I’ve been reading another really good book, Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku. A professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and cofounder of the string field theory, Kaku also hosts two radio programs, Explorations and Science Fantastic and has a TV show called Sci Fi Science on the Science Channel.
I haven’t read Kaku’s other books, though I may search them out, but this one has been such fun. In it, Kaku shares his vision of the next 100 years of science, based in part on what scientists are now researching. One of the most astounding probabilities is the driverless car. Even now, GPS (Global Positioning System) has become common. Very soon it will have been fine-tuned to the point that it can speak to the computer in a vehicle and direct the car to within a few feet of its intended destination. Kaku believes before ten years is out, driverless cars will be a reality. I worry about those few extra feet and what might be living in them, but I’m sure by the time these cars are ready for the market, there will no longer be a variance. (That’s assuming, of course, that by the time they are ready, GPS will not have been blocked by some bigger and more important technology!)
Another intriguing prediction is that we will very soon (also in the next ten years) wear the internet in our glasses and contact lenses. When you blink, the image in front of your eyes will be an internet screen, just as if you are looking at a monitor. The image will fill your vision. I don’t know if this means that those who can see a flea on a tree across a canyon will be left behind. Probably, just plain old internet glasses will be available. But I do wonder what will happen if said flea should get in your eye. Internet on – internet off – internet on, etc. Might be amusing – for a short time. These glasses have been in the works since 1991 and are called VRD (Virtual Retinal Display).
We are heading, it seems, toward an environment of ubiquitous chips in everything: clothing, furniture, cars, and all of them ordering our lives, keeping us up to speed, telling us what to do. Unfortunately, there’s a downside: Moore’s Law. Moore’s Law, “a rule of thumb that has driven the computer industry for fifty or more years…simply says that computer power doubles about every eighteen months.” The unfortunate part is eventually (Kaku predicts about 20-50 years), computers will reach a point at which they can no longer be improved and their power can no longer be increased and when they do, our children and grandchildren will be heirs to the greatest economic crash of all time, with millions losing their jobs. Grim prediction. But it seems the only question is when.
This fascinating book offers many similar insights into the near future that will raise your eyebrows, but you will enjoy the facelift. I recommend it highly.
And while I’m at it, I would like to raise my glass to Sarah, our intrepid social media leader, who will wander out the library door tomorrow and go in search of a new life. Have fun, Sarah!!