We often think nostalgically of our past as the “good old days,”
but projected scientific and technological breakthroughs suggest
the greatest and most exciting times are yet to come. Today,
breakthroughs in healthcare rush at us with amazing speeds, but the
golden ages of biotech, 2010-2020, and molecular nanotech,
2020-2030, promise even greater advances in human health.
Legendary biologist Leroy Hood predicts that in the next decade,
we will understand genetic predispositions for most sicknesses and
develop tools for preventing them. “We’ll move from a mode that’s
largely reactive to one that’s predictive and preventive,” he
Between 2010 and 2020, research labs will place strong focus on
regenerative medicine with its amazing prospect for re-growing
organs and tissues from inside the body. According to a recent
government report, this new technology promises to radically
improve health, restore a more youthful appearance to aging seniors
and ‘boomers, and eliminate most deaths from cancer, heart disease,
obesity, and many other illnesses.
Technology promises radical change in relationships.
We are in the midst of a sea of change, in which not only are
many traditional relationships failing, but unexpected new
arrangements are beginning to appear; gay marriages are becoming
increasingly popular, and many people are consciously choosing to
live alone. How does technology affect relationships? Telephones,
cameras, and camcorders have long been instrumental in bringing
people together. Today, many spend time chatting on the phone or
the Internet – trying to develop or strengthen friendships.
Now technology is entering a bold, but controversial new step.
In the UK, University of Redding’s Kevin Warwick, and his wife
Irena will soon link their emotions together with chip implants.
Tiny silicon chips will enable the couple to “read” each other’s
feelings wherever they are. Every feeling – positive and negative –
will be shared.
This technology will not be endorsed by everyone. Many believe
sharing every feeling is too invasive – some feelings need to be
private. But we live in a time when over half of all marriages end
in divorce, so researchers in their search to fill needs, examine
where technologies might help. (cont.)
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that a successful nanobot design goes into production. These little guys can build just about anything you want, including more of themselves. But, barring an end-of-the-world scenario where the world gets covered with self-replicating nanobots (Grey Goo), what can we expect in the world around us?
The one thing that popped into my head last night was the idea that if nanobots could remove elements from their surroundings to build themselves, than means they could potentially mine areas for precious metals too tiny for us to mine ourselves. Nanobots could scour the dust, deserts, forests and hills for single-atom particles, a million of them being able to amass enough for a fifty-pound ball of plutonium.
So what about other precious metals?
The worlds oceans contain an estimated 20 million tons of gold. Washed down from land over billions of years and sitting in a suspended solution (salt water), it could be ripe for the taking. In fact, if people were able to mine all the gold out of the Oceans and it were equally dispersed to the global population, we’d all be stinking rich. “If all the gold suspended in the world’s seawater were mined, each person on Earth could have about 9 pounds of gold.” It would change the face of the world.
There are a few different things that could happen from this. Firstly, the worlds banks could finally base all of their currency on a gold standard. The US Dollar, for instance, only has value because we believe it to have value. Gold backing is an incredibly small part of America’s economy. Would this mean an economic boom? Pumping nine pounds of gold per person into an economy would be very good.