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Carnival of Tomorrow 4.0


We'll kick off another foray into the Fabulous World of Tomorrow with these words from Howard Lovy:

This is the assumption I wake up with every day -- that there is a crucial need for as many people as possible to understand that we all, in our lifetimes, will experience vast technological changes that will forever alter the way we interact with our environment, with one another and with our own bodies. It will not be too long before we rub our eyes, look around and wonder what happened to the world in which we were born.

So here, then, is a sneak preview of some of what we'll be rubbing our eyes at.

Paul Hsieh of GeekPress tells us that, in the future, we can all be like the greatest of the superheroes. No, not Superman.


FuturePundit Randall Parker reports on using gene activation to make adult stem cells divide rapidly. Quoth Randall:

I have repeatedly argued that it is just a matter of time before scientists find ways to turn adult stem cells into cells that can become any other cell type. This latest research from MIT is certainly a step in that direction. Note that these scientists used existing knowledge that the gene Oct4 is known to be active in embryonic stem cells. They turned that same gene on in adult stem cells. So this research is a clear step in the direction of making adult stem cells more like embryonic stem cells.

InstaPundit, meanwhile, did an entry on this subject that grew so large it practically became the first edition of the Carnival of the Stem Cells. Bottom line: non-embryonic embryonic stem cells are a great idea, but they won't be the end of the controversy.

Seeing as Glenn's site is so often overlooked, we'll go ahead and mention that he also had some interesting observations about The Singularity. Glenn doesn't think we need necessarily fear the Singularity. as he explains it:

The bigger danger won't be the creation of a godlike artificial intelligence. It will be the creation of many millions (and eventually billions) of individuals with powers that would have been until recently regarded as godlike, in the rather small space that humanity currently inhabits. That problem will be reduced, however, if we expand beyond the earth beforehand.

TallDave at SemiRandom Ramblings has some additional thoughts on how likely the Singularity scenario really is. Meanwhile, John Kaye at Centerfield is handicapping the race for superintelligence. Who will get there first -- humans or machines?

If you'd like a primer on the subject of the Singularity, have a listen to what these two guys have to say about it.

Rand Simberg reflects on the delayed apocalypse (as well as the inadvisability of having a name unsuitable to one's gender.)

At Multiple Mentality, Josh wonders why we don't have just one password for everything at work. Good question!

Jay at Longevity First asks whether money spent on the new anti-aging supplement, Protandim, is really well spent. He has some thoughts on alternative destinations for our hard-earned anti-aging dollars.

Mike Treder has the scoop on a movie that we won't be seeing any time soon, and why that's okay.

At Political Calculations, Ironman argues that most of today's cities have the wrong shape to support viable public transportation systems. In the future, we can expect cities to be much more streamlined.


Lucas at Green Car Congress expounds of DaimlerChrysler's "Bionic" Diesel Concept vehicle. Yeah, it looks a little strange, but it gets 70 mpg.

dcxbionic0.jpgIt's called "bionic" because the design was inspired by nature, specifically the box fish. Obviously the marketing department wasn't in on the choice of animals. What's the matter guys, had the mole already signed a deal with Ford?


Virginia Postrel is looking for breakthroughs that have occured this year or last. We think a truly efficient harvesting of solar power qualifies.

Virginia says she'll explain later why she's asking for these submissions. New book? A carnival? We'll see...

You know.

In the future.

Thanks to Sven Geier for creating the hauntingly futuristic image that graces this edition of the Carnival.

Want to participate in the next edition of the Carnival of Tomorrow? Just write to us:

mrstg87 {@ symbol} yahoo {dot} com or
bowermaster {@ symbol} gmail {dot} com

See you in the future!


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Carnival of Tomorrow 4.0:

» Carnival of Tomorrow from Human Advancement
The Speculist has the latest edition of the Carnival of Tomorrow. It's a rundown of some of the latest in Advancement Tech. (Of course, they don't call it "Advancement Tech" - yet. Nobody does... [Read More]

» Tiny and Cool from Marked Up
There are some very smart people in the world! There are some very smart people in the world! [Read More]


I know I shouldn't comment on my own posts, but I have a question for Stephen:

Dude, is that mole eating a flower or like did its head explode or what? That picture is completely freaking me out.

No man, that's his nose.

That freaky adaptation is like whiskers on a cat, it helps the mole feel its way as it digs.

And yes, it is one of the ugliest creatures in the world. I'd like to see the auto industry copy that.

Er...no I wouldn't.

Thanks for the linkage. I added an update after one of a reader linked from here commented.

I agree, the mole is seriously freaky.

Hey guys, great blog! I just blogrolled you. I love it.

"millions (and eventually billions) of individuals with powers . . . regarded as godlike"

This sounds like Mormonism!

The worrisome question should be whether we can have the character, intelligence and discipline to be trusted with such powers.

BTW, that mole is called a "star-nosed mole." A lot of real organisms are freakier than anything invented by SF writers. What will it evolve into in a million years? I watched recent specials on Discovery Channel and Nat Geo channel with ideas of what life might be like on other planets, and found them unimaginative.

I kind of liked the aliens in "Independence Day" except that I couldn't believe that a creature that walks like that could really evolve.

If anyone came up with a product to mimic the star-nosed mole, I bet it would be someone in a Viridian design competition.

Hey guys, great site. I came over via instapundit.

I love it and I threw you on my blogroll. Keep up the good work.

Thanks Nathan.

Reading at your site I see you science blog from time-to-time as well. Make sure to email if you have a "future" themed post suitable for the next carnival.

Hey Stephan,

Sorry about the double comment. And, will do!

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