01 July 2007

Futurism: Thomas Frey vs. The Idiocracy

Thomas Frey of the Da Vinci Institute, has inspired leaders of government and industry with his revolutionary vision of the future.
ET: What technologies do you think would be with us in the future?

Thomas: 1. Binary power is the concept where two otherwise harmless beams of energy will intersect at some point in space, creating a source of power.

To better explain binary power, think in terms of two invisible beams intersecting in a room and the point at which they intersect as a glowing point of light. Binary power will eventually replace all light bulbs. And lest you think it can only be used for intense forms of power, it will also be used to create ‘points’ of sound, eliminating the need for speakers and headphones.

2. Proof has to be demonstrated on two very fundamental levels before there is reason to think that time travel is truly possible. The first is to be able to communicate across time, and the second is to be able to view things across time. If we cannot first communicate across time, or view real life images of another time, how can we possibly imagine sending people across time?

So the ‘viewing things across time’ technology that I think most promising is – viewing the past. Think in terms of setting up sensors around a room and being able to replay images of past events, as much as 20, 50 or 100 years ago.

3. Disassembling matter. Imagine a technology capable of breaking all of the molecular bonds in any given material. As an example, place a rock on a table, focus a beam on the rock and visualise all the molecules in the rock separating and falling in a pile onto the table.

....Thomas: In the past, computer programming has been focused around architecting the flow of electrons. In the future, nanotechnology will be focused around architecting the flow of matter.

Laboratories in the future will be akin to thought factories where the outputs will be visualisations with several million permutations. Inventions will happen so quickly that few people will understand the line between what is real and what is still only imagined.

What would the PC of tomorrow be like? Will the PC even be around or is it just going to be 'ubiquitous' computing in the full sense of the word—every object being a computer, the whole environment being the user interface, etc?

Thomas: Our goal will be to make the interface between information and our brains as seamless and as invisible as possible. Presently, the PC is a rather clunky way of making that connection.

PCs will go away within the next 10 years and a variety of devices will be created to take their place. But we eventually would not want to be bothered by physical devices.

I like to think in terms of information swarms – invisible particles that hover around us, communicating with our minds whenever we desire to ‘plug in’. While much of the information swarm will communicate directly with our minds, we will also have visual interfaces that float in space in a way that is only viewable by us.

....In my mind, patents are only useful when they move the state of the art forward. Too much of what is going on today is nothing more than corporate gamesmanship.
As an example, a typical cell phone will touch on as many as 200-300 patents. If every patent required a $5 royalty, our cell phones would cost a fortune. Many of our emerging technologies will not be able to make it to market because of too many demands on the revenue streams. Once the patents expire, the products become affordable.

ET: On a lighter note, by when do we expect the DaVinci Institute to have its branch on Mars (read: migration to other planets)?

Thomas: Travelling to Mars will be measured in decades, but colonising other planets will likely begin close to a century from now. The first human colony on another planet will be called – Colony 42, because 42 is the meaning of life.

Contrast Frey's visions here and at previous posts, with the mainstream idiocratic view of "futuristic scenarios:"
To be honest, we didn't find the positive scenarios to be all that interesting. So we decided to consider: what if it all went wrong - even horribly wrong?

One possible future we envisioned was "gridlock". The left-right split of today's politics gave way to a deeply divisive standoff between "naturals" and "enhanceds". Enhanceds used all the tools of science to make life better, with intelligence-enhancing drugs and genetic screening of embryos for positive or negative traits (such as a predisposition to cancer). Naturals, a novel alliance of science sceptics from the old left and religious fundamentalists from the right, rejected enhanceds' "meddling" with nature

The worst world we envisioned we called "No Glue", where the financial, political and even social bonds of society all came apart. We considered a rapid evolution of virtual worlds that completely outpaced the ability of governments and international institutions to cope. Financial markets moved quickly into these virtual worlds because they were a much more efficient way of doing business than in the past. Virtual currencies became the medium of exchange. As nations declined and virtual worlds rose, offline social bonds frayed and people lost trust in each other. War and terrorism declined but the world was plunged into constant low-level conflict.

The latter view of "the future" clearly exposes the lack of "grist" contained in the imaginations of mainstream thinkers. These products of conventional educational brain-binding could not possibly dream up a possible future, in their wildest imagination. Because, frankly, their imaginations are hardly wild at all. This is the problem with modern journalists and academics. No grist. No imagination. They are laying the perfect groundwork for the coming Idiocracy.

The fly in the ointment for the architects of the Idiocracy, is that contrary-minded thinkers have access to advanced technology of communication, computation, and correlation. With modern communication, entire new fields of study can arise and thrive overnight, just as entire new fields of commercially viable enterprise arise virtually overnight.

This is extremely bad news for those who wish to control all sources of instability in a society. Bad news for dictators, bad news for religious control freaks, bad news for ideologues and politically correct thought police.

Stay tuned to the undertow.

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