9 Inventions We Need Now

October 3, 2008

Come with me, friends, on a journey into the future!  Technology is progressing at a logorhythmic rate based on the Moore’s Law.  It’s hard to keep up with.  Shoot, I had to link to Moore’s Law cause nobody even knows what that is, and it’s been around since 1959.  Well fret no more.  You won’t be left in the moondust after reading the top 9 inventions about to be invented.

9. Interstellar Travel

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The Reactionless Space Thruster is a rocket without rocket fuel.  Watch Battlestar Gallactica?  Good, then you know precisely how totally friggin' sweet a Cylon Basestar engine is.  Alternately known as an Emdrive, this engine works by a chamber that gets filled with radiation.  It turns out radiation waves, like a wave of liquid, have momentum.  These waves of radiation lap against the machine (or something) propelling it along.  Doesn’t that “not work” to use scientific terms you say?  Here’s the X’ian University’s rebuttal.  There are other engines, too, like our own anti-matter engine (which would give you cancer now…) or our solar sail for space piracy.  It shouldn't be too long until we have a McDonald's on the moon.

8. Immortality

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There’s a few ways to be immortal.  And I’m not talking about the super-lame Oprah ways like keeping a journal to give to your grandkids.  I’m talking about becoming a disembodied brain (not unlike Krang) housed in a killer robot body with lasers in its eyes.  One huge step on fighting the aging process has been understanding telomeres.  They’re little caps on the ends of your DNA whose length corresponds almost exactly with your biological age.  If you lengthen them/keep them long, it really messes you up, but immortality hunters are certainly on the right track. 

7. Force fields

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Force field technology is being developed, ostensibly, to protect interstellar travels from dangerous cosmic radiation.  I can only assume that scientists are actually looking into it because it “totally rocks.”  My brother and I used to have wars with our G.I. Joes and I’ll be damned if when you claimed “force field” your lil’ guy didn’t become invulnerable.  The best part is that it’ll totally work like it does in the movies.  Basically, the radiation that hurts us is positively charged.  So, by concentrating a big bubble of friendly, negatively-charged particles around astronauts (or plastic soldiers) one could, in theory be protected. 

6. Mind Control Devices

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This is gonna rock.  For now, when I say mind control, I mean you use your mind to control a device.  So far, you can’t use your mind to control another mind, but once we all become half-robot it seems inevitable, right?  The technology we’ll be seeing first though, is ridiculous hats that’ll read your mind and allow you to control things (like video games) with your thoughts.  Gotta start somewhere if you’re going to eventually rule over an army of brain washed zombie slaves. I’ve always said that.

5. Teleportation

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This will be an especially useful invention for those of us who’ve always wished they could be half housefly.  Right now, we can’t teleport anything cool like, say, me (see how I did that?  I defined myself as cool) but we can teleport totally boring stuff.  Scientists can currently teleport data in the form of lasers.  And, with their increasing knowledge of quantum states, there seems to be a vacuum for teleportation inventions.  Bezoooo!  By the way, that’s Marissa Miller being teleported to my cubicle.  No big deal.

4. Time Travel

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Perception is reality!  A really annoying sociology major told me that in college.  I punched him in the solar plexus.  But, it turns out he was right, at least as far as time travel is concerned.  While scientists haven’t figured out how to rend the fabric of the universe (yet), there is a theoretical way to live out your previous memories.  A concept design from Charles Blanca would basically read your mind and extract from it the smells that were ingrained therein.  Then “small, discrete molecules” would be fed back to you allowing your brain to replay your past.

3. Nanobots

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Nanobots refer to any kind of human-designed machine that exists on the near-microscopic scale of 10-9 meters.  Because they’re so small it’s generally accepted that they operate in unison to accomplish tasks – kind of like a big cloud or “swarm” as they’re often referred to.  The most-explored applications to this technology are medicinal.  Imagine nanobots swarming through your veins cleaning out all the bacon fat.  Or diagnostic bots that could find cancer without invasive procedures such as colonoscopies.  Nobody wants a colonoscopy.  Or, more terrifying/awesome nanobots could be weaponized as in Michael Crichton’s novel Prey – clouds of flesh-eating, invisible robots!  About damn time. 

2. Hardware Add-Ons for your Body

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There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about when the Great All-in-One Gadget will come.  A device that controls all your other devices, it's a phone, a computer, a browser, an mp3 player, a vibrator, a game controller, and a friggin' julienne fry maker.  Interestingly that gadget may, in the future, be you.  You can already have devices implanted you (like a pacemaker).  But there’s a chance things are going to get a little more cool and a little less for old people with weak hearts. Check out, for example, this digitized tattoo that runs on your own blood, or the in-the-ear cell phone.

1. End of Scarcity

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One of the reasons why gas is so expensive is that there’s not a lot of it, but there’s a lot of people that want it.  That’s called scarcity; and it’s the foundation of economics.  So when it ends, we’ll pretty much have free rein to do whatever the hell we want, whenever we want.  It’ll be accomplished through genetically engineered vertical farms.  Fuel, of course, is being researched and implemented to a degree already.  The best fuel on the horizon is that which taps the forces of the universe.  Think of (solar) wind power.  Perhaps instead of tapping into the tides of our ocean, we can tap into the gravitational tension between the moon and ourselves or ourselves and the Sun.  Endless food and energy = lots more time to read my blog. Wooo!

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