Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The Future Society - continued

Sci-Fi movies are known to dramatize events. However, most sci-fi movies are based on a scientific premise; that's why we call them "science fiction". It's fiction but it's based on science. Sci-fi movies is our imagination but this imagination is extremely important because it reflects humanity's intuition about what the future would be like and intuition reflects the truth very often.

Recently we all watched the videotaped beheading of Nick Berg by Islamic fundamentalists. In the future, humans will be able to regrow lost organs. It might take millenia of human evolution to fully achieve this but there's no question in my mind that if we live long enough, our bodies will become smart enough to regenerate lost limbs and the like, not only through technological mechanisms but even through biological mechanisms. If someone falls and breaks a bone, the bone will heal very quickly. If someone loses a leg in a suicide bombing, the leg will literally regrow (although this will take a longer time then a simple bone fracture). Eye vision will adapt to quick and excessive reading. People will be capable of reading an entire book in a short period and the eyesight will be specifically adapted to do this - it won't negatively affect vision as is common nowadays.

Over the last couple million years, our physical aptitudes have languished behind while our mental and intellectual aptitudes have progressed exponentially. I foresee an era when there will not be that much technological or intellectual advances but there will be many physical advances (much like the regeneration capability discussed above). For example, humans will become stronger and they will be able to walk/run quicker. They will talk and react quicker. We will live longer and enjoy life more.

On the other hand, as hinted in previous posts, our development will be longer. For example, a typical human will live 200 years. He will not complete adolescence until about 30 and then a good higher education (comparable to a contemporary Phd) will take 20 years to finish -not because we're slow to learn- on the contrary we're quick learners. There's just going to be a tremendous volume of material to cover. A good psychologist will have to know everything -every single scientific field- and then be highly specialized in his field. Also, note that future societies will have to learn the same history we're learning PLUS everything that has transpired from our generation until theirs. Of course, there will be highly sophisticated methods of learning, but no matter how sophisticated, it takes time. Humans will then marry at the age 50 and enjoy 100 happy years until reaching 150 which will be the equivalent of the contemporary age 60-70.

Future humans will not wear any clothes. Clothes is mostly worn due to sexual inhibitions and for physical protection. But in the future, we will shed our primitive inhibitions and we will develop sophisticated skin mechanisms to deal with heat and cold. In the summer our skin will become porous and allow air circulation to cool us and in the winter our skin will toughen up and shield us from the cold.

Of course, it's needless to say, that our climate will be entirely different. So the perception of heat and cold in the future will not be the same as our