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The Theory of the Future

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The Theory of the Future Joshua Ray Technology 1010 – Technology and the Future Salt Lake Community College

Abstract

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This paper explores the potential advancements in technology over the next century in the

realms of energy, transportation, housing, communication, medicine and healthcare, and even

defense technology. This paper will explore which current technologies in each of these realms

work well, which have flaws yet can be improved, and which current technologies can be

replaced altogether. This paper will include scenarios that may pose question to what is morally

sound and what may be morally horrific when dealing with advanced technology.

The Theory of the Future Humanities population at the turn of the 22 nd century is numbering just over 11 billion

people. These people live not only on Earth but on permanent settlements on the Moon and Mars

with stations orbiting Jupiter and Saturn, forming a system wide empire. The resources needed

for human survival are mined and harvested from the gas giants of our solar system and the

asteroid belt. Energy is provided by a Dyson Swarm and no fossil fuels are used. People are

transported by starships fitted with fusion engines to get from one planet to the next. On the

surface they are transported by hypersonic planes and solar powered cars. On the surface of

Earth, a majority of the population lives in densely populated mega-structures and artificial

island cities and the conventional suburban neighborhood is a thing of the past. People

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communicate through neural implant giving humans a technological form of telepathy, removing

cell phones. People remain free of illness due to a nano-technological reinforced immune system

and also reach a form of immortality by uploading their consciousness into computers or even

new bodies. Energy Electricity is relied on heavily today in the early 21 st century. It is almost impossible to

live in modern society and not use something that is powered by electricity. Electricity often

comes from power plants that burn Fossil Fuels to provide the electricity. Fossil fuels are also

used to power almost every vehicle used in the transportation of the Earth’s citizens. Fossil fuels

release many harmful gases into the atmosphere, weakening it and potentially threatening the

planet. With fossil fuels estimated to hit the peak of its efficiency and practicality at about 2030

the need for a more reliable, more efficient, and longer lasting power source becomes necessary

(The Future of Fossil Fuels). Our sun produces more energy in one second than our entire

civilization produces in a year. Solar energy is clean, reliable and will be able to be provided for

billions of years. To harness that energy would require not just the simple solar panels of today,

but a series of solar satellites known as a Dyson Swarm. A Dyson Swarm is a fleet of satellites

constructed like a shield around a star; the shield then harvests the solar energy then converts it

to whatever form humanity deems fit and then sends it back to earth or to another harnessing

point. This energy could then be used in the form of electricity and the human civilization could

completely get rid of fossil fuels after vehicles are converted to be completely electric.

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The Theory of the Future 4 (Popular Mechanics) Electricity only goes so far in terms efficiency.

(Popular Mechanics) Electricity only goes so far in terms efficiency. To power anything larger than a plane,

you begin to need an incredible amount of electricity to do so. Fusion is the fusing of light atoms

at extremely high temperatures and pressure. This is the same event that takes place in the center

of stars and it produces and extreme amount of electricity cleanly and efficiently. With the

production of the fusion engine predicted to be complete within ten years this become another

very practical and efficient way to produce electricity cleanly and efficiently (Lockheed). With a

fusion reactor the ability to power cities, aircrafts, and even spaceships becomes simple. Fusion

and harvested solar energy hold the key to providing energy for the human civilization.

Transportation

With the decline of fossil fuels and the rise of solar and fusion power most if not all

vehicles will have to convert to one of these two power sources. With solar roadways and solar

compatible cars the ability to drive incredible distances without having to stop to refuel or

recharge the vehicle becomes available. This makes transportation to and from the workplace

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easy and nearly free of charge. The next twenty-five years could see advancement in the

commercial airline service. With hypersonic planes already being developed it is easy to assume

that the commercial airlines of today will be superfluous in the near future. Hypersonic planes

would have a cruising speed of Mach 5, about 3800 miles per hour, allowing a flight from

Australia to anywhere is Europe to take around only four hours. The current hypersonic planes

are being made to be environmentally friendly, running on liquid hydrogen making their only

waste products water vapor and low levels of nitrous oxide (Future Timeline).

The Theory of the Future 5 easy and nearly free of charge. The next twenty-five years

(Hypersonic Plane) The ability to transport humans into space has always been one of the highest

achievements of our species. With many private companies constructing vehicles with the ability

to reach space advancements are sure to continue pouring throughout the century as new energy

sources become available making traveling longer distances easier and more affordable

(Hypersonic Plane). This ability to travel far and wide without citizens having to pay large sums

of money could lead to a mass exodus of people traveling to places that may not have been

accessible to people in the past.

Cities, Homes and Lifestyle

At the turn of the century, humanity could watch as many of the booming and heavily

populated coastal cities such as New York and Sydney become submerged by rising sea levels. A

practical and logical solution to this problem is the construction of artificial island cities.

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The Theory of the Future 6 (2100 Technology) These artificial islands would have not only a

(2100 Technology)

These artificial islands would have not only a city in which people could live but forests and

plants for animals and the growing of crops. With the ability to house over 100,00 people whole

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new cultures are forming on these "micro nations", often based around particular themes,

lifestyles, ethics or belief systems that appeal to a specific demographic (2100 Technology). For

the population that stay on land, arcologies, the mega-structures which are the culmination of

architecture and ecology, would hold most of the world’s population. The giant megastructures

would reach over one and a half kilometers in height and their bases will span a large number of

kilometers and are able to house millions of people. Earthquakes, hurricanes and other disasters

pose no threat to these mega-structures because of their sheer size and strength (2100

Technology).

The Theory of the Future 7 new cultures are forming on these "micro nations", often based

(2100

Technology) These radical new designs exemplify an overall trend in recent human development: low

environmental impact. Globally, cities and their connecting infrastructure are slowly being

retracted, giving over more land to nature. Advances in transportation and civil engineering,

combined with nano-scale manufacturing, could enable humans to operate with little or no

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impact on the environment. Though classically designed cities still exist, the arcology represents

a fundamental shift in the balance between humans and nature (2100 Technology). Settlements on the Moon and Mars become possible with nano-technology and 3D

printing. With transportation to space being made available by the fusion engine and other

technological advancements people begin to migrate off of Earth to one of the two

extraterrestrial settlements. By the twenty second century there could be as many as 1,000,000

people living in space (Our Space). With the population of Earth changing their locations the

location of the boundaries set as national borders begin to change as well making way for new

governments and paving the way for world peace.

Communication

With the introduction of fifth generation wireless connection (5G), cellular devices would

able to communicate even faster than ever. This also leads to the improvement of texting. Using

a combination of a sensor-mounted headset and eye-tracking technology worn by the use the

headset would be able to detect electrical brain waves and convert them into digital signals and

the would be able to display the letters on-screen. These could be used with glasses or a visor the

features the display built into their lenses. No hands would be needed with this hands-free texting

creating a form of virtual telepathy. This would take a high degree of mental concentration yet

your brain would learn how to operate more quickly with practice (Future 2020)

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The Theory of the Future 9 (Future 2020) With the introduction of these cellular glasses, the

(Future 2020)

With the introduction of these cellular glasses, the traditional cellular phones would no

longer be necessary and would quickly disappear. The glasses would only be the beginning as

neuroscience and cybernetics learns how to implant a communication device directly into a

human head giving them the ability to communicate by simply thinking to each other making

telepathy a very real ability. Soon, we might interact with our smartphones and computers

simply by using our minds. In a couple of years, we could be turning on the lights at home just

by thinking about it, or sending an e-mail from our smartphone without even pulling the device

from our pocket. Farther into the future, your robot assistant will appear by your side with a glass

of lemonade simply because it knows you are thirsty.” (A Chip) Fifth generation wireless connections would eventually be replaced by sixth generation

where the ability to communicate with other devices and download information would be instant

increasing efficiency exponentially.

Medicine and Healthcare

Nano-technology would greatly improve by the year 2100. Every human would have a

swarm of Nano-robots swimming through their bodies fighting regulating bodily functions and

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fighting infections. This would greatly improve healthcare and put a stop to many causes of

death. Portable oxygen tanks as a treatment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

would no longer be needed and would no longer exist. Organs would no longer have to be

transplanted whereas they could then be regrown or repaired by the nano-technology. With the

ability to repair organs all surgery would no longer be necessary. Unscheduled child birth would

no longer be an issue whereas the nano-technology would be able to confirm the exact time the

baby would be born. Blood donation would also be superfluous given the ability to synthesize

whatever blood is needed artificially. Chemotherapy is also history with the nano-technology

being able to destroy cancer cells and identify mutating cells and eliminate those that would

become cancerous. (10 Current)

The Theory of the Future 10 fighting infections. This would greatly improve healthcare and put a

(2100 Technology)

Mind uploading becomes a reality. Once one body dies or becomes unfit for the person

within, the consciousness of that person can be uploaded into a computer or other device. This

could be viewed as moral and ethical issue as some people may view this as unnatural or even

against “God’s will”. Entirely new bodies could be grown for the wealthiest of individuals whose

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consciousness could be transferred into the new body. The bodies could be entirely artificial with

the option of fully robotic or even partially cybernetic replacements being available. Externally,

they are often indistinguishable from real human bodies, but include many hi-tech add-ons and

internal features boosting physical and mental abilities. (2100 Technology)

Defense Technology

Man will no longer be a common sight on the battlefield. Robotic drones controlled both

by humans and artificial intelligence will compose the main fighting force of the world’s

governments. With 30,000 drones watching the skies of the United States of America by 2020,

the number of drones will have escalated into the millions around the world by the turn of the

century. (Future 2020)

The Theory of the Future 11 consciousness could be transferred into the new body. The bodies

(Future 2020) Though uncommon, when humans do step onto the battlefield they will be prepared. Like

something from a science fiction movie, protective shielding which resemble “force fields”, will

used by the military. The shield will be made of four layers, the first and outer layer being a

supercharged plasma window. This window could be shaped into a sphere or dome or whatever

shape needed by electromagnetic fields. This supercharged plasma is also hot enough to vaporize

almost anything that hits it. The second layer would contain millions of curved laser beams

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providing a web of high-energy that captures anything that happens to make it past the first layer.

The third layer is a lattice made from trillions of carbon nanotubes. These microscopic structures

are instantly woven together forming a shell as strong as diamonds, repelling objects missed by

the first two layers. The shield weakens as the area it covers increases making it most efficient in

covering a person or small area to provide maximum efficiency. Where the first three layers can

stop almost any projectile, they are useless against laser technology. A fourth layer composed of

photochromatic particles, similar to those of transitional lenses of the 21 st century, would be used

to neutralize the incoming laser. (2100 Technology) Conclusion I see the technology of the 22 nd century as the beginning of a new stage in human

evolution. We are only human now in the 21 st century, with these advancements that will

potentially be made in the coming future the human species will begin its transcendence to

something greater; not only a greater organism but a much greater society as well.

Energy

References

Lockheed Martin's new fusion reactor might change humanity forever. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from http://sploid.gizmodo.com/lockheed-martins-new-fusion-reactor-

might-change-humani-1646578094

Popular Mechanics. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from

http://popmech.tumblr.com/post/95190460114

The future of fossil fuels. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from http://www.scientific- alliance.org/scientific-alliance-newsletter/future-fossil-fuels

Transportation

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Future Timeline | Technology | Singularity | 2020 | 2050 | 2100 | 2150 | 2200 | 21st century | 22nd century | 23rd century | Humanity | Predictions | Events. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from http://www.futuretimeline.net/subject/transport-infrastructure.htm

Hypersonic Plane Could Revolutionize Commercial Flight. (2012, October 25). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/10/hypersonic- plane-could-revolutionize-commercial-flight/

Cities, Housing, and Lifestyle

  • 2100 Technology | Timeline | 22nd Century | Future Predictions | Technological Singularity |

    • 2100 | 2150 | 2200 | Mind Uploading. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from

http://www.futuretimeline.net/22ndcentury/2100-2149.htm#floating-cities

Our Space Future in the 21st Century – Part 1: Where Will We Be in Space in 2100? (2012, June 9). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from http://www.21stcentech.com/space-humanity-

21st-century-part-11-space-2100/

Communication

A Chip In The Head: Brain Implants Will Be Connecting People To The Internet By The Year 2020. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from http://www.infowars.com/a-chip-in-

the-head-brain-implants-will-be-connecting-people-to-the-internet-by-the-year-

2020/

Future 2020 | 2020s Technology | Future | Timeline | 2050 | 2100 | 2150 | 2200 | 21st century | 22nd century | 23rd century | Far Future | Technology | Healthy People 2020 Malaria | Hodgkin lymphoma five year survival | Car Free City China | 30000 drones by 2020. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from

http://www.futuretimeline.net/21stcentury/2020.htm#texting-by-thinking

Medicine and Healthcare

10 Current Medical Procedures our 22nd Century Descendants Will Find Barbaric. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from http://io9.com/5869912/10-current-medical-

procedures-our-22nd-century-descendants-will-find-barbaric

  • 2100 Technology | Timeline | 22nd Century | Future Predictions | Technological Singularity |

    • 2100 | 2150 | 2200 | Mind Uploading. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from

http://www.futuretimeline.net/22ndcentury/2100-2149.htm#minduploading

Defense Technology

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2100 Technology | Timeline | 22nd Century | Future Predictions | Technological Singularity | 2100 | 2150 | 2200 | Mind Uploading. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from

http://www.futuretimeline.net/22ndcentury/2100-2149.htm#forcefields

Future 2020 | 2020s Technology | Future | Timeline | 2050 | 2100 | 2150 | 2200 | 21st century | 22nd century | 23rd century | Far Future | Technology | Healthy People 2020 Malaria | Hodgkin lymphoma five year survival | Car Free City China | 30000 drones by 2020. (n.d.). Retrieved April 14, 2015, from

http://www.futuretimeline.net/21stcentury/2020.htm#30000-drones-by-2020