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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.

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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.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A New Plasma Thruster for Spacecraft...

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The European Space Agency has confirmed the findings of Australian scientists who developed a new plasma thruster for future spacecraft. Now, admittedly this seems a little trivial in light of the potential faster-than-light engine now under study, but it could still be an important incremental step towards opening up the solar system to further exploration, settlement and/or economic development. Plenty of concepts for tapping immense extraterrestrial resources only require a conventional long-range propulsion system -- though actually, the main barrier to such enterprises is really Earth's gravity well. And the development of better launch systems is an area attracting great interest these days, particularly with the success of the "X-Prize."

This alternative piece of technology illustrates a point well taken by AI researchers -- though artificial intelligence has not emerged in the last several decades, despite decades of predictions and promises, information technology has been anything but stagnant in the meantime. Many programs providing elements of what we would expect in an AI -- voice-recognition, expert systems, data-mining software -- have been developed, and have expanded the productivity of many workers. Researching a broad range of likely winners, as well as some "blue sky" projects, seems like an ideal strategy.

Though admittedly, the "eggs in one basket" method does occasionally produce an impressive omelette. =)


Future Imperative

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