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Guide to the Far Future

Updated on August 19, 2013

Guide to the Far Future

The future is things to come. It is also people yet to be born and places yet to be visited or created. The future can be good or it can be bad.

Who is to say what is good and what is bad?

I am. Death is bad. Life is good. See? That did not take philosophers thousands of years to figure out. Just ask me when life's complex questions mystify you. I probably already know the answer. That's not ego nor me claiming to be smarter than you. You probably have a hard job or are in school and you simply do not have time to suss it all out. I, on the other hand, have been thinking about this stuff since I was a child. I actually figured out answers to all the so-called "hard questions" when I was still a child but I have used the time since to think about the ramifications of those answers. As a scientist could tell you, the answers raise more questions. You will see in my nonfiction and in my fiction those questions sprinkled in without warning.

The other big questions of philosophy are:

What is of value? Answer: Life.

What is real? Reality is when you are not sleeping and not sucked into a computer or mobile device and don't have drugs (particularly alcohol and sucrose) in your body.

How can we know? Use scientific method, mathematics and epistemology.

What about religion? Useless for knowledge. Faith is belief. Knowledge is knowledge. The atheists are quite right when they point out that religion has led to the death of millions. And I would like to point out that pagan atheists in Nazi Germany were responsible for 12 million deaths in death camps (besides military and civilian deaths) and communist atheists were responsible for 20 million deaths under Stalin and 40 million deaths under Mao.

I take away from the numbers that we cannot trust politicians or industrialists if we want a better future because politicians are shifty and because industrialists are happy to sell Zyklon B to kill Jew and Gentile alike. Nowadays they will even give it away free by spewing poison into the air and the nearest river or creek. And be careful about accepting free dirt.

So why do I bring up philosophy when you are expecting flying cars and George Jetson? Answer: Automation is taking our jobs. Given current trends, no job will be safe and we humans will have to ask ourselves philosophical questions about our place in the universe. In fact, a certain election is or has occurred (depending upon when you read this) in which the question was whether we wanted big corporations to lay off all Americans, export the few remaining jobs, and install robots to do jobs that could not be exported. The future arrived while you were reading this. You have/had no vote because the Supreme Court said corporations are persons and you are not a person. You are a non-person because you do not have a billion dollars to buy votes. In the corporate state, big stockholders are the people whose vote counts and people who have only one share or who have no shares, do not matter. Do not waste time. Kill yourself before the machines come and crush you. You can rage against the machine and occupy Wall Street but you will be shot down by the police state. Your tax dollars at work.

You have no voice because you are not very wise. And that is because you are anti-education and anti-intellectual.

You have no voice because you are a coward who thought that by being anti-union you could win the favor of the boss.

You have no voice because you do not vote.

You have no voice because you and your kind keep putting off abolishing the Electoral College figuring that someone else will do it.

You have no voice because your company can lay you off at any time.

You have no voice because you do not have a billion dollars.

You have no voice because you are not active in politics. You probably do not know who your Congressional representative is.

You have no voice because you work such long hours that you have no energy left over to be active in politics. And when you do take an interest, you vote for the party that hates the middle class and the poor.

You have no voice because you let this all happen.

And it will get worse before it gets better. If it does get better.

Is the future bleak? It does not have to be.

If you have read my writing before, then you know that I have a low tolerance for irrational behavior. I consider war, overpopulation and pollution to be stupid and I never miss an opportunity to lambaste those who foment wars, those who don't do family planning (oblivious to the world into which they bring innocent babies), and especially those monsters who pollute. Hey, you may not mind breathing their poison, drinking their poison and eating their poison but I am sane and many other people are sane. And sane people have a habit of locking up maniacs (terrorists, serial killers, mass murderers, spree/rampage killers, polluters, etc.) to keep them from harming others.

With the crazies locked up, this old Earth could be a nice place and the human race could make the rest of the Solar System a nice place too. Saturn already has beautiful rings. We just need to figure out how to plant trees on the moons of Uranus without them all dying. If we can figure that out, do you really think other problems will be all that hard to solve?

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The image is my vanity license plate.

the future of Guide to the Far Future

1. It would be nice if I got feedback (in the guestbook below) to know what you expect of the future and what you expect of this lens.

2. I am going to delete certain modules in this lens. I have not done so already because I am still looking for better visions of the future and suitable illustrations of what most people think is a positive future.

3. If you have nifty images of visions of a super-future, then hit the hyperlink to contact me and send me image files along with permission to use the images.

4. In the short-term, as I am revamping this lens, I will probably show some very negative images of the present and future in order to compare and contrast what will be if we do not take an interest in our future.

5. I have had experience in taking my inadequate lenses and revamping them several times until I am satisfied and visitors like yourself are satisfied. Based on that experience, I am confident that I can make drastic improvements in this lens. Mark your calendar to come back to Guide to the Far Future in six months.

Back to the future . . .

your editor,

Toni Roman

Dr. Robert Goddard at Clark University

Dr. Goddard Transports Rocket

visionary impaired

Working with the government space program is not a good long term strategy for NewSpace companies. It will just turn them into aerospace dinosaurs that much faster. It helps extend the life of NASA for it to get injections of fresh blood and fresh ideas but ultimately it is a bad idea for the space companies themselves who need to envision, plan, design, finance, build and operate in space all on their own without training bras or training wheels. NewSpace will die in the cradle like previous generations of space entrepreneurs if it cannot completely cut the apron strings of NASA -- which never was a good parent. Or in fact, any parent at all since NASA has never built a thing. NASA has always used contractors. Business in space is not a new idea.

3

2

1 . . . blastoff

Dawn of the Space Age

Sputnik

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photo credit: Gregory R Todd

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Future University

an optimistic look ahead - with a skeptical eye

Those who think the Space Age is over have problems with logic. This is the most polite way I can say it. Their loss of interest in the universe does not mean that somehow the universe will go away. To think this way is illogical and provincial. If the universe went away, then the Earth would go away also because Earth is part of the universe.

In our current Dark Ages however, it is possible that people will get so absorbed in their gadgets that they get lost in virtual reality and become gadgets themselves before AI's delete males and females like email and erase the human race. The sociopaths (transhumanists) who see this "singularity" as a good thing are not volunteering to have their brains implanted nor volunteering to be "uploaded" to the internet (while their bodies are presumably fed to dogs). No, they are volunteering you.

We need a more cosmopolitan perspective.

I suggest a different future. A happy future. A future where couch potatoes get off their lazy lard assets and exercise and do volunteer work like picking up litter and recycling and planting trees and volunteering for an environmental organization (I suggest NPG or ZPG) and using their heads for more than a place to stick jacks and joysticks and implants.

I see a future where Earth will be clean and pristine after we have taken out the trash (CEO's of polluting companies) and rendered toxic waste non-toxic through recycling and environmental remediation and biotechnology. I see a future where dead lifeless inhospitable worlds will be made into Edens and paradises not only in the Solar System but in other stellar systems. I see a future where economics is not a matter of holding down 99% of the people so that a few criminals can pollute and render the Earth uninhabitable. I see a future where economics is sustainable capitalism where anyone can become a billionaire if they are willing to work, where the middle class continues to grow, and where monks who take a vow of poverty and those who choose the simple life are free to do so. I see a future where everyone has access to quality education but the gifted are not punished for being smart and the children of philanthropists who get into university only as a legacy do not look down on the children of the poor. I see a future where because the entire population (100%) strives for immortality, there are no more stupid objections to universal health care and where emergency medical services (911) rescue everyone in danger of dying. I see a future where anyone can opt out of health care and commit suicide and die and make room for those of us who want to live. I see a future with less government and less intrusion into our privacy by Big Business. I see a future where those who said death and taxes are inevitable are proved wrong when society eliminates income tax, property tax (other taxes are less onerous) and death by achieving immortality and direct democracy (instead of representative democracy).

I see a future in space where humanity probably does not discover other intelligent technological species but if it does, it either avoids them to avoid war or goes to great lengths to eliminate the possibility of war. War with a species thousands of millennia more technologically advanced than us can logically have one outcome: our extinction. We know our history and we know that humans do little other than foment wars -- our history classes are mostly an exercise in memorizing dates of wars, genocide, invasion, plagues, injustices, and still worse events. Those of us who claim to be intelligent will lock up the warmongers and find ways to keep them from breeding. Previous ways of stopping wars do not seem to work well and so pacifists and peacemakers will have to be more effective. Again I state the obvious; war with a species thousands of millennia more technologically advanced than us can logically have one outcome: our extinction. I do not want extinction of us or them. And if they exist (I doubt it), then "they" are not going away any more than the Space Age is going away.

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photo credit: Captain Future from Nedor Comics

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Project Mercury

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Space Ship One

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a drawing of a concept

The Space Age has not begun yet. - And the proof is . . .

. . . have you been in space yet?

If you say no and add something like: "others have been in space" then I would reply that the automotive age did not begin until most people had cars. The mobile age did not begin until most people were texting -- not a few developers in some lab where texting was developed and first tested. A couple of scientists in a lab or a couple of engineers at a high tech company who have not released a beta yet is not what any one would call the masses. When even the poorest person can find a quarter on a sidewalk and buy a 25 cent bus ride or find a token and take a subway ride, that is mass transit for the masses.

When even the poorest person can panhandle space fare, that will be the beginning of the Space Age.

Do not make me repeat this kids. Don't make me come back there. Or you will be walking home.

the woman of the future

Will she be like Sarah Connor fighting robots that men built to kill all humans?

Will she be like Ellen Ripley fighting alien monsters that men bred to kill all humans?

Or will she simply save time and kill all men to put an end to war?

I will make two predictions:

1. The woman of the future will not be hunting zombies and then eating their brains. Such nasty habits tend to kill the person who has the habit.

2. The woman of the future will not be biting the necks of vampires. Such nasty habits tend to kill the person who has the habit. Besides,vampires come from fahtasy and fantasy has zero chance of coming true. The world does not work by magic.

Science fiction is a different matter. Hard science fiction has a nasty habit of coming true with boring regularity.

Of course, even if women did exterminate men, we might be just as bad as them and continue the wars unabated. Perhaps we might even be more vicious than the men.

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Concepts- Far future concepts- Peugeot

Things To Come - 1936
Things To Come - 1936

instant video rental

 
The Bots and the Bees
The Bots and the Bees

Episode 1, "The Bots and the Bees"

Synopsis: Bender fathers a child with the office soda machine.

 
A Farewell to Arms
A Farewell to Arms

Episode 2, "A Farewell to Arms [HD]"

Synopsis: An ancient prophecy predicts the world will end in the year 3012.

Original air date: June 20, 2012

Editor's Note -- This was before the Mayans ended the world by not making any more wall calendars because they predicted that the world would switch to digital calendars by December 2012. How wrong they were! Modern-day Mayans are embarrassed that the world has not ended but feel no particular impulse to destroy it just to make their ancestors right.

 

Envisioning emerging technology for 2012 and beyond

Technologies mentioned:

Artificial Intelligence: High-frequency trading, Software agents, Natural language interpretation, Machine translation, Procedural storytelling, VR-only lifeforms, Machine-augmented cognition

Internet: Cloud computing, Cyber-warfare, 4G, Mesh networking, Virtual currencies, 5G, Reputation economy, Interplanetary internet, Remote presence, Exocortex

Interfaces: Multitouch, Gesture recognition, Speech recognition, Augmented reality, 4K, Haptics, Holography, Telepresence, Immersive virtual reality

Sensors: Depth imaging, Near-field communication, Pervasive video capture, Biometric sensors, Smart power meters, Biomarkers, Machine vision, Computational photography, Optogenetics, Neuroinformatics

Ubicomp: Tablets, Volumetric (3D) screens, Flexible screens, Boards, Picoprojectors, Eyewear-embedded screens, Context-aware computing, Fabric-embedded screens, Reprogrammable chips, Skin-embedded screens, Retinal screens

Robotics: Appliance robots, Smart toys, Robotic surgery, Self-driving vehicles, Powered exoskeleton, Unmanned aerial vehicles, Domestic robots, Swarm robotics, Embodied avatars, Utility fog

Biotech: Personal gene sequencing, Organ printing, Synthetic blood, Smart drugs, Personalized medicine, In-vitro meat, Synthetic biology, Stem-cell treatments, Gene therapy, Hybrid assisted limbs, Artificial retinas, Nanomedicine, Anti-aging drugs

Materials: Additive manufacturing, Self-healing materials, Graphene, Personal fabricators, Meta-materials, Optical invisibility cloaks, Carbon nanotubes, Biomaterials, Molecular assembler, Nanowires, Programmable matter

Energy: Inductive chargers, Tidal turbines, Fuel cells, Bio-enhanced fuels, Multi-segmented smart grids, Photvoltaic glass, Piezo-electricity, Biomechanical harvesting, Nano-generators, Artificial photosynthesis, Enernet, Thorium reactor, Traveling wave reactor, Space-based solar power

Space: Commercial spaceflight, Sub-orbital spaceflight, Space tourism, Lunar outpost, Mars mission, Space elevator, Solar sail

Geotech: Weather engineering, Vertical farming, Seasteading, Desalination, Carbon sequestration, Climate engineering, Arcologies

Why the far future matters

At the 1939 World's Fair, all they could imagine was a future of highways paving over everything and robots. That's what we got. Air unfit to breathe because all those General Motors cars fill the air with carbon monoxide and particulate. Green land replaced by inhuman pavement. If you have ever fallen down, then you know a nice soft lawn is pleasant to walk barefoot in but falling down on hot asphalt or rough cement can put you in a hospital. And a robot will take your job or kill you. Even if you get a job as a robot technician, then how long before that job is automated too? If other countries, there are factories with no humans.

This is why the far future matters: What we imagine has a nasty habit of coming true. All too true.

You might ask why this lens does not have more images of the far future as visualized by artists. When I go out on the internet searching for far future images, half the results are of future wars. I have to wonder if game makers and gamers have any brain cells whatsoever. If our concept of the future is war and never far-more-interesting peace, I don't think the human race has a future. I also wonder if the prediction that males will become extinct is Nature's way of eliminating a problem. If males won't evolve to become peaceful and to turn their imaginations to space colonization, then Nature will simply make males extinct. Females won't lift a finger to cause it because females will follow males into extinction in the years or centuries after the last male dies.

Dire scenario? Well that's the point. Far too many visions of the future are of negative outcomes. I refuse to show the negative. But I do need artists to send me their visions of a better future. Not people choking on poisonous air or being turned into gadgets or cyborg. That is not a vision. That's a nightmare.

How fossil and fission addiction will kill you . . . - . . . unless you quit cold turkey.

2200

This is the first of over 46 videos about futuristic technology.

The usual parade of architectural renderings -- most of which will never be built because there is this little thing called money. People who try to get around the fact of money usually make everyone miserable and wanting to kill them.

Earth: Year 3000

Life In The Future Year 3500

4000

5000

Life In The Future Year 6000 and Beyond

Earth 100 Million Years From Now

circa the year 1,000,000,000 AD - (in other words, the next aeon)

An aeon is one billion years or one million millennia. Around this time, the Sun's increasing luminosity will render the Earth unlivable. [To which ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers and Senator Jim Inhofe snort, heck we can do that in only two decades.] We are talking long before the sun becomes a red giant

Of course, I suspect that long before that year arrives we humans will have simply swapped out the Sun for a new star like you change a battery. Or macroengineers will engage in stellar husbandry to either extend the life of Sol or renew its chemical levels to pre-doom levels. This is assuming that conservatives do not outlaw saving of the human species, Earth or the Solar System since they seem to be anti-Earth and anti-environment and sometimes even anti-conservation. Lest you think this impossible, I remind you that they regard "secular humanists" (let's just say humans) as people deserving of eternal damnation to hellfire. What better way to arrange that than to arrange for genocide and hell in the form of a nova or a black hole?

Meanwhile the liberals will have had a billion years of decadence and loosening of standards and descent into total depravity. Not that partial depravity that they practiced back in the year 2012 AD mind you. No siree Bob. We are talking about the total depravity of the distant year 2014 AD.

As they say, practice makes imperfect. By the year 1,000,000,000 AD all that practice will have paid off and the wages of sin will be certain death as we look forward to the death of the universe itself. People will have devolved into Morlocks and will drool not just when sleeping but even when wide awake and walking around engaging in cannibalism. Actually I think H. G. Wells showed a lack of imagination. In the year 2013 AD, the human race may have abolished slavery but genocide still occurs even though Adolf Hitler is long dead and mind control is all the rage in the intelligence community as the spooks try to outdo the old Project MKULTRA. I would say that the human race is well down the road to perdition.

Of course, the behavioral sink described above is really more of a conservative thing than a liberal thing but one cannot really point out liberal sins without being accused of hate speech and political incorrectness (so much for the illusion of free speech). Therefore, I will wait until this generation and the one after it has passed away before resuming my forecast. I am very patient.

circa 3,850,000,000 AD

Andromeda and Milky Way collide for first time. Astronomers calculate that the second and final collision will result in a merger and one boring elliptical galaxy instead of two pretty spiral galaxies.

Even if the Solar System survives this encounter (and it probably will), the sun will still turn into a red giant around the year five billion unless of course the macroengineers intervene. These same specialists might well also figure out a way to save the Milky Way in its present form and, if so, no boring elliptical future for us. After all, ellipticals tend to be featureless and the Milky Way has some rather beautiful nebulae worth preserving. For example, there are famous Hubble views like the Horsehead and the Pillars of Creation feature of the Eagle Nebula -- which I personally refer to as the Leopard.

Astronomers say that most large galaxies have a supermassive black hole at their center. If you are into fireworks, nothing beats a supermassive black hole smacking into another supermassive black hole as the cores of two galaxies are drawn toward each other. A three or four or even five galaxies colliding simultaneously with each other and, hence, their cores hitting would be the ultimate firework display short of the Big Bang. Of course the teen boy who suggested this scenario to me did not think of the quadrillions of people likely to be slaughtered by such an awful event. Adolescent males are natural sociopaths who do not think of life since they do not bear children like us women. No wonder so many of them end up in juvie and then prison. I'll have to have a talk with that boy since his parents obviously haven't.

Perhaps by the year four billion males will have evolved. However, some biologists think males are going extinct as nature is giving up on them. Think of all those social insects which entertain drones for a couple of weeks before throwing them out and letting them starve to death. As Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation commented, humans live insect lives. I would reluctantly agree. I wish humans showed more perspective. If they did, it would mean no wars and no pollution and less overpopulation. People with perspective do less stupid things. Anyway, some biologists think males are going extinct. While this must surely gladden the heart of every man-hating lesbian (and not all lesbians hate men), I would not care to see the end of the male of the species. For one thing, I happen to like my father and my uncles and grandfathers. I have daughters but no sons but I do have nephews. So the loss for me would be personal.

The other downside of males going extinct, is that we females would soon follow the males into extinction. Whatever was killing them might also kill us whether it was some new genetic disease or Gaia was wiping out humans to save all the other species or alien conspiracy or whatever. The loss of a gender or even two genders does not automatically mean the end of the species however. The one thing that humans do to excess other than kill is breed. We would likely start cloning as a stopgap measure but I really cannot imagine the universe ever running out of humans even with stupid devastating wars. There are just too many of us. Of course, if the transhumanists get their evil way, humans will be replaced by gadgets or half-machine cyborgs -- which Skynet would promptly shut off the way we shut off an annoying loud alarm clock. AI's or artificial intelligence may decide that humans are annoying. This is why the I.T. crowd is so speedily wiring up the planet -- they are lemmings instinctively drawn to drown in the cybersurf.

Perspective.

Supermassive Black Hole in the Milky-Way Galaxy

Editor's Note -- Most galaxies have these monsters at their core. Our home, The Milky Way, is no exception. Those of us interested in intergalactic travel will probably leave behind those not interested in intergalactic travel. Their wars and their video games will amuse them until they are sucked into the cosmic meat grinder and die excruciatingly agonizing deaths. Stupidity has its price.

Andromeda/Milky Way collision (simulation)

Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy Collision

NGC 4452

In the far future, the Local Group may be pulled into the Virgo Cluster by the force of gravity. Right now, the Local Group is in the Local Cluster.

What will you do in the future?

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