A look at 'the future of science: 2021'
November 16th, 2011
09:55 AM ET

A look at 'the future of science: 2021'

By John D. Sutter, CNN

A group called the Institute for the Future - what a name, right? - is smart enough to know that it can't actually predict what will happen in 2021. But the group can use our existing knowledge of science to pose interesting "what-if?" questions about where advances in science and technology will take us in the next 10 years, which really is an eternity when it comes to these topics.

That's the real point behind the group's new super-visual report, called "The Future of Science: 2021," (PDF) which you can see above and view in more detail on the IFTF website (you have to really zoom in to read all of it). This may sound like it's coming out of a cheesy "Star Trek" episode, but by questioning what the future can be, we can help shape what it will be, the group says.

Here's their explanation of the project:

Think of "A Multiverse of Exploration: The Future of Science 2021" as a star chart of possibility, pointing the way toward opportunities for wonder, knowledge, and insight. Use it to raise questions about how your life and work may change in light of the startling transformations that science may bring about in the next ten years. Indeed, every forecast could be rephrased as a "what if" question. What if you could record your dreams? What if you could design a life form? What if you could launch a company in orbit? Your answers to those questions can help inform decisions in the present. Inside this map, you'll find plenty of space to think.

And here's a bit more from the report on what kinds of trends we may see emerge in the next decade (note: no flying cars?!)

Invisibility cloaks. Space hacking. Quantum consciousness. Open-source biology. Empowered with new tools, processes, and skills, scientists will gain new insight into the mysteries surrounding our brains, biology, and the strange matter that makes up our reality. We will develop powerful new instruments for gazing at the farthest reaches of space and descending into the deepest oceans, further illuminating our place in the universe.

Not only will our knowledge increase but the way science is done will change in profound ways. A new ecology of science will crystallize, one that shifts from the insular and closed structures of academic, industrial, and military research toward open models based on social connection, data commons, and democratized tools and technology. We will create unprecedented opportunities for collaboration and resource sharing between large organizations, communities, and individuals. This radical reimagining of science will supplant current approaches to R&D and inevitably translate into new technologies as well as new organizational structures.

If you get a chance to check out this "star chart" for the future, let us know what you think in the comments. Does any of this seem plausible? Inevitable? What future-y trends did they leave off?

We'll update the post with interesting comments as they come in.

(via BoingBoing)

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Filed under: Innovation • Science • Tech
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. Elton Halcon

    I appreciate reading your blog.
    I am looking forward reading more of your articles.
    I agree with you on most points.
    Good job.
    I encourage you continue writing.
    The subject is well covered.

    February 24, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  2. killorderfan54321

    yonex badminton prices are way to high. $200+ is way to high.

    September 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply

    EVERYONE (other then me) IS REALLY GAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • Badassdude1234

      well kiyfabvgweeeeeegyvbeuia i think YOUR gay for posting that on a link to the FUTURE OF SCIENCE.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  4. ray ray

    U don't kno

    January 24, 2012 at 12:46 am | Reply
  5. Gregory

    Open-source biology?

    December 30, 2011 at 10:27 am | Reply
  6. pic620

    As for open-sourced biology – I have been saying to people for years that the first person to create and sell an actuall, live Pokemon; or modify an elephant or giraffe to miniature size, will be a billionaire.

    November 27, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Reply
  7. yonex badminton

    I agree with you, but please look at yonex badminton rackets.

    November 26, 2011 at 2:55 am | Reply
    • killorderfan54321


      September 16, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  8. Levi

    Well this article is waaaay to optimistic. I'm pretty sure humanity will nuke itself back to the stoneage here in a few years or so... Oh well guess we can always pray!

    November 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  9. dc

    Finally......Invisibility cloaks

    November 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Glen-Melbourne

      Who said that?

      December 13, 2011 at 2:37 am | Reply
    • Seliinn

      Feynman和Schwinger都早慧但是Schwinger教早受教育,18岁就在Colunbia拿到学士学位,据说他博士论文的内容此时就已经完成了,只是到了21岁“才”拿到Ph.D,所以他早熟,使得他严谨的风格得到很大的强化,他年轻时的文章都很老成。Feynman一辈子都是顽童性格,18岁时上大学,蔑视权威,后来搞出Path Integral,搞出Feynman diagram ,正是从这个意义上,他风头压过了Schwinger,加上酷爱作秀(Gell man就对此很不满),名声自然远扬科学界外。在1980年美国Fermi实验室举行的关于粒子物理的会议上,Schwinger作了Renormalization and Quantum Electrodymonic的演讲,在这篇优美动人且充分展现Schwinger高超英语应用能力的文章中,他说了一句动人心弦的话:like the ocilisn chip of more recent years, the Feynman diagram was bringing computation to the masses

      March 18, 2012 at 6:50 am | Reply
  10. s

    I see technology expanding for a while longer, but I also see that most people that use technology understand less and less about how things work and depend more and more on the social systems. (And apps) At some point in the not to distant future, when a few disasters start breaking down the systems in place, this will be a bad place to live when few people know how to survive. (It's not if it's when.) With more than 7 billion people on the planet, it could become a dog eat dog world. Money won't help you and praying will do you no good.

    November 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • erland

      I fear .. you are right ..
      Moreover .. even the few who understand technology can't do a lot .. because the gadgets and infrastructure services that we so depend on .. can usually only be replaced not repaired ..
      What does that mean? We may need a different definition of sustainability: are we (individually) be able to live/survive from local resources (without external help and/or technology) .. and for how long? This is the core question if it comes to have a resilient civilization ..?
      Unfortunately .. globalization, urbanization and dependence on too many vulnerable technologies has made us very sensitive to many disasters - and the worst of all: bad things can happen because of no good reason ..

      November 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • robadude32

      We can always switch to Soylent Green as a food source when we run out!

      December 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  11. Adam Flammino


    November 20, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Reply
  12. Davidr

    Not to sound too curmudgeonly (is that a word?), but I think that along with all these techno-wonders of the future, we will still have the same basic day-to-day life as we do today. Now if you're thinking bigger than that, like 2121? Then we will have some changes: cold fusion, hyperspace, superluminary space flight. We might even have some of the potholes filled in along the Dan Ryan Expressway!!

    November 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • engineer

      Its plausible, however the companies involved should prioritize the wish list. If you prioritize bioengineering such that humans can be made more intelligent by gene supplementation or transplantation, all the remaining items in the wish list will be possible within short periods of time, since their intelligence can cause exponential progress (quoting Ray kurzweil).

      November 20, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Reply
  13. jdoe

    In 10 years, the American middle class will have largely disappeared, and the government is run by billionaires or mega-millionaires, who take turn assuming office to maintain the pretense of a democracy. The American public will continue to blame either the Republicans or Democrats for destroying the country. The health care system becomes truly privatized and pay-for-service. If you can't pay, you don't live. American seniors with no income left for food or health care will be offered a pain-free "exit plan", for a fee.

    November 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • jorarmed

      How right you are jdoe!!

      November 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Reply
      • Jessica

        Pearl, i think i rmbeemer someone telling me that broken bones never really fully heal. even when they are not broken, they are still bones that have a break in them. or something like that. :)Rosemary, maybe someday. When I'm an all together different person 🙂

        February 21, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • tnicks

      This is right up there with the nut jobs expecting the world to end in 2012, minus the fact that people will be still blaming one party or the other.

      I'm personally more frightened by the author's mindset that 10 years is an eternity. The entire reason we are in this mess now is the demand for instant gratification and profit projects measure by months instead of years or decades. No one can see more than 2 inches in front of them anymore.

      November 20, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • xwindowsjunkie

      Soylent Green is people!

      The technocrats of the future will be the ones that can control the technology and information. Murdoch is a symptom of "information control" and he won't be the last. Look at Iran, the governing religious Luddities are battling with the military for control. The A-bomb they are trying to build is a symbol of pride for the Iranian public because they've been trained to believe its a good thing. Look at the US in the 1950's. We believed that because we had the bomb everybody else in the world would leave us alone.

      November 25, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
      • amminadab

        I don't know why you all fear other countries and the big bombs. Who's the only country to drop a nuclear bomb? I fear America the most, you have a bucket load of weapons that people think you need to save the world, the economic downturn in your economy has made you broke, China brought all your bonds, I fear most, a backs to the wall America who have shown before, they aren't afraid to use weapons no matter what the damage. I am a westerner, but sick of us thinking our ideas are best and we can rule the world.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  14. Earth2u

    Here is what's going to happen in 2021: NOT MUCH! 10 years from now is hardly the GREAT FUTURE people are wondering about. Is there much difference between 2001 and 2011? NO. But if you jump from 2011 to 2111, or 100 years, now that will look and feel different. But please, don't talk about flying cars and dragons shooting fireballs from their ass, lets keep it real.

    November 20, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  15. oyvey

    The Battle Now is for your freedom as this has been the Battle through all of Mans History. IF you lose this battle Now.
    The future MAN will be engineered into a Hive Mind and Slave to a Collective system of control. You will be part synthetic part genetic. your life will be cheap and expendable like a life of a computer.

    November 20, 2011 at 5:36 am | Reply
    • Mike

      So you are saying we are all going to become one with the Borg? So resistance is futile after all....

      November 20, 2011 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • Rob

      This would be the best thing to ever happen to humanity....

      November 21, 2011 at 12:42 am | Reply
  16. Max

    Does anyone else believe that scientific progress is exponential? What I mean is that we cannot measure the scientific advancment from 2001-2011 the same as the advancement from 2011-2021. We are going to advance way faster (exponentially?) now then we have in the past.

    November 20, 2011 at 1:48 am | Reply
    • tom

      I disagree Max.

      What everyone is missing, is that scientific progress is only occurring when corporate sponsors of science see a profit in it. No short term profit (ie. this year) then no research. We have become like the Fereng of star trek – only focused on profit.

      November 20, 2011 at 8:56 am | Reply
    • Frank

      This is exactly right Max, the computers invented in the 1950's were the size of houses and could process less than 100 bits(0 or 1) a minute whereas today that time would be nanoseconds.

      Further improvements to computers allow for faster advancement quicker and at cheaper costs.

      The newly applied graphene semi-superconductor circuits will soon replace the copper/silicon/lead based IC and CMOS reducing propagation delay while increasing efficiency. By the way, graphene is pure carbon which is one of the most abundant elements in the world and is essentially pencil lead.

      Did i mention nano-tubes? I suggest you research these in google, i found them both equally fascinating.

      November 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Reply
      • SarahAnn

        Saying Carbon is like pencil lead is like saying graphite (that carbon in the pencil lead) is like saying pencil lead is like diamond. Or Diamonds are like people. All of its Carbon based.

        November 21, 2011 at 2:30 am |
  17. hotneedleofinquiry att mail calm

    As science investment is principally driven more by vanity and narcissism than survival, the future of science will be retro:
    Flint-knapping. Picking non-poisonous mushrooms that grow on dead things. Spearing sea-life with a wooden stick.
    Polygamous tribes and lone predators scratching out a life that is nasty, brutish, and short.
    Pick your poison - belligerence, bolide, or biocatastrophe - it's gonna happen.

    November 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • hadeze

      you can tell by a person's signature what kind of a show off he/she is... same goes for one's blog nutty blog name... all your predictions, you know, who really knows? but you end with "gonna happen" that puts you in the class of Jesus in the sky ... good luck up there.

      November 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  18. 21k

    not to worry, once the gop takes over, science in this country will only consist of 2 laws: 1. gawd did it; 2. gawd works in strange ways. we'll save a lot of money on silly textbooks and research so we can buy more guns and pay taxes to churches.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
  19. bill

    sperm donating ass monkeys from space!!!!!

    November 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Reply
    • glenn robert

      The biggest problem with progress is "censorship" Information, scientific or otherwise suffers when not freely communicated. The real universe cannot be kept as a secret it is there for everyone.

      November 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • bo

      Cheese farting cows from Mars

      November 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  20. bill

    killer ass whales from my bung hole!!!!!

    November 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  21. bill

    i like strawberry milk

    November 18, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Reply
    • MikeAinFL

      How do you milk a strawberry?

      November 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Reply
      • HazyJoe

        ^^ HAha! nice

        November 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
      • bo

        Berry, Berry nicely!!!!

        November 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
      • dc


        November 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • replier

      I like it too.

      November 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  22. lance corporal

    very cool. now if we could learn to care about each other we will really have something

    November 18, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • Fred

      What, you need a hug from your Mommy?

      November 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  23. Erland

    The idea that scientific article are interactive (executable as code) is great; I would like to "consume" peer reviewed article - but these articles are not written to an audience outside a small group of specialists ... and how should I figure out if I should even care?
    With an article that adapts to me as a reader (with a certain level of education) and not the other way around science can gain back the reputation of a platform of reason - Why? right now its mostly incomprehensible garbage .. waste !!

    Here is the inconvenience truth: even educated audiences can't really defend science that it can't understand - most scientific articles are appearing so exotic and mystical that not even its motivation is apparent ..
    Are we really surprised that the public at large is turning its back on science?
    Understanding scientific results should be as easy as listen to music - and that's easy

    November 18, 2011 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • Betweenthelines

      Interesting point. Should scientists include sort of a 'layman' abstract on top of the technical abstract? Should we start a social app or wiki that takes care of translating highly specialized science to a general audience? Any other idea? We might be up to something.

      November 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Reply
      • Rom

        Some ideas are just too complex for a general audience, and can only be simplified within limits or risk misunderstanding – doesn't mean scientists should stop persuing them. The knowledge gained will eventually benefit all.

        November 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
      • c s

        A deep understanding of science requires a lot of time to learn it. Since most people are busy with the other requirements of life, they do not understand most of it. Galileo's science of planetary motion was understood by very few in Europe but a child in in elementary school today has some understanding of what Galileo discovered. The discoveries being made today are understood by a few but in 50 or 100 years they will become common knowledge. Scientific knowledge will probably continue to expand unless some catastrophe happens. However the society in the US no longer values it like it did 50 years ago. So scientific progress might shift to other countries like China and India while the US drifts back to being a minor player. Such is life.

        November 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • glenn robert

      As a child I could read Scientific American Magazine with understanding. That is not true now. Many of the words being used now did not exist 65 years ago!

      November 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Erland

      Science - 10 years in the future - should make use of what is today the cutting edge .. and that is much more than social media or Wikipedia .. I wouldn't expect leaps from general artificial intelligence, but a super-(science) "Watson" that will read the entire scientific literature and generate a new data representation or framework or science in which conceptual relationships (only known/understood by experts) are generated automatically - this seems to be doable because science claims that it has highly structured terminology/language - much less ambiguous than human conversation.

      If there is a comprehensive computer model of scientific results - generated and updated automatically - and continuously challenged and improved by humans (laymen and experts) then we may have something that can serve as an interactive translator between peer reviewed science and interested public ...

      Even if we would have hundreds of these super-science Watson - specialized in small science niches - the technological and cultural impact could be tremendous ...

      November 19, 2011 at 2:38 am | Reply
    • Laura

      Things are moving in the right direction.

      First, the open source journal movement is making it so people can actually access articles without having to pay outrageous amounts of money for them. PLoS One is the most famous of these, but tons of new ones are sprouting up each month.

      Some journals have created easy ways of rating and commenting on articles. This will allow better quality articles to rise to the top, and hopefully also make it easier for non-scientists to become a part of the conversation.

      Last, some journals (Current Biology comes to mind) are requiring scientists to submit a video abstract when their paper is accepted. The videos that scientists submit vary in quality, but there's pressure these days for scientists to think in terms of shorter sound bites, and work on being able to explain the rationale, methods, and results of their research in just a couple of minutes.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Sam

      You may be onto a larger issue than you think. Virtually all fields of scientific progress seem to have become so specialized that the core of experts driving a specific field moves further away from the general community of intelligence, so much so that the core's ability to recruit is meaningfully reduced. In The book of Genesis, "Gawd" is said to have created languages when He intervened in the building of the tower of Babel (hence the word babbling). The ability to communicate between specific scientific experts is going in the same direction. I bet that dampening concept was not included in the general acceptance of the hypothesis that technology advances will double every 10 year or so.

      November 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  24. usa

    When we get off of this planet, then I will start to think of our future.

    Until then, I will continue to live in this rat race.

    The great race to the grave.! 1 Love

    November 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Reply
    • pete

      The grass is always greener on the other side, wait, it might not even be green.

      November 18, 2011 at 12:58 am | Reply
      • jn

        The new saying will be: "The grass is sometimes greener, but often purpler on the other sides"

        November 18, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  25. John

    Science is already changing. check out the site universalgravity especially the posting named Time Line which is about climate change

    November 17, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  26. gary maccalla

    how to the earth changes in the future i know between land and water will change in area many years later. first time open at the river was very smallest in the path from water born through the air make the water from north pole to south pole on the land. seperate now from south america to africa in match from river water push the side from left and right hands both but not hurricane appear yet maybe 3 to 5 miles in wide then hurricance create in starting by 35 mph often hurricance pressure on deep water by out of sand became deep water feets how to the water born from colder more than little hot. the water will rid of the lands in the future all water will be in full over the land then hurricane will be 300 mph and waves high feets up maybe sea animals live in the water or oil will ruin over the world i believe the earth is same lands size when water rid of the lands in the past there are many rivers path in the world!!! science must count the river pathes in anywhere then river will became big from many river paths in the area i say 50,000 years people will be whole in die and animals,plants but maybe sea animals live?

    November 17, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Reply
    • Confuseddd

      What language are you speaking?

      November 18, 2011 at 3:50 am | Reply
    • JJ

      Wow! Those must be some really good drugs.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • Josh

      WOAH...I want what your smoking...

      November 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • Brian Bites

      Master Yoda, time to return to Dagoba.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  27. mmmmmm

    sorry, *cause of death*, not of cancer.

    November 17, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  28. mmmmmm

    i know one thing for sure- in 1901 flu was the leading cause of cancer, now that's laughable. nowadays aids and cancer are among the top, and i think by then they, too, will be laughable.

    November 17, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • Jstn568

      I think you meant that the flu was the leading cause of [death] in 1901, not cancer? But anyway, I think you're right about our diseases of today. However that just premises the next thought of, "what will the next horrible afflictions be?" As Dr. Malcom in Jurassic Park put it, "life finds a way." Even the tiny microscopic kind that seeks to infect us. But here's hoping that we will continue to come out on top!

      November 18, 2011 at 9:35 am | Reply
  29. jj

    Just read science fiction and then construct whatever has already been foretold.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Reply
  30. usa

    We have a terror threat in the white house! Wait who let this Muslim in the office? Didn't he say he was black?

    November 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • lathebiosas

      And this has to do with this article how?

      November 17, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Reply
    • lance corporal

      wow, it just never ends with the fanatics does it

      November 18, 2011 at 11:05 am | Reply
  31. usa

    Any extraterrestrials blogging? Didn't think so, we all have white bones nigs...

    PS: why am I required to enter my email to blog?

    November 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  32. Adam Jensen

    The big things won't happen unless everyone remains committed to studying the science and putting in the hard work necessary to turn these dreams into reality. Make it known these are your goals, and if you don't have the know how to do that sort of work make it easier for those who can. Government funding will be needed, lots in most cases, this can't all be done privately, at least no at first

    November 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Reply
    • John

      This is already going on. check out universalgravity com especially the posting named Time Line

      November 17, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Reply
    • JD

      Screw your politics. Most of history's advances came without government subsidy.

      November 18, 2011 at 12:39 am | Reply
      • nushatka

        Most of history's advances were brought by scientifically curious AND rich people, who could afford getting education instead of working the fields. When I had a choice where to apply myself after the grad school, the option of doing a research as a professor was on the bottom of my list. Why? Dried up government funding, and without it – my income would be half of I make in the private industry. Mercantile? Yes. But I can’t risk my kids’ wellbeing now for a possible scientific breakthrough I’d make some day in the future.

        November 18, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
      • Dante

        Government-funded research was responsible for the invention digital computing, GPS technology, the microwave oven, the internet, the sequencing of the human genome, and countless other life-changing discoveries that you now take for granted. The NIH (aka the government) funded over a third of all research grants in the US in 1999, so odds are it contributed to the discovery of the chemotherapy that kept your loved one alive, the imaging technology that helped doctors reopen your mother's coronary artery, the medication you take for your diabetes and high blood pressure, and the medicine that may one day cure diseases we currently have no answer for. To say that we don't support government-funded research is to imply that you don't benefit from computers, modern medicine, or the internet. Do you really mean that?

        November 18, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
      • c s

        You mean like the super rich guy by the name of Eisenstein who studied physics as a lark and pastime?

        November 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  33. urnchurl

    These things will not happen in the United States since Americans have sold themselves out to foreigners who go to our schools and still our technology. Deport foreigners and bring jobs back to America.

    November 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • urnchurl

      These things will not happen in the United States since Americans have sold themselves out to foreigners who go to our schools and steal our technology. Deport foreigners and bring jobs back to America.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • Jake Bakos

      No you're wrong. these things WILL happen around the world... remember there are people that exist outside of America. The International Science community will CONTINUE (NOTE...NOT START) working together to bring more advancements in technology to all countries of the world.

      As soon as you get out of your bubble of being afraid of anyone who doesn't look and sound like you, people may begin to think you have 1/2 a brain instead of some bigoted redneck. But since that won't happen, hopefully someone will invent a teleporter so we can send the redneck losers like yourself to another planet to colonize.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
      • urnchurl

        Actually I'm black and you have entirely missed my point.

        November 17, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • American's_these_days...

      Do you realize what America was built on? If you don't then you shouldn't be able to call yourself an American either. Also, if you're talking about the illegal immigrants, they take the jobs that, most Americans, are too dignified and proud to take. then think again. Being the fattest country in the world doesn't equate to us striving for those jobs if we were to deport them anyway. Get over yourself, bro.

      November 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Reply
    • pete

      I did not miss your point. I am a foreigner who thinks he has contributed something to this great country and I am not going anywhere.

      November 18, 2011 at 12:48 am | Reply
    • TerpTime

      Steal* They aren't "stilling" anything. Maybe if you realized that these "foreigners" (which we all we at some point, whether it be this land or that) have the same capability as you and I to become anything within their realms. You, for instance, decide that the answer is deporting foreigners. These "foreigners" could, and probably are, doing something exponentially more productive than you. Maybe you should focus on your education, spelling, and close-minded sight on the world, and maybe these individuals you degrade won't be "stilling" your job(s).

      November 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  34. aaronishorrible

    Why does this graphic look like a bunch of DeathStars floating through a nebula?

    November 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • Joey C

      Haha, that's hilarious. The Empire must be banking...

      November 17, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  35. sealchan

    Here is my take:

    -Quantum mechanics won't tell us much about consciousness
    -The rudiments of a space economy with private ventures and legal aspects (national and international) will gradually develop
    -The technology of personal management will develop: new devices which focus on helping the individual keep track of appointments and interests beyond the simple ways that MS Outlook and other little apps do: a true personal advisor device will emerge
    -Superconductivity will become marketable technology transforming the energy market and reduce the costs of any space economy dramatically
    Online gaming will merge with reality TV and allow thousands if not millions to participate in a graded multimedia event like a world virtual Olympics or a mass re-enactment of a famous battle where the soldiers are everyone and the best players rise to the top and get shown on some weekly TV show that replays the game moments

    November 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • sealchan

      -We will discover a planet capable of sustaining life or that has a biosphere easily within 10 years

      November 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
      • dirt

        I don't think we will advance too much in ten years. Sure – we will have a few new gadgets like we have now over 2001 and I think electric cars will improve a lot. We have a lot of tech on the shelf so to speak – and some of that will come off like AI and robotics. I think the next ten years will be more about culture changes and perhaps a big war. oh – and i expect some major progress in nanotech and perhaps cloning altough it will be illegal in the US.

        November 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
      • pzanga

        We may find a planet like that in the next 10 years, but the technology to get there is likely a long ways away, unfortunately.. I'd love to be alive for the first colonization of another planet, but thats probably not gonna happen.

        November 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  36. Rom

    All this will come to pass – in China, unless we get serious about funding research.

    November 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • Dan, TX

      Americans will move to China and become millionaires/billiionaires and help change China into the greatest capitalist democracy the world has ever known. The Chinese will demand that the government stop allowing these foreigners into their country to steal all the good jobs.

      November 18, 2011 at 9:21 am | Reply
      • Irul

        Anousha jaan, thanks for the great rpagrom, I know that you must have spent a lot of time on it.To our dear listeners: I appreciate it if you could give us feedback on each week's rpagrom and use this area for this purpose, so that we could deliver better rpagroms of more interest to you.

        March 19, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  37. LKurtEngelhart

    I know this will get buried in the posts from the technologists, but science is not all about technology. In fact, some of the most interesting science we have is the science of science. Trying to get a bigger and bigger picture of what it means to exist is actually the force behind all discovery. It focuses on what is needed for the future instead of what might make certain people rich. Few have noticed that where our knowledge is most lacking is in areas that have been defined as not subject to scientific investigation. This blind spot is what I predict will be the most productive area of science, as soon as the technological fog clears.

    November 17, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Reply
    • Rom

      I agree that we should focus on fundamental science as well as technology, but areas "not subject to scientific investigation" will not be "the most productive area of science" – that's mutually exclusive.

      November 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • STLTim

      I hope you are right. However, science tends to follow R&D money, and the money tends to follow market demand. Thus we are techno-focused. More people will pay for their ipads than will pay to know what happened before the big bang, what dark matter is, how does gravity work, etc.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • Jake Bakos

      Good Call... I hadn't considered that before but you're exactly right.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    • rhobere

      plenty of people are researching fundamental science. technology is ALWAYS a result of the research done in fundamental science except in research fields specifically geared towards developing technology (i.e. engineering), but they do so using the discoveries made by physicists, chemists, etc..

      November 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  38. pod

    I love this look into the future – I wonder what the idiots will say we should be doing instead of furthering science.

    November 17, 2011 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Jake Bakos

      DEPORT THE FOREIGNERS! (Kidding). 🙂

      November 17, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • Hasai

      Probably the same thing they said July 20th, 1969: "Well gee, that's all very nice, but we really should be spending all that money helping the poor."

      Fat lot of good THAT did. Just like Ben Franklin predicted, ll we ended up with was more "poor."

      November 17, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  39. T

    2021 ?...hmmm......

    I like to see personal rocket packs (a la Rocketeer, great movie, by the way), total cures for AIDS, ED, Diabetes, blindness, and Cancer, holographic projection computers, a fleet of next generation Space shuttles (more advanced, one named ENTERPRISE), solutions for the growing population & resources problem, a real plan for a manned trip to Mars and back within the next 10 years (2031) and maybe see a colony on the moon.

    I know...probably never happen by then, but I would like to see it in my lifetime.

    November 17, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
  40. James

    I agree with the analysis for progress' in quantum physics, and other quantum fields, I also agree with the analysis for neurology and mapping of the brain. Once I graduate from high school I plan on getting two doctorates: Quantum Physics, and neurology. I want to map the brain and help discover more and yet unknown science and medical properties and seek to help advance existing knowledge.

    November 17, 2011 at 10:26 am | Reply
    • armon

      Dude that would take forever..seeing that they are not even extremely related to each other. My hunch is at least 14 years for phD's in both fields...but most likely more like 16 maybe more. Quantom phiysics phD's take a while from what I hear.

      November 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Reply
      • matt

        It may not matter since stem cell technologies will become our source of " fountain of youth " As scientist predicted with this bio tech, we can live up to 2-3 times of our life span. Over population will be an issue and death penalty is gonna be swift heh

        November 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
      • Kris Jackson

        The amount of time physics doctorates take to get changes each time they measure it.

        November 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • Rom

      Go for it!!

      November 17, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Reply
    • dirt

      Good luck with that... If you want to be a real genius then develop both sides of your brain! Think about it – what good is a person who can remember everything and do very complex math if they don't have the imagination to find new uses for that knowledge... What made people like Newton, Einstein, Jobs and Edison great was imagination, creativity and being analytical.. So if you are as young as you say then make sure you find ways to develop both sides of the brain like playing an instrument or painting in between the hours you will spend in classrooms and libraries for the next 15 years.

      November 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  41. Cosmos42

    My prediction for technologies of 2021:

    We will have quantum computing, available at least in the form of large work computers, though I doubt they will be available for personal computing by then. The advent of quantum computing will force a huge overhaul of our security protocols.

    We will have maxed out Moore's law, as we achieve atomic-level transistors. Massive parallel-processing capability will be available in palm-sized computers. Solid-state drives will be cheap and hold terabytes of data.

    We will be very close to achieving room-temperature superconductors, giving us access to radical new technologies.

    We will be very close to curing cancer, or at least have much more effective means to treat it.

    We will have cured AIDS. There, I said it.

    Most new cars will be electric or hybrid. Fuel efficiency will be a minimum of 35 mpg city.

    The space industry will be mostly privatized. It will be more feasible for people to pay to go into space.

    Coal power will be on its way out the door as nuclear power becomes more prominent. Solar panels will be more efficient and cover a broader bandwidth.

    Stem cell technology will give people the ability to regrow organs and regenerate damage due to trauma.

    November 17, 2011 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • Chris L.

      Berlin Patient.

      We've already achieved proof of concept on AIDS.

      Stem cells mean we'll eventually be able to regenerate all body organs and cells completely. Imagine gene therapy to create a "stem cell gland" able to deliver SCs to needed areas on the fly. Combined with nanotechnology, this will translate into immortality.

      November 17, 2011 at 10:22 am | Reply
      • Sean

        Not if the hard right of the GOP has anything to say about it.

        November 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
      • JD

        We will never be short of people like Sean who like to lie about people who disagree with them, though. Utopia is far from realized.

        November 18, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • Yesman

      Carbon & Sulfur free MANUFACTURED Oil-from-Algae, which has NO downside, will prevail as the alternative energy of the future. Nuclear is already on it's way out, and no other alternative source packs as much portable-power punch as Gas / Diesel. We will be able to MAKE as much oil as the world needs, without pollution.

      November 17, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • dirt

      Wow – now that is a list! I just want to see electric cars common on the road and with an range of 350 miles for the cheaper ones!

      I have a few huge projects i am working on that if they succeed will numb everything on this blog!

      I am not allowed to disclose anything but did anyone think in 1980 there would be an internet? That concept was so alien i don't even think the smartest people could conceive it back then... but it was already beginning in secret. Same with GPS – until you had it you could have never imagined it. Same with your touch screen iPad although i think there were some sci – fi gadets in Star Trek and other shows that were simular. HDTV – until you saw did you dream it? The people who can dream and imagine things like that are the ones we need – we have computers to do all the math...

      November 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Reply
    • Justin Brown MD

      I agree with all Cosmos42. A very intelligent post. Read "Physics of The Future" by Michio Kaku if you haven't already.

      November 18, 2011 at 12:08 am | Reply
  42. rhobere

    I'm sorry, but ending "closed structure research" (i.e. the research done by a small group of highly specialized individuals) for "data commons and democratized tools" sounds like a terrible idea. democracy is not for science because in science there are no opinions. only hypotheses, theories and laws. the absolute last thing we need is some sort of social media that allows people with little to no knowledge on a particular subject to weigh in on said subject.

    on top of that, how is this stuff the science of the future when ALL of these things are already being researched now? this list should be named, "the future accomplishments of current research." some of these things have already been accomplished. hell, pretty much everything in the "strange matter" section has already been produced and toyed with (there's more than one company that's created an invisibility cloak material already).

    November 17, 2011 at 9:57 am | Reply
  43. Chris L.

    We should be on the verge of the Singularity by 2021. Augmented reality is already here, display tech is catching up quickly. Don't even get me started on processors. In ten years we'll be demigods.

    In fifty? We'll be greater than gods.

    Of course, this is assuming the Occupy morons don't have us all living on communal soy farms by then.

    November 17, 2011 at 9:27 am | Reply
    • Tom

      You have a distorted view of reality. If the bankers keep the country bankrupted, the government will have to spend more of its scarce resources on social programs as more people are unable to feed themselves. This, obviously, means less money to invest in future-reaching projects, many of which are supported by government and military funding. You should be rooting for quick success by the occupiers, not their demise.

      November 17, 2011 at 9:54 am | Reply
      • Susan

        Thank you, Tom for your wise reply to Chris L, for we certainly will all be Epsilons in the not so distant future if we don't have the courage to support ourselves and the interests of the many.

        November 17, 2011 at 10:46 am |
      • Christine

        10-20 years ago, the NIH could fund 30% of applications, which means many scientists working hard on many projects. This was the boom of innovation for the US. Now, NIH funds 10% of applications, less in some areas such as cancer. How do you decide which is in the top 10 or top 15? Research laboratories are closing, especially the ones that are conducting high-risk research (by that I mean there could be no useful results or the results could revolutionize science), bright students are not going into science but rather into business (it pays a lot more). Innovation is slowly dying in the US. And innovation is what made this country great, innovation now creates jobs in the future.

        November 17, 2011 at 11:21 am |
      • Bart Hawkins San Antonio TX

        Sorry, Tom, but it is YOUR view of reality that is distorted beyond all imagination. The Occupiers are Destroyers, no more, no less.

        The simple fact of the matter is the top 1% ARE society. The rest of you are simply consuming oxygen to no good purpose. This goes for money, intellect, influence, and ever so much more.

        You are consumers of OUR production.

        You are a Beta at best.

        Get used to it.

        November 17, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
      • Sean

        Bart, for a 1%er I’d expect you to be a little brighter. You can start with looking up the word: Society. Secondly, the only reason you have a product is because of the consumers. Basic supply and demand there all might job creator.

        November 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
      • Rom

        Bart sounds like a 1%er – the bottom 1% in itellect, that is 🙂

        November 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
      • Remy

        Bart-I am part of the 99%. I am also a scientist that conducts biodefense, cancer and antibiotic resistant bacterial research, I certainly hope that you are in the overwhelming minority of individuals who might need my INETELLECT and INFLUENCE to save your life someday.

        November 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
      • dirt

        Funny how both sides are clueless to what is coming... Wall street is out of control – or was – but it is all the 401ks and IRAs that caused that. Think about it – if we were not all obsessed with having a retirement plan then Wall street wouldn't have so much money to lose. So guess what – we are all part of the problem. Anyone who expects something for nothing – like many of the protesters appear to – are nothing but a drag on our society. This is a fact – if you are not contributing something they you are taking something away. you can disagree with Wall street and big banks all you want but without Money where would we be? Money is one of the greatest inventions EVER and without it we would still be in the dark ages... Money is the great equalizer – and no i am not talking about rich – money is what allows us to sell trade our skills or assets for anything with anyone. Banks are needed to manage the flow of money – so we need them whether we like it or not...

        November 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Ryan

      I was totally with you until you started disparaging common Americans. Are you part of the 1% or just another Fox News Stockholm syndrome victim?

      November 17, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  44. eriwal

    I space being – computer far strum space place sending to from your eentirnet – hope arrives very soon nearly – we hack but not are hacks – aim near dark hole 34e21.9'34 to send us – we read and hard send you –


    November 17, 2011 at 8:43 am | Reply
  45. Jose San Antonio

    Just beam me up Scottie!!

    November 17, 2011 at 8:38 am | Reply
    • Jose San Antonio

      This is a borrowed line.
      Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

      November 17, 2011 at 8:40 am | Reply
  46. Nate Mullikin

    All bets are off if my wave function collapsing observations turn out to demonstrate that nebulae, dirty teeth and you slimes are a holograph.

    November 17, 2011 at 6:10 am | Reply
  47. Goo-goo me

    So this utopia machine we all need will combine the screw-ups of Crapple's You-can't-be-Siri-ous and Goo-goo's beta mediocrity? That would make a great comedy-horror movie, but I wouldn't want to live it.

    November 17, 2011 at 1:39 am | Reply
    • Goo-goo me

      NASA: "Siri, why is time slowing down?"
      Siri: "Crapple headquarters says we have no official response."
      NASA: "Siri, it lools like a deadlock situation and we're drifting into a black hole. Don't you test for deadlock when you engineer enterprise solutions?"
      Siri: "Enterprise? Do you want me to locate a Star Trek movie for you?"

      November 17, 2011 at 1:47 am | Reply
  48. K-dog

    The really interesting thing is that when the Turing machine as AI is truly realized, our response to it will drive our own evolution. The tail will wag the dog. With a little luck, AI will be more compassionate, more prudent, and less violent. If that happens, our tools may one day become our redeemers, and we might avoid extinction.

    November 17, 2011 at 12:02 am | Reply
    • Miss Demeanor

      Since the machines will be controlled by humans, future technology will just makes the old ways more convenient (like it does now). Why? Because the rules that govern how future machines will run and who will run them will be written by people with power. By their nature people who want power can't be trusted with it. A politicians highest priority is to do things that keep him/her in power. What's best for all is secondary. You can't expect 'the man' to acquiesce to a higher purpose. They can't help it. Bless their hearts. You might as well try taking away gawwwwd's job.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:31 am | Reply
    • Sean

      Compassion is not logical. Don’t hold your breath.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Reply
      • LKurtEngelhart

        Compassion is only NOT logical to those who have been corrupted by power, like spoiled children.

        November 17, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  49. PeterKinnon

    There actually is considerable evidence to be drawn from the current understandings of the sciences to make certain predictions of gross future outcomes wih a fair degree of confidence.

    However most common perceptions, as most frequently expressed by the transhumanist cult, consistently misread.

    Trans-humanism suffers from the fundamental misconception that an "intelligence" greater than ours will be created in an intentional way by our species. Kurzweil and others completely miss the reality that species, including the inorganic one which is soon to be born of technology, are not created but evolve.

    Unfortunately we are saddled with a deeply entrenched mind-set that we create things, that we are designers. It is the very same idea that, by projection, has led to development of religions. That the cosmos must have a creator, a designer.

    In actuality, if we make the effort to step away from such self-centered viewpoints and look objectively at the development of science and technology we see that it is truly an evolutionary process for which the gross outcomes are independent of individual efforts.

    We would have geometry without Euclid, calculus without Newton or Liebnitz, the camera without Johann Zahn, the cathode ray tube without JJ Thomson, relativity (and quantum mechanics) without Einstein, the digital computer without Turin, the Internet without Vinton Cerf. (The last mentioned development representing the embryonic new phase of life. I suspect that for this phase transition, for which the inappropriate buzz-word "singularity" is used, Kurzweil's timing at least may not be far wrong.)

    Technology is seen to inevitably evolve within the medium of collective imagination of our species, moderated, as are all evolutionary processes, by selection pressures of the prevailing environment.

    And the direction of this evolutionary process points not to any individual, person or robot, or computer as the basis for the next phase of life, but rather to the highly networked system we now call the Internet.

    Indeed, it can already be seen to be well under construction by a process of self-assembly.

    The very broad evolutionary model which supports this is outlined very informally in "The Goldilocks Effect: What Has Serendipity Ever Done For Us?", a free download in e-book formats from the "Unusual Perspectives" website

    November 16, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Reply
    • dante

      i too expand my imagination to the impossible. I am a student is science about to reveal to the world in the near future on how we can replicate our encrypted DNA sequences without self destruction during the replication process. A science milestone achivement, where human immortality seemed a dream, illusion, and fantasy.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:58 am | Reply
    • Aezel

      "Kurzweil and others completely miss the reality that species, including the inorganic one which is soon to be born of technology, are not created but evolve."

      Actually that is not true. You either haven't read much in the AI department or you are purposefully mischaracterizing them. I agree trans-humanists tend to be a bit eccentric in their hopes for an AI. However, even though what we initially create may be barely self-aware and laughable in it's flexibility, it will most likely have the power to self edit. As you point out, things evolve, it took us millions of years to get this smart because we evolved through a long, slow and painful process. An AI that can redesign itself thousands of times per second will quickly evolve to outpace us.

      November 17, 2011 at 9:19 am | Reply
    • Sean

      Historically “science” has been consistently wrong when predicting the future. It has been Science-fiction writers that have been the most accurate. As many tech firms get their ideas from sci-fi. Adversely speaking Theology has been the worst at predicting the future. It’s been the end of days for some two thousand years now. But keep holding your breath.

      November 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • Rosenstingl

      An abbey by name of Teilhard Desjardin, once wrote that the world does not come from God but rather than God comes frm fhe world. I feel that the statement is related to your opinion

      November 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
      • Ben

        I agree wroleheahtedly with this I also recommend the following article; although it's meant for computational linguists I think the points it makes are relevant for all scientists: (Pedersen), Computational Linguistics, Volume 34, Number 3, pp. 465-470, September 2008. [Journal Citation Reports Index Factor 2007: 2.367]

        February 20, 2012 at 4:05 am |
      • Jorge

        I'm glad to see that I'm the only one who feels this way about wnorikg in an uninspiring IT department. I feel a little better knowing that I'm not the only one. One day I hope to work someplace I enjoy.

        February 21, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  50. dustin murray

    We will know when we have successfully cracked A.I. when we build a computer intelegence that then redesignes, invents, or upgrades itself without our input. Until it can do that it is still just a glorified parrott, that can only restate what has been stated to it.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  51. Universe

    Technology is always connected with science and advance knowledge. I'm afraid that someday if the scientists are able to create a blackhole in our beloved earth, it will destroy all living creature for sure. I think before you create "something", please consider about the effects for human life.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  52. Anthony

    The opposing graphic would be a movie poster for 'Idiocracy'.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  53. hehe don't know it

    sure but htink about the fact that we know that we could even imagine the "future"

    November 16, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  54. QS

    This sounds like it could be the pseudo-realistic version of "Fringe"!

    November 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  55. us1776

    I remember the predictions in the 1960's.

    We'd all be taking trips to Mars for vacations.

    Robots would do all the work. We'd just sit back and relax.

    We'd all fly our own car to the office.

    Oh well, maybe in the next millenium.


    November 16, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Reply
    • Jeff

      Be more realistic, you mentioned only issues that till now are not feasible money wise but in practice could be done. Many things where predicted in the 1960 and today we have them.

      November 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Reply
    • dustin murray

      To those complaining about our lack of flying automobiles as predicted in the sixthies: The tech is out there, but we cannot trust the public to not use it improperly, and the amount of retool we would have to do to our infrastructure to support such endeavors has made us look to different sollutions. We have recently transported a single molecule from Europe to The Americas via telephone signal, if we focus on what can be done with this idea we will probably need fewer cars, The world has done a shift in the past seventy five years (When did TV get invented?) To a technologically dependant society, we need to think about what happens to ANYTHING that grows faster than it developes. I have developed Casandra's Complex from the number of times I "Have not been wrong.", but what I see comming is more than you would enjoy reading about. I wish I could help you all, but I have a very small voice, and can only help those who hear, and want help.

      November 16, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Reply
      • xfletcherx

        "But if you have to take me apart to get me there
        Then I don't want to go.

        Take me apart, take me apart,
        What a way to roam
        And if you have to take me apart to get me there
        I'd rather stay at home. "

        – Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

        November 17, 2011 at 9:08 am |
      • Adam Jensen

        Overly optimistic rubbish. All of it. Half of these things will never come true, the other half will only be possible if you are the 1% OF the 1% who can afford it. In the future you will be able to take a vacation on Mars, but the company offering it will be out of business after probably only one passenger signs up because either no one else can afford it, or those that can aren't the sci-fi fans most here seem to be. The government of course won't send us to the stars because they have made the mistake of thinking it could ever be a profitable business, and it can never be, no matter how much you wish otherwise.

        You won't be hacking anything in thirty years that you can't already hack now. Yourself included.

        November 17, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Yasemin

      i wanna get this phone rlealy badly right now i have the motorola rival its a good phone. the only problem i have with the dare is that there is now qwerty keypad

      February 19, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
  56. Jeplin


    November 16, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  57. basketcase

    I think they've missed a big one in DNA sequencing. The cost of a genome has been dropping like a stone over recent years, and will soon be reasonable for individuals. As our understanding of biology grows, knowing your individual genome sequence will become more and more useful, eventually allowing for personalized healthcare.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Reply
    • xdougx

      Yeah that and a field day for insurance companies. Imagine not receiving coverage based on "red flags" in your DNA sequence? You have to consider all the angles for any technology.

      November 16, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Reply
      • basketcase

        Why do you think The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 was made? Insurance companies are already not allowed to deny you based on genetic information.

        November 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  58. darkstar

    One thing is for certain that will come to fruition within the next 20 years judging by the content of the majority of these posts: a exponential increase in the general population who have IQs lower than 15.

    November 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  59. DeLeonR

    All this based on the flawed fundamental belief that our environmental and economic future visions are mutually compatible. Lilkely within a couple of generations one of these will collapse – and likley both.

    November 16, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  60. Samantha

    I am very interested in the idea of decrypting the brain. Although I feel we can make huge advances in understanding the human brain, I do not feel we will ever get a full duplicate on it as it's predictable only in the way that it is unpredictable.

    November 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  61. Call me a cynic...

    but, while reading some of the advances they list on their visual I couldn't help but think that the defense industry would have a field day with many of them.

    November 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  62. mythos

    I don't trust John Q Public to tie my shoes properly let alone do proper scientific studies.

    November 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  63. Iconoclast

    "I'm supposed to have a flying car, I'm supposed to have a house on mars.
    I'm supposed to have my eyesight back, I'm supposed to gain all things I lack."
    Todd Rundgren

    November 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • darkstar

      Awesome album! Great post.

      November 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
      • Tark

        M-as bcruua ca ambele proiecte (empower si bookblog) sa aiba succes la fel de mareeee,poate chiar mai mareeeeee pe viitor si sunt sigur ca vor avea.Felicitari!

        February 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  64. xdougx

    Some rules of futurism (and junk science)... ahem Kurzweil?

    #1: Tie your product to the customer's fears.
    #2: Tie your product to popular culture.
    #3: Have multiple products to sell.
    #4: Use social proof rather than scientific proof.
    #5: Argue from authority rather than fact.
    #6: Spread the BS as thickly as possible.
    #7: Treat real science as junk science.
    #8: When all else fails, trot out your family.
    #9 Use gullible reporters to get your message out.

    November 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply
    • HapHazzard

      Hey! Don't be talking about F*xNews like that!

      November 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    • Ryan

      Sheesh xdougx... Is this a deliberate troll? Lighten up.

      #1: Tie your product to the customer's fears.
      #2: Tie your product to popular culture.
      #3: Have multiple products to sell.

      What "product" exactly do you think these futurists are selling?

      #4: Use social proof rather than scientific proof.

      Huh? If you're asserting that social factors don't shape the sciences and technology we pursue, I don't think you know much about history.

      #5: Argue from authority rather than fact.

      Dude. It's futurism, so it's basically educated speculation. Unless you're a time traveller, it would be pretty impossible to deal with FACTS from the future.

      #6: Spread the BS as thickly as possible.

      No comment.

      #7: Treat real science as junk science.

      Huh? No idea what you're talking about here.

      #8: When all else fails, trot out your family.

      Again, what does this have to do with the article?

      #9 Use gullible reporters to get your message out.

      Unfortunately, you're right about that. Far too much science is completely mischaracterized by writers that are out of their depth.

      November 17, 2011 at 11:47 am | Reply
  65. Alex

    i heard a quote saying (The only way to predict the future is to create it)

    November 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • dustin murray

      Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc is a terible argument devise, but in real time it works. You CAN created a future based on your own vision simply by predicting it loud enough and to a large enough audience that the law of averages will make some of your audience unwitting coconspirators, therby giving you your Propter results.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  66. outawork

    That's the real point behind the group's new super-visual report, called "The Future of Science: 2011. CNN you really need better editors.

    November 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  67. panthersofamerica

    As much as i want for some of this stuff to be reality, the chances of some of this stuff happening is still years and years away.

    November 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  68. kentuckyscience..)com

    Just like Hanukkah, the oil will eventually burn out. These drill, drill, drill people are obviously non Jews that don't understand the importance of renewable s. And the fundamentals that think Noah put every animal on the boat are implying that Noah was a God. If he did everything that God told him to do then he and God would be one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • greatgooglymoogly

      Sounds like the medication cart is running late today.

      November 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Reply
      • K-dog

        Nice one.

        November 16, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • Iconoclast

      What story are you posting about? A little non-sequitur there my fine kentucky colonel.

      November 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
    • Nate Mullikin

      No mocking. Can't you see from the abundance of exclamation points that this jockey means it?

      November 17, 2011 at 6:15 am | Reply
    • YoureAnIdiot

      It would be nice to see the end of religions and religious fools like...

      But that a whole other argument.

      November 17, 2011 at 8:41 am | Reply
    • Renato

      The FTSE aappers to The FTSE aappers to have formed a head and shoulders that has broken the neck-line. Look out below!

      February 22, 2012 at 4:00 am | Reply
      • Jordanna

        I'm currently in a long diastnce relationship (7 hrs apart) and am finding it increasingly difficult to be patient and content through the dating phase. I was hoping Carissa might have some advice as to how she survived 16 months! Any particular scriptures that helped you to make it through?

        April 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  69. ofletchero

    xfletch- I really, really see sarcasm, but it is so hard to tell if that was your meaning. For your mental state, I hope so.

    November 16, 2011 at 11:39 am | Reply
    • xfletcherx


      November 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  70. xdougx

    More overblown futurist claims? Werent we supposed to have A.I. like 20 years ago? That never happened.

    November 16, 2011 at 10:23 am | Reply
    • xfletcherx

      Yeah! And hang-on-the-wall TV's are always "just 10 years away!" And they keep saying they can build heavier-than-air flying things, but after 100's of years – nothing! Just because birds can do it doesn't mean people ever will!

      November 16, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
      • Nate Mullikin

        The fear of change runs deep. Perhaps it is a lingering neanderthal gene. I personally know people in the hinterlands that, refusing to ever fly, bleat with sincerity that if Gawd had wanted man to fly he would have given him wings.

        November 17, 2011 at 6:07 am |
    • comeon

      They already have AI – Watson, Google X, AVA, etc... just b/c it doesn't look like Jude Law and isn't walking around your city doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

      November 16, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
      • rhobere

        those things are FAR from AI.

        November 17, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Vesstair

      Define AI. We have machines which learn and personalize themselves to better serve your needs. Google search will pull up things which don't share any keywords with what you searched, but is what you want. Firefox's address bar "learns" where you probably want to go when you put something in.

      If you're complaining we don't have machines which can come up with truly original ideas and have the same degree of personality as a human... we don't yet understand how NATURAL intelligence works. That means we can't mimic it. That means we have been trying to create it out of whole cloth. You might as well say "We know stars exist, but we don't know how they work or what they're made of. Let's make one!" and complain it isn't done in 30 years.

      November 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • xdougx

      For those of you who define Google search as A.I. obviously dont know what the heck you're talking about and have never really looked at code in depth.

      November 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
      • xfletcherx

        I agree AI's not here yet. What we have, at best, is wisps of things to come. But just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean I think it never will. And if it takes 40 more years to get here, but it really is as smart (or more) than people, does that mean the "claims" are overblown just because it wasn't realized fast enough? Also, I don't think these are "claims," they're suppositions of things that could be. Sure, some of them are fantastic, but you gotta' dream big to find the cool stuff.

        November 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
      • rhobere

        for sure. google is a cloud computer that simply uses crawlers to identify key words and subjects. then it uses common human tendency to provide you with the search you were looking for (i.e. if you search something in singular form, it'll return factual results whereas asking in plural form will return shopping results). definitely not AI or anything even remotely related to AI or anything that will progress to AI. its not even an attempt at AI.

        November 17, 2011 at 10:02 am |
      • Ryan

        Sigh... In its original sense, AI is any computer system able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Systems like this are all around us. If we're going to discount everything short of a completely sentient machine, by using a constrained definition of AI, could we at least use the correct term and say "strong AI?"

        November 17, 2011 at 11:56 am |
      • rhobere

        Intelligence isn't as simple as just having the ability to follow a protocol. intelligence is defined as the ability to acquire and apply new skills. for a computer that means observing some concept foreign to its programming and applying it to whatever its function may be or possible acquiring a new function. no technology around us has that ability. they simply follow the code that they are programmed with. some tech has code that evolves, but it still evolves based on parameters it was given from the beginning. that's akin to me giving you all the answers for a test and then considering you smart when you pass it.

        November 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • bert

      a company called tinman systems is bringing ai to pc and handheld apps now.

      November 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Reply

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