Amazing! Check this out. This company, based out of U.S., is 3D printing entire rocket engines - and soon they plan to 3D print an entire rocket in one go! Less Parts = less chance of failures = less cost = higher efficiency. Printing rocket components in hours that would take normal manufacturers years! This is definitely the future - and soon, we will be able to print these huge parts when needed in space!
One of the most widely recognised and 'plot twister' movies in the world is M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense (1999). In case you haven't seen it I won't go ahead and spoil the ending but I can tell you that it is very difficult to see the ending coming - the great thing is that as you go back and rewatch the moving knowing what you know, everything still makes sense and fits perfectly like a puzzle (creating the most astounding ah-ha moment!).
My main point of recognising this film is the idea of having a sixth sense. Is this stuff really true or complete fugaziness? Does parapsychology actually have legitimate grounds?
ESP or Extra Sensory Perception is still not a hugely studied area but there is extremely interesting studies being done in the field. Ultimately, it is the study of the sixth sense or information that is received by senses other than the 5 physical ones we know i.e. information perceived by the mind.
Charles T. Tart performed research and studies into training people to recognise when they are employing ESP and then training these people to enhance and optimise this ability - incredible!! Can you really train yourself to employ ESP by recognising the signs and signals that allow you to intuitively sense information, it's almost like harnessing a superpower.
Designing the right things and then designing these things right.
What even is design? It is such a broad concept that sometimes it can come across as fugazi, at least that is what I initially thought. But when properly understood and implemented, design is one of the most valuable and important concepts to exist and it applies to absolutely everything. Design must be strict, structured, innovative, historical and necessary.
UX is a particular concept under design that focuses on the uses experience and journey with the product. UX aims to provide the user with the best experience and most importantly addressing the "Why" (As in Why they are using this product in the first place) head on! Having only recently really come across this notion, I have come to realise that it is one of the most critical things in running/launching any product/company/business and it also goes hand in hand with traditional engineering.
Watching Steve Job's marketing video for NeXT from 1991 gives you a clear example of the very first UX proposal. Here, he speaks to internal company team members about how NeXT should position themselves in the industry to capitalise on market share and gain superiority of their competitors. If one really understands and listens to the ideas that he is pushing throughout the video in terms of his strategy, it is so evidently clear that there is absolute brilliance in the way he is thinking! In every circumstance he is aiming to give the user (a.k.a. customer) the best and most meaningful experience with the product. And that is exactly the mindset and process that he took to Apple to launch the most desired tech products in the world.
I know that UX wasn't officially coined until around 2006 by Don Norman, but its concepts and need have been juggled long before. If one can really understand their customer and user needs then they can eliminate any resultant failures almost immediately. Coming back to my initial statement, if we really focused on first designing the right things - the things that the user actually not only just wants but desperately needs !! there will be no need to struggle to come up with overly wacky and left a field concepts because now you will be truly addressing a problem at its core. Why is Reddit one of the most successful companies in the world, yet it's UI has literally no aesthetic appeal? Because the website at its core allows the user to achieve exactly what they set out to achieve!
So contrary to what most people think and the average mindset, UX really has nothing to do with building pretty websites or apps or sticky notes or coloured markers. Sure, those things have involvement but instead it is about being a problem solver, observing the world around you and noticing what can be enhanced, changed, innovated and optimised. All with one goal in mind - to give the user the best experience possible.
My journey with these concepts has really only just begun, but the more that I learn the more that I truly see the dependence that society has on UX and how obtaining a UX mindset is nothing but absolutely beneficial- nothing fugazi at all!
One topic that has always completely fascinated me is that of perpetual motion. Just the very idea of a machine or system running for indefinite time without an energy source is a completely crazy concept.
But can they really exist? Ultimately, no they cannot. A perpetual motion machine would disobey two of the most important laws governing our universe - the first two laws of thermodynamics.
1. Energy cannot be created or destroyed.
2. The entropy of a system cannot decrease.
Some of the first designs of perpetual motion machines were done by the Indian mathematician and astronomer, Bhaskara, II who invented the Bhaskara Wheel in 1150. The wheel consisted of curved or tilted spokes, each partially filled with mercury. Once in motion, the mercury would flow from one side of the spoke to another, thus forcing the wheel to continue motion, in constant dynamic equilibrium.
According to Newton's first law, motion itself is ultimately perpetual unless an outside or external force acts on the body in motion. When you really think about the type of environment that a perpetual motion machine would need to exist, Space seems much more viable on Earth with factors like air resistance and in sense gravity being significantly reduced. However, of course, energy created by the system would still not be able to be reverted 100% back into itself with sunlight and space dust and the gravitational pull from other planets taking affect. Energy will always dissipate in some form.
So in principal, I would say that perhaps things can in sense move forever - cosmologically some galaxies and planets have been moving forever. However, in terms of being able to extract energy or do work without reducing the energy available for more work, then no perpetual motion cannot exist.
One theory I often consider introduces the idea of harnessing black holes to implement a perpetual motion machine. When a black hole is formed from a compacting mass the last particle on the surface of the mass that reaches and crosses the Schwarzschild radius (Collapse of electrically neutral and non rotating body), R, violates the Schwarzschild metric - and so in turn every particle hereafter also proceeds with this violation. Each particle that then reaches a location r < R produces gravitational energy with it that is greater that the total energy equivalence. This very fact in itself can only happen in a perpetual motion machine. Finally, if the particle is allowed to approach and then eventually reach r = 0, an ultimate perpetual motion will be able to be created. Here, an unlimited and infinite amount of gravitation energy can be produced through the finite energy equivalence of the particle.
Who knows, maybe we just need a much better understanding of the celestial bodies in our cosmos? Maybe when us humans reach a type 2 or type 3 civilisation and our ability to capture the energy of our entire solar system or galaxy becomes far more enhanced we will then be able to understand how to literally create energy out of nothing and override all laws of thermodynamics.
What is a DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation)?
Ultimately it will define future business and company models.
In traditional companies, all employees/agents of the company have employment contracts that regulate their actives, power and relationships within the company. This contract is enforced by both the company and also the legal system of the country where the company is operating - so if anything goes wrong the legal contract will be pursued in court.
DAO's on the other hand are typified by blockchain technology to provide a secure and transparent digital ledger. They rely on smart contracts, or pre-programmed rules that describe what can happen in the system. The people within the organisation interact with each other according to a self enforcing open source protocol. Individual behaviour is incentivised through native tokens issued to the participants in the DAO. The tokens can be used as voting rights or to complete transactions - contributing towards any sort of decision that needs to be made and ensuring cryptographically guaranteed democracy. The transparent rules are enforced by machine consensus and there is only one governing law (the protocol/smart contract) regulating the behaviour of all network participants. All transactions of the organization are recorded and maintained on a blockchain.
In this system, not only is data transfer much faster and in real time, it also allows companies to operate without traditional hierarchical management. Trusted third parties can also be eliminated, thus simplifying all transactions i.e. the smart contract will define the rules and so there will be no need for interacting with law firms, financial P2P transactions can take place and so there will be no need for involving banks etc.
There are still big problems to overcome in both technology and mindset for this system to be effectively implemented in society and the smart contracts would have to be supported by a turing complete platform. But when solutions to these problems are found (and trust me they will be!!) the benefit to society and individuals will be profound!
Aubrey de Grey, Co-founder and Director of Science of SENS Research Foundation, is pioneering the way to living forever (Or for a really really long time!!) as he works to defeat biological ageing.
The SENS Research Foundation approaches ageing like this - the root of all problems with ageing bodies comes from decades or unrepaired damage to the cellular and molecular structures that make up the functional units of our tissues. SENS is working to develop regenerative medical therapies that remove, repair and replaced or render harmless the cellular and molecular damage that accumulates with the tissues overtime.
I guess if you really think about it - when our car breaks down we don't immediately trash the whole car, instead we find the specific problem and replace the specific part and then it is good to go again. Why don't we do the same with humans? This is what Aubrey is proposing.
Sometimes the idea of living past societies current accepted "old" age range can be hard to comprehend and even daunting. I am not saying that I would want to live forever, I think there is things beyond Earth and this life. However, what I do know is that as long as a have a clear purpose and the drive to achieve my mission and goals, I definitely want to live to see this through completely and not have to be haunted by the possibility that my journey may be cut short for diseases or health issues that in 100 years time will be as treatable as the common cold.
When I think of the future, I imagine all the amazing things that I would like to see - space exploration, huge technological advancements, type 2 civilisations, interplanetary species and so on and so on!! I don't see a problem with wanting to be around for those things - 2000 years ago people died at the age of 30 and it was considered 'normal'. It is inevitable that humans will continue to increase their years on Earth as modern medicine advances - I would like to be a part of that.
One thing that I still struggle to fully grasp about this world is the desire of the human race to live an incredibly comfortable, safe and ultimately 'cushy' life.
People seem to live only for the weekend and dread the Monday's and Tuesday's that will inevitably come every 5 days. By Sunday evening a certain amount of gloom intoxicates the atmosphere as everyone confronts their reality of facing another working week. Why is everyone so concerned about achieving a 'work-life' balance, getting 8-10 hours of sleep every night, waking up at a reasonable hour and most importantly spending Saturday nights relaxing?
Just thinking about the process of a normal week fills me with an unsettling feeling. Surely other people feel the same. In complete honesty I know for a fact that I will never ever be able to handle the so called '9 to 5'. That just seems way too crazy.
I would classify myself as a workaholic, but only because I am so extremely passionate about doing great things and building an incredible future - working in a normal company doing normal things won't ever allow for me to achieve these ambitions.
I want to jump out of bed every morning, or instead not want to go to sleep, and be filled with excitement for the adventure of the day. I want to be so invested in the project that I am working on that I forget the time and date and lose track of the rest of the world. This is what it takes to do really great things. You can't expect to change the world and still be up to date on the latest Netflix shows - it doesn't work like that. True hard work takes not only sacrifice but also a certain amount of insanity. Insanity because you have to be so strong in yourself and know your goals and trajectory so clearly that you will not let the words or actions of the world deter you. Instead you will keep pushing forward because you know that what you are doing is good and for better.
One film that I always like to rewatch is 'The men who stare at goats'. In an early scene George Clooney's character talks about the concept of optimum trajectory. He likens one's life path to a river and the importance of finding your destiny in life - if you don't you will always be swimming against the current. I am still trying to find my river, but at least I think I have a clear idea of where it is located. That location is somewhere crazy, ambitious, adventurous and undeniably passionate. If my future allows me to become a slightly insane individual then I won't complain - this will be my indicator!
"Optimum trajectory. Your life is like a river. And if you're aiming for a goal that isn't your destiny, ...you're always gonna be swimming against the current. Young Gandhi wants to be a stock-car driver? It's not gonna happen. Little Anne Frank wants to be a High School teacher. Tough titty Anne. That's not your destiny. But you will go on to move the hearts and minds of millions. Find out what your destiny is and the river will carry you." - Lyn Cassady
How crazy is this site! https://www.futuretimeline.net/
It allows you to almost ~accurately~ see into the future - a long way into the future!
They say that by 2070 picotechnology will be in operation. I am sure you have heard of nanotechnology, well picotechnology is a whole 3 orders of magnitude smaller than nano (On the scale of trillionths of a metre)! That might not sound like a lot but trust me when I say it makes a huge difference. Picotechnology will allow the structure of individual atoms to be altered via manipulation of energy states within the electrons. To give some scale, the size of an atom is to the size of an apple as the size of an apple is to the size of the Earth.. Manipulation at this incredibly tiny scale will allow for some crazy and exotic futuristic inventions.
Some of the craziest future predictions come at around 2200. There will be antimatter fuelled spaceships that can travel between 90-99% of the speed of light (One light year is 9.5 trillion kilometres). At this speed, reaching nearby stars won't be a hugely impossible or distant task and we will be able to travel to other Earth like planets several hundred light years away. Fuelled by antimatter the spaceship will also be able to use the released thrust energy to project 'forcefield' like structures around the craft and so protect it from potential meteoroid or space dust collisions.
Perhaps my most favourite prediction of the magnitude of extraordinary to come is set at the year 3100. At this time humanity is said to transform into a type 2 civilisation on the Kardashev scale. A Dyson sphere structure will be built - just like out of the Star Trek movies - with a radius stretching beyond the distance between the Earth and Jupiter. In basic terms a Dyson sphere can be likened to building a 'shell' around a star and allowing the sphere to harvest almost 100% of the energy from that star (Almost 386 septillion joules per second). The concept of a Dyson sphere was first introduced as a thought experiment by the physicist Freeman Dyson and was based on the fact that overtime civilisations increase their demand for energy. The European Space Agency's most powerful satellite, Gaia, is currently on the search for these alien megastructures. Who knows, maybe there is one already out there??
Helium 3 is a light isotope of helium, having 2 protons and only 1 neutron. It is the only stable isotope of any element with more protons than neutrons.
So what makes it so special?
All nuclear power plants on Earth use nuclear fission reactors, in which uranium nuclei are split, to release energy. Unfortunately, radioactive waster is also released through this process and needs to be safely stored. To stop the unwanted radioactive by product, scientists have been focusing on mastering nuclear fusion, which does not produce radioactivity and nuclear waste. Nuclear fusion reactors use hydrogen isotopes tritium and deuterium as fuel, with being energy released when their nuclei fuse to create helium and a neutron. However, the neutrons released here lead to a significant amount of energy being lost. A potential solution to this problem would be using helium 3 and deuterium as the fuels, which would in turn create helium and a proton. This would allow for an optimum situation with virtually no waste and no radiation.
HOWEVER... there is still one more big problem!
Helium 3 is extremely rare to source on Earth - there is a net supply of around 15 kg a year. The sun emits helium 3 within its solar winds but unfortunately the Earth's atmosphere prevents any actually arriving.
But, luckily for us, our closest neighbouring space object (The moon!) does not have an atmosphere and so contains an abundance of helium 3. It is estimated that there is around 1,000,000 metric tonnes. This is enough to power human energy needs for over 10, 000 years!
Extraterrestrial real estate is still an unrecognised standing and so owning anything that is not on Earth still doesn't hold any official weight. But imagine if you could buy a portion of the moon and set up a factory to mine helium 3 and harness this future energy solution... that would be a company worth starting!
I still remember the very first time I saw this photo. I was completely, for lack of a better word, awestruck. How could this be possible....? Us humans are so incredibly small, fragile and insignificant in the grand scheme of the universe!
This photo was taken by NASA's Voyager 1 Space Probe on the 14th of February 1990, and is the most distance photo EVER taken of planet Earth - Voyager 1 was about 6 billion kilometres from Earth. Everything I have ever known - from my memories, my current knowledge, my experiences and my relationships, have all occurred on this dot, a dot that barely takes up a pixel on the camera lens. How trivial to think that Earthly worries are really worries at all. How could anything occurring on this micro scale really matter?
Despite the overwhelming sense of humility that this one image continues to bring me, I can't help but also feel a great sense of inspiration. So far mankind has only travelled as far as Earth's moon - a dot itself so small that it is probably taking up the same pixel space as the Earth in the image above. Yet for thousands of years us humans have gazed longingly to the stars in not only complete wonder but also in acceptance of a challenge - an inevitable challenge to continue our feat of adventure and exploration. Yes, we are only occupying the tiniest amount of space and in terms of size we really are insignificant. However, it motivates me to know that on this dot there are also dreamers, adventurers and explorers.
And it is these above three things alone which makes our pixel space not only important but also of extreme value.