Archive for the ‘Future’ Category
For the first time in history, the secrets of the living brain are being revealed by a battery of high tech brain scans devised by physicists. Now what was once solely the province of science fiction has become a startling reality. Recording memories, telepathy, videotaping our dreams, mind control, avatars, and telekinesis are not only possible; they already exist. The Future of the Mind gives us an authoritative and compelling look at the astonishing research being done in top laboratories around the world—all based on the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics. One day we might have a “smart pill” that can enhance our cognition; be able to upload our brain to a computer, neuron for neuron; send thoughts and emotions around the world on a “brain-net“; control computers and robots with our mind; push the very limits of immortality; and perhaps even send our consciousness across the universe. Dr. Kaku takes us on a grand tour of what the future might hold, giving us not only a solid sense of how the brain functions but also how these technologies will change our daily lives. He even presents a radically new way to think about “consciousness” and applies it to provide fresh insight into mental illness, artificial intelligence and alien consciousness. With Dr. Kaku’s deep understanding of modern science and keen eye for future developments, The Future of the Mind is a scientific tour de force–an extraordinary, mind-boggling exploration of the frontiers of neuroscience.
Based on interviews with over three hundred of the world’s top scientists, who are already inventing the future in their labs, Kaku—in a lucid and engaging fashion—presents the revolutionary developments in medicine, computers, quantum physics, and space travel that will forever change our way of life and alter the course of civilization itself. His astonishing revelations include:
- The Internet will be in your contact lens. It will recognize people’s faces, display their biographies, and even translate their words into subtitles.
- You will control computers and appliances via tiny sensors that pick up your brain scans. You will be able to rearrange the shape of objects.
- Sensors in your clothing, bathroom, and appliances will monitor your vitals, and nanobots will scan your DNA and cells for signs of danger, allowing life expectancy to increase dramatically.
- Radically new spaceships, using laser propulsion, may replace the expensive chemical rockets of today. You may be able to take an elevator hundreds of miles into space by simply pushing the “up” button.
Read also: Interview
The aim of “Future Science”, a collection of essays written by practising scientists who aim to give the interested amateur a sense of what is new and exciting in their respective areas. The essay format allows the reader to hear directly from the researchers, most of whom are young, and therefore probably at the peak of their scientific creativity, without the interpretations layered on by science journalists or other middlemen. This allows a fascinating peek into debates about whether life may be more common on frozen planets than earthlike ones, how mining the web for information can let us probe social trends, the evolutionary origins of altruism and more.
Given the vastness of modern science, such a book can only ever hope to be a potted guide to what is going on. The essays are dominated by investigations into a single species—Homo sapiens. There is plenty of evolutionary psychology, which attempts to explain the quirks of human behaviour by theorising about the evolutionary forces that shaped our brains, a dash of MRI imaging, a popular technique that allows researchers to watch in real time which areas of the brain are consuming the most energy—and, presumably, therefore doing the most thinking—as well as plenty of experiments in psychology labs; all of which provides a fascinating and very readable summary of the latest thinking on human behaviour. “Future Science” is fascinating.