by Evert Cilliers aka Adam Ash
If you're interested in the future, or if you're a sci-fi freak, or a geek, or a lover of science, or a transhumanist, or a singularity nut, or a fan of Bladerunner or 2001: A Space Odyssey, or all of these (like me), this book is for you.
Author Dr. Michio Kaku gives us three futures to contemplate in his comprehensive overview of everything science is doing to take us into a future that is unimaginably different, weird and wonderful:
a) where we will be in the near term (present to 2030)
b) in midcentury (2030 to 2070)
c) in the far future (2070 to 2100).
Dr. Kaku's predictions are not only informed by the fact that he's a supersmart scientist himself (with the rare ability to explain abstruse science to ignorant amateurs like me), but that he has personally visited with more than 300 of the relevant scientists and hung out at their laboratories where our future is being designed right now.
Here's a brief list of some of his more startling predictions:
1. We will be operating internet computers that are lodged in contact lenses by blinking our eyes and making hand movements Theremin-style in the empty air.
2. We will have the ability to bring back the woolly mammoth and Neanderthal man, although Dr. Kaku is not so sure that we'll be able to bring back any dinosaurs.
3. Many diseases will be gone as dangerous genes are clipped out of humanity's DNA. Nanobots will be cruising our bloodstreams to zap rogue cancer cells long before they can take us down. We will beat most diseases except virus-caused stuff like the common cold or AIDS, because their viruses can mutate faster than we can learn to zap them.
4. Robots will only become smart once we are able to imbue them with emotions. Why? Because you can't make decisions without emotions. For example, people with brain injuries, which disconnect their logical centers in their cerebral cortex from the emotional center deep inside the brain, are paralyzed when making decisions. They cannot tell what is important or not. When shopping, they cannot make any decisions. That's why emotions are the next frontier in artifcial intelligence.
5. We will definitely be able to increase our lifespans (perhaps even live forever). Dr. Kaku quotes Richard Feynman as saying: “There is nothing in biology yet found that indicates the inevitability of death. This suggests to me that it is not at all inevitable and that it is only a matter of time before biologists discover what it is that is causing us the trouble and that this terrible universal disease or temporariness of the human's body will be cured.”
The following interview with Dr. Kaku was conducted by email, and gave me a chance to ask some basic questions to give you an overview of his mind-blowing book.