My Futurist Is Ray Kurzweil, and When Ray Speaks…

…folks often pay thousands to hear his vision of the future.  Unless you’re Bill Gates.  Then, you invite Ray over for some of Melinda’s meatloaf to learn what Microsoft should do to profit from the future.

Who’s Ray Kurzweil?  You’ve benefited from at least one of his inventions whether you realize it or not.  Here’s a short bio of this technical prodigy.

His most interesting prediction is how technology‘s geometrical advances will bring about “The Singularity”….the melding of flesh and machine through nanotechnology.  It’s not just a fanciful Star Trek notion!  In one of the links below, he discusses how robotic red cells are already being developed.  These robotic red blood cells will make anyone be able to run in a manner surpassing any Olympic champion.

I don‘t believe in dialectical materialism per se, but I do believe that political (and many other) societal forms develop based around technology.   Just look at how the Internet has changed politics and social interaction in general.

I believe that eventually technology will free us from government as we know it.   Democracy has existed for less than 300 years, so it is still a political infant.  Anarchy is the next and final  form of social “organization” but it requires an extremely high level of technology which I believe The Singularity will bring about.   As The Singularity evolves, government will wither away.

Will I need the police if I can project a force field around me?  If everyone has some form of ID embedded in them which is recorded by nanotechnology in our body and which uses GPS to identify the current location of everyone we ever came in close contact with, including the dates and times we came in contact with them?

Impossible?  What do you think the average person alive when that plane flew at Kitty Hawk would have said if someone predicted that a man would land on the moon within 70 years?  Technology’s acceleration over the next 70 years will make the period between 1903 and 1969 look like a snail’s pace.

Still skeptical?  RFID technology is a baby step of this future and already exists.  Your favorite store can place a small RFID in an item that you buy and associate it with your credit card at checkout.   A week later, you walk into the same store and the RFID transmits your presence to the store’s computer.  Since that RFID is on a 100% cotton, button down shirt, a speaker near you advises: “Welcome back Mr. Jones, 100% cotton, button down shirts are on sale today.”  Is that very cool, or is that very scary? (New U.S. passports incorporate RFIDs.)

That’s why I’m not very excited or concerned about the Presidential election. Who’s President will not change what is happening in technology.  That’s where the future is!  Government’s future is with the dinosaurs…

Remember…The Singularity is inevitable – resistance is futile!

Learn more at the links below:

More about Ray Kurzweil

Speech about technology

Video of Ray at Stanford singularity summit

Can you live forever?

(Next Sunday: My first “close encounter of the third kind” with the color line and how it made a difference.)

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11 responses to “My Futurist Is Ray Kurzweil, and When Ray Speaks…

  1. On NPR a week or two ago I heard a quote from, umm, Arthur C. Clarke maybe? Who said something like: “All new technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
    Very thought-provoking blog.

  2. And i like the magic of technology!

    Can you imagine the implications of folks living to 150-200 years?

  3. I can hardly wait.

  4. Anarchist, two things, first – I am giving you a cyber wedgie for being such a techie. Second – democracy by proxy may be less than 300 years old but true democracy was practiced in africa for centuries before colonization. Just had to give a shot out toone half of my ancestors.

  5. Ted..me neither. (Although I’m not sure whether you’re as enthusiastic as I am or not.) My enthusiasm presumes all the ailments of old age will be addressed…l! Think what robotic red cells might do for sex….lol!

    Nick, yes you’re absolutely right…I was referring to “representative democracy” and being lazy not to be specific. I’m quite a bit”embarrassed” at that faux pas too, since one of my “majors” is African history!

  6. Well I scanned your boys book at lunch today. Algebra II was beyond me in HS so some of the theoretical concepts are just mmmmmmmm (daunting would not be the right word) a turn off to me. I looked for the naked pics and not finding any just put it back on the shelf.

    I do understand nano technology (the science of making shit smaller) I have attended several boring conferences that highlighted nano tech. I think it’s fantastic what can be done with this.

    Did you know that USF is a global center of excellence in this field?

    http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/sptimes/access/995522961.html?dids=995522961:995522961&FMT=FT&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Feb+27%2C+2006&author=CURTIS+KRUEGER&pub=St.+Petersburg+Times&edition=&startpage=1.B&desc=The+high-tech+world+of+NANOTECHNOLOGY

    There are growing clusters of R&D in Florida that are very exciting

    Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa
    Scripps Florida
    http://www.scripps.edu/florida/
    SRI St Petersburg
    http://www.sri.com/news/releases/010207.html
    So I agree that science & technology will exponetiaaly make Moores law look out of date and advance much faster.

    Here is my question. Who will protect us from technology?

    I offer the example of HAL in 2001? Arthur C Clark raised this question 50 or so years ago and I still haven’t seen an answer.

    )I skipped classes and didn’t tell my wife to go see Kubricks 2001 the first week it came out. We didn’t have a budget for movies at the time but I siad fuck it I’m going.)

  7. > Who will protect us from technology? <

    Bill Gates..? lol! The Shadow knows….

    As for movies…..when 2001 came out movies were satill dirt cheap. Thanks goodness we have a $1.25 movie which shows them after they leave the “first run” places. Now, for the “furrin” art films, wich do not come to the $1.25 place, I get to claim my senior discount. Every little bit helps….!

    (For some reason, your comment required “approval” but anyone who’s had a prior comment approved is not required to be moderated so I’m not sure what happened…)

  8. Probably used a different email address to send the comment…

  9. lol when 2001 came out I filled my 2 vws for $2 each and drove 2 weeks with them and that $4 was hard to come by

  10. Didn’t 2001 come out before 1970? I vaguely recall that minimum wage in the mid-70s was not more than about $2.20 / hour.

  11. lol i can’t remember my line item budget. But consider this, we had zero health insurance, weekly child care expense, tuition and books, and standard living expenses. There was no safety net and we were quite happy. Just had no money to recreate with. I remember writing checks for $1.25 at the sweet shoppe for breakfast…….for 2….it was quite a luxury. Didn’t have air conditioning and we were doing pretty good compaired to our peers.

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