Friday, June 10, 2011

The New Norm and the Future

IT was in a train where I first observed this behavior. It appeared bizarre and rather unfriendly. Five youngsters dressed down to their level of chic with cut-offs and ripped jeans, huddled together with arms and legs slung over each other and their eyes glued to their phone screens. They looked like spaghetti in a bowl – a slithering morphing piece of humanity. I must admit it was curious but also profoundly shattering of my mental construct of public human behavior. They were all equally involved in their own little worlds connected and yet not. The only link they seem to have with each other was the limited physical contact between an arm a leg or a torso. A laughter here and a snicker followed by a whoop was the detail of their linguistic communication.

The change is here. We see the new generation make their mark on the world. In their teens they are adept in the world of connected online communications. They speak a language that is, well, different. There are abbreviations made up of letters and numerals and where invoking pleasure a colon, dash and a bracket suffice. But they are at peace with this new world. They are creating it and it is a joy to watch. Through this sea change they are modifying the habits of all other generation representatives and it is one of these individuals with the foresight into the connectivity concept that a computer program has netted over $30 Billion. Their net is being cast and the world is their oyster.

Society is transforming before our very eyes. It is in a state of flux as it always has and this time is no different.  From the free-wheeling easy-street, fast-love, lawless generation of the 60s that now governs, this new generation waits to seek its advantage in society of the future. The only difference is that the manifestation is different, ideas borne of a varied culture and a different mindset. So what will be the legacy of this generation? Where do we see ourselves in the next decade or two? Answering these questions with any degree of certainty is tainted with a large dose of wrongness. Predicting the future within such volatility is fraught with error. A minor change can lead to a different world, or as physicists will tell you, maybe a whole different universe. The strange Attractor is in play as it always has been. Future changes in small increments, but for that unrealized minor element, that can change all. The new generation is about to lead and we should have an idea where to, shouldn’t we? Is it possible?

It is January 5th 2015. The sun has made it up above the blanket of snow that covers the bushes and the street in front of the house. All is quiet. The street was once bustling with activity, now most people get up and sit in front of their computers and do their daily office work. A few still drive in the morning braving the elements into their scaled-down headquarters to hold videoconference with clients. The youth of 2011 has matured into the 20 something that live in the escapist world of game playing. Schools are a computer created edifice for distant learning. Education is doled out to a growing majority via 1 and 0. The enucleated family seems to be bridging the gaps once again. Structured universities of the past are large warehouses for research and development, sponsored by the corporate giants. Advancement in science is taking place at break-neck speed.

On February 10th 2020. The afternoon sun is bearing down the heat amidst the cold frigid air. The streets are busy once again, only now the mode of transportation is different. The vehicles are hovercraft. Magnetic levitation has been solved without the need for super-cooling and individual transportation with vehicles designed as small cubes race around in perfect harmony avoiding each other through sonar and infra-red technology as they dash to their destinations. Propulsion still remains energy dependent and liquid gas from North America make up the largest suppliers.  A thirty-year old Eric walks in his ergonomically designed shoes that prevent injury to the ankles and knees in his future. All rotational, torsional and shear forces related to walking have been circumvented. The most common sport of the day is “laser-tagging” with a twist. Only now the victim bears a permanent scar of being tagged and thus becomes less desirable to the opposing sex. The youth has upped the ante and want to claim their rightful place in the “survival-of-the-fittest.”
March 15th 2030 evening brings with it the violent storms of the spring season. But the reinforced glass dome-shaped houses are resilient to the elements. The contours prevent any damage to the inhabitants within. A 2-hour warning sounds for any oncoming weather related event and the inhabitants seek shelter as their hovercraft slide conveniently into roadside shelters on cue without input from the rider. Overhead a streak of an entrail with periodic plumes of frozen moisture reflect the plasma driven aircraft that zip across the continent in less then two hours at blinding speed, rising into space and falling back into the atmosphere near their destination. Energy problems seem to have been solved with “fusion-energy.” Small packs, the size of an encyclopedia can transform a laser-tagging field like the Baseball fields of years gone by from night into day. 

The “Fusion-energy” is derived from a combination of Magnetic fusion 

merged with an Inertial Confinement Fusion technique, 

where laser-driven implosion of a small pellet of fusion fuel simultaneously converge on a tiny target, intensely heating the outside and squeezing the fuel into the center of the pellet. The inertia of the implosion traps the fuel for a billionth of a second at ten-million-degree temperatures and densities far greater than solid matter. The intense heat and pressure force the fuel to fuse, much like inside a star. The fused fuel remains for delivery in a small but intensely confined magnetic field created in the miniaturized “tokamak” (a donut-shaped enclosed environment).

 Soccer seems to be making a comeback in sports with a twist. The game is played with new partially levitating shoes and a soccer ball that morphs from round to elliptical in, in-fight. The goal posts are twenty-feet in the air and guarded by the plasma propelled rocket boots of the goalkeeper. Baseball still enjoys its place in the culture but it is played with wooden bats once again and under a glass dome that can be used for overhead displays for replay. The umpiring is done by infra-red and computer algorithms. Meanwhile the work place is transformed into a 24/7 model where all transactions are made via holographic images created by a smart-phone type device. All data is computer driven and coders are in high demand.

 “Glaminar” is the largest home-building company in the land and has million+ employees. The employees are distinguishable by their stark-white tight-fitting uniforms. Quantum computing and protein storage is the norm in this data-abundant-driven-society.

The April 20th 2040 twilight is colored over by the rich brightness of the “foo-flames” that are geo-positioned in the sky and light the streets everywhere. The sun sets but the light remains. People gather in small parks to spend time with each other. Little girls and boys chatting away, running after each other while their elders look upon them with comfort and love. The society is once again transformed from the hard-hitting generation to the one looking for solace and comfort of the flesh. The elderly live out their century in comfort without aches and pains.
Nanobots capturing cancer cells

 Cancer has been circumvented. Each person is injected with a nano-material that looks for any aberrant cell destined to become cancer and destroys it. 
Nanobot primed with proteins

These nano-bots are 50-70 nanometers and made of polymers attached to a protein that connects to the precancerous cell. The protein is commingled with a siRNA (small interfering RNA) which deactivates the altered DNA, shutting down the gene activated protein production in the precancerous cell thus destroying it.
Nanobots in the Blood Stream

 Hearts and other organs repair themselves with ease, if damage is detected, selected stem cells are activated by the nano-bots and repair is done without any physical knowledge of the individual. These stem cells are derived from the individual’s infancy and kept in “Stem-farms” later conjugated with the nano-bots. 
Actual photomicrograph of pluripotent stem cells

The Hayflick Limit has been rendered moot with the telomere lengthening medications that prevent aging significantly and also circumvent early death.

 The mitochondria (energy producing structures within cells) are constantly washed and their load of super Oxygen radicals are eliminated by the  “Super-Oxide-Desmutase” secreted by the nano-bots.
Nanoparticles in the tissues

 Man has conspired to alter the basic mechanism of nature and seems to be winning. The population of the world has reached the 12 billion mark and while food remains widely available for demand, production via means of genetics and replication technology has helped overtake starvation. The currency of the world is in “Credits.” Credits are obtained by work performed. Crime still exists in smaller and smaller pockets and criminals are scanned for genetic behavior, finding which they are treated for that behavior with nano-particulate therapy. The success rate of this technology is still at 50%. Incarceration is in glass-domed prisons that oversee playgrounds and parks. Meanwhile the citizens cannot see within due to reflective technology. This experiment is to show the prisoners what they are missing and that “real” change in behavior would allow them back into society. Individualism is the key to progress in this society. New breakthroughs occur from garages and small cubicles on a daily basis. The governments are concerned only with providing infrastructure and protecting individual rights. The US Constitution is a global document used as a source of inspiration for all other nations.

It is May 25th 2050 night when the “first-landers” communicate from near the outer space,

 just beyond the Kuiper Belt and much before the Oort Cloud,

 that they have established a colony and a first generation of humanoids (human DNA merged with machine via the Von Neumann concept) has been born in a land of plentiful resources. Pluto is a distant cousin. They have named this planetary astronomical object as Earth II in typical human fashion. Reports from the far-away land are encouraging. The first generation has survived 1/100,000th of the planetary year. The weather is humanoid created since all live beneath the surface. There, the resources are mined and food is planted or replicated via the replication machines brought from earth. Life is different, but it is life. The evolving generation of humanoids are precise, productive hard-working and community-based individuals. The total population of Earth II is a mere 200.

…to be continued…


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