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Future Imperative

What if technology were being developed that could enhance your mind or body to extraordinary or even superhuman levels -- and some of these tools were already here? Wouldn't you be curious?

Actually, some are here. But human enhancement is an incredibly broad and compartmentalized field. We’re often unaware of what’s right next door. This site reviews resources and ideas from across the field and makes it easy for readers to find exactly the information they're most interested in.

Name:

The future is coming fast, and it's no longer possible to ignore how rapidly the world is changing. As the old order changes -- or more frequently crumbles altogether -- I offer a perspective on how we can transform ourselves in turn... for the better. Nothing on this site is intended as legal, financial or medical advice. Indeed, much of what I discuss amounts to possibilities rather than certainties, in an ever-changing present and an ever-uncertain future.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Hyperspace Engine Design Being Investigated by U.S. Government -- Tech

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According to a report in The New Scientist and another on Scotsman.Com, the U.S. government is looking at testing a potential hyperspace engine design within as little as five years. Ian Johnston reports in the Scotsman:
An extraordinary "hyperspace" engine that could make interstellar space travel a reality by flying into other dimensions is being investigated by the United States government.

The hypothetical device, which has been outlined in principle but is based on a controversial theory about the fabric of the universe, could potentially allow a spacecraft to travel to Mars in three hours and journey to a star 11 light years away in just 80 days, according to a report in today's New Scientist magazine.

The New Scientist comments:
Every year, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics awards prizes for the best papers presented at its annual conference. Last year's winner in the nuclear and future flight category went to a paper calling for experimental tests of an astonishing new type of engine. According to the paper, this hyperdrive motor would propel a craft through another dimension at enormous speeds. It could leave Earth at lunchtime and get to the moon in time for dinner. There's just one catch: the idea relies on an obscure and largely unrecognised kind of physics. Can they possibly be serious?

The AIAA is certainly not embarrassed. What's more, the US military has begun to cast its eyes over the hyperdrive concept, and a space propulsion researcher at the US Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories has said he would be interested in putting the idea to the test. And despite the bafflement of most physicists at the theory that supposedly underpins it, Pavlos Mikellides, an aerospace engineer at the Arizona State University in Tempe who reviewed the winning paper, stands by the committee's choice. "Even though such features have been explored before, this particular approach is quite unique," he says.

Needless to say, the impact of faster-than-light travel on space exploration and economic development would be so vast as to stagger the imagination. The only comparable breakthroughs would be similarly mythic in scale -- nanotech assemblers reconstructing matter, artificial intelligence replacing all workers and/or achieving transcendant intelligence, or human beings developing superhuman intellect and abilities.

The resources available in deep space, and the potential for human civilization to expand in a dizzyingly diverse of array of cultures, free from the threat of potential extinction and facing little threat from planet-bound autocrats, would be able to reshape the course of our immediate future as few things could. Merely harvesting a few trillion dollars worth of metal and solar energy from our immediate neighborhood could have a stunning impact on the "global economy." The possibility of meeting extraterrestrial species, finding other habital planets (or creating our own), tapping the full degree of natural resources accessible in space -- these options are normally considered the stuff of science fiction, but there they are.

See you at the Great Wall of Galaxies. Let's make a date. =)


Future Imperative

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