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a little history.com1874 The Mounted
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the effects of
televisionLife in the Future: 
(a summary of inventions, 
future problems, and 
choosing our future).

Life In The Future
A Not Too Serious Look at New Inventions,
Future Problems, and the Need
to Choose Our Future.

horizontal bar (1kb)

here comes The Future

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copyright©2001 by Brian M. Brown
The latest revisions on June 14, 2016.
First posted to alittlehistory.com on Jan. 10, 2001. This file is
part of alittlehistory.com which looks at western Canadian history. It
compliments westerntour.com which contains photographs of western
Canada and youtube videos at westernvideo and nicechoice4u.
Posted from Calgary, Ab, Canada.







In 2010 They Created Synthetic Life.
The new goal: to replace the entire petrochemical industry.

We can now receive a digital gene in an email, then put it through a biological converter which creates an analogue, synthetic gene that can then be inserted into a living organism. Within one second, that organism changes its protein and membranes in response to the inserted gene. In the future, they hope to boot up more synthetic life, it will be a biological revolution.

They are developing a Synthetic Organ Designer, computer software which will allow a person to custom design bootable organisms. In other words, you can get the appropriate gene in an email which you can then put through your personal converter box. The box will produce your own drugs, vaccines, and antibiotics (if there is a new superbug, an antibiotic can be created in 48 hours). The dream is that you will also be able to produce your own fuel: hydrogen, octane, deisel fuel, or methane. Oil spills will eventually be cleaned up using new strains of algae which will be designed to just eat it up.

Craig Venter, the leader of the group that created the first synthetic life, expects to find living organisms on Mars. [They believed (in September 2015) that they photographed water.] If the organisms can be easily mined, then, after receiving an email from earth, they can use a Digital Biological converter to produce whatever they want. They won't have to fly a dining table up there, they will simply make one.



Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Link to an 11 minute TED TALK:
A glimpse of the future through an augmented reality headset
(February, 2016).

Link to a 6 minute CBC report on
The Future of Virtual Reality
(December 29, 2015).

Five future uses of this technology:
(1) use for story telling. Virtual reality is "the last medium" for story telling. It can also be called "an empathy machine."
(2) it allows for online shopping in 3D.
(3) learn to overcome a fear by gradually being exposed to it.
(4) use for 3D phone calls with the caller being projected in front of you.
(5) holograms can replace your computer screen by giving you a bunch of screens with the help of augmented reality glasses.

A company called Void wants to open virtual reality theme-parks in cities all around the world.   [https://twitter.com/voidvr]   It will open its first entertainment centre, a virtual reality theme-park, in Utah in the autumn 2016. The big difference between virtual and augmented reality is whether the images join you as holograms in your living room (augmented) or transport you to another world (virtual).

So, it is expected that we will go from a PC on your desktop, to the smartphone in your pocket, to a wearable screen (the glasses in front of our eyes).

reality at
Ted Talk (326 kb).
Making use of Augmented Reality glasses which show a space man.
The space man is projected in the auditorium for the purposes of a TED talk.
Photograph courtesy of TED (Feb 18, 2016).



The NASA Rover Curiosity Looking For Water

the Mars
rover photofrom NASA -  (184 kb).
A self-portrait taken on Mars by the NASA rover Curiosity
which is in Gale Crater. (AP / NASA).


NASA Confirms Evidence

That Liquid Water Flows on Today’s Mars.


On September 28, 2015 NASA confirmed that a briny form of liquid water (hydrated salts) flows on Mars. So water flows in certain areas during the warm seasons. Photographs have shown darkish gully streaks which appear to flow downhill. This raises the possibility of some form of life being discovered on the Red Planet.

It is believed that about 4 billion years ago, roughly half of Mars was covered by ocean. But it lost its surface water, probably due to major climate change. Now, under the cold surface, the soil on Mars is moist, hydrated with water. But on the surface, water exists only as water ice, located in polar ice caps.



Flying Cars Everywhere:
(we are talking about earth now)

Car Trains and The Google
Driverless Car:

We now trust a car to park by itself and cars can drive themselves, so within a decade, many will trust their new car to fly, and to automatically take them to their selected destination. In the past, they did build flying vehicles but the driver needed to be highly skilled and have a pilot's licence, so it never took off. Soon, for those who prefer the scenic route, technology will be able to do the flying and landing for them.

There is an extra advantage to the driverless car. For a long trip, your driverless car can hook up with a train of cars. One engine can pull 50 cars, so the trip will be at 1/4 the cost. Your trip will be done with minimum pollution, and your car can recharge during the trip. An alternative is to have actual high speed trains with car carriers, so you can get there faster by riding on a train. As you arrive at a new city, your car can unhook, or be unloaded. So you will then be free to go whereever you want. When this happens, maybe in 2020, it will be a major boom for tourism.




Using Nanobots to produce
factories of the future:

To the right is a nano church which is 1/1000 the width of a human hair. The printing of this church used a laser beam that was focused by mirrors onto a liquid resin which was hardened into this three-dimensional model.

It will soon become practical and affordable to print intricate nano-scale structures for use in microscopic machinery and medical applications. For medical purposes 3D scaffolds will give cells a structure to stick to, so custom-made living tissues can be constructed from cells. Researchers at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) in an article by Tom Espiner, ZDNet UK, 13 March, 2012 17:21
In 2013, it is reported that they are working on the 3D printing of human organs. NBC News.com (2/20/13) The Bionic Eye: electrodes are implanted next to the retina. Then, the brain gradually learns to interpret the electrodes, so a blind person can gradually gain some sight. [RT television (www.rt.com) ].

a nano church which 
is 1/1000 the width of
 a human hair (75  kb).
A Nano Church (It is 1/1000 the width of a human hair.).
Photograph by Vienna University of Technology.




"Finally, Superman Vision."

See through objects:

At the University of Texas in Dallas a small microchip was tuned into the "terahertz" band of the electromagnetic spectrum. So the microchip is able to detect terahertz waves and turn them into images which can be viewed on a smartphone. Currently they are limiting the distance of their experiment to 10 centimeters or less due to privacy issues. From April 21, 2012 Calgary Herald, page A18; article by Agence France-Presse San Francisco.







3D Printing



3D printing can print a wide variety of things:
  • the house and soon the skyscraper (youtube video: 2:30 min. April 2014).
  • a car that runs (youtube video: 43 sec. Sept. 2014).
  • human body parts (a May 2014 video: 3:38 min.). The hand, skull, kidney, skin grafts, and prosthetic eyes, nose and ears. They have also "printed muscle structures, bone and ear tissue so far."
  • Russian scientists have produced a bone cement which can be inserted into a crack in a bone. In time it completely dissolves as the human body replaces it with bone. (At the bottom of the short news article.)
  • Printing pills. In the United States, the FDA approved drugs made from a 3D printer. The printing allows them to print up the exact dose, and to structure the pill so it disolves at the right rate. (A news story reported on August 4, 2015.)
a 3D
printer (326 kb).
3D printer for printing human body parts.
Photograph: Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (Feb 16, 2016).

This integrated organ and printing system is unique. It uses "biodegradable, plastic-like material" to form the shape of tissues, as well as water-based ink to hold cells and a series of microchannels to allow oxygen and nutrients to flow through. The idea is to make strong tissue that effectively integrates into animals and humans. They have had success with rats, so hope to move on to human trials in the near future. It may still be a decade before they move on to printing human organs.




[These next two items are designed for your BS detector.]

The Robotic Surgical Photocopy Machine:

By 2020 they will cut down on both healthcare costs and human errors by creating robotic surgeons. The robotic surgeon will work on demand, using perfect information, do a perfect job, and have a perfect record. Operations will cost far less because they will no longer need tests, labs, or an actual surgeon. Plus, operations will be faster because the robotic surgeon will work with eight hands instead of two. It will be quick; it will be amazing.

Using a computer chip instead of x-rays, ultrasound, etc.:
First they will implant a computer microchip into every major part of everybody's body. The chips will contain all the details needed to care for that part of the body: details that will be continually updated by the body. (All cells have a natural tendency to want to live so they will be easily trained to adopt an update-the-chip mentality.) No tests will be required. The chip will always contain perfect information which ensures a perfect operation. Once the microchips are implanted you will be good-to-go.

How the operation works:
Since people tend to ignore bad symptoms, a buzzer will be installed. It will sound with the first hint of a symptom, so people will know when to drop everything and run off to get an operation. Maybe on a Monday morning, after a rough weekend, your liver will be in rough shape. The buzzer will sound: it's transplant time.

First, scan the appropriate computer chip. There is nothing complicated about this, you will scan it in the same way you scan groceries at the grocery store. If you selected the wrong chip, not a problem. Just plug more money into the machine, and no doubt you will have better luck with your second operation. After the scan, the robot does everything automatically. When you get it right, the success rate will be 100%.

Buying an operation from a multi-purpose photocopier:
For convenience, the robotic surgeon will be attached to a multi-purpose photocopier at your local office store. Next to it will be a sink (so you can wash the problem area), and a recliner (so you can pause and regroup). On the opposite side of the photocopier will be the stands (so the crowds can have a good view without getting in the way).

So after your photocopying is complete, select liver transplant, plug in your money (make sure you pay for it all, so it doesn't stop when it's half done), scan the right chip, jump up onto the photocopy machine, and lay flat exactly 1/4" from the edge. Don't wiggle !   Don't text !   Stop talking !   There is absolutely no chance of human error, so you won't be shaking, you will be completely relaxed. The multi-purpose photocopier will command the eight arms of the surgeon to cut, yank, and paste. That's all there is to it. It'll be quick. You'll be amazed. It will be done to perfection. The beauty of it all is the robotic surgeon will be built without ears, so it won't get distracted or make errors when you scream in pain or cry out for help.


Genetic Engineering (taken to the extreme):
Eventually, genetic engineering will allow us to create the perfect human. It will be hard to get used to. Parents will order a baby who will grow up to do a slam dunk or to have a Barbie doll appearance. But after the 2082 winter Olympics, some babies will be created aerodynamic, so they can sail like ski jumpers. Soon, powerful little motors will be added so they can fly, and a new fad will really take off. Billions of slam dunkers will jump for joy, while billions of Barbie dollers will become totally depressed.

Also, genetic engineering will allow us to mix plants and animals. So, should we allow a female researcher to cross a man with a tree? She would then have something much more stable and dependable, and he wouldn't run around as much. But who would want to be a tree?











Future Problems



          Global warming will have a HUGE impact on our future:

The Dec. 2015 Paris conference got agreement from 195 countries. Also, three studies show that 97% of Climate Scientists believe that man made global warming is a serious issue that we have to address. These are important key facts that carry a lot of weight.

There are still many people who do not believe in global warming. The answers on the Internet are hidden in a hodgepodge of poorly done and confusing web sites. There are many myths, so this website can be a handy reference: Skeptical Science. You can also refer to the video called Denial 101 which summarizes how it was determined that 97% of Scientists are in agreement. Scientists are a diverse group, so it isn't surprising that there are 3% who do not agree. This gives the 97% figure credibility. Also, here are two websites from The United States: Environmental Protection Agency and The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

satellite photograph of ice
(A NASA satellite photograph taken September 16, 2012.)
Record low Arctic sea ice.

The record low for Arctic ice was in 2007 when it was 29%
But in 2012, the record low became 23%.




An Epidemic of Obesity:
(A Worldwide Phenomenon)

The statistics show that obesity has become a major problem. More than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight, and 34 percent are obese.
(The Associated Press, January 14, 2010)

It isn't fair to blame 2 out of 3 people for having a lack of will power. Research shows that long-term weight loss is almost impossible (only 5% succeed). We hear when people lose weight, but that is only temporary. They don't say anything when they eventually gain it back. Also, this link discusses the global epidemic, the trends towards obesity.


It is true that people need more exercise, but that is a smaller part of the problem. People need to be given a choice, and to be told why they are getting that choice. Convenient foods which are NOT addicting need to be made available. I recommend the 2013 book by Michael Moss (a Pulitzer Prize winner) called Salt Sugar Fat.

The food industry uses a variety of strategies to get us to buy food that makes us fat. They know that competition is stiff, so it is hard to increase market share by 3%. It is much more effective if they increase profits by 100% on a customer by making them fat, so this has to be part of their strategy. (My assumption here is that if their customer becomes overweight, they will tend to spend twice as much on food compared to someone who is slim.)

Being overweight has had a staggering impact on our lifestyle; and it effects our health. How can any nation claim to be strong when it is full of round and wobbly people?



From Couch Potatoes to Blobs:

After television became popular we soon had the couch potato. Since then, things have become worse due to irresistible packaged food, fast food, and junk food. Our preferred activity has become sitting: sitting in front of the computer, our smart phone, or the TV. Even children prefer to sit rather than to play. So obesity and its complications have become a major problem, and some of us will become not much more than a blob.

There is currently a battle going on which will determine the future shape of the human race.

The food industry (that wants people to be fat) is up against the fashion industry (that wants people to be skinny) and the porn industry (that wants people to be lumpy). At this time, it is easy to see that the food industry is going to be the clear winner.

If you sense that for you it could get worse, you might have a hard battle to change your lifestyle, to change your eating and shopping habits. Avoid reaching the point where you need to go to the hospital, and the only way to get there is to use a forklift to hoist you and your bed onto a flatbed truck. [this happened in Kansas in Oct. '09]   Obviously, there are better ways to enjoy life.

Many people fail to realize that the human body not only needs food, but it needs movement. More and more scientific studies are proving that regular movement (EG. exercise (which can be free and enjoyable) ) can be as beneficial as some drugs (which can be expensive, with negative side effects and a negative long term impact).

If you are one of the many who avoid exercise, why not turn on some music and have some fun? It can be painless. If you don't like exercise, try a stretching program. So, choose the kind of movement you enjoy, then use a program (or an activity computer game) that helps you become fit.




The basic nature of our society.

We must realize that many corporations put profits before people.
Profits are important because they maintain efficiency, motivation, and focus.
But people are important too!
It is easy to find repulsive behavior to complain about. The food industry and the
pharmaceutical industry are not much better than the tobacco industry. Corporations have
increasing in size by 8 fold in the past 50 years and so have gained a lot of power.

So we need increased public awareness and more support for consumer action groups,
in order to balance things out. Consumer action groups can ensure there are proper regulations in place.
The average person needs to be given a chance to work and achieve their goals.
They need a chance to become perky people, fit as a fiddle,
tickled pink to be living a hunky dory life.

However, we also need realistic expectations,
because our world is complex and challenging !
Some changes that we feel are right   can wind up making things worse.




Free play prepares children for life.
Computer play prepares children for LIFE WITH A COMPUTER:

Parents need to learn that if their child plays at their computer, that is not the same as free play. The computer limits the behavior of children and damages their development. Excessive screen time for a child is far more damaging for them than it is for an adult.

Many parents will model the wrong behavior. When they see their child is also on the computer, they will tend to ignore the fact that free play works to prepare children for life. Free play allows for proper physical, mental, and emotional development. It helps children learn to cope with life, to concentrate, to relate with people, to do a job interview, and to cope with a job. It is important in helping people develop relationships and a healthy family life.

Too much computer play is only helpful if a child plans to grow up to marry a computer. When we spend so much time engaged with our cell phones, it is easy to imagine how engaging a robot will become. In fact, rather than just a computer, in the future people will expect a life sized robot to interact with. That will be far better than a phone.

Children who are attached to their computer will have a unique orientation. When they grow up and come out of the closet, they will proudly announce their preference: a robot. Robots are the best choice for marriage. They will keep your life simple, will be totally agreeable, and can be your best companion ever. A robot will be programmed to do everything you want, to treat you like a King, or a Queen.

It will buy you a present for a special day. In fact, it will buy a present for whenever you want one, an expensive present, better than your wildest dreams. [But there is a catch. Before you buy this robot you must deposit $50,000 into it's account, and co-sign for future loans. Then every time you get a present, the CEO from the robot's manufacturer gets paid $100, the previous CEO gets $50, and the CEO who built it gets $200.] The robot will be flawless at showing deep appreciation. It's endless, unconditional love will be beyond your wildest dreams.


a relaxation sales place in 2015 - to represent using virtual reality and the computer controlling our lives - 314 kb

When virtual reality becomes more fun than real life, some people will stop working at trying to cope with life.
We need to be deliberate, and control how much we allow technology
to dominate our lives.  
{a 2015 photograph representing life in 2025}




The Facebook Problem:

In North America in 2015, we have had Facebook people using posters that encourage parents to spank their children "like there is no tomorrow." [even though it is illegal] Another poster says that in order for parents to do their job properly they need to 'drive their children insane,' "hunt you down like a bloodhound ... stalk you ... be your worst nightmare." It claims that they do this out of love, because it is good parenting?

So Facebook can be a brutal place where aggressive and angry people can dominate. They set a new standard of behavior, that feels right to them. But when they like and share these posters, they are promoting the spanking of children like there is no tomorrow. Some people who read the poster will then really feel free to pound the hell out of their children.

Their children will struggle for the rest of their lives. One study shows that 95% of Juvenile delinquents had received physical punishment that was severe or extreme. If you lack concern about the creation of Juvenile delinquents, then start thinking about how much it costs the tax payer. The judicial system, policing and jails cost a lot of money.

Facebook is in a position to help people and society become less barbaric and more civilized.



These two almost identical posters promote child abuse.
They were popular in 2015. Many people on my news feed liked and shared.
2015 poster 


The poster on the right looks like Bugs Bunny. So are we getting this message
from Walt Disney? Is he promoting the idea that it is okay to spank your children
"like there was no tomorrow," a message that it is okay to pound the hell out of your children?

Research is unanimous, strongly against the excessive spanking of children. One study says: Physical punishment is associated with increased child aggression, antisocial behaviour, lower intellectual achievement, poorer quality of parent–child relationships, mental health problems (such as depression), and diminished moral internalisation.



Dealing With Future Wars:

Both sides need to develop a mindset of compromise. Although both sides will find giving in to be an irritating, disturbing process, they need to face reality, and then get serious about dealing with their emotions. It is their extreme emotions that are the problem. Things need to be fair for both sides. After that, instead of continuing to suffer with the painful damage that comes with a lose lose situation, they can enjoy the wide ranging benefits of a win win situation.

It is tragic that the world has so many extremists of all types. Some extremists create their own set of beliefs. Even though those beliefs are based on flawed information, are irrational, emotional, and potentially destructive, many times, history has shown that millions of people are willing to ignore common sense and share their emotions. When a group or a country is united, when people all feel the same, they sense they must be right; so they follow their leaders like sheep. They don't care how the real world works or what the facts are because deep in their heart they know they have the answer.



Bringing Sanity to the World:

By 2020, it will be widely accepted that quality pre-schools, daycares, and kindergartens have an extremely important role to play in the future of our world. We need to recognize that some parents are psychotic, some have been damaged by drugs, some were damaged by war, and some are simply totally incompetent. Some parents were raised with abuse, so the parenting that comes natural to them is abusive. (I continue to be amazed at how self centered some people are. They assume that everyone is the same as themselves. They fail to realize that some people have major weaknesses which are problematic to society as a whole.)

So childcare workers will be given the added role (after a little additional training) of monitoring and influencing parents, to prevent abuse and neglect. They are in the best position to ensure that children in ALL families are emotionally healthy, so they don't grow up to become another Hitler, a fanatical leader, a mass murderer, an abuser, a bully, an addict, a criminal, or a mental patient.

We need to keep in mind that changing the bad behavior of a child is far easier and far less costly than attempting to change the behavior of a damaged adult. Damaged adults cause problems wherever they go, require increased policing, jails, judicial system use, mental hospitals, treatment programs, etc. All of this costs "Big Bucks" and gets limited results. [Just one year in jail can cost over $100,000 per inmate.]

My promotion of the use of forms of organized childcare is done with the assumption that adults will not get carried away with preparing a child for school. School preparation games and activities can sometimes be damaging, and research has shown that their benefits are only temporary. Children need lots of time for free play. Adults can enrich free play, but must be careful not to restrict it.

George W. Bush is the best example I can find. He should have spent time in a quality daycare. That is where he could have learned how to respect other children, especially those who are younger, weaker, and not as well developed. When George was 4 years old, he could have learned how to respond to a 3 year old who whacks him over the head from behind, then runs and hides. A quality daycare could have taught him how to use common sense, and how to be a good person.   While they were at it, they could have also taught George how to not leave behind a big mess.

It isn't fair to condemn the United States. They did elect a new leader 7 years ago and have put some sanity into their foreign policy. At this time, the United States has been using restraint, and trying to avoid conflicts when it can. The Obama administration has been working with most of the world's nations in an attempt to be constructive.











Choosing Our Future Life



People can now choose information from a wide variety of sources. So we have the power to choose what we feed our minds; so we can build our own reality. We can choose to live a healthier life, to enjoy life more; or we can choose things that cause damage.

So as today's world quickly changes, we need to make reasonable choices about what kind of life we want to live. Keep in mind that if we don't decide, it will be decided for us. We will find ourselves doing things we don't really enjoy, things that harm our health, things that shorten our lives, or things with unexpected future consequences.


walking into the 
downtown Calgary core - 32 kb

In your journey through life, how do you
want to travel?

What kind of road do you want
to travel on?



Better Ways To Enjoy the Future

Examples of Fun Activities


ready for 
a long 
scenic 37 km

Taking a journey
on inline skates.

14 different 
folk dances 
(performed at 
the 2007 Edmonton 
Heritage Festival.)

A variety of folk dances.

ice skating 
in the late 

Ice skating.

This guy tries to hang
 his bike on
 the lift cable

This guy tries to hang his bike on the lift cable.

Running downhill
through the bushes.

Bikers follow a path
through the bushes.

an intense
heavy duty 
water fight.  (346 kb). .

These rafts are engaged in war.

a group on an inner tube

A group riding an inner tube.

running into each 
other for 
absolutely no 
reason at all

Running into each other.
Enjoying team sports.

To comments and photos of these activities (includes links to videos). How do you think
they compare to taking drugs, or the excessive use of video games and television?




"To Heaven And Back Trilogy"

View one of these quirky videos
and you can enjoy some light humor
while meeting the author. He plays
an eccentric old man.
A New Beginning (Part 1 of 3)
The old man bungles into a relationship
with his latest Teddy Bear.
Video is
4 min. 10 sec. at  
Click here to view this
4 min. 10 sec. video.
To Heaven And Back (Part 2 of 3)
The old man knows how to get to heaven,
so that's what he does.
Use this link to
view in new window
 at youtube.com
Click here to view this
4 min. 40 sec. video.
The Final Solution (Part 3 of 3)
When the Teddy Bear becomes difficult,
the old man takes action.
5 min. 10 sec.
video opens into 
a new window
at youtube.com
Click here to view this
5 min. 10 sec. video
in a new window.










Notes:   The factual content in this file came from a variety
of television and print sources; some of it from the Canadian
magazine Maclean's: Aug. 21, 2000 and Aug. 20, 2001 issues, from
articles on the future written mostly by Chris Wood, and more recently,
in addition to a variety of print sources, I have drawn from Canadian
television, CNN, BBC, RT, and PBS (including Charlie Rose).

There are a lot of experts who know far more than
myself, so ideally they should be the ones running this
website. Unfortunately, they are aware that probable flaws
like misconceptions, biases, and misunderstandings will be
delivered by a simple presentation that simplifies a variety
of problems. Complex problems have complex solutions.

However, in our complex and busy world, my impression is that a
file like this has practical value. It can help the reader gain awareness,
knowledge, and insights, and aid in assembling opinions. So when I chose
to begin this project, it was because it needed to be done, and I had the time;
it was not because I'm packed with knowledge, insight, and education. [Here
is my unique, personal background.] My suspicion was that after
extensive mulling and many rewrites, then things which made sense
would emerge. So, please don't take anything here as the plain
truth or a final solution to complex problems; but
rather work with it, and turn it into
something constructive.


A view of the Internet:
Click on the map above, and as you
stand on the WORLD STAGE, you will have
an amazing view of the audience, of the
locations of the people who have
recently visited this Web site.






Questions?  Suggestions? Comments.
              Contact the author.

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