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The Signposts Timeline of Future Technology and Social Change
2026 AD-2049 AD

Biotechnology disappoints many; the world overhauls privacy and identity matters, even as surveillance becomes ubiquitous; global military spending is declining; households are gaining self-sufficiency in energy production as well as small object replication (3D printing becomes widely available)

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2027 milestone: Direct computer links via hardware jacks now become available to many...

.... and obtained by a surprising number of people (mostly the young, 16-25). A huge number of complications arise from this new technology, not the least of which are brain-damaged or dead participants. Government regulations do little to stem the tide, as the technology is too easily and cheaply installed; every city block can have a jack surgeon...

Larry Niven's 'Wire' concept is often included in the package, making it still more enticing (ecstacy at the flick of a switch).

The enabling technology for the new jacks is largely based on a new chip developed for a multitude of different computer-to-brain interface purposes, from various new treatments for psychoses, to chronic pain relief, to medical and intelligence contingencies for soldiers in the field, and more. The new chip essentially allows a variety of functions to be brought into play across a wide variety of neural networks (i.e., the normal differentiation of individual human brains), while requiring only a fairly straightforward attachment to the brain itself. The chip is able to rewrite its own circuitry during an intitial set-up phase to adapt to individual brains, and thereby allow all other connections downstream in the link to enjoy a much simpler and more standard interface than was ever available before.

The chip also wears a new coating material which solves (or at least delays) most of the problems of mating high tech materials to biological forms which has stymied many such efforts in the past. For most recipients, this implant lasts and works well roughly ten years, at which point the body's natural reaction to the implant must be dealt with via wholesale replacement of the implant. The material is an ablative coating which copes with biological forces by slowly allowing them to dissolve it-- which prevents the buildup of other organic materials which might otherwise occur and interfere with the device's functionality or convenience.

Another critically important element here is the bioengineered interface flesh that provides the other missing element in a human to computer interface scheme: resembling in some aspects an oddly tough, strangely colored, and oversized mole, the interface flesh is a patch of the user's own native skin modified to act like the light-sensitive patches of some lower animals-- i.e., the patch is like a (very) primitive third eye. Its light sensitivity however is relatively narrow, mostly relegated to light sources that are decidedly UN-natural in origin, such as low-powered lasers. This living patch solves many old physical interface problems for human beings. The patch deals with the frequent overdose of radiation it might often receive from heavy use via accelerated shedding of the outer layer. In some users this shedding action might require a dietary supplement to supply sufficient nutrients to prevent related malnutrition (without the shedding action however, it's possible some patch cells might turn cancerous and even spread to other parts of the body). The patch is far from perfect in the first generation, but serves well until newer and better technologies come along to replace it. The interface flesh patch works best if only used occasionally, as merely a complement to one or more other interfaces. For example, a user might access standard visual computer displays to search for a particular book online, and perform searches for particular passages. Once found, the target sections themselves might be downloaded via flesh patch to the users' implant for later reference. In other words, the flesh patch might be judiciously used much as a notebook, tape recorder, video cam, scanner, or office copier was circa 1997.

Despite the adaptive chip and interface flesh breakthroughes, at least some 20% of so of people fall outside the chip/patch capacity for adaptation, and another 40% can only achieve partial success with the hardware/wetware. But for the remaining 40% of the population that can obtain full functionality (and enjoy high quality installations and support), the new system is quite valuable indeed.

In the hands of street tech pushers though, the quality of these jacks overall is very low and quite dangerous, compared to the links commonly available later. However, the young see them as the ultimate game connections and ways to cheat in school, and a small number of corporate execs and private entrepreneurs acquire them for the sake of perceived competitive advantage.

The illegal jacks drive a boom in related software development in third world nations and others (places which don't cooperate with the wishes of the more developed nations).

During a decade or two, the 40% of the population uniquely suited to this first breakthrough adaptive interface chip often enjoy preferential treatment in many areas of life, and a whole industry arises around offering possible genetic engineering for fetuses and/or other programs, devices, and techniques, which might improve a child's suitability for such links. Of course, in a matter of years all this is moot, as new technologies sweep away previous restrictions.

Sources include Businessweek, 12-16-96, regarding future 'wormhole' computer chips utilizing "field-programmable gate array technology with just-in-time data and instructions", and others

-- A Radical New Way For Disabled People To Interact With The World Is Born by Duncan Graham-Rowe New Scientist issue 17th October [AUTHOR'S NOTE: Somehow this citation is lacking year information. I will attempt to correct this soon. END NOTE]

-- Doctor Stumbles Onto Orgasm Machine By Maggie Fox, Yahoo!/Reuters, February 7, 2001

-- Mother invents 'orgasm machine' ["http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/2976271.stm"]; news.bbc.co.uk; 25 April, 2003

Signposts 2026-2049 Contents

1997-2030 sub trends and detours: Cybercrimes/cyberterrorism force governments of developed nations to adopt radically new identification, communication, surveillance, and commerce policies.

Cybercrimes and cyberterrorism become so widespread and damaging that it becomes a top priority for world governments and corporations to control both.

Too-simple passwords (under 8 letters and with no numbers) were one vulnerability across the board in terms of cyber-crime, circa 1999.

The majority of security breaches (again, circa 1999) stemmed from angry insiders/employees.

In 1999, hiring your own hackers to show you your weakpoints was one of the most practical ways to safeguard your systems.

-- Experts: Computer Crime Is Where the Money Is By Bernard Edinger, Yahoo!/Reuters, Tech Headlines, November 23 1999

Just one example is the rampant identity theft perpetrated in the early 21st century, which for a time becomes a bigger criminal enterprise (in financial terms) than illicit drugs, worldwide. The result is that by around 2030 sufficient safeguards are in place so that most developed states no longer consider these things a substantial threat (after 2030 such problems mostly occur in regions where the cyber-infrastructure is still under serious construction). But the first couple decades of the 21st century provide a hair-raising experience from cybercrime and terrorism for society. Paradoxically, the near ruinous experience with cyber threats leads to systems which insure individual privacy and rights at the expense of government and corporate privileges to information, as well as finally release the full potential of online commerce worldwide, which itself provides new and novel entrepreneurial opportunities to virtually everyone. The reason for this surprising consequence? Only with true, verifiable identification of source and destination individuals involved in mainstream communications or transactions can commercial traffic flourish online, and critical credentials be reliable (note however that irrelevant third parties like governments and corporations need NOT be privy to the identities or even purchases of transaction partners in many instances; why should the USA government know that a Pakistani has ordered a new consumer medical diagnostic appliance for his family from France? Or why should Compaq know that a Canadian just bought a client service contract from Dell?). On the other hand, turnover of such information to third parties for investigation may be optional and wholly voluntary for one or both transaction partners in the case of suspected criminal acts perpetrated by someone other than themselves (this becomes an official cyber right for many 21st century citizens at some point). These systems also help minimize the capacity of anyone to disrupt others' lives and get away with it-- ergo, full accountability reduces crime and terrorism to about the smallest numbers possible-- to where only well planned, suicidal assaults on the part of typically lone perpetrators or very small groups, who have managed to remain undetected over months or years of preparation, and possess rare levels of skills necessary to overcome other obstacles, may inflict mass destruction or substantial harm upon many others.

--" [IBM's] Gerstner calls for unrestricted encryption", by Nancy Weil, InfoWorld Electric, Apr 6, 1998

-- "Protect your ID" By Alex Wellen, ZDTV 3-20-98

Regarding the Growing Clash between Personal Privacy and Corporate/Government Surveillance...

A couple of different viewpoints are offered in the Businessweek article cited below, from books by various authors. Sci fi author David Brin in his "THE TRANSPARENT SOCIETY" argues that robust two-way transparency and accountability will be our best hope for living well in the high tech future. That is, that we'll allow government and corporations to spy on us essentially all they want-- so long as we can spy on them the same way. Brin points out that although encryption may have some practical uses, in general the technology will always be tilted in favor of the rich and powerful-- and so it could be dangerous to favor it too much in our policies. Brin also argues surveillance technology will always advance more rapidly than counter-measures can so that you can't prevent it any way, if someone with the means is determined to know something about you. Brin also suggests new laws and regulations will only create new bureaucratic inefficiencies/costs, and be impotent and unenforceable anyway.

From my own studies, Brin's arguments (as presented by Businessweek) seem incomplete and lacking of certain acknowledgements regarding our mounting computerized technical prowess. The present geopolitical and corporate entities on the planet see communications/transactions security matters as not only law enforcement and national security issues, but competitive political and economic issues as well.

[a c|net.com interview with Paul Saffo, futurist, on or about 6-23-97 is relevant to this discussion]

From the government and corporate perspectives, a 'transparent' population of citizens (where people have no privacy rights whatsoever), along with 'opaque' security for large organizations like themselves (total and absolute secrecy), is the ideal-- and the tenets which they will robustly impose on us all if given half a chance.

Those in power today will not easily give up these positions, just as any monopolist would be loathe to grant concessions to potential competitors without a fight. And the more successful business and government are at attaining their goals, the more likely that our future will involve a new Dark Age perhaps lasting for centuries or even millennia. Too, the potential added bureaucratic complexities Brin decries as being beyond practical and cost-effective execution to safeguard our privacy against excessive intrusion by others seems a strong indication of Brin's non-computer background (he may be a brilliant physicist and sci fi writer, but that doesn't make him a computer systems expert). That is, the typical desktop computer is in short order going to provide 1980s style super computing power to average citizens for under $1000 circa 2000 or so, with government and corporate systems boasting many magnitudes beyond that in processing capability. In addition, a veritable second industrial revolution in regards to software engineering is underway circa 2000, as programming becomes much more object-oriented and so consisting of a far higher percentage of truly interchangeable parts or modules, which should vastly increase the efficiency of our applications as well as massively accelerate development of same. These elements alone should make it much easier for government and corporate agencies at all levels to cost-effectively add capacity to shoulder greater regulatory burdens in defense of certain important human rights like privacy, safety, and security over coming decades and centuries. Brin however, seems wholly unaware of such probabilities (from the summary given in the review).

The Businessweek article also refered to another book on the subject: "PRIVACY ON THE LINE". In that tome, Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau point out the alarming historical decline in real privacy during the last few decades, as compared to previous human history, and make a case for strong personal privacy rights being essential to a democracy-- i.e., everyone should have access to powerful encryption means for communications and transactions.

In practice, I believe we'll see a 'middle-ground' emerge between these two views, as government/business comes to realize true communications/transaction security is necessary not only to preserve functional political democracies, but also to protect citizens and nations alike from cataclysmic explosions in identity theft and commercial terrorism, among other matters. On the other hand, an automated surveillance system wherein machines constantly scan everywhere for accidents possibly involving injury, instances of violence or coercion, or significant safety hazards, and only alert human observers for verification that an active response is necessary, pinpointing the identities of those involved only as absolutely required to render aid or cautionary alerts, may prove valuable and useful to us all-- so long as the system is adequately restrained in its scope and the information it outputs to other entities.

See what I mean here? Government and corporations would typically have to ask your permission (maybe even compensate you) to obtain much private information about you, and/or turn it over to someone else. It would be up to you. But in an auto accident or violent crime the automated surveillance system would instantly notify relevant recovery personnel to your plight, those officers would then access your ID and location info if you appeared to require assistance, and immediately dispatch precisely the aid required to your locale-- all without you needing to lift a finger in most instances.

-- "EVERYONE IS LIVING IN A FISHBOWL" BY NEIL GROSS, Business Week: June 8, 1998 Books

One major battle regarding all this involved the use of biometrics for user identification.

Biometrics uses pattern recognition of unique biological features like facial structures, fingerprints, retinal scans, and voice nuances to positively indentify users.

The overwhelming majority of institutions and geopolitical entities such as governments and corporations favored the use the biometrics for identification and security purposes, not only for its power to curb fraud but for its strong surveillance possibilities in tracking and building databases about consumers/citizens too.

Of course, those citizens/consumers and civil rights groups in the developed nations aware of the horrific potential for abuse of these technologies did not easily acquiesce to its widespread implementation. This reluctance, combined with the corporate/government preference, and the ever declining costs of the technology, eventually resulted in heavily subsidized deployment of biometrics or equivalent technologies through many avenues of the global economy.

In a way, this helped accelerate the internet revolution into many areas of the world and national economies significantly faster than would otherwise have been the case. For the various geopolitical and corporate interests realized consumer reluctance might be overcome forever if accomplished soon enough-- and they threw $billions into the effort. But either their efforts came up short-- or else consumers weren't as gullible as they believed-- and they ended up footing the bill for spreading net access far and wide while losing much of the surveillance capacities they had hoped for due to various reforms demanded by the citizenry.

Although some of the business/government entities suffered for their roles in the debacle, on the whole most benefited enormously from the new infrastructure, along with everyone else-- often in ways wholly unanticipated beforehand.

Eventually a compromise was worked out whereby neither individual governments or corporations enjoyed direct access to the system, but rather a third party was created to oversee the work, globally. As was implemented in other areas concerning individual privacy, machine automation did the bulk of the work with only suspect cases being referred to human monitors for more indepth verification. In virtually all cases individual anonymity of identity and location were given privileged status. At worst a purchase or access will be denied by the system, and the suspect attempt will be logged into a tracking database. If the same user is recorded making several suspect actions within a given time period, they are contacted about the matter and asked for an explanation. If the explanation is suspect certain online privileges and others may be put under some restrictions for a time. Much like the original judicial system of USAmerica, users are presumed innocent until proven guilty-- therefore suspect actions and their related punishments tend to ramp up gradually from slaps on the wrist to more serious remedies.

One important part of these procedures is an internet license-- something akin to an automobile driving license, but for the virtual world of the global net.

No one must have a license to access the net, but only sites suitable for children and/or offering the most bland and widely accepted content for across-the-board public viewing are typically accessible to unlicensed parties. Material deemed acceptable only for adults, such as news reports or entertainment media including horrific or pornographic imagery, are accessible only by the appropriate license holders. The global identity system enabled by biometrics and myriad other means enforce the licensing structure surprisingly well.

Robert Cailliau, a co-creator of the web, proposes that controls on online behavior be put into place rather than controls on online content. I.e., net access licenses. Education and training regarding the use of the net, along with a suitable test of applicants (comparable to that required for getting an automobile driver's license) might be appropriate.

-- Web pioneer supports surfing licenses, global laws on cyberspace, Agence France-Presse, August 27, 2000, http://www.nandotimes.com

Note that the more or less reliable across-the-board categorization of net content required to make licensing work has been perfected in decades past via a wide assortment of means, and recently bolstered still further with the help of artificial intelligences (To read about part of the process, refer to 2010 milestone: Internet-based TV now dominates the television content landscape-- a development which also brings changes to the net itself; The Signposts Timeline: 2009 AD-2017 AD).

In general biometrics is ultimately heavily restricted in terms of its usefulness to governments or corporations desiring organized wholesale surveillance of the public and detailed tracking of consumers, for reasons of possible criminal persecution, coercion, and prediction or modification of behavior not directly related to optimal mental and physical health and specific educational and training goals as relate to the best interests of consumers themselves.

However, in the early years before all the problems were resolved, average consumers/citizens often suffered from both government and corporate excesses in this arena.

Ironically perhaps, those people who end up most often under the watchful eyes and ears of massive surveillance systems with little restriction on their use in persecution or behavior modification turn out eventually to be the executives, managers, and employees of major corporations and government agencies themselves-- the very people who tried early on to foist such a system onto everyone else. If these folks could have known the eventual consequences of their actions when they initially undertook them, they might have chosen differently.

-- Biometrics -- the end of online fraud? ["http://www.zdnet.com/filters/printerfriendly/0,6061,2444322-2,00.html"] By Anne Chen, PC Week February 27, 2000

The President of the USA in 2000 was speaking of a need to split the internet into different zones or sectors, so far as security is concerned. If divided only into two, one zone would be much like today's whole internet, while the other would be much more rigidly controlled in terms of access and use (no anonymity here).

There are also calls to put limitations on the Freedom of Information Act so that companies might be more willing to share with the government information about cracking assaults and other net-related attacks they are enduring.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Keep in mind that the Freedom of Information Act is already pretty limited; for instance, it can be used only to access non-classified government documents (and it can take 50 years or longer for a classified document to become non-classified(!)), and even then as much as 99% of those documents can be censored or blacked out before FOIA users ever get to see them). END NOTE.

The President also created scholarships to generate a college-based CyberCorps-- basically 'good' hackers/crackers to do battle with the 'bad' ones.

-- Do we need a second Internet? By Robert Lemos, December 8, 2000, ZDNN, URL: http://www5.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2662884,00.html

Much more impulsive and local realtime crimes involving physical violence or overt acts (like property theft or vandalism) are essentially wiped out in the major metropolitan centers of developed nations by way of wholesale surveillance and rapid response by law enforcement-- and thereby exported to less developed states as repeat offenders of this class learn their lesson and move to greener pastures.

British police were developing a surveillance system in 1998 capable of identifying anyone regardless of attempts at disguise.

-- Brits ready to thwart disguises of criminals, Nando Media/Reuters News Service, November 26, 1998, http://www.nandotimes.com

-- Casinos use facial recognition technology, February 26, 2001, Cable News Network/the Associated Press

"If current trends continue, physical crime rates should plunge drastically."

-- Thugs turn to corporate e-blackmail ["http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1107_2-5286999.html"] By Fran Foo, ZDNet Australia; July 28, 2004

Mall cities, with their close control of who and what enters and exits, as well as comprehensive inhouse surveillance, take this technology to its ultimate conclusion and potential for this period-- for better and for worse, with extremes of both communal paradises and hard core totalitarian city-states emerging from the process. Byproducts of increasingly comprehensive surveillance and archival of related records include a practical way to minimize corruption and white collar crime, and just plain help keep everyone a lot more honest than they were in earlier centuries-- as well as collection of health, education, social interaction, and accident related data on a scope so wide and deep that it can't help but pave the way for breakthroughs in those knowledge fields as well.

Total Event Archival (TEA) is becoming an important technology near the end of this period, for many reasons. The earliest uses are among various government intelligence, security, and law enforcement agencies, as well as in industrial espionage. Later use widens to include aerospace and military concerns too. Eventually it is in use across-the-board, as technological advances increases its practicality, and its immense value as a reliable record-keeper becomes recognized by everyone.

Basically an average TEA recorder consists of a near microscopic 360 degree view camera mounted in a desired monitoring location, feeding continuous imagery into its own independent onboard recording system. The onboard storage medium can be endlessly looped/recorded over, or utilized as a temporary buffer which dumps to an external device once full, or bypassed entirely with realtime feeds to remote locations.

A high end TEAcam's tamper-proof design heavily depends on the presence of a relatively large unstable man-made molecule installed within each TEAcam unit at time of manufacture. From that moment on virtually anything that significantly changes the embedded memory storage of the TEAcam (in a way different from that designed), causes this large unstable molecule to break down into its natural components, thereby leaving a telltale sign of the tampering.

The event dump itself (video and audio stream) from a secure TEAcam can be easily modified outside the TEAcam casing-- but a simple re-reading of the intact TEAcam itself will announce a modified dump's inaccuracy.

For this reason any TEAcam recording for which the original intact TEAcam is lost or otherwise unavailable for verification is immediately suspect and usually discarded as an accurate record of events.

The signature man-made unstable molecules for each TEAcam can only be produced under very strict conditions-- similar to those used for producing the most highly counterfeit-resistant national currencies in late 1999. I.e., only a substantial national government or major corporation would enjoy the wherewithal to produce such items at this time. And robust global investigation and enforcement agencies, along with severe legal punishments for even detailed discussions about unauthorized manufacture of these particular kinds of molecules (for any purpose), help maintain the reliability of these markers for a couple decades to come.

Novel date stamp technologies for TEA recordings are also incorporated into the devices.

Microsoft's SenseCam hangs around the wearer's neck and automatically snaps as many as 2000 pictures over twelve hours.

-- Yahoo! News - Microsoft Gadget Keeps Record of Your Life ["http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=562&ncid=738&e=7&u=/ap/20040304/ap_on_hi_te/microsoft_visual_diary"]; story.news.yahoo.com

A possibly unbreakable timestamp for archival verification is developed?

Can Einstein's Theory of Relativity be applied to cryptography for purposes of reliably dating messages and information acquisition? One Britain mathematician thinks so.

"Einstein's Theory Used To Devise New Code", Reuters Limited/Yahoo! News Science Headlines, August 17 1999

-- Chemists Discover Molecule Considered Too Unstable To Exist ["http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020412074739.htm"]; sciencedaily.com; April 12, 2002; Source: Northwestern University

If the datestamp codes do need a spacetime marker for thorough validation, perhaps the technology described below (or something similar) could provide it.

Information could be tied to particular physical locations via the Global Positioning System, by way of highly secure internet pages accessible only from those coordinates. A redundant method for confirming the time and date stamp from that location could also be implemented through such pages, if they were dynamic in nature (generated by a database in realtime).

http://cooltown.hp.com offered more information about the technology as of late 2001.

-- Write here, write now by Bennett Daviss; New Scientist 01 December 2001; newscientist.com

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I should point out here that the US government and/or various agencies could likely manipulate GPS data to fit their own purposes (such as harassing or pressuring dissidents/activists/whistleblowers and/or political opposition with false but damning evidence of wrongdoing). Likewise, anyone else who successfully managed to hack into the system. As the US government's position regarding opening such accounts to investigatory scrutiny by the courts circa 2002 effectively made it impossible to examine such possibilities, defendents might often have no practical way to counter accusations based on such fraudulant data. Thus, credible spacetime indicators for records might require the use of multiple secure location and timing systems. Some possibilities might include utilizing both the US GPS system and a competing GPS system designed by China and/or Europe, as well as some local quantum mechanics-based signature creation. END NOTE.

Other measures to prevent secure TEAcam tampering include a combination of tamper-proof packaging (which easily shows unauthorized access) and destructive disassembly design (each storage device is ruined for further recording after a single disassembly or significant damage). Despite the easy show of tampering and cease of recording after disassembly, the typical housing for such storage devices is highly resistant to electrical, mechanical, thermal, and magnetic forces of substantial magnitude, thereby protecting the records inside from almost all reasonably expected harm, whether accidental or intentional.

The finalized design of the most ubiquitous form of TEA camera created during the 21st century ((the late 21st century) and which remains mostly unchanged for several decades thereafter, due to working so well) is characterized by a tough, transparent, spherical diamond bead about the size of the head of a pin (from a 20th century perspective). At two opposing locations on the bead are image capture devices-- essentially cameras-on-chips-- even smaller than the bead itself (note that these are usually of advanced analog rather than digital cam technology). At the center of the bead is a virtually perfect spherical mirror, which reflects images to the cams.

By suitably arranging two or more TEAcams at a site, the user may obtain a full, omnidirectional video and audio recording of the local environment with substantial overlap between the devices and minimal 'blind' spots or single source records.

Reader devices for TEA cams run software which transparently converts TEAcam recordings to a form offering viewers the same perspective they themselves would have had, had they been watching the recorded scene from the TEA cam's vantage point. Via the reader, viewers may pan up or down or around in the scene to focus on whatever captured imagery they desire, as well as zoom in and out from the image.

The diamond used in the transparent bead is a refined material actually much improved over any 20th century natural or man-made diamond, and thus capable of remaining intact through a wide variety of destructive or harsh environments. Its exterior surface also resists and tends to shed any covering as well, thus helping insure that it maintains the maximum possible clarity of view. Most types of dust particles, as well as paints, oils, and other liquids slide off immediately after application, leaving not even a spotting on the surface (part of this virtue is due to the overall size of the diamond bead itself, as well as an inherent repellant static electrical charge and permanent magnetic interference field applied at manufacture). This intended slipperiness and small size also means the ultimate bead developed by the late 21st century itself is almost impossible for a human being to pick up and hold without mechanical assistance. The cam caps offer a slightly better grip, but in practice late 21st century TEA cams are usually handled/moved only with special tools.

-- "Simply brilliant: UF/Russian team makes gem-quality diamonds", EurekAlert! Contact: Reza Abbaschian, rabba@mse.ufl.edu, 352-392-6609, University of Florida, 18 AUGUST 1999

The vast majority of memory space in this design of TEA cam resides in the camera chip caps at either end of the diamond bead. A typical capacity is 72 hours of full video and audio for those model cams most often bought for consumer purposes throughout the 21st century, but lesser and greater capacity units (of varying physical sizes) are also available. The main memory space is rewritable almost indefinitely (10 to 12 years of continuous recording life before subsequent recordings begin degrading significantly), and begins recording over the previous 72 hours immediately under normal circumstances, once it consumes all available memory. TEAcam software automatically compensates for long term blind sides and/or no change scenes with as few image captures as necessary for those chunks of an eventstream (i.e., if the entire backside of the TEAcam faces a close passive wall for the duration, the software will cover that area with a single still image rather than fill half its memory with same. If the wall exhibits infrequent changes of imagery, such as lights switching on and off on occasion, the TEAcam will collect sufficient stills to show all changed imagery for the period and integrate them with the more continuously running scene). Thus, average TEAcam memory capacity may run more than 72 hours in locales of close quarters or little visual change.

IBM's holographic data storage system program (HDSS) may soon be capable of storing an entire movie inside a physical memory space no larger than a sugar cube.

-- found on the web on or about 10-20-98; more information regarding the exact reference source of this tidbit was lost along the way; however a followup of this item may be possible by searching IBM's own web site ["http://www.ibm.com/"].

Eugenia Kumacheva of the University of Toronto may have found a way to store 10,000 GB of data in the space of only half a sugar cube.

University of Toronto chemist proves Bill Gates got it wrong by MICHAEL JUDGE, Made in Canada, Special to The Globe and Mail, November 17, 1999, http://www.globetechnology.com/, http://visit.theglobeandmail.com/

A method by which the information of a million circa 1998 CD ROMs could be stored on a single CD ROM-sized disk

-- Danish Scientists Develop Atom-Size Computer Chip, Yahoo/Reuters, October 26 1998

Most of the recordings made with these TEA cams by consumers in the early days are routinely allowed to be written over without saving to more permanent form, except and until an event considered important to the user (or to investigators) becomes expected to be captured in memory, at which time the TEA cam is switched to permanent read-only form (and may do no more recording thereafter, requiring replacement for its original job).

Imagine owning a PDA, beltbuckle, cufflink, or watch which recorded everything which happened to you every day. You usually let the device continue recording over old material automatically. But whenever you believe it may have captured something within the last 72 hours that you want to keep or examine, you pop out the recorder, insert it into a reader, switch it to read-only, and replace it in your watch or cufflink with a fresh unit.

-- "Technology's thinkers get daring at intellectual circus" BY DAN GILLMOR, Mercury News Technology Columnist, July 17, 1998

Yes, TEA cams can be used for many mundane purposes, such as recalling phone numbers, email addresses, instructions from the boss, and more-- although there's far more convenient and practical ways to do those things. Mostly people use them to automatically and unobtrusively make full recordings of vacation trips, impromptu business meetings, or special moments. Emergency workers may also use them to determine exactly what happened to a victim who can't tell the tale themselves after an accident or attack.

However, in the high security versions of these cams, there's still another critically redundant memory space included within the microscopic mirror bead inside the transparent bead itself. That space is used as a buffer memory to always contain the last ten seconds of events recorded before one or both the cam caps cease to function (the cam caps' normal heavily encrypted electromagnetic fields during operation drive the memory buffer refresh function; when they collapse, the buffer memory becomes fixed, and will remain available for retrieval for up to 30 years thereafter without significant degradation).

These devices are typically field energized-- that is, they often have no onboard batteries or other power sources of their own, but depend on the external environment for such feeds. Such field energy sources are becoming very common and dependable during this time.

Conversely, TEA cams may be relatively easily located/recovered after a disaster or theft, via specialized energizing field equipment utilizing a resonance effect (though in 2030 such operations are rare and expensive; they become more practical later).

The cam/memory caps themselves are almost as tough as the diamond bead on which they reside-- though not quite. With a housing and structural framework composed largely of a modern material part ceramic and part metal, they offer robust protection against failure from virtually all reasonable circumstances. The memory space inside the housings is somewhat more delicate...

These devices are becoming for all human events what so-called 'black box' flight recorders were for airline safety in the late 20th century. Only TEA mechanisms do much more than merely provide clues to catastrophic technology failures or errors of a few key personnel. They also offer a wealth of information aiding medical and scientific endeavors of all kinds, such as health and socio-economic research, as well as support for investigations in pursuit of wrongdoing, which tends to benefit everyone in one way or another. For many years quite a few people are employed at doing nothing but determining interesting or useful new places to install TEA cams.

-- "Data Capture Grows Wider Small computing devices and embedded systems can feed large data warehouses, leading to potentially powerful data analysis" By Rick Whiting with Bruce Caldwell , June 14, 1999, http://www.informationweek.com/738/pervasive.htm, CMP Media Inc.

Around 2000 some believed infectious agents could be related to many ailments then commonly attributed to old age, lifestyle, or genes instead, such as Alzheimer's and atherosclerosis.

One proposal for verifying the matter at the time called for the creation of a medical monitoring program for all reported remissions relating to antibiotic treatments of concurrent conditions.

-- Scientific American: Feature Article: A Host with Infectious Ideas By Steve Mirsky: May 2001

Conceptual image of miniature diamond bead 360 degree omni-directional video camera and recorder, circa 2030 AD
The 360 degree camera device of 2030 is pictured above somewhat larger than actual size; by the end of the 21st century it will shrink to something just slightly larger than the head of a pin.
Above image based on a photo of OmniVideo, a 360 degree camera developed by Shree K. Nayar of Columbia University, circa 1997.

-- "Electronic Eyes Get Smaller" by Chris Oakes, 7-16-98, WIRED

Molecular-scale chips by CHARLES PILLER, Nando Media/Los Angeles Times Syndicate, December 4, 1999, http://www.nandotimes.com

The first couple decades of surveillance choke the prison system with the incarcerated, but after that actually bring about a decline in prison populations overall, and a welcome streamlining and updating of contemporary laws and regulations. Certain classes of convicted criminals were already serving as involuntary organ donors in places like China, as of the late 20th century; this trend widens in later decades. Cryonic suspension sees continuing experimental trials during this period, for reasons of economics in incarceration, as well as making accidents and major surgery more survivable by the general population.

Future Privacy VS Security: a primer for governments, corporations, and individuals

One element of how the privacy versus security issue is ultimately resolved is via ubiquitous automated monitoring, mostly by machines, with only certain observations called to the attention of human observers; and even then there's an intermediary layer of software which prevents specific identities/locations from being divulged to observers except when narrow and specific legal requirements are met by circumstances detected in the scene itself.

-- Smart software linked to CCTV can spot dubious behaviour ["http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993918"] by Jenny Hogan; 11 July 2003

-- Who's Watching the Watchers? ["http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,110824,00.asp"] by Elsa Wenzel, Medill News Service; May 20, 2003

The police might at times be watching you when you're doing something (or someone in your immediate vicinity is) that monitoring computers determined to be dangerous to yourself or others, and outside of normal and peaceful human activities-- but the police will be unable to know your ID or location unless they go on record with a judgement that the restricted information looked legally necessary to protect you or society.

Of course, if no immediate violence or threat or injury is detected, you might just be contacted and asked for an explanation or verification of well being, the response to which in most cases would satisfy the system.

Mostly such a system helps victims of accidents and violence receive help much faster and more effectively than previous decades, and forces perpetrators of overt theft and violence to flee the more highly developed nations for the less developed states, or face certain capture and punishment.

In communications it becomes apparent common email, commerce, etc., must enjoy the same state-of-the-art encryption protections enjoyed by top military and intelligence agencies, or else invite awful criminal and terrorist assaults from all quarters on mainstream society and the economy, which are much worse than governments merely losing access to some criminal/terrorist messages; plus, the ubiquitous surveillance and across-the-board records of all transactions and most other human activities worldwide inevitably leaves trails of criminal activities elsewhere in civilizational structure with which to pursue and prosecute such things-- especially with the help of ever more powerful computer analysis techniques.

Anything less (than top level encryption for virtually all communications/transactions) also drastically slows economic progress for much of the world, and common citizens in democracies don't stand for that for long once they understand it (the advantages of online commerce can be immense, but cannot be substantively realized without true and robust encryptive protection for transactions...and the line between commercial transactions and private communications blurs too over time, so that common communications as well receives the same protections).

Another factor enforcing all this is the ever scarier capabilities ending up in the hands of individuals. One extreme example is widely applicable nanotechnology.

In a perverse reversal of the past, the LONGER that FEWER people have access to advanced technology (like nanotechnology), the GREATER DANGER to all human civilization that we face; for a would-be dictator only days or weeks ahead in generally applicable nanotechnology than others can conquer all and the world be plunged into a new Dark Age for 1000 years to come.

In the new world of vastly expanded individual powers rapidly overtaking us, we are all expected to help watch and contain our next-door neighbor if and when he/she flips their lid and begins endangering themselves or others with their awesome resources, until the authorities arrive.

Indeed, this is one of the strengths of the Vigilante organizations of the 21st century: that many elements of their purpose and action parallel the necessary evolution of society as a whole, over time. All the world eventually follows the trail blazed by the best of the Vigilante groups now.


-- A c|net.com interview with Paul Saffo, futurist, on or about 6-23-97

-- "Be More Than You Can Be; the military is using molecular technology to produce super soldiers" by Tyler Schnoebelen, villagevoice.com, 7-14-98

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2030 milestone: Vernor Vinge's original latest date estimate for the appearance of a massive technological Singularity comes and goes

The latest date Vernor Vinge assumed for the appearance of a massive technological Singularity in his original estimate comes and goes, with considerable fanfare from the media, mostly making unfair jabs at Vinge for overestimating the advances in artificial intelligence and its impact by this time. Very little is said about the fact Vinge had afterwards revised his estimate to beyond 2030.

Most journalists also fail to note that although humanity seems little nearer to a Singularity in the physical universe today than the 1990s, there are never-the-less hints of Vinge-like phenomena occuring in the virtual realities of the online world at this time.

Vernor Vinge was a respected and widely read science fiction author in the late 20th/early 21st centuries, responsible for such novels as "Marooned in Realtime", "A Fire Upon the Deep", "The Peace War", and "A Deepness in the Sky"

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2030s Milestones in on person gear

The average 'elite' or 'high-middle-class' citizen of the most highly developed states has at minimum a 60% chance of enjoying these items:

(1) nearly invisible and imperceptible 'second skin' gloves for hands that neutralize most germs and bacteria on contact (via an outermost surface which secretes molecules of decontamination gel at pressure points) while also allowing skin to breathe and perspire freely (and well insulate hands from excessive heat and cold and electrical shock too); a less robust variant of this 'second skin' coating may also be applied over the rest of the body, can maintain its integrity under clothing for several days (a week or more without the friction of conventional clothing); the 'second skin' application/removal process may be done one of several different ways; a form fitting body suit plus related pump equipment may coat you everywhere but your face (or remove the insulating skin) within a couple of minutes; manual application/removal by hand and catalysts may be performed; or a fogger/misting shower stall with sonic supplements may be used. The second skin may also provide sun screen protection as well.

-- "Study Finds Pill Coating Kills HIV, Other Bugs" By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent Reuters/Yahoo! News, July 19, 1999

The synthetic rubber already being used to produce some products like condoms and medical gloves (circa 2000) can also be modified to kill germs which come into contact with it. The new capability comes from altering the rubber's composition rather than adding a coating which may be easily lost.

Adding N-halamine and chlorine to synthetic rubber containing polystyrene is the trick. The killing process requires no longer than 30 minutes. The rubber's store of chlorine does run out eventually, but can be replenished via dipping in regular chlorine bleach. In 2000 it was expected the regulatory process would delay the new material's introduction into the market by perhaps several years.

-- Synthetic rubber kills germs on contact By Karla Harby, Reuters/Yahoo! Health Headlines, Mar 28, 2000

A wave of cheap and easily mass produced medicines based on monoclonal antibodies (MABs) is coming which will specifically target the body's main avenues of interaction with infectious agents from the phyusical world-- mucosal surfaces, like the mouth, nose, and vagina. The entire gastrointestinal, respiratory, and urinary tracts could be protected with these substances. The strategy is to kill off pathogens before they can get past these interfaces into the main body itself and begin reproducing.

MABs could be produced, distributed, and applied far more easily and cheaply than vaccines, yet do the same jobs, and often faster.

Sexually transmitted diseases, tooth decay, stomach viruses, colds, and many more afflictions might all be preventable with MABs.

Monoclonal antibodies are also being referred to by some as "plantibodies", as they might be produced in standard agricultural settings for under $1.00 per gram.

-- Antibody Revolution Targets STDs, Stomach Viruses, Common Cold, 29 DECEMBER 1998, Contact: Gary Dorsey gdd@jhu.edu 410-516-7906 Johns Hopkins University

A new conductive polymer coating with embedded iron atoms created in Canada could help protect satellites by preventing excessive electrostatic charges from building up on any one spot along their exterior. Such protection is especially important for preventing damage to any embedded circuitry (keep in mind that many humans of the mid-21st century and later possess embedded circuitry of one kind or another).

-- New Scientist: Plastic skin keeps satellites safe ["http://www.newscientist.com/news/news_223243.html"] by Kurt Kleiner, From New Scientist magazine, 01 April 2000

-- "Some, Like Russian Dolls, Fit Inside Each Other: Self-Assembled Nanospheres May Be Helpful Against Disease Or Terrorism, Or As Fillers And Coatings" ; ScienceDaily ["http://www.sciencedaily.com/"], 3/19/99, Source: Sandia National Laboratories

New 'switchable adhesives' are polymer materials which can change their degree of stickiness depending on variables like heat (or possibly others, like pressure, the article seems to imply).

The new materials seem to offer breakthroughs in cleanliness and safety, among other things. For example, objects could be sticky when handled by people (due to body heat), allowing a better grip-- but stick-free like telfon when released, thereby collecting less dirt and grime as time goes by. Hand tools and sports gear would seem ideal initial target markets for such applications.

However, in terms of second skins the characteristics may be applied to people themselves (or their clothing) via a coating. A mountain climber or military commando might appreciate changes in hand or foot stickiness based on both heat and pressure, allowing them a better grip on rocks or weapons as needed-- yet a teflon-like smoothness that made dirt fall away when grip was less essential. Take the switching a step further, making it electrically-based, and you achieve even more flexibility in applications.

-- UMass polymer scientists: Tackiness is a matter of degrees ["http://www.eurekalert.org/releases/umass-pst083099.html"], 30 AUGUST 1999, EurekAlert! Contact: Elizabeth Luciano luciano@journ.umass.edu 413-545-2989 University of Massachusetts at Amherst

(2) micromachine powered electric skates for rapid individual urban transport sans auto (and special low profile 'pads' which also double as tough air bags to protect in high speed spills)

Clothing gaining embedded airbag technology to minimize deaths and injuries from falls

Kajima Corp of Japan is selling airbag enabled 'life' vests for construction workers which instantly inflate during falls further than two meters to reduce injuries. The vest includes a collar-like element protecting the neck. The vest cuts typical impact shock by 50%.

-- "Airbags to cushion hard falls" By Michael Fitzpatrick, Connected (The weekly technology and science download from Electronic Telegraph), 1 July 1999 , Telegraph Group Limited ["http://www.telegraph.co.uk"]

(3) environmentally controlled clothing with optional air filtration

(4) substantial on-person electronic aids and sensory enhancements, including a useful personal computer and remote access to home and office resources, as well as significant personal entertainment options and a full range of telecommunications links

-- Molecular-scale chips by CHARLES PILLER, Nando Media/Los Angeles Times Syndicate, December 4, 1999, http://www.nandotimes.com

Molecular computers of a rotaxane crystalline architecture could put the power of a hundred workstations into elements of sand grain size, capable of being woven into daily clothing.

-- A New Computer Age Dawns, Wired Digital Inc., Reuters, 16.Jul.99

(5) significant self-defense and emergency mechanisms built into daily wear/gear, including instant, automatic location alert and call to police, ambulance, fire, or rescue personnel as required.

Clothing gaining embedded and automatic "911" technology

The device incorporates GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) capacities for purposes of location, cell phone communications, and a pulse rate monitor to trip the alarm-- the wearer only has to suffer a sudden and substantial fright to set it off, and thereby alert the police (or someone else) automatically.

It's claimed the monitor can determine the difference between rigorous physical activity and real fear on the part of the wearer.

The device is machine washable when its vulnerable electronics are removed, and could possibly be commerically available in as little as a year, in bra form for women and T-shirt form for men.

-- "Techno Bra Calls the Cops" by Leander Kahney, 1.Jul.99., Wired Digital Inc.

Molecular computers of a rotaxane crystalline architecture could put the power of a hundred workstations into elements of sand grain size, capable of being woven into daily clothing.

-- A New Computer Age Dawns, Wired Digital Inc., Reuters, 16.Jul.99

Bacteria-sized bits of plastic can be induced to self-assemble electrostatically into crystal-like structures to create sensors, smart materials, bio-chips, and more.

-- Self-assembly of new microstructured material defies textbook physics 15 JULY 1999 AT 14:00:00 ET US Contact: Karen Young Kreeger kreeger@mail.med.upenn.edu 215-614-0290 University of Pennsylvania Medical Center

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2030s Milestones in medical treatments include 200%-300% faster healing of many injuries and surgical recoveries via genetic engineering and other means...

...though early on such treatment is best applied only locally to an already present injury, rather than administered like a general purpose vaccine against future injuries-- because such fast growth may be somewhat akin to cancer development. Ergo, its use must be limited until high certainty is achieved that increased cancer rates will not be a byproduct of a vaccine.

-- "Gene disruption leads to rapid wound healing", Reuters Health/Yahoo! News Health Headlines, August 16, 1999, SOURCE: Nature Cell Biology 1999;1:260-266.

Simpler, less painful bone grafts can be made with skin or gum tissue cells. The cells can be cultured to produce the protein BMP-7, then seeded into collagen sponges at the site requiring bone repair. Certain hydrogels (liquids which gel when warmed) might also be used in place of the collagen sponges.

-- Dental research topics ["http://www.eurekalert.org/releases/umic-drt040400.html"], EurekAlert! 4 APRIL 2000, Contact: Nancy Ross-Flanigan rossflan@umich.edu 734-647-1853 University of Michigan Dental research topics

Many nerve system elements have also enjoyed vast improvements in regeneration and healing possibilities. Not only can nerve growth now be more accurately joined/directed after severing, but healing may also proceed 300-400% faster than it did circa 2000. Electrical stimulation is one of the techniques used in the advances.

-- Damaged Nerves Heal Faster With Electricity ["http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000410091145.htm"], 4/12/2000, Source: University Of Alberta (http://www.ualberta.ca/)

Electric stimulation via a new conductive polymer can aid the growth of peripheral nerves. A coating or distribution of a particular blood vessel sugar molecule along the polymer tube also helps the process. New nerves grow along the path laid down by the polymer and gradually replace it entirely as the polymer itself slowly dissolves in the biological environment. Past and present treatments require transplantation of nerves from lower priority locations to higher ones.

-- New Plastic Heals Damaged Nerves ["http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000410084857.htm"], 4/11/00, American Chemical Society (http://www.acs.org/), Second article URL: http://center.acs.org/applications/news//story.cfm?story=342

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2030 milestone: Most books, magazines, and libraries are now virtual...

...in the more developed nations, anyway. 100% of new books routinely publish in formats available online, and a minimum of 40-80% of older books are now accessible online as well (again, in the more developed states at least).

-- Society for Human Resource Management, January/February 1998; the Futurist, Technology Development Predictions: 2001-2030 (found on/about 6-8-98); and Predictions for the new millennium By LANCE GAY, October 25, 1999, Nando Media/Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.nandotimes.com

Readers can utilize a wide variety of access and display methods today. Just one is a universal book similar in size and shape to two 20th century credit cards bound together so as to be opened and closed like a book. The interior surfaces offer a gray-scale display of roughly four inches by four inches when open, and the device can operate as a standalone, holding Gigabytes worth of information (several books, newspapers, or magazines). The contents may be changed via a suitable device cradle at home or among public vending machines. Many virtual tomes are transferred entirely wirelessly and instantaneously during transactions.

-- Molecular-scale chips by CHARLES PILLER, Nando Media/Los Angeles Times Syndicate, December 4, 1999, http://www.nandotimes.com

-- FLATTER, BRIGHTER--AND EASY TO MAKE? By Neil Gross, Science & Technology: DISPLAYS, Business Week: October 19, 1998

Note that in many cases the device described above (or something similar) also integrates the functions of 20th century credit cards, and identification related to driver's license, insurance, telephone, bank, and other password-accessed accounts for the owner as well. In effect, these are what many people use for modern wallets these days. And they are very sturdy; twisting and bending or submersion or even machine washing does not break or damage them (at least not the first few hundred times).

To minimize the consequences of lost or stolen devices, other safeguards exist in the related systems as well.

-- Smart Chips Bring Consumer Product Surprises By Marcel Michelson, Yahoo/Reuters October 29 1998

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2030 milestone: Education begins to take money away from the military-industrial complex in most developed nations...

...with USAmerica being perhaps the least affected (to its detriment).

-- "Global Weapons Sales Decline - Report" By Tim Loughran, August 7, 1999, Reuters/Yahoo! News

Many of the developed nations are realizing that education and training for their citizens are the modern ways to achieve security from threats both external and internal, and maintain a healthy pace of innovation as well. New advances in computer hardware and software and interfaces are helping to enhance the process too.

Universities in many nations are hard hit as education becomes a 'target-rich environment' for the newly emerging virtual states. Essentially, education becomes much cheaper and more convenient to get online than in the traditional ways. Old line educational institutions and political organizations try to hold back the new learning methods via items like accreditation, but popular demand soon overrides this via market and political pressures.

USAmerican universities enjoy a much longer transition period than those of other developed nations, but still most USAmerican institutions neglect to exploit this time to adapt, and so collapse anyway once the dam breaks. Yes, we're talking here about something that will be declared a "crisis" by the USAmerican President, Congress, and others, as virtual education devastates obsolete institutions of brick and mortar, and many related 'status quo' parties lobby madly for protection and subsidies.

-- "Education's Future: Eat In Or Take Out" by Mo Krochmal, TechWeb, 7-1-98, http://www.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB19980701S0019, CMP Media

What happens to the hundreds of thousands (or millions) of teachers around the world when the efforts of only a handful of their finest may be multiplied via technology to replace them all?

-- "Educational Elite Will Deliver Digitally, Says Ellison" by Mo Krochmal, TechWeb, CMP Media Inc., 5-26-98, http://www.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB19980526S0008

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2030s Milestones in personal housing

A snapshot of the future of mainstream fixed housing: Short on real physical space and highly invasive of personal privacy, but comfortable, convenient, and super-efficient. Eventually it even costs less than woefully less functional traditional housing too (the Japanese prototypes of 1999 cost only 5% more).

-- "Japanese tech industry planning home of the future" By JOSEPH COLEMAN, Nando Media/Associated Press, http://www.nandotimes.com, found on or about 4-29-99

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2031 milestone: The "Bounty Economy" is becoming increasingly a mainstream phenomenon...

Perhaps the greatest boon to the emerging bounty economy however is how well it fits with the goals and infrastructure of most all the burgeoning virtual states worldwide.

The Bounty Economy is not a complex topic. Essentially it's merely a wide open invitation to ideas for solving problems for a fee, presented to all comers. In a global economy, rife with cut throat competition, such methods for dealing with tough problems are increasingly hard to beat. Especially now that ever improving computer software and performance allows for easy analysis, comparision, and judgement of the value of thousands of ideas per minute. Of course, credibility, accountability, and fairness rule supreme in the process-- illegitimate offers usually ruin forever the chance for the offending entity to successfully field such bounty offers again-- as the bounty economy's memory is forever.

Though the bounties offered are often of the one time big cash lump variety, infinite variations on the theme thrive as well, especially with the fraction-of-a-cent royalty payment systems which are now an important part of the world network.

Note that important elements of the bounty economy help prevent the world net from collapsing effectively into supporting only a handful of giant super-corporate entities, as many expected it to do decades before.

How? Basically because it's impossible for even the mightiest companies to attend effectively to every possible human interest on the planet. Marry significant potential financial rewards and/or recognition to opportunities to meaningfully contribute to a field of one's own personal and highly specific interests, and you get a very powerful system indeed. Individuals actively seek out such combinations, and immense corporate behemoths simply cannot offer even the majority of such opportunities to the world's citizens.

And yes, if you note similarities here with the Open Source software movement of the late 20th/early 21st centuries, you're right. The emerging Bounty economy owes much to that earlier model for an innovative synthesis of cooperation and competition.

Thus, by the time the 21st century is a third over, the major sectors of the global economy consist of (one), for profit entities such as commercial enterprises; (two), labors of love entities (where financial rewards are not a signicant consideration for those involved-- yet many of the works created by this sector provide real and tangible benefits to the others); and (three), the bounty economy space-- where basically all the entities of the net meet and interact in one way or another. In the bounty economy space can be found a rich stew of all sorts of individuals and groups. Here you have labor of love people perhaps trying to make a transition to the for-profit sector. Or for-profit employees investing their spare time in the LOL (Labor of Love) sector. Many large organizations officially classified as 'non-profits' also exist here (they typically do make a profit of some sort at what they do-- but they enjoy tax privileges other for-profits don't). Most geopolitical governments exist here (essentially profiting from their operations, albeit often in convoluted or intangible ways). One booming part of the bounty economy sector consists essentially of computer automated bartering of products, resources, and services. In some ways this barter sector is even developing its own virtual universal currency, independent of any geopolitical based medium of exchange.

Another way to view these different economic sectors is by various measures of the 'happiness and satisfaction' of their average inhabitants. Over time, it turns out the happiest overall seem to be those substantially involved in the Bounty Economy sector, with everyone else significantly trailing their scores. Individuals whose lives are dominated by for-profit ventures or labors of love remarkably both score roughly the same, and below those dominated by the Bounty Economy.

It requires decades for the majority of the global population to fully realize these discrepancies, grow sufficiently confident of the Bounty Economy itself, and adequately rebellious towards the related punishments and surveillance meted out by the old geopolitical forces in regards to it, to join with the virtuals themselves. But eventually they do. And this seachange in world economics rocks and reshapes virtually all the old geopolitical institutions. This change also contributes much to the volatility of the 21st and 22nd centuries. However, over the long term it boosts income for employees of for-profit entities (rather than such income being reduced, as many earlier expected), as it's increasingly difficult to persuade people to work at tasks not fulfilling to them personally, in the aftermath of the Bounty economy's widespread acceptance. Employees also enjoy greatly enhanced benefits, as well as an ever improving work environment.

The Bounty Economy encourages an even more furious rate of competition and innovation than seen previously in the world economy overall-- so much so that many large geopolitical blocs attempt to legislate or regulate it out of existence to protect themselves and their perceived interests during the early to mid-21st century. However, whatever the geopoliticals ban merely become fodder for the virtual states, whose participants may then use what they like of the 'outlaw' practices and afterwards 'launder' the results into 'legal' enterprises to beat the geopoliticals at their own game.

Like the example novelist Vernor Vinge gave decades earlier for how all parties artificially constraining AI technologies would merely make themselves vulnerable to those who didn't, so too do those which restrain the benefits of bounty economics suffer competitively against those which exploit those benefits instead.

The Bounty Economy greatly encourages the rapid formation and dissolution of temporary 'virtual corporations' focused on highly specific goals among otherwise unrelated individuals and entities. The Bounty Economy frequently shocks and dismays established business and research entities of all sorts and sizes with hithertoo unknowns suddenly rising from nowhere to challenge and often beat deep pocketed and widely known enterprises on their own turf in the marketplace.

Needless to say, mid-size to large companies mostly despise the Bounty Economy-- but eventually they have no choice but to join it.

-- "Sun, Adobe offer bounty for XSL" By Paul Festa, Staff Writer, CNET News.com, March 9, 1999, URL: http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,33534,00.html

-- Online bounties and scientific hired guns - August 25, 2002 ["http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/08/25/scientific.bounties.ap/index.html"]

-- Problem-solvers rewarded in novel search for scientific hired guns ["http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/3925411.htm"]; Aug. 23, 2002

-- Also refer to "innocentive.com".

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2032 milestone: By this time from our Solar System we can actually see quite a bit about planets of nearby systems (within a 10-20 lightyear radius)....

...including their general look (blue, white, and green like Earth, yellow, brown and red like Mars, etc.), and composition of elements and compounds-- including the presence or absence of life.

Telescopes modified with 'fuzzy-square-mask' technology may be able to discern planets similar to Earth as much as five times closer to their home stars than conventional telescopes.

-- Squares could make planets more visible by Eugenie Samuel, EurekAlert!, 7 FEBRUARY 2001, New Scientist issue 10 February 2001, http://www.newscientist.com

Excitement comes from hard evidence of rudimentary or early life on more than one world we can see. However, no signs of intelligent life (or even advanced animals) are found.

The new information about faraway worlds' compositions inspires one of the most radical deep space exploration plans to ever be conceived....star faring by high powered remote particle deposition-- eventually labeled with the acronym HEPD in some references.The HEPD concept basically is this: Use a powerful but precise particle beam to lay down rudimentary circuit paths, transceivers, solar cells, and primitive batteries and construction sites on faraway planets, then instruct those remote facilities on how to locally build more advanced machines than themselves, in a 'bootstrapping' process with few ultimate limitations on what might be achieved. HEPD suffers many restrictions, given current technologies. For example, enormous resources are required for the project, and only a small range of planets are suitable as targets. The resulting remote bases in stage one would be enormous flat structures a tiny fraction of an inch tall, but covering hundreds of square miles of a planet's surface-- essentially a gigantic primitive circuit board, along which tiny flat tape worm type devices crawl to perform certain primitive mechanical functions, while other traces serve central processing functions and other purposes. Of course, HEPD will not be feasible for some time....so a more conservative approach is preferred by most. Serious plans for deep space missions (surveys and hard colonies) begin to be laid...but HEPD is not forgotten by some.

Hints of such technologies as HEPD described above may lie in today's 'atom' lasers which are capable of emitting 'matter waves'.

-- Munich Laser Emits A Beam Of Matter Waves, 16 MARCH 1999, Contact: Tilman Esslinger, Theodor W. HÉnsch tie@mpq.mpg.de; t.w.haensch@mpq.mpg.de, 49-89-2180-2046 Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

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2032 milestone: It's not unusual for much housing today to possess its own primary or secondary power generation facilities

In cases where the power generation is secondary, it sometimes performs as a cogeneration device to diminish the dependence on outside energy sources, or as an emergency backup supply.

As early as 1999 breakthroughs were being made at Los Alamos National Laboratory regarding cheap simple low-tech but efficient engines based on thermoacoustic variations of the Stirling heat engine concept. The devices also boast potentially very low maintenance and long useful lifespans.

-- "Energy-Efficient Engine With No Moving Parts Developed" 27-May-1999, University Science, http://unisci.com, and "Scientists sound off about new engine" By LAWRENCE SPOHN, Nando Media/Scripps McClatchy Western Service, May 30, 1999

-- Expect rapid, pervasive innovation in 21st century, EurekAlert!, 2 DECEMBER 1999 Contact: Emil Venere emil_venere@uns.purdue.edu 765-494-4709 Purdue University

By 2010 it might not be unusual for individual households and small businesses to be not only generating their own power, but sometimes producing surplus power to sell to others. By 2050 over 50% of world energy needs might be met this way. Hydrogen-based fuel cells, solar power, and microturbines may provide the foundation for this. This seachange in power production might make for net reductions in global pollution even as it also cuts energy costs for many. Overall reliability of the global power grid may be enhanced too.

-- People power by Fred Pearce, From New Scientist magazine, 18 November 2000

A low pollution, stove-sized standalone power generator for homes or business can be built from fuel cells, and stationed in basements or yards. Some fuel cells will consume oxygen from the air and get hydrogen from natural gas lines or other sources to generate heat and electricity. Pure water vapor would be the exhaust of some configurations.

One company in the business of creating such generators is Plug Power. Expensive versions are expected to become available sometime after 2001. Large scale adoption by homes and businesses is not expected until sometime after 2010 or so.

The rate of adoption of fuel cells to power homes and offices may depend on how competitive manufacturers can make them against other power sources, as well as how they stack up in reliability, maintenance, and safety terms (the distribution and storage of hydrogen can be risky). Plug Power is hopeful of pushing prices down to around $4000 by 2003.

Fuel cells for automobiles circa 1999 remain ten times as expensive as internal combustion engines. Cells dependent upon natural gas for fuel are also vulnerable to price jumps in that commodity.

Of course, individually owned fuel cells pose a competitive threat to conventional power generation and distribution businesses-- though in the near term natural gas companies may benefit from their emergence.

-- Device will be mini power plant for home By Peronet Despeignes / The Detroit News , October 28, 1999

Note that major safety concerns regarding the storage of hydrogen could be overcome by equipment only producing hydrogen gas as needed for operation-- much as they already might draw oxygen from typical outside air. If any storage of hydrogen was performed, it could be in the highly safe form of plain water.

Acquiring and maintaining a suitable store of water to fuel the process would be relatively easy in most locales-- especially when you consider the cell produces water again in its exhaust, which could be recaptured and returned to the storage area. In such cases 'topping off the tank' with extra water might only be necessary once every several years or so, depending on several variables.

Of course, an extra energy source would be necessary to perform chores like splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen for the cell. In some cases solar cells, supplemented by batteries, might work well for this. When the related fuel cell was producing surplus power some might be used to recharge the batteries. There is also the possibility of using specially cultured containers of algae to perform the separation process biologically.

Algae can be made to produce substantial quantities of hydrogen gas by way of photosynthesis. This breakthrough means valuable high quality and pollution-free fuel may be generated with a combination of water and sunlight. The process may require another 10 years or so of development to be made commercially viable however. By simply removing all sulfur from the algae's surroundings, the algae can be forced to begin using its internal stores of food in a different manner than normal-- thereby releasing hydrogen gas. The algae must periodically (every several days) be given a chance to recharge themselves with their normal metabolic processes, however.

-- Common algae can be valuable source of hydrogen fuel, 21 FEBRUARY 2000, EurekAlert! Contact: Kathleen Scalise kms@pa.urel.berkeley.edu 510-643-7741 University of California, Berkeley

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii algae makes use of the enzyme hydrogenase to split water into oxygen and hydrogen in a form of biological electrolysis. Properly maintained, the fuel producing algae appear capable to continue cycling through the hydrogen production process indefinitely. Despite its many theoretical advantages, hydrogen fuel does pose challenges in the area of safe storage, among other things.

-- Algae May Be 'Green' Fuel of Future - Experts Reuters/Yahoo! Science Headlines, February 21, 2000

Cheap production and safe storage of hydrogen fuel is somewhat of a Holy Grail in energy circles. Now it appears common algae may offer half of what's required to reach the goal.

Algae's ancient capacities to switch from digesting carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight to produce needed nutrients as well as waste oxygen, to subsisting off internal stores of carbohydrates, water, and sunlight to produce the same nutrients but output waste hydrogen might offer us some pointers for future technological breathing backups for soldiers, astronauts, and undersea workers. The algae uses the backup system wherever there is no sulfur or oxygen. This alternative breathing system is not shared with other plants in nature-- but scientists envision it being added via genetic engineering to higher plants perhaps. It would also be helpful if the process could be reworked to operate in normal atmospheric conditions (where oxygen is present) as well.

It may be 20 years or longer before hydrogen fuel serves as a major pillar of the world's energy usage. At present hydrogen must be made relatively expensively from natural gas.

-- Pond algae can be prompted to produce hydrogen on demand By PAUL RECER, February 21, 2000, Nando Media/Associated Press, http://www.nandotimes.com

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2032 milestone: Civilization's "paperwork" abomination starts to shrink at last

The awful "paperwork" burden of the late 20th century, which only grew heavier until lessening somewhat for business near 2020, and then for internal government agencies between 2025-2030, is finally now beginning to lessen appreciably for homes and consumers in general too. It's taken far longer for this accomplishment to come about than almost anyone expected. The delay helped increase the viability of many online services in the interim, as several stepped into the breach to reduce many paperwork chores for members. One major obstacle to paperwork elimination by electronic means was the opposition to true privacy and strong encryption presented by many government agencies for years.

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2033 milestone: Targeted electrical stimulation of the human brain is now becoming a widespread technique in education and training for all ages

This technology has already been used for years in certain military applications, and for medical uses, such as therapy for victims of stroke and other brain injuries. It has also been used for the rehabilitation of criminals. The electrical stimulation increases brain 'plasticity', enabling it to adapt more quickly to new learning or behavior, than might otherwise be the case.

-- EurekAlert!, "Stroke Recovery Might Be Speeded By Electrical Stimulation Of The Brain", 3-13-98

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2023-2035 milestone: Super enhanced senses of vision and hearing become available for common citizens

It's not unusual at this time for an average citizen (in the developed nations) to possess technologically enhanced senses of various kinds, such as greatly increased hearing and vision capacities. Particulars include serviceable 'night-vision', rendering flashlights and even street lamps obsolete for many conditions; 'zoom' vision, enabling forms of telescopic and microscopic vision for the citizen; and 'selective' super hearing-- the ability to completely cancel out electronically certain annoying sounds ('zoning'), as well as 'tune in' or 'search' for certain sounds with great sensitivity, and even control the 'scope'/'range'/'zoning' of your hearing to focus only on sources a particular distance away, such as 10 meters, 100 meters, 1000 meters-- or a swath 100-1000 meters distant. These enhanced senses make life considerably easier and less stressful in general, as well as increase a person's personal efficiency and security.

(Note that NOT included in the above, but still of high significance, is many people's constant net connection too, which itself allows tremendous remote observation through various surveillance cameras mounted all over the world)

Of course, this is only the kind of stuff many military, intelligence, and police personnel already possessed a decade or more earlier, but still, its impact on daily life is impressive.

Unfortunately, our newly enhanced senses bring with them new controversies and threats to privacy as well. For example, widespread telescopic vision means pedestrians can clearly see the most intimate of events transpiring hundreds of yards away, if a critical shade is neglected to be drawn. And easily hear the murmerings of sweet nothings in that remote scene as well, if there's no private sound cancellation device actively protecting the location from such remote sensing.

Does EVERYONE who can afford it eagerly adopt these new sensing technologies? NO. Just as previously throughout human history, there are those who actively seek out such changes, and those who will avoid them at all costs-- with the majority fitting somewhere in-between those two extremes. Even 600 years from now, there'll still exist some people who are for all practical purposes 100% biological (similar to the average 20th century human being). And some of those will still sit beside functional wood-burning fireplaces. But these who prefer the primitive will ultimately make up one of the very smallest factions of sentient society.

Sources include a c|net.com interview with Paul Saffo, futurist, on or about 6-23-97; also "Horse, Blender, Car, Crockpot: Pick Your Gadgets", April 9, 1998, the New York Times

-- "Electronic Eyes Get Smaller" by Chris Oakes, 7-16-98, WIRED

Note that many of the enhancements described above stem from running sensory inputs through various sorts of sophistocated electronic and computerized filters and processing before it is finally delivered to human biological sensory and interpretative apparatus. However, lower tech options are available as well, involving technologies like adaptive optics, which themselves may offer users as much as 600% better eyesight than a typical corrective lense wearer in the late 20th century might have enjoyed.

However, adaptic optics alone has reached its limit in vision improvement by this time: the human retina and interpretative brain functions are now the main limiting factors in regards to super vision powers. For example, boosting vision resolution to the limits of modern adaptic optics often results in user problems distinguishing colors as the biological system becomes overwhelmed. Excessive visual clarity can also be fatiguing, as the brain works harder to assimilate all the new information. Ergo the reason why many prefer to include additional technology in their vision systems to compensate.

-- Supernormal Vision By CORINNA WU, Science News Online, November 15, 1997 , http://www.sciencenews.org

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2025-2035 milestone: Humanity begins to lose sleep-- forever

Global competition, mega-corporations increasingly beyond the control of government regulation, a 21st century obsession with 'pure economics', and rising computing power are all mercilessly squeezing ever more efficiency and productivity out of humanity as a whole.

One of the latest methods for increasing productivity is doing away with sleep incrementally, until finally it is completely gone from human experience (except perhaps for compressed dream-like recreational VR scenarios).

It does take a while to be sure, because there are lots of complex biological and psychological tweaks required on the human organism to allow it to run reasonably well for extended periods (even perpetually) with negligible sleep.

'Niche' applications whereby personnel like elite troops and others are 'enhanced' to go significantly beyond the capacities of normal humans sleep-wise where desired happen around 2025-2035. I'm talking capacities that even a superb athlete with the best possible drugs, training, and other aids available in 1999 could not match. By 2060-2075 lots of employees worldwide are 'modified' to possess similar capabilities. By the 2130s over 50% of the populations in the developed countries possess some form of these modifications. By 2300 or so less than 25% of the world's population require sleep patterns like those of humanity circa 2000 AD.

Research related to these matters was already going on in 1999.

-- "WINK OF AN EYE" by Jessa Netting, Scientific American: Science and the Citizen, May 1999

Sleep is seen as an expendable resource by possibly a third or more of the population, compared to work and play.

-- Sleepless in America Seen Drowsy And Dangerous By Tim Dobbyn, Reuters/Yahoo! Top Stories Headlines, March 28 2000

Economic and technological forces have been pushing humanity towards a 24 hour a day, seven day a week schedule of activity since 1900, but the pace of transition to that format seems to be accelerating in recent years, due to the net and increasing globalization of markets.

The practical effects of the process are spurring companies to offer more flexible work hours, and pay for results rather than straight time. They also must offer more on-site amenities and options (such as child-care or company commute shuttles in some instances, and sleeping quarters in others), or else extra services and benefits elsewhere in the employer-employee relationship. Some companies are banding together into large complexes in order to better support their employees for such schedules.

Byproducts of the transition are various portions of civilization's infrastructure also going 24/7 to support the increasing needs and wants of workers so affected.

The often increased stresses associated with telecommuting/working at home, and/or being 'on-call' 24-7 appear to be generating growing resistance and a demand for ways to better balance work life and home life (or leisure time) among workers.

If the pressures for 24-7 activity continue unabated, eventually more drastic measures may have to be taken.

-- 'New Economy' prompts a shift toward a 24/7 culture By SHIRA J. BOSS, Nando Media/The Christian Science Monitor, September 25, 2000, http://www.nandotimes.com

-- A Pill to Stretch Your Day ["http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-041502sleep.story"] By TIMOTHY GOWER; April 15 2002; Los Angeles Times

-- For Sleep-Deprived, a Dream Drug (washingtonpost.com) ["http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60736-2002Apr27.html"] By Shankar Vedantam; April 28, 2002; Page A03

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2035 milestone: The underlying software foundation required for ubiquitous, general purpose human level artificial intelligence to be economically deployed across-the-board on existing inorganic hardware of moderate cost becomes available now

However, it still requires more years for many individuals and organizations to adopt and build upon the new technologies in any practical manner. This gives those smart enough to start early (and lucky enough to suffer few significant mistakes in their efforts) such a major economic and/or technological advantage that analysts later declare this event to have been the primary initiating factor in not just one but a whole series of wrenching restructurings of business, governments, and military forces the world over in the next decade or two that follows.

HAL (the talking computer in 2001, a Space Odyssey) quality speech recognition still eludes personal consumer-level technology. One limitation of contemporary technologies which would likely surprise many observers from the 20th century is the continuing absence of advanced realtime speech recognition at the personal consumer level in appliances. Sure, those consumers willing to endure lengthy and annoying training sessions with high end software/hardware attain something close to a useful daily dialog with their machines, roughly equivalent to what you might achieve with a well trained ten to twelve year old...but that's it. And even state-of-the-art on-person elite military and intelligence systems are only a little better in this respect-- and that's largely because they are designed to cope with a far narrower range of verbal commands than consumer systems must. No, the nearest thing to Star Trek-style transparent realtime voice recognition by computing systems at this time exists only in the most costly corporate and governmental systems and office suites. And even those are prone to error when the conversation pushes beyond the 68% percentile in likely subject matter...

...however, a reasonable facsimile of advanced realtime speech recognition along with human level reasoning and contextual grasp of meanings is available with a time-delay caveat; such local computer aids will do their best to stall you in comfort or via entertaining techniques while they consult massive remote processing facilities online to deal with your more difficult requests or queries.

-- "Speech Recognition Begins A Search For Meaning" By Stephan Ohr, EETimes, CMPnet, 5-5-98

Sources include comments from Microsoft's Chief Technology Officer Nathan Myhrvold, about expectations that computers could exceed human intelligence in some ways within 30 years. Excite Live, and Reuters, on or about 3-4-97, as well as New Scientist Planet Science (on or about 8-9-97), regarding artificial intelligences such as the music program developed by David Cope at UCSC ["http://arts.ucsc.edu/faculty/cope/home"], as well as other sources

-- "WHY THE PARTY WON'T BE OVER SOON; PROSPERITY The Coming 20-Year Boom and What It Means to You" By Bob Davis and David Wessel Time Business (review by KATHLEEN MADIGAN, Business Week: 5-11-98)

Sources include a c|net.com interview with Paul Saffo, futurist, on or about 6-23-97

-- "The Internet Economy: the World's Next Growth Engine" By MICHAEL J. MANDEL With Irene M. Kunii in Tokyo, BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : OCTOBER 4, 1999 ISSUE

Some experts expect single new PCs to process information as fast as 1000 human brains working together by 2030 (This much raw power will enable even deficient software to often output results not much different from an individual human mind for many matters).

-- ABCNEWS.com: Man and Machine Blur in Next Millennium By John Lang, Scripps Howard News Service, October 27 1999

New double-gate transistor designs could enable Moore's Law regarding the doubling of transistor numbers on a single chip every 18 months to continue being credible through 2025.

-- New transistor could keep computer evolution on track (possibly by Emil Venere; (765) 494-4709, evenere@uns.purdue.edu), EurekAlert!, 8 DECEMBER 2000; related services and information available at www.nanohub.purdue.edu

Modern quantum computers of 2030 may use liquid rather than chips to process information, and be a billion times faster than a Pentium III PC.

-- "Future computers will be a billion times faster than a Pentium III PC"By Kevin Maney / USA TODAY, July 15, 1999

Intelligent liquid gels may be the wave of the future, based on things like Belousov-Zhabotinsky reactions

-- Chemical brothers by Duncan Graham-Rowe, from New Scientist ["http://www.newscientist.com"], 25 September 1999

Molecular computers of a rotaxane crystalline architecture could put the power of a hundred workstations into elements of sand grain size, capable of being woven into daily clothing.

-- A New Computer Age Dawns, Wired Digital Inc., Reuters, 16.Jul.99

-- "Crystal Computer Chip Uses Chemistry For Speed"By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent, Reuters Limited; http://dailynews.yahoo.com; News Technology Headlines, July 15 1999

-- "Molecule-size circuits hold promise for ultrafast computers" Nando Media, http://www.nandotimes.com, Associated Press, July 16, 1999

Note that for many people today it seems obvious that many, if not all, the artificial intelligences surrounding them are sentient, conscious beings. For this reason debate rages in many circles as to civil rights for such entities. But as few if any of the AIs seem to protest their conditions independent of external urging or programming, mainstream society pays little heed to the arguments among human beings for civil rights for AIs.

-- ABCNEWS.com: Man and Machine Blur in Next Millennium By John Lang, Scripps Howard News Service, October 27 1999

Though our interfaces to our various artificial intelligences remain awkward and problem-prone at this time, still they (the AIs) are successfully expanding our horizons in ways undreamt of in earlier days. As individuals we possess powers of scrutinizing the world and analyzing events and phenomena in ways not available even to the heads of mega corporations or huge scientific research labs only a couple decades before. We are able to transform ourselves into radically different persona, based on our desires of the moment. Tuesday evening we might be an intrepid investigative journalist or private detective, unraveling the mystery of a cluster of deaths which occurred in a particular company party on the other side of town. Wednesday morning we can be a medical researcher, doing an indepth diagnosis of a peculiar malady that's struck grandma. Thursday we're an archeaologist, deciphering Mayan texts. Friday we're a combination astronomer and physicist, excitedly helping others analyze remarkable new observations of space phenomena made within the last couple hours on the other side of the world. Saturday, we're designing a new spoiler for our automobile-- with custom embedded sensors to alert us if a police car is approaching from behind.

And yes, some of the adventures described above may only be role-playing in entertainment venues-- but some are as real as it gets, with concrete consequences for both ourselves and others. And the kicker may be that it's increasingly difficult to tell which is which, in many ways.

-- CNN In-Depth Specials - The Next Millennium: Now What? - Outlook, Altered states of perception by James Hendler, found on or about 12-17-99

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2035 milestone: Life extension procedures for children are beginning to be applied to the general population of the developed nations; Adults are enjoying advances in physical strength and stamina in old age

The enzyme telomerase and other elements are involved in the extension process for children. Effective life-expectancies for children under the age of six which receive the treatment are conservatively estimated to be in the 200 year plus range.

-- Immortalizing Enzyme Does Not Make Human Cells Cancerous, 28 DECEMBER 1998, Contact: Heather Stieglitz, heather.stieglitz@email.swmed.edu, 214-648-3404, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, http://www.swmed.edu/home_pages/cellbio/shay/

It may be possible to permanently block the muscle weakening from normal aging in humans with gene therapy. The effect may also be retroactive: that is, strengthen those elderly which have already succumbed to age-related weakening, back to a younger state of vigor. Some effect (though less dramatic) may also be possible in young adults. The treatment shows promise for other muscle-deteriorating afflictions too.

-- New Gene Therapy Strategy Keeps Muscles Strong In Old Age: Possibilities Seen For Disease Treatment, But Also For Athletic Or Cosmetic Enhancements, 14 DECEMBER 1998, Contact: hokef@mail.med.upenn.edu, 215-349-5659 University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, http://www.med.upenn.edu, http://www.eurekalert.org), http://www.newswise.com

-- Mighty Mice to Fight Aging, Muscular Dystrophy By Julia Hancock, February 7, 2001, Reuters/Yahoo!

The drug GT 715 may eventually be used to restore losses in brain function for victims of Alzheimer's and other brain ailments, including injuries.

-- Experimental Drug Reverses Mental Impairment By Merritt McKinney, Yahoo!/Reuters Health, December 7, 2000, citing NeuroReport 2000;11:3883-3886

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2035 milestone: The first automated 'kill-switches' of reasonable quality become available to consumers

Kill switch implants were first available to certain military and intelligence personnel more than a decade ago, as a high tech advancement over the apallingly inflexible suicide pills of the 20th century. The mounting stresses of the 21st century have created substantial demand for 'extreme options' such as these, despite powerful opposition from most governments and many smaller organizations. Consumer kill-switches are NOT legal to manufacture, sell, or buy in many countries. Yet there's a growing market for the devices, none-the-less.

In the consumer versions, the switches are meant to provide relief and/or escape from extreme pain, injury, and/or incapacitation.

The most expensive consumer kill-switches offer three modes: bear-like hibernation, deep coma inducement, and actual brain-death. The user sets their own personal preferences via software, as to what circumstances they wish to trigger brain death or coma, in order to avoid events possibly worse to a conscious sentient than either.

Eventually there's at least a few documented cases where such kill switches did indeed appear to do their intended job, and do it well, protecting their users from certain extremes that no compassionate person could wish another to endure-- and even some cases where the coma inducement may have saved victims' lives, enabling them to survive longer under adverse circumstances until medical help could arrive, than might otherwise have transpired. However, there's also many sensationalistic and gruesome accounts of improperly functioning switches, or instances of excessively casual settings by users and the like, resulting in unnecessary deaths and comas according to later investigations.

Amazingly, even officially approved stasis inducement (sans brain-death) for medical emergency purposes built-into on-person equipment and accessories won't be commonly available for nearly another full century in many places. Which leaves wide open the black market for kill-switches and the more archaic suicide pills.

The US Army was researching the possibility of human hibernation in 2000. Two genes available in many mammals (including humans) have been found which may help prepare the body for hibernation if properly activated. It appears short stints of stasis might be achieved in humans perhaps a few decades down the road.

Such stasis could be useful for deep space missions as well as medical and military purposes. For example, such stasis performed on spare human organs could help keep them viable for transplant for months rather than the mere days which is true today.

A Madagascan lemur has recently been discovered which hibernates-- the first close relative to man (a primate) discovered with the ability. The discovery has led at least one scientist to speculate that some physical conditions like hibernation might be triggered-- and ended-- with little more than the proper state of mind.

-- Gene research scientists close to human hibernation breakthrough By Jonathan Thompson, 3 December 2000, Independent Digital (UK) Ltd.(a date of 12-14-2000 was also attached to this piece)

Hibernating bears can end 90 days of immobility-- with no food or water over that time-- still enjoying over 75% of their original muscle strength from before. People by comparison would emerge with only 10% of their original strength left after such a period-- and that's if they were still supplied with food and water too.

The bear's secrets could greatly help humanity towards better coping with lengthy periods of convalescence, muscle wasting due to age or disease, induced stasis for postponement of medical treatment, and the microgravity and possible long term stasis of space travel.

Part of the bear's secret may lie in shivering to keep the muscle cells stimulated.

-- Bear Essentials of Preserving Muscle Strength, Reuters/Yahoo!, February 21, 2001

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2035 milestone: 98% of all cancer afflicted can now be completely cured if the disease is discovered in time

A small percentage of cancer variants and victims still respond poorly to treatment, for complex reasons not yet fully understood. However, for the vast majority (or those who enjoy adequate medical insurance protection anyway), cancer now appears to be cured.

-- "Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century" (1997, Anchor/Doubleday Books) by author and physicist Dr. Michio Kaku (original source: "http://www.wbaifree.org/explorations/index.html"; however, by late 2006 Dr. Kaku seemed to have moved his site to "mkaku.org").

A couple of new drugs seem to choke off the blood supply of tumors using a substance tumors themselves seem to produce to keep other tumors at bay so the original can thrive. These substances may be one reason why some cancer patients suddenly suffer multiple smaller tumors when one big one is surgically removed-- because the big one was suppressing the others with substances like these.

-- "Two Drugs Eradicate Tumors in Mice", by GINA KOLATA, 5-3-98, The New York Times

-- "Be More Than You Can Be; the military is using molecular technology to produce super soldiers" by Tyler Schnoebelen, villagevoice.com, 7-14-98

-- "Human protein may be anticancer 'smartbomb'", 2-26-99, Reuters/Yahoo

-- "Vitamin A Derivative Kills Cancer Cells-US Study", Reuters/Yahoo! News Top Stories Headlines, July 7 1999

A small scale test of Gel tazarotene showed elimination of over half the the basal-cell carcinoma tumors it was applied to over eight months, and nearly a reduction to half-size of those which remained.

-- Acne Drug Could Be Effective Against Skin Cancer Yahoo!/Reuters Science Headlines December 1 1999

-- U.K. Scientists Find How To Make Cancer Cells Die, Yahoo/Reuters, January 6 1999

Cancerous tumor cells are often the result of enormous numbers of changes at the genetic level. So many as to equal in some cases half the genetic difference between human and chimpanzee cells. Such an accelerated cellular 'evolution' looks to usually require five to ten years or more to achieve the level of change that will mark a cell as cancerous. In normal mutation rates such a level of change requires millions of years. A destabilization of cellular defenses against such wholesale changes seems to open the door for cancerous developments. The random way by which such mutations proceed also means every type of cancer has its own unique path, thereby making it very difficult for any single treatment to deal effectively with many different kinds of the affliction.

-- Genetic changes over many years may lead to cancer By E.J. Mundell, Reuters/Yahoo! Health Headlines, December 20 1999, SOURCE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 1999;96:15121-15126

Stem cells not only act as master templates which can transform into many types of cells needed to heal an injury-- they may also move towards the damaged site naturally, on their own, to do the job (at least in some test cases so far).

-- Stem Cells Could Help in Cancer, Spine Injury, Reuters/Yahoo! Science Headlines, April 10 2000

The acne medicine gel tazarotene seems to work against the most commonly diagnosed type of skin cancer, by eliminating or shrinking tumors in less than a year. The experiment was small in sample scale however and should be tested more widely over coming months/years, according to the doctors who performed the trials.

-- Acne Drug Could Be Effective Against Skin Cancer Reuters/Yahoo! Science Headlines, December 1 1999

In 2000 experts were expecting many women to be able to forego surgery in regards to breast cancer within only a few years.

The techniques expected to enable this development include sentinel node diagnosis, magnetic resonance imaging, and radiofrequency energy.

-- Breast cancer therapy without surgery predicted By Nancy Deutsch Reuters/Yahoo! Health Headlines, April 10 2000

The chemical paclitaxel, found in yew trees, has now also been found in hazelnuts. This could make drugs like Taxol less expensive and more widely applicable (they also show promise against ailments beyond cancer, such as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and more).

-- Potent Anticancer Agent Found In Hazelnuts ["http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000410084755.htm"], 4/10/2000, Source: American Chemical Society (http://www.acs.org/); http://center.acs.org/applications/news//story.cfm?story=341

Vaccines that target cells displaying elevated telomerase peptides might protect against virtually all cancerous growths. So far in tests no adverse reactions in normal cells have been found, despite telomerase being present in those as well (at much lower levels compared to cancer cells).

-- Vaccines Vs. Telomerase: Killers For All Cancer Cells? ["http://unisci.com/stories/20002/0411003.htm"], 11-Apr-2000

-- Japan Firm Finds Potential Cancer-Fighting Genes By George Nishiyama, Reuters/Yahoo!, February 7, 2001

An anti-cancer vaccine in development appears to at least slow the progression of several different types of the disease.

-- Cancer cure-all by Emma Young, New Scientist Online News, 02 September 2000, citing Nature Medicine vol 6, p 1011

Radiofrequency ablation uses heat to slow the growth of inoperable liver cancers, with fewer adverse effects on the patient compared to cryotherapy.

-- Heat Is Newest Weapon Against Inoperable Liver Tumors By Melanie Fridl Ross, UniSci Daily, 05-Feb-2001, unisci.com

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2038 milestone: Relatively low cost 3D printing options are reaching consumers by now

Industry and business have enjoyed cost-effective 3D printing for quite some time now: the actual creation of three dimensional objects and parts from computer printers. The larger an object creation output desired, the larger and more expensive the printer.

Now 3D printing of objects the size of a baseball or so is reaching consumer price levels.

Note that I'm not talking about limited use 3D model creation here-- although that too is possible. No, I'm speaking of the creation of items which may be put immediately to use as end products, rather than only as models to aid a longer and more involved casting procedure.

These printers may create objects from a reasonably wide variety of materials, including woods and soft to moderately hard metals-- as well as a multitude of easier to work materials.

Early and much more limited models of 3D printers were already in use in 2001. Some incorporated 'feed' material consisting of a special powder from which physical objects could be formed in under an hour.

Stereolithography may have been among the first methods of 3D printing utilized, well before 2001, where lasers would selectively harden layers of liquid resin into solid form to create prototype components. As of 2001 ThermoJet printer technology was bringing down the cost of 3D printing.

One intriguing early application for 3D printing may be onboard spacecraft or space stations, as a source of otherwise hard to make, store, or deliver replacement components for repair work.

3D printing technologies in 2001 were still making the transition from prototyping to actual end component production quality in output.

In 2001 3D printers could cost almost one million dollars each. Some predict certain types of 3D printing may become available for $25,000 or so by 2003 or 2004.

-- Fax It Up, Scotty by Rick Overton, Business 2.0, March 06, 2001 issue, http://www.business2.com/content/channels/technology/2001/02/26/26857

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2035-2050 milestone: Quantum computing devices begin to in some way contribute to the daily life of consumers in the developed nations by now

Some experts circa 2000 expected Moore's Law regarding continuing innovations in computer processing power to hit a wall around 2020-- with quantum computing (among other new technologies) perhaps offering the best hope for continuing Moore-scale advances in computing devices.

-- IBM Says It Develops Most Advanced Quantum Computer By Nicole Volpe, Reuters/Yahoo! Tech Headlines, August 15, 2000

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2030s subtrends and detours: State-of-the-art war technologies

Please click here to view the war technologies of the 2030s section.

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1997-2042 sub trends and detours: The mind wars and worse

Conflicts between all the major religions worldwide, and between them and world government, business, and educational institutions, reach a fever pitch during this period, with highly uncertain results. Combine this with the political and economic instability and stresses many people face during this time from other sources described elsewhere, and we reach the brink (and momentarily step over it) into the next world war, with many acts of mass destruction as a consequence-- but somehow the world manages to mature past these conflicts to pave the way for a much better future for all afterwards...

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

Entertainment and education undergo a 'shotgun marriage' during this time in the modern nations, due to the demand of global competition and stressed out, time short citizens. In many instances people begin to earn income for engaging in education, or else other immediate benefits as well as long term ones. The worldwide turmoil described here makes the Pacific Rim (including some portions of west coast USAmerica) a haven for scientists and intellectuals in general, as in some previous war years, as many flee the new tyranny spreading from religious centers in the Mideast and Southern Asia. Africa and Asia suffer the worst from all this, with Europe caught in the middle between Africa/Asia and the Pacific Rim states, speaking in terms of the politico-economic trends and clashes... USAmerica, Japan, Thailand, Australia (all Pacific Rim states with arms-length relationships between government and religion, and/or predominately relatively low-key, non-combative religions) all enjoy relatively greater stability and economic progress during this time than many other world states, in terms of the mind wars (though USAmerica actually precedes the rest of the world into this problematic environment, thankfully emerging more or less intact albeit much diminished and poorer around 2020-2025 (please refer to this page for more details))...the influx of scientists and intellectual refugees from other regions add much to Pacific Rim prosperity and security at this time.

Another development of this time (though mostly unrelated to the above) is middle-class mothers often sidestep traditional pregnancies via devices acting as artificial wombs, courtesy of government or employer facilities.

-- Breakthrough! #21, date found 11-10-97, stated Japanese scientist Yoshinori Kuwabara told Reuters he expects artificial wombs for human fetuses to begin coming available around 2007 (he'd already used such things for goat embryos for several weeks at a time)

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2040-2045 milestone: Credit card form factor television and video devices are widespread

Viewers, listeners, and readers can utilize a wide variety of access and playing methods today. Just one is a combination video player/electronic book similar in size and shape to two 20th century credit cards bound together so as to be opened and closed like a book. The interior surfaces offer a rich color display of roughly four inches by four inches when open, and the device can operate as a standalone, holding many Gigabytes worth of information (entire personal reference libraries, or many television shows or several feature films, etc.). The contents may be changed via a suitable device cradle at home or among public vending machines.

-- Molecular-scale chips by CHARLES PILLER, Nando Media/Los Angeles Times Syndicate, December 4, 1999, http://www.nandotimes.com

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2040-2045 milestone: Technology enhances our sense of smell now, too

This latest development offers greater benefits than many expect prior to trying it. After all, what good can a super sense of smell do?

It turns out quite a lot. Citizens now enjoy their own personal smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on their person-- as well as the capability to detect some (if not all) potential toxics/poisons in air, food, or drink, usually before any harm is done by them. We gain super-"Bloodhound"-like abilities to track down family and friends in malls or parks (or track prey, in the case of hunters).

Signposts 2026-2049 Contents

2048 milestone: Health care is becoming more practical in many nations

There's a pretty good chance those of us who were around 35 in 1992 are mostly still here, for various reasons. If we can't make it any further than this in a reasonably acceptable way, we likely enjoy much more humane options about assisted suicide. But there's lots of reasons to believe that anyone making it this far can make it still further, due to progress in a wide range of health and related fields. In short, the longer we can last, the better our chances of living pretty much as long and as well as we want to. Besides staying or even reversing the aging process, by 2048 we can change much of our physiological makeup with genetic treatments-- ridding ourselves of particular genes that make us susceptible to certain diseases and infirmities, adding in genes that make us stronger and more vigorous-- even adjusting our genes to change our looks without plastic surgery (so long as we're willing to wait the months or years the gradual process may take).

By this time there's also a new trend in health care taking root in many developed nations, involving essentially free or very low cost medical care for that class of illnesses which might otherwise spread among the populace and cause considerable harm otherwise, such as the flu, tuberculosis, and other contagions. Certain (but not all) genetic repairs are also covered. Since these items comprise a large part of most people's medical needs, this trend offers some financial relief to the bulk of citizens as their private insurance requirements are narrowed, and therefore less costly to maintain. This expansion in government provided health care is more a security and economic measure than public welfare action; as studies have shown such matters are routinely much more costly for a population when handled in other ways, and potentially calamitous in certain cases, such as an orchestrated terrorist plot or lab accident gone awry. In other words, the new health measures are instituted to insure that economy and societal security are both maintained at optimum levels for minimum cost and risk.

Unfortunately, USAmerica is one of the few developed nations that doesn't implement such measures by this time.

Sources include predictions for 2010-2050 USAmerica from the Society of Actuaries: "National health plan unlikely, suicide rate will rise, Dow won't repeat 1987 decline, says actuarial group" (Actuarial group looks to millenium on health, investment, other topics), 25 AUGUST 1999, EurekAlert!, Contact: Jacqueline Bitowt, jbitowt@soa.org, 847-706-3566, Society of Actuaries, www.soa.org

-- "Journal Calls U.S. Health Care Expensive, Inadequate" By Gene Emery, 1-7-99, Reuters Limited/Yahoo

-- "Policy shapers warn of impact of aging baby boomers", August 6, 1999, Reuters Health/Yahoo! News Health Headlines

-- "Uninsured Americans pose a health crisis, expert warns", Reuters Health/Yahoo! News Health Headlines, August 5 1999

-- "Call to make health care a Constitutional right" Yahoo! News Health Headlines/Reuters Health April 23, 1999

-- "Flu shots for children could result in savings", Reuters Health/Yahoo! News Health Headlines, June 15 1999

-- "Treating immigrants for parasites would save lives", 3-10-99, Yahoo/Reuters

-- Health leaders call for universal insurance coverage, Yahoo!/Reuters Health, Health Headlines, November 18 1999

-- No Private Health Insurance Increases Risk of Dying, Science Headlines, Yahoo!/Reuters, November 22 1999

It may be that just as economic growth allows health improvements in a given population, the opposite may also be true: that health improvements themselves can lead to economic growth.

Improvements in health increase productivity and energy on the part of a population, as well as less down time. Health improvements boost life expectancy, which may bring with it a greater demand for education-- since the longer the lifespan the more useful an education can be. More education leads to more productivity and higher incomes. Longer lifespans also make for increased investment, since people must plan for retirement. This expanding investment pool itself allows for more economic growth in a nation-- as well as further improvements in health...

-- Healthy nations more likely to become wealthy, Reuters Health/Yahoo! Health Headlines, February 17 2000

The most straightforward way to end or reduce discrimination and privacy abuses in medical care in the USA might be to enact a form of nation-wide, universal health-care. However, the powerful and entrenched healthcare industry-- as well as the current election campaign finance problems-- in the US stand as formidable obstacles to such a program.

In light of the above, perhaps a more realistic goal would be to force insurors to divulge all aspects of their business practices to the public, and apply new regulations to deal with known excesses and abuses in the current system.

-- [beta] Chapter 6 To Know Your Future -- Database Nation; The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century By Simson Garfinkel 1st edition January 2000 (est.) 1-56592-653-6, Order Number: 6536 336 pages (est.), $24.95 (est.), http://www.oreilly.com/

-- Death Rates Higher at U.S. For-Profit Dialysis Units By Gene Emery, Yahoo!/Reuters Science Headlines, November 26 1999

Public funding for an increase in the percentage of autopsies performed could result in more innovations in medicine, lower costs of treatment, reduced suffering, and longer lifespans.

-- Potential Benefits Of Autopsy Increase As Number Performed In U.S. Continues To Decline, 2 DECEMBER 1998, Contact: Sandra Van sandy@vancommunications.com, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

The state of biotechnology applications and acceptance 2000-2040s

In the late 20th/early 21st century many futurists and scientists alike expected much more from biotechnology by the 2040s than what actually came about.

-- Futurists see an era of relentless innovation By CRAIG SAVOYE, Nando Media (http://www.nandotimes.com)/Christian Science Monitor Service (http://www.csmonitor.com), November 29, 1999

So what happened? As usual for any newly emerging technology in a capitalist economy, there was over-exuberance and excessive hype, and often underestimations of the difficulties and costs involved.

But biotechnology faced more problems and obstacles than these-- in some ways it was a 'unique' area of research and applications compared to many others, and so subject to unique or uncommon criticisms, public fears, and resistance from various quarters-- especially in democratic nations exulting in their free speech.

The USAmerican Environmental Protection Agency proposes to regulate genetically modified pest-resistant plants as chemical pesiticides-- and therefore subject to the same restrictions in use

-- Science-Based Decision Guide May Be Answer To EPA's Controversial Rule, 14 DECEMBER 1998, Contact: Angela Dansby aldansby@ift.org 312-782-8424 X127 Institute of Food Technologists

To make matters worse, inorganic technologies were and remain a tough competitor to biotechnologies in many fields and markets-- and look to prevail in the long term due simply to fewer performance limits, if nothing else. So as of the late 20th/early 21st centuries, biotechnology had to make its mark in the near or intermediate term, or perhaps not do so at all.

The near term proved tough because inorganic tech already enjoyed a substantial headstart over biotechnology in the early going. Biotech was often only able to shine in the eyes of speculative investors, while often disappointing consumers-- compared to the new toys inorganic technologies were disgorging at the time. This trend proved a painful one as several early high profile biotech firms either went bankrupt or were absorbed into bigger, stronger companies-- never to be heard from again. And a good portion of investors felt the pinch too. There were actually several ups and downs of this sort in the biotech field before it found its footing.

Not the least of biotech's problems were some similar to those faced by the early internet-- outrageous actions by some companies which practically forced governments to step in with new laws and regulations to moderate things, and the related spillover into other fields such as personal privacy and discrimination in employment, health insurance, and other matters.

Still more problems stemmed from the new aggressiveness of corporations in making intellectual property claims and then defending those claims via legal actions. Changes in how governments like USAmerica's treated copyrights and patents during the late 20th/early 21st centuries only encouraged this practice. Apparently overwhelmed and sometimes underqualified or uncertain patent office staffers added to the melee by often granting terribly broad and vague patents for ideas which had been common-place for years and sometimes decades before. It may be patent office staffers felt a multitude of pressures due to strained agency budgets and manpower, and possibly unwise rules and policies in this field ordered by the legislative and executive branches years before-- as well as perhaps unfortunate Supreme Court decisions in this vein. It may also be that with so many disruptive technologies converging at once, such as the internet, biotechnology, and advanced computer software (and software only recently being declared a patentable good) that the appropriate staffers for judging related applications were often either over-worked, not available, or else mis-assigned to other matters when some questionable applications were undergoing the approval process.

-- Biotech creates new solutions and new problems, November-December issue of California Agriculture, December 21, 1998, Contact: Pam Kan-Rice, (510) 987-0043, pamela.kan-rice@ucop.edu

-- Genetics Advances Could Be Mixed Blessing By Marie McInerney, Yahoo/Reuters December 21 1998

Genetically modified foods face marketing hurdles

-- GM Food Must Show Benefits for Consumer -Scientist, Yahoo!/Reuters , Science Headlines, November 14 1999

Often vague international laws regarding the trade in genetically modified organisms circa early 2000 appears chock full of potential areas of conflict and heated debate between nations which could help ignite protests, bans, trade wars, and other obstacles to widespread use of GM foods and similar items in the world economy, any time soon.

One of the reasons for all the loopholes in the Biosafety Protocol agreement is because "We live in a world in which scientific certainty is not available," according to under-secretary Frank Loy, the US chief negotiator in the talks. Labeling rules remain largely undecided.

-- Let battle commence From New Scientist magazine, 05 February 2000

In early 2000 non-GM grain was more sought after by buyers than the genetically modified kind. This is resulting in farmers in the Americas dramatically scaling back planting plans for GM grains in future crops, by 20-25%. This sudden retreat after an increase of 20x over the previous four years is due to increasing resistance from consumers in Europe and Japan, perhaps stemming from anti-GM activist campaigns.

-- Farmers 'abandon GM crops' ["http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_647000/647070.stm"], 17 February, 2000, BBC News Online Sci/Tech

One promise of GM foods is a way to reliably and economically feed the growing populations of the Third World. But there is great unease about the prospect of entire nations being so dependent on a handful of giant corporations. Too, the mega-corporations controlling the technology largely do not seem to be taking GM crops in the directions needed and wanted by the Third World. For instance, the multinationals may use GM foods to strip away flexibilities and economies of plantings which previously existed with patented crops, thus imposing on the industry restrictions and costs never before seen (or accepted) in the past.

-- Conference Told Poor Nations Need GM Foods By David Luhnow Reuters/Yahoo! Science Headlines, February 28, 2000

Consumer groups are emphasizing the uncertainty related to long term GM food safety and demanding labeling which will allow consumers to easily avoid such foods if they choose.

-- Consumer Groups Want Labels on All GM Products ["http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000229/sc/science_gm_9.html"] By Patricia Reaney, February 29, 2000, Reuters/Yahoo! Science Headlines

Some groups want a five year freeze on patenting, production, and trade involving genetically modified foods, and the establishment of an international oversight body. Circa early 2000 USA-based companies may have the most to lose from such a freeze.

-- Deep Freeze for Franken Foods? ["http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,34667,00.html"] by Environment News Service/Wired Digital Inc., 1.Mar.2000

AF Protein has found a way to cut the cost of producing trout and salmon in half-- but it involved genetically engineering the fish to grow up to ten times faster than normal. If such fish got into the wild and began reproducing, they would likely replace all the natural fish at a rapid rate. Fifty such experimental fish were raised over the course of a year and then destroyed.

-- Environmentalists Alarmed Over Giant GM Fish By Paul Majendie, Reuters/Yahoo! Science Headlines, April 11 2000

Current inadequacies in many patent claims could eventually discredit the entire process and slow R&D overall. Some companies such as IBM and Motorola are taking pre-emptive action against the wrongful patenting of basic science for speculative profits in biotech by patenting such items themselves and then handing them over to the public for free.

-- Gene Expert Says Industry Tries to 'Patent Rainbow' By Sarah Edmonds Reuters/Yahoo! Science Headlines, April 10 2000

-- The coming digital patent disaster By Charles C. Mann, INSIDE.COM, Powerful Media Inc., Feb. 5, 2001, MSNBC

-- As New Data Shrink Gene Pool, Patent Suits May Be Next Splash By AARON ZITNER, February 13, 2001, Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/news/science/science/20010213/t000013121.html

Signposts 2026-2049 Contents

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