and it also ensures that progress in this field will keep accelerating exponentially.

The article mentions the possibility of using this technology to produce the displays of the future. And it could possibly happen very fast, as well:

Large, transparent sheets of carbon nanotubes can now be produced at lightning speed. The new technique should allow the nanotubes to be used in commercial devices from heated car windows to flexible television screens.

“Rarely is a processing advance so elegantly simple that rapid commercialization seems possible,” says Ray Baughman, a chemist from the University of Texas at Dallas, whose team unveils the ribbon in this week’s Science.

Display technology produced with nanotubes would be very impressive:

The hope is that TV screens and those monster monitors on millions of desktop computers worldwide, which are TV-like CRTs, can be squashed into thin, widely affordable nanotube display panes. Compared with CRTs, and perhaps even with the liquid-crystal displays that are standard in today’s laptops, nanotube displays could produce crisper images while using less power and could ultimately be cheaper to make.

I would like to add that it is also possible to create rollable displays, that you can take with you everywhere you go. Those rollable displays would sure help out getting the portable computing boom off the ground.

More on mobile displays is upcoming in another post on The Future Of Computers. You don’t want to miss that one!

The Future Of Mind Enhancing Drugs

The site www.popsci.com has a nice article, entitled ‘Will Drugs Make Us Smarter And Happier?‘. Microsoft-employed transhumanist Ramez Naam, who has recently written More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement, gives us his vision on the impact of drugs in the not too distant future.

The intro of the article sets the tone just nicely:

June 6, 2025, 7:30 a.m. The alarm is going off, and I feel great. Thanks to Reposinex, I’ve had a full four hours of deep, restorative sleep. My head hit the pillow, and boom! I was right into slow-wave delta sleep. In the car, driving to work, I sip an Achieve latte. I love these things-they sensitize my dopamine receptors, shift my MAO levels, and send my noradrenaline levels soaring. I have no jitters, and my concentration is tack-sharp. Driving used to freak me out, actually. I was involved in a bad accident a few years back. Good thing the doctor prescribed that trauma blunter. I still remember the accident; it just doesn’t bug me anymore. I’m no longer one of those Human 1.0s-I’m a human with complete control of his brain chemistry.

This article paints a picture of what life may look like in a future where humankind has managed to get control of their brain chemistry. While the writer of the article seems to assume this type of technology won’t be here until 2025, I personally think 2015 would have been a more realistic date. Extrapolations show that the golden age of biotechnology will be from 2010-2020, with 2015 right in the middle. It’s entirely realistic to expect mind enhancing drugs in this timeframe… in my humble opinion at least.

The article goes on to describe how drugs, that were initially intended to help people with diseases, are used by healthy people to make them function better in daily life:

A pharmaceutical company develops a medication to treat a recognized physical or mental illness; people gradually realize that the drug can help healthy users too; doctors prescribe the substance to patients “off label,” meaning for purposes other than the ones recognized by the Food and Drug Administration; and other people obtain it illegally. Thus, college students end up popping Ritalin to help them ace exams. Concert pianists take propranolol, a hypertension and angina medication, to ease preperformance jitters. And coffee addicts switch to Provigil, a sleep-disorder medication, for powerful, enduring, jitter-free stimulation.

In the future, we are likely to see much more of this. After the completion of the Human Genome Map (HGM) in early 2003, the number of genetic based drugs being researched has increased by an order of magnitude, or maybe even two (I cannot recall the exact numbers, but they were pretty impressive). The HGM is just one example of a milestone that allows for exponential acceleration of biotechnology. But it is an achievement not to be taken lightly, as it heralds the era of cheap drugs.

According to Naam, the implications of drug enhanced minds are vast:

These drugs wouldn’t simply be nice to have, [Ramez Naam] and other enhancement advocates believe they would enable a societal transformation every bit as significant as the one wrought by computers.

The article goes on some more about the subject of mind enhancing drugs, and ends with some uninteresting opinions of Leon Kass and Francis Fukuyama. Both of them conservative naysayers, who are members of Bush’s Bioethics Council. These two gentlemen would have us believe that enhancing ourselves would make us lose our humanity, and that drugs are unnatural. I’m pretty sure they have more unconvincing arguments against our transhuman/posthuman future, but I personally do not care for them.

Naam delivers the deathblow to the conservative arguments of Kass and Fukuyama, by making one simple, obvious, and essential observation:

“The urge to better ourselves has been a force in history as far back as we can see. Embracing the quest to improve ourselves doesn’t call our humanity into question… it reaffirms it.”

This article is just one of many articles in www.popsci.com’s The Future Of The Body-section. Have a look. It’s fascinating stuff. Definately worth your time. And many articles are very good eye-openers.

The Future Of Computers (2)

Not so long ago, I wrote a post about how computers are going to disappear from our view. After having read up on the subject some more, I have gained new insights. Therefore, I now write a follow-up.

M-RAM

A very promising technology that could play a very important role in the miniaturisation of computer systems: Magnetic RAM.

From the site:

Magnetic RAM, a new memory technology that promises to provide non-volatile, low-power, high speed and low-cost memory. Often described as the ‘holy-grail’ of memory, MRAM has the potential to replace FLASH, RAM and even Hard-discs.

Just think about how much space it would save if hard-discs and dvd-drives would be replaced by non-volatile M-RAM, which will be the size of the DDR-RAM working memory that’s in PC’s today. And it’s low-power and high-speed (2Ghz record at time of writing) too!

M-RAM could also allow for instant-on PC’s, which basically implies nobody will ever be waiting for a booting PC ever again.

I for one can’t wait until we get rid of those nasty rotating media, that actually need to physically rotate in order to be useful. Very annoying. M-RAM truly is the holy grail of digital memory, combining all of the advantages (non-volatile, low-power, high-speed, small-sized) of existing memory-technology, but none of the disadvantages (volatile, high-power, low-speed, large-sized).

Here are some pictures of M-RAM, along with a brief explanation of how it works.

Portable Computing Boom Through Integration

The so-called ‘Portable Computing Boom’ is a’ comin’, and the industry expects it in the coming years. Battery makers are gearing up for it already, as they expect portable computer sales to overtake traditional computer sales as early as 2009.

The Mac mini is a good sign of the times. While its performance is not on par with modern desktop computers, it’s getting awfully close. If anybody had built a mini computer like this five to ten years ago (assuming it was even possible), its performance would have been disastrous compared with desktop computers. Portable computer-performance is definately catching up.

Another sign of the times are Mini-ITX computers. An important keyword here is integration. As more and more functionality gets stuffed into one motherboard (or chip, or chipset, for that matter), the machine will take up less and less space.

From the site:

The Mini-ITX mainboard successfully integrates various combinations of readily-available chipset and processor components from VIA that come with rich feature sets that include ultra low power native x86 processors, onboard LAN and various integrated AGP graphics and audio options. Further enhancing its versatility, the Mini-ITX mainboard can include CompactFlash and CardBus slots, TV-Out connector, SPDIF 5.1 audio, USB 2.0, 1394 (Firewire), integrated MPEG2/MPEG4 decoding, support for up to DDR400, Serial ATA and much more.

That’s downright impressive. This integration trend has indeed been quite a stubborn trend for years now. Motherboards now have integrated 8-channel sound, ethernet, and firewalls. And what about cell phones? When you buy one, you might wonder if you have actually bought a cell phone. Perhaps you accidentily bought an mp3-player? Or is it a digital camera? Or a PDA, even? Oh wait… cell phones are all of that combined into one.

See my point?

Also, read this article about how consumer-tuned chips exemplify the integration trend:

As a given application increases in popularity, system shipments rise, competition emerges, and cost pressures consequently increase, Moore’s Law inexorably comes into play. Chip vendors at the core of the system design pull functions that formerly resided in separate peripherals into their next-generation products. These core semiconductor suppliers also expand the overall capabilities of their products and therefore the ability for their customers to differentiate themselves from their competition.

The term “System on a Chip” or “SoC”, has recently gained popularity. Take a look at what this Google search yields when searching for “system on a chip”.

The SoC is certainly the holy grail of integration.

Portable Computing Boom Through Mobility

IBM researchers recently came up with something they have dubbed Soul:

Personal computers could soon fit entirely on a key ring. Researchers at IBM in New York, US, have developed a way to carry a powerful, personalised virtual computer from one PC to the next, without losing the user’s work.

This is yet another approach towards a full blown portable computing boom.

Other Links

Visions of the Future, by Brendan Kitts and Stefan Koch
The Future Of Computers, by Robert Freitas

Conclusion

A serious assessment of current integration-, miniaturisation-, and mobility-trends show that the portable computing boom is indeed inevitable. We will be living in a truly portable society in the not too distant future.

A Stimulating Collection Of Blogposts

Dick Pelletier (aka ‘futuretalk’) maintains a blog over at www.betterhumans.com, that’s basically about “Our Technological Future”. And that just so happens to be the name of the blog you’re reading right now. 😉

Dick’s writings are, just like Ian Pearson’s, completely devoid of any argument for why our future might pan out as he describes. But don’t be too quick to dismiss Dick Pelletier as naive and over-optistic… whenever I ask him to provide sources for his claims, he’s always able to provide them. The guy certainly has done his research.

The future scenario’s about which he writes are quite consistent with the ones that other futurologists (Kurzweil, Pearson, people on Singularity fora, etc.) predict. Dick has written about topics such as:

  • Nanotechnology’s impact in the near future
  • Healthcare in 2020
  • Memory drugs
  • The future of the Internet
  • Artificial life
  • Uploading
  • Human-machine mergers
  • Physical immortality
  • Artificial wombs
  • Chip implants to allow control of machines
  • Robots
  • Autonomous cars
  • Telepresence
  • Gene therapy
  • The Singularity

And probably much more…

Even though Dick Pelletier has the tendency to fall into repetition from time to time, his blogposts still make for a stimulating, feel-good sort of read.