Perspectives on Humanity
- Future in Evolution
- Sustainable Living
- Sustainable Planet Development
- World Peace
- World Population
- -02-20-11 Scarce Elements of a Clean Energy Technology (Time.com)
"Heard of germanium? How about neodymium? Or terbium? Or rhenium? They're not extras from a Star Trek film—these are real world elements are some of the rarest members of the periodic table. But as hard as they are to find, these substances are increasingly important to green tech, clean tech and high tech—and the U.S. doesn't have enough of them."
"It will take a lot more than one mine to ensure the U.S. is ready for the clean tech era—although most other ECEs are scattered around the world, so no one country can lock down supplies. That's a relief—the clean tech era shouldn't be held hostage to the same geopolitics we suffered through with oil." 02-11
- -04-26-09 Future Internet Trends (SciTech.com)
"ere are a few fun/interesting tech trends of the day." 04-09
- -12-07-08 Cars of the Near Future (CNN News)
"For a century the gasoline engine has remained largely unchallenged, seeing off all pretenders to its crown. But with concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and a host of new contenders looming large in the rear view mirror, is the gasoline-fueled automobile due to be overtaken by a fleet of cleaner, leaner rivals?" 12-08
- -How to Avoid Human Extinction (Huffington Post)
"Why are we in danger of going the way of the dinosaurs? What has caused progress to slow and governments, leaders and experts to suddenly become gridlocked, unable to solve our most dangerous problems?"
"The answer is complexity."
"There's no denying it. Even the most brilliant among us is trapped in the same biological spacesuit -- a spacesuit that requires millions of years to develop new features. So what happens when the complexity of the problems we have to solve simply exceeds the capabilities we humans have evolved to this point?"
"The answer is that we come to an impasse."
- -Stem Cells, Disease, and Aging (New York Times)
"Thomas Rando, a researcher at Stanford University, thinks stem-cell treatments may enhance healing in older patients who have difficulty recovering from surgery or a fracture. But he's also thinking about deeper issues involving the power of regenerative medicine. 'There are very basic questions I hope we can make headway on using stem cells — in terms of understanding cellular aging, how that's related to tissue aging and the aging of an organism,' he says. Which leads to the interesting possibility that with stem cells, we may no longer define age as how old we think we are but as how old our cells tell us we are." 03-11
- Census - 1950 to 2050 (InfoPlease.com)
Provides historical and projected population of the world, as well as growth rates for each ten year period.
- Could We Be in a Giant Simulation? (Time.com)
"Start with the assumption that we’ll actually be able to simulate the universe, or small portions of it, perfectly someday — a pretty big assumption, since we’re still trying to reconcile disparate physical and cosmological theories like quantum mechanics and general relativity, to say nothing of Stephen Hawking’s and Leonard Mlodinow’s idea in The Grand Design that “ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature.” (In fact most days, we’re lucky if we’re getting the weather right.)"
"But according to University of Washington physics professor Martin Savage, we could test our universe for computational artifice by looking for the sort of 'signatures' you’d find in current-day simulations." 12-12
- Future - Our Future (Awesome Library)
Awesome Library's challenge to collaboratively develop a future that focuses on our children as our foundation. Provides a forum for discussing our next 50 years.
- Future Distribution of Audio and Video on the Net (PBC.org - Cringely)
"The way to kick broadband growth back into top gear is to change the nature of the network and its interfaces, adding phones, television, and home automation to the mix. And that's why we see huge efforts in all these areas. But the point I made last week that inspires this week's column is the idea that only through peer-to-peer data distribution can this new network operate efficiently."
"It is very hard to get your mind around the enormity not of the Internet, but of the Internet-on-steroids we'd need to absorb most other forms of communication and media distribution, but let's try anyway." 03-06
- Future of Humans (MSNBC News)
"Where are humans headed? Here's an imprudent assessment of five possible paths, ranging from homogenized humans to alien-looking hybrids bred for interstellar travel.”
"When it comes to intelligence, some scientists say, the most likely route to our future enhancement — and perhaps our future competition as well — just might come from our own machines."
On the other hand, "Two intelligent species, human and machine, just might work together to spread life through the universe." 9-05
- Future of Humans - Distant Future (MSNBC News)
Projects up to 4 million years into the future. 9-05
- Futuristic Home (MSN Technology)
"MSN Tech & Gadgets takes you on an exclusive tour of the Microsoft Home. Is this what your home could be like in 2015?" 10-06
- Gandhi's Grandson - An Interview (Adams)
Provides an interview with Rajmohan Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi's grandson, on how to achieve world peace.
- Hawking: Time Travel Is Possible (Discovery.com)
" 'To travel in time we'll have to go more than 2,000 times faster (than Apollo 10). And to do that we'd need a much bigger ship, a truly enormous machinebig enough to carry a huge amount of fuel, enough to accelerate it to nearly the speed of light. Getting to just beneath the cosmic speed limit would require six whole years at full power.' "
" 'We could, in theory, travel extraordinary distances within one lifetime,' Hawking writes. 'A trip to the edge of the galaxy would take just 80 years.' " 05-10
- Key Innovations (Ted.com)
Provides "innovations worth sharing." 06-08
- Last Days on Earth (ABC News)
"The world's top scientists, including Stephen Hawking, considered the foremost living theoretical physicist, describe seven riveting scenarios detailing the deadliest threats to humanity." 02-06
- New Ways to Grow the Internet (PBC.org - Cringely)
"Internet use in American homes is still growing, but the pace of that growth is slowing according to a study released this week by Parks Associates, a market research firm from Dallas, Texas. Based on a sample of 1,000 U.S, households, the survey concluded that 42 percent of U.S. homes have broadband, 22 percent use dial-up, but that 29 percent have no computers at all, thus placing a firm upper limit on potential Internet penetration."
"This is a stretch, but it makes sense to me: If the prime directive here is simply to grow the Net as big and as fast as possible, then the best way to do that is through the balancing of data loads as much as possible across the Net. This is contrary to the client-server model that has dominated the Internet for most of its existence. Put differently, the major impediment to eventual Internet hegemony is the problem of scaling client-server applications. How big a data center do you need before you realize that no data center is big enough for some applications? Only a server-server or peer-to-peer architecture makes sense in the long run."
"Grid's system, on the other hand, accomplishes two things from the end-user perspective: it is point, click and watch; and it is very very high quality. Using p2p, they can afford to send 1.5Mbps - 2Mbps video over their network because it costs the same as sending 150Kbps-200Kbps video. I was shocked by the video quality, watching a DVD-quality movie at Starbucks on my notebook computer with virtually no waiting." 03-06
- Next 20 Years (ThomasLFriedman.com)
"History of the world twenty years from now, and they come to the chapter "Y2K to March 2004," what will they say was the most crucial development? The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the Iraq war? Or the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing, creating an explosion of wealth in the middle classes of the world's two biggest nations, giving them a huge new stake in the success of globalization? And with this "flattening" of the globe, which requires us to run faster in order to stay in place, has the world gotten too small and too fast for human beings and their political systems to adjust in a stable manner?"
"In this brilliant new book, the award-winning New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman demystifies the brave new world for readers, allowing them to make sense of the often bewildering global scene unfolding before their eyes. With his inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals; and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt. The World Is Flat is the timely and essential update on globalization, its successes and discontents, powerfully illuminated by one of our most respected journalists." 9-05
- Our Lives as a Simulation (New York Times)
"Until I talked to Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at Oxford University, it never occurred to me that our universe might be somebody else’s hobby. I hadn’t imagined that the omniscient, omnipotent creator of the heavens and earth could be an advanced version of a guy who spends his weekends building model railroads or overseeing video-game worlds like the Sims."
"But now it seems quite possible. In fact, if you accept a pretty reasonable assumption of Dr. Bostrom’s, it is almost a mathematical certainty that we are living in someone else’s computer simulation." 03-07
- Plans for Better Suburbs (New York Times)
"Suburbs continue to be designed for homogeneity even though they’re no longer homogeneous at all, and in fact have become increasingly varied in type, density, infrastructure and demographics." 07-10
- Predictions for 2050 (Time.com)
"Imagine a world where pirates run amok, blowing themselves up in European city centers; where wars are ignited over lack of drinking water; where a global face-off between Islam and Christianity makes World War II look like a water-balloon fight. According to economist and political scientist Jacques Attali, that is what the future has in store for us by 2025. In the belief that past experiences are indicative future events, Attali combs through the history of human kind, all the way back to Homo Habilis, separating the past into nine distinct periods to isolate 'what is possible, what changes and what is unvarying' and applies those trends to the coming century. Attali's predictions range from the future of journalism (completely paperless) to the end of the economic crisis (around 2011), offering a glimpse into the future that is both provocative and petrifying." 12-08
- Report: Population in 2300 Expected To Be 9 Billion (CBS News)
"Three hundred years from now, the world's population will have stabilized at about 9 billion and we will look forward to living until age 95. In Japan, that bastion of longevity, people will be hanging around until they're 106."
"Still, the global population will swell in the decades to come, when there will be 57 million more people every year from now to 2050, fueled by growth in less developed regions, the report projects."
- Rubber Sidewalks in Our Future? (USA Today)
"The streets of America were never paved with gold, but now some of its sidewalks are made of rubber." 09-06
- Solar-Powered Pods for Personal Transportation (JPods.com)
Shows a JPod plan for future personal transportation. 05-12
- Space Tourism (CBS News)
"If floating weightless and peering down on a shimmering-blue Earth sounds appealing, you might consider being a space tourist." 03-06
- Surface of the Earth in 250 Million Years (Flixxy.com)
Provides a computer simulation of the earth from 650 million years ago to 250 million years in the future. 09-12
- Surprising Future Job Market (Christion Science Monitor)
"In sharp contrast to today's tepid job growth, employment will pick up later this decade and feature some unusual twists – from the rise of sales jobs to the dearth of 'green' ones. Here's a guide to help navigate it."
- The Next 50 Years for the USA (CNN News)
"CNN: You also describe how the U.S. will become more economically competitive in the future. How do you -- this to Americans who have seen our current economy slide downward into a recession and aren't convinced about this prediction?"
"Kotkin: The U.S. has relatively younger demographics, which gives it a competitive advantage. This nation attracts people from all over the world, and that's what gives it global advantage; we have the potential to be energy sufficient. We are the only advanced country with a growing population, agricultural surplus, lots of raw materials, significant domestic energy. The nation is entrepreneurial in culture and has a reasonably stable political system. That doesn't mean that the U.S. will be a hegemonic global power, but I believe the economic condition, due to these factors, will definitely improve in the future and the census will reflect that." 07-10
- There's a Small Chance We're All Part of a Simulation (BankRate.com)
"Depending who you ask, there’s a 20 to 50 percent chance that you’re living in a computer simulation. Not like The Matrix, exactly – the virtual people in that movie had real bodies, albeit suspended in weird, pod-like things and plugged into a supercomputer. Imagine instead a super-advanced version of The Sims, running on a machine with more processing power than all the minds on Earth. Intelligent design? Not necessarily. The Creator in this scenario could be a future fourth-grader working on a science project." 08-11
- Time Travel Theory Refuted (Time.com)
Ten years ago, it seemed that some scientists proved that photons could travel faster than the speed of light under certain circumstances and this, theoretically, could allow time travel. "But thanks to one particularly determined professor, Du Shengwang, the research team at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has proved that particular theory (or, rather, hope) wrong. They say their research, which was published in the journal Physical Review Letters, shows that even single photons--the smallest particle of light — travel at the same maximum speed. In other words, time travel will remain in the domain of dreams and science fiction." 07-11
- Unusual Ideas about the Future (BigThink.com)
Provides alternative views about the future. 08-11
- What Will Human Look Like in the Future? (MNN.com)
"A speculative look at how advanced genetic engineering technology might reshape people's faces over time." 02-14
- Where Humans Are Headed Genetically (U.S. News)
"Hawks is among a growing number of scientists who are using whole-genome sequencing and other modern technologies to zero in on just how we've changed. Their research is helping illuminate not only how humans became what we are but also where we might be headed." 07-08