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IEET > Life > Access > Vision > Bioculture > Futurism > Contributors > Dick Pelletier

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A Global Civilization Heads for the Stars and Our Amazing Nanotechnology Future

Dick Pelletier
Dick Pelletier
Ethical Technology

Posted: Jan 2, 2013

Experts predict that over the next nine decades, exponential advances in biotech, nanotech, infotech, and cognitive sciences will enable humanity to evolve from a group of self-centered squabbling cultures to become a peaceful global village with amazing technological abilities.

During the last century, researchers unraveled one of humanity’s greatest mysteries: the nature of life. We discovered that the almost magical properties of living things, the ability to grow, heal and reproduce, was brought about by life’s molecular machinery.

Best selling author and physicist Michio Kaku says that by 2100, we will be able to control the weather and harness nearly all the energy contained within our planet, and enjoy good health while living an indefinite lifespan. By century’s end, the largest exodus in human history will be underway as humanity immigrates to space colonies on moon, Mars, and artificial habitats orbiting Earth.

Powerful telescopes developed during this century will provide amazing views of our universe, allowing scientists to find millions of Earth-like planets and identify those that might harbor intelligent life. But the light-speed barrier will prevent contacting these new worlds. For example, if we found life in the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.3 million light years away, it would take millions of years just to say hello.

However, physicists David Hochberg and Thomas Kephart believe they recently discovered evidence of massive numbers of self-stabilizing wormholes that were left over when the universe was formed. These marvels, they say, might one day be formatted and used as portals enabling us to travel to, or communicate with faraway places instantly; thus erasing the light-speed barrier.

With this network of wormholes at our disposal and the knowledge of how to use them, tomorrow’s space pioneers will be free to explore much of the cosmos. As we discover uninhabited planets in areas ideal for colonization, we will dispatch nanobots to terraform our newly-discovered worlds making them human-friendly. By mid-22nd century, forward-thinkers say, there could be more humans living offworld than on Earth.

Many hope that this 2100 “magical future” will become reality, but the world now stands at a turning point. Can humanity proceed without terrorists destroying everything? If society will focus on peace and harmony instead of insignificant grievances, the answer is yes. Comments welcome.

Today, nanotech researchers are slowly understanding these techniques and mimicking them as we create machines that can make products as efficiently as biology makes plants, animals and us.

In a recent blog, Foresight Institute president, J. Storrs Hall stated that nanotechnology would change our physical world in much the same way that computers and the Internet have transformed the information world. This means that things like cars and houses will soon experience similar exponential development speeds that we are used to with computers and information.

Existing products that are now expensive, such as solar cells, will become so cheap in the future, that it may be possible to surface roads with this futuristic product, which could also gather energy to power our cars. However, a more dramatic change will be the development of home nanofactories.

Imagine a world with billions of desktop-size machines that create most of your living essentials: clothes, food, medicine and more. Today, such devices are not available, but one day, a small nano-factory will sit on your kitchen counter and let you order nearly anything you desire at little or no cost.

“Computer, I’d like ham and eggs, home fries, wheat toast, and coffee.” Although this may sound like science fiction, according to experts, nanofactories could arrive in our homes by late 2020s.

These machines will operate similar to the way that life creates its miracles. A plant grabs atoms from dirt, water, and air; then transforms them into a juicy red strawberry. Our bodies rearrange atoms in the food we eat to create new cells that renew our muscles, bones, brains, and blood. In similar fashion, nanofactories collect atoms from something as inexpensive as dirt, air, or seawater and produce clothes, food, medicine; or even another nanofactory.

Positive futurists believe that most of today’s problems including material scarcity, human health, and environmental issues will all be solved with tomorrow’s nanotechnology; and regardless of how old you are, this miracle could arrive in time to benefit you. Think positive! Comments welcome.

Dick Pelletier is a weekly columnist who writes about future science and technologies for numerous publications. He's also appeared on various TV shows, and he blogs at Immortaltech.
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When you’re giving an example of someone ordering from a nano-factory, it should be “Tea, Earl Gray, hot.”

Yes, Captain Jean Luc Picard said it right!

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