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The Future


kung
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I remember when my brother and I used to say 'in the future movies are gonna be $10 whoaaa'. Now look at the world. I just got off the phone with this world renowned futurist Richard Worzel cause I'm looking at him to speak at a conference. He basically laid out the technological developments that we'll see in the next ten to twenty years as they affect agriculture, industry and people. Heavy shit. Stuff about nutriceuticals (food engineered with specific nutrients enhanced) and bioengineered enzymes to turn waste biomass into energy. Other stuff about mass customization and how companies like Dell can produce a custom computer for cheaper than mass production. Demographic changes and the aging wealthy boomer generation, outsourcing of labour to the third world and on. How satellite and fixed wireless will shift our notions of 'remoteness' such as the North. My noodle is stewed.

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This reminds me of an illustrated paperback book that I kept from when I was a kid. It's title is simply "The Future" and it was published in about 1975 or 1976. There are pictures and mock scenarios of the good/bad possibilities that people were thinking of at the time. Some of the things in that book (electronic post offices, huge TVS that can hang on the wall, keyless home entry) have certainly come to fruition, but some of their more idealistic wishes such as every home growing their own food, sustainable mass transportation...wha happened?

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cyberhippie - no need to worry about oil. The future is hydrogen fuel cells. They are already in existence, but they're too expensive to be used in everyday vehicles. The people that invest now in that technology and making it accessable, will be richer than the people who invested in automobiles and oil 90 years ago.

I just read an article today that said researches in the UK had been experimenting with stem cell research and using that technology to re-grow teeth. They successfully grew teeth in adult mice that had lost their original set of "adult" teeth. Human experiments should start in 2-3 years.

Kung - do you have a recommended reading list for dr. future?

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It's all about the hydrogen economy hippy. Ethanol processed from grains, C02 for beverages as a biproduct as well as hyrdrogen. The oil companies aren't going to dig that much but it'll happen. Hydrogen could be a huge cash crop for Ontario's (or anyone's) farmers. Using waste biomass from things like slashpiles will become more and more common as a source of fuel.

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Here's an interesting glimps into the future of agriculture. Pigs that pee Medicine.

sian10082004050317021300503tech.jpg

Researchers at the Rural Development Administration showcase pigs genetically engineered to produce biotechnology medicine in Suwon, south of Seoul, Monday. Milk and urine of the pigs contain human tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), a natural gene preventing the blood clotting condition thrombosis.

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