Adesoji Adegbulu

The Future According to “Popular Science”

I recently read a copy of a magazine by Popular Science®. The main topic of the magazine is Journey to the Future. Basically, the edition of the magazine is part of the celebration of 150 years of Popular Science®. Popular Science® is an American digital magazine publishing popular science content. These are articles directed toward the general reader on science and technology subjects.

As someone who is interested in technology (past, present, and future), I found the content of this edition fascinating. Not because the future of science and technology looks amazing but because of the possibilities in the diverse areas covered. These future possibilities were compiled based on information (or wish lists) gathered from 50 scientists and thought leaders.

Here’s a snapshot of those diverse areas.

Future of Play: Fun & Games

This area is focused on augmented reality, neuro-thrillers, and fast hotels. Examples given are (i) immersive horror, (ii) hyperloop hotel, (iii) digital athlete, (iv) cross-platform storyworlds, and (v) merging of augmented reality and visual art.

Future of Work

This area is focused on gigs, jobs, money, culture, and ethics. Examples given are (i) deconstruction of work into tasks and projects, (ii) redistribution of labor that is required in the domestic sphere, (iii) the end of full-time jobs and the detachment of income from work, (iv) the new office where employees are involved in decision-making, and (v) flexible work schedule.

Future of the Earth

This area is focused on climate change, animal rights, and water management. Examples given are (i) how to save the world from climate disaster, (ii) regarding animals as persons and not as things, (iii) caring about the environment water flows through, (iv) redefining meat, and (v) integrative solution that addresses the common roots of all crisis.

Future of Mission: Space

This area is focused on the moon, mars, and interstellar explorations. Examples given are (i) a new era of space exploration, (ii) a focus on the earth on a continuous basis through satellites, (iii) altering human biology for the physiological challenges humans encounter in space, (iv) new technologies for exploring exoplanets, (v) dangerous congestion of Earth’s orbit with hundreds of thousands commercial satellites, (vi) using advanced technology to know where exactly the universe came from, and (vii) space mining.

Future of the Brain

This area is focused on enhanced memory and engineered for kindness. Examples given are (i) boosting memory with technologies, (ii) self-repairing brain and storing/retrieving memories (iii) the ability to live a moment in someone else’s experience or feel someone else’s experience through uploading ourselves to someone else’s brain, (iv) understanding of the self, (v) been engineered for ethics and empathy.

Other areas covered in this edition are the future of medicine (e.g., animal-to-human transplants), the future of cities, the future of transportation (e.g., a world without cars or automobiles), the future of artificial intelligence, and the future community (e.g., altruism becoming key to survival).

Having read through the magazine, most of the ideas for the future are totally science-fiction-like. However, I like most of them. I’ll love to see some of these in the future.

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