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CONTENTS of 2082 AD-2183 AD: The virtual telepathy of the shush net emerges; active electro-chemical mind alteration is becoming common; heavy commercialization of space is proceeding; historical stress levels on average citizens (as well as mass species extinctions due to growing human numbers squeezing out other lifeforms) are both peaking now

This page last updated on or about 10-19-05
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2050-2100 sub trends and detours: Accelerated space development, genetic engineering, intellectual property reforms, and a boom in cloning all mark the last half of the 21st century...


The first substantial numbers of basically complete human clones are created during this period (largely for the extraordinary medical needs of the time). Many clones never consciously awaken (many cannot, being little more than genetically engineered headless or brainless bodies), or else are purposely kept utterly uneducated and lacking even basic powers of speech, to be used as spare parts for natural borns with a minimum of fuss or muss. The developed nations publicly deplore this, but privately purchase parts for their own citizens under the table. Yes, there's much outrage and activism-- even terrorism-- that comes about to try stopping the practice, but it continues unabated for many years anyway, before ultimately being brought under control.

Nearing the ultimate transplant

What would be the ultimate transplant? Transference of one person's mind to a wholly different head and body.

A slightly less ideal action would be moving the physical brain from one body's head to another.

Just below brain transfers would be whole head transplants-- switching bodies to keep someone's head alive, because that head's original body was failing it.

It's already been done with monkeys.

-- "Preplacing a Severed Head, or 'the Whole Body Transplant'" By MALCOLM W. BROWNE, 5-5-98, The New York Times

New hope for spinal cord injuries?

Researchers recently fused together a severed guinea pig spine with a polymer called "PEG" (polyethylene glycol).

Five to fifteen minutes after applying the PEG, between 5 and 58% of the nerve impulses transmitted before severing had returned.

This may have been the first success with splicing a mammalian spinal cord ever recorded.

-- "Researchers splice severed spinal cords", Purdue News, 11-12-98, and other sources

One of the more controversial genetic modifications of this time involves changes made to children to make them better adapted to a worsening environment. Environmentalists see this as capitulation to the severe degradation of the global environment taking place now at the hands of industry and others. Many big business concerns also lobby against free or low cost genetic mods which make citizens less vulnerable to pollution and contagion-- because such mods would mean less dependence by consumers on business for substitute protections, which now amounts to a multi-$trillion industry.

The "Capper" cyborgs appear now; previously disabled persons supplemented with micromachine bionic limbs now sometimes enjoy superiority to people not equipped with such aids, in some ways. This fact of life leads to purposeful amputation or removal of perfectly functioning normal limbs and organs by many in favor of bionic replacements.

Alarming differences and conflicts begin to appear between the human sexes, as the range of human archetypes begins widening, splintering, and refocusing in many unexpected ways at this time, causing much social anguish and controversy. The accessibility of VR and Niven's 'wire'-based pleasure generation seem the biggest influences on these trends.

'Specialty' populations of human beings are being actively bred now. By this I mean human beings genetically engineered in more or other ways than merely cosmetic, athletic, intellectual, or for clone farming. Various groups and states are also modifying newborns for various experimental extremes such as lifespans much longer than is generally attempted in mainstream efforts so far. There's even programs attempting to increase extrasensory perception and 'hard-wired' versions of mind-over-body techniques which before now were only accessible through years of discipline and learning under expert tutors (i.e., training by Tibetian monks, etc.).

Most of these specialty efforts produce few concrete results, primarily because the work is interrupted by the authorities, or financing runs out, or the host organization simply loses interest. However, there are a small number of extraordinary individuals and groups ultimately produced by these methods which go on to influence future history.

The optimal form factor for a 100% biological content adult human being designed to live beyond 100 years with minimal injury and illness is beginning to take form in scientific circles. Notably, such beings would likely need to be relatively short and stocky.

Bigger and more manueverable ears would be a plus. Differently designed eyes would reduce vision failings. More joint padding and backward bending knees would minimize injuries and failures there, as well as perhaps offer us increased capacities in certain physical tasks. Bigger bones, muscles would improve endurance and healing properties.

A forward leaning upper torso and curved neck are also suggested as improvements.

Keep in mind the specifications above likely assume a highly civilized environment for such lifespan optimized folks-- that is, they don't have to hunt and scavenge for food or escape predators like our ancestors did.

-- University of Illinois at Chicago expert tinkers with evolution to create human 'Built-to-Last', 9 FEBRUARY 2001, EurekAlert! US Contact: Jody Oesterreicher joest@uic.edu 312-996-8277, www.uic.edu; S. Jay Olshansky and Bruce Carnes have written a book regarding this subject, titled "The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging", Norton publisher

It appears achieving an average life expectancy of 100 at birth for 100% biological humans (of natural physical form factors and DNA) likely won't happen before 2100. Even if all the major age-related diseases were banished from the equation. Instead, expectancies of 88 for females and 83 for males look much more like sure bets, barring unforeseen breakthroughs in age-related genetic engineering.

Sometime after 2100 it appears expectancy could reach 100 in a few places like Japan and France-- but not in USAmerica until after 2500.

Of course, notice the caveat that this is likely a limit on lifespans of 100% biological human beings. Cyborgs will live by a different set of rules.

-- Experts Say Life Expectancy Won't Reach 100 Soon By Karla Harby, Reuters Health/Yahoo! Health Headlines, February 20, 2001

Increasing the average life expectancy of human beings in the 70+ year range is considerably more difficult than the same at younger ages.

The life expectancy at birth for USAmericans is expected to reach 85 overall around 2182; in Japan and France, respectively, around 2035 and 2033.

Due to steadily decreasing returns for monies spent on old age longetivity, some experts are recommending expenditures be re-directed to increasing life quality rather than quantity. To a new measure known as "health expectancy" rather than life expectancy.

-- 100-Year Life Expectancy? Chances Called Slim To Nil By Jody Oesterreicher, 20-Feb-2001, UniSci Daily, unisci.com; more info available at the University of Illinois at Chicago [Contact: Jody Oesterreicher

Construction of Arcologies/Mall Cities is booming. A virtual worldwide ban on creation, storage, and use of nuclear weapons by any entity but the largest central world government agencies is enacted as a result of the calamities in recent decades; virtually all nations join in agreement here, as it's an offer they 'can't refuse'-- the united majority of nations threatens to otherwise rescind any outlaw state's sovereignty in this matter by force. A couple of high profile 'test cases' succeed at convincing the remaining hold outs to join or face similar punishment.

Organic cellular computers (conceptual descendents of Staute's virtual partner "Chip" from decades earlier) are common in certain niche areas as backup units and specialized interfaces in military and medical fields.

A massive transport of refugees from the Mideast and Asian Holocausts is made to new Arcologies under construction in Antarctica.


Space hotel concept circa 1991 by Shimizu Corporation of Japan.

One or more significant tourist habitats/resorts/parks/hotels are now in Earth-orbit, as well as a substantial industrial infrastructure and several important military stations. Aerospace traffic is robust and growing. The costs of reaching orbit dropped dramatically after 2027, when the first maglev launcher suitable for small payloads came online. By 2038 several light duty maglevs were in competition around the world, and the first heavy lifter joined the party. The second heavy lifter ramped up in 2042, and the third in 2046. A permanently manned space station orbits the Moon managing transport to Earth orbit for materials from manned mining operations Moonside (Earth-orbit construction using Moon materials is cheaper than using Earth materials, because of gravity well considerations). Surveys and sampling of the asteroid belt are underway. Humanity lands equipment on Mars' moon Phobos, and begins construction of a base there; a manned landing on Mars follows shortly thereafter. The first stage in a powerful radio-telescope project is assembled in the shadow of Mercury.

-- Levitated Locomotion To Space, 29 September 1998, Contact: June Malone june.malone@msfc.nasa.gov (256) 544-7061/0034 NASA- Marshall Space Flight Center

-- "Freeman's choice" by Marcus Chown, From New Scientist, 26 June 1999, discussing ideas from the book "The Sun, the Genome and the Internet" by Freeman Dyson, of Oxford University Press

-- Humans Seen Living On Other Planets In 100 Years, Contact: June Malone, UniSci Daily, 24-Nov-1999, http://www.unisci.com

Sources include Excite (12-2-96), and "Spacecraft Detects Large Amounts of Water Ice on Moon", the New York Times (3-6-98), among others, about water sources discovered on the Moon

Mars Phobos Base

Mars moon Phobos will likely be the site of our first permanently manned Mars-related base, for a variety of reasons, including easier commutes back to Earth from nearer the top of Mars gravity well rather than its bottom. So any info we get relevant to building a Phobos base is important.

The latest such info makes it look like Phobos base will have to be constructed somewhat similarly to a site located in the far north of Earth, like in Canada or Alaska. Why? Waist-deep dust and massive landslides. So we face conditions there a bit like waist-deep snow with accompanying avalanches on Earth-- though Phobos lightweight gravity (only a thousandth of Earth's) might take the edge off some.

Base inhabitants might require little more thermal insulation than a wintertime Illinois USA resident during the three and a half hours of daylight Phobos experiences each day. But the night sibling is another matter entirely, being more brutally cold than anything on Earth.

Only 16 miles wide, the Phobos moon is perhaps only the size of some individual counties in USAmerica in terms of available real estate. So we may be looking at some of the priciest real estate in the solar system come 50-150 years from now. Perhaps much pricier than Moon estate, which is so much more plentiful and close, but lacking many of the attributes a Mars moon base can offer.

-- "Mars' Moon Has Hip-Deep Dust", By Jane Allen, AP Science Writer/ Online Post-Gazette, 9-13-1998

The location of future Moon base One?

Scientists believe they've pinpointed the best spot for the first manned and permanent Lunar outpost-- the rim of Shackleton crater near the Moon's south pole. This location enjoys plentiful sunlight to power solar cells (less than 20% of its time is spent in darkness) and is near likely major sources of lunar ice, from which water, air, and fuel could all be generated. Not far from Shackleton are two other spots which could be used for supplemental solar energy production, and together offer up to 98+% uptime (time spent bathed in sunlight).

-- "Best site for Moonbase revealed" By BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse BBC News Online: Sci/Tech, March 16, 1999

A vast fortune in fusion fuel lies upon the far side of Earth's Moon?

Many experts believe nuclear fusion reactors will be a mainstream energy source for humanity in centuries to come. Nuclear fusion should be a more economical and safer energy source than the nuclear fission reactors we've used up to now. Fusion is how our Sun operates, while fission is how our earliest nuclear weapons worked.

Unfortunately, we still haven't figured out how to build a practical fusion reactor yet-- and it may be another 50 years before we do.

After we finally figure out the workings, we'll have another hurdle to get past; obtaining the best fuel for such things.

Fusion reactors would seem to run best with helium-3, which is very rare on Earth.

Now researchers are seeing indications that the far side of our Moon may be rich in Helium-3, collected over the eons from the solar wind of the Sun.

-- "Heat and Light from the Far Side of the Moon" By Otis Port EDITED BY NEIL GROSS, 1-14-99/1-25-99, Business Week Developments to Watch

Some parts of the globe lose substantial portions of the night due to the deployment of dozens to hundreds of enormous orbiting solar mirrors to push back the darkness. The first regions lit up are mostly to the far north or far south, due to the lengthy periods of darkness bequeathed to them by virtue of their nearness to the poles. But later other regions begin squeezing the night as well, for reasons of productivity and security.

You do realize productivity and efficiency cannot be maximized so long as night exists, don't you? The often increasingly lazziz-faire economics of the 21st century and beyond may take the night away forever, via enormous solar mirrors in space illuminating the dark side of the Earth.

Imagine the equivalent of hundreds of full moons sprinkled across the night sky, blotting out the distant stars, and you may be envisioning the sky future generations will consider routine.

A planned 24 hour Russian experiment by November of 1998 may pave the way for this death of darkness, when a small prototype mirror may shine light after nightfall onto several large northern cities of the world. This project is an attempt to prompt support for investment in a much more ambitious project to light up the very long arctic night for far northern cities. Certain cities in places like Russia, Alaska, northern europe, Canada, and other spots might benefit from such light sources.

Of course, astronomers who need the night for space observation aren't too thrilled at the prospect of losing the darkness.

-- "Blinded by the light" by Mark Ward, New Scientist, 6-20-98

Intellectual property reform in the 21st century (click here)

In the last 25 years of the 20th century in developed nations like USAmerica, a 40 hour work week was pretty much the norm for most people. Due to a variety of factors around 2000 this number was increasing for many (though in truth measurements were becoming more difficult due to emerging complexities like flextime, job-related training and recreation, and other matters).

At the dawn of the 21st century some expected the early decades of the new century to usher in an average 35 hour week, as well as more sharing of a single job among two or more employees (such as mothers wishing to work part-time rather than full-time). By the 22nd century these same sources predicted a 28 hour work week.

Indeed, all these predictions might end up pretty close to the mark-- if only the measuring criteria were suitably adjusted. But from the point of view of a 20th century observer, things might appear less rosey. For instance, although continuing innovation and rising productivity helped push down (or minimize increases in) the prices of many basic commodities for consumers, at the same time demand for dazzling new products and services, marketed with ever more savvy and sophistocated techniques, kept a growing number of consumers on the brink of bankruptcy throughout the first half of the 21st century. This constant financial strain pushed people to work more hours, not less. In the developed nations fewer people were getting married or having children, and those that did had fewer children. Single people and childless couples were able to spend more time working, therefore putting greater competitive pressures on their fellow employees in the marketplace.

Fantastic new opportunities for entrepreneurship or self-employment were also burgeoning through much of the period, enticing many to strike out on their own. And in most cases such independent efforts required much longer work weeks than traditional jobs.

Then there was the ever-increasing amount of continuing education and training required by many employers. Most employees tended to consider the time spent in such efforts as simply more work-time, rather than free time, and rightfully so.

Thus, for a great many average folk of the time, the typical work week became longer in the 21st and 22nd centuries-- not shorter.

-- Predictions for the new millennium By LANCE GAY, October 25, 1999, Nando Media/Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.nandotimes.com, and others

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