Monday, August 3, 2009

10 Small Steps

10 things I expect (and want) to see before I die:
As my 30th birthday looms ominously in the near future like Vincent Price in the dark basement of your house, I decided to comprise a list. This is not meant to be a bucket-list of things I want to do, rather a list of things that will represent our progress as a species. No particular order.

• A woman U.S. president

• The creation of life
As opposed to reproduction. I've read that scientists have already created RNA, which is thought to be responsible for copying information in primitive life. It's only a matter of time before we get a cell, I just don't know how much time.

• Extraterrestrial life
It's very improbable that life exists only on this planet. The universe is just too big. Life (as we know it) seems to need, first and foremost, liquid water. Our own solar system has H2O all over the place. Intelligent life of course would be much rarer if not exclusive, but primitive life should be out there. We just need to find it.

• Commercial space travel
This one is a shoo-in. Virgin Galactic is already selling tickets.

• A Mars landing

• Fully functional robotic limbs
I'm talking almost real. We're getting there.

• The Eradication of AIDS
This may be optimistic, but there is hope—thanks to all the dedicated scientists, researchers, doctors, philanthropists, and everyone else trying solve this crisis who don't think AIDS is god's curse on gays. It turns out some people are virtually immune to HIV and there may be a way to give that resistance to others.

• My 100th birthday
Humans in developed nations keep living longer and longer. With advances in nanotechnology I think we're on the brink of some major developments that will surely translate into the world of medicine. The current life expectancy in the U.S. is 78. The closer I get to the life expectancy, the higher the number gets. Unless the rate of increase surpasses aging, I will one day meet that mark. But hopefully after 100. Or I might be crushed by a falling jet engine tomorrow.

• An openly non-religious OR gay U.S. president
Both would be too much to hope for, but maybe we can get one or the other. A woman prez will come soon, we already have a black one and other racial minorities will follow, but these two groups are hard for people to accept.

• A mass conversion to scientific thought

This is my list. Edits may follow. What do you think will happen before you die? Tell me in the comment section.

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  1. Your list is very bright and I applaud you for finding 10 things to which we can eagerly await. However, since you didn't put any Brave New World or 1984 things on this list, I will.

    It will only be a matter of time before we are tracked by RFIDs. We are already tracked by our bank accounts, phone numbers, Giant Eagle cards and SSNs. It will be under the guise of quick access, fast transactions, and convenience. My question is not when, but how it will be implemented. Will the public ask for it, or will we be told that it's the only way to go? Kind of like how we all drive cars, have personal phones, and compile massive debts...

  2. Nice list. I think you will see a number of them, but not all.

    Least likely:

    Gay/nontheist president
    Mass conversion to sci thought

  3. If you think about it, the extraterrestrials are really pretty smart. They only visit drunks in trailer parks with virtually no credibility whose video cameras are in hock at the pawn shop on the corner.

    The ability to live longer would be directly related to making a six-figure income. You would be able to afford to shop at Wild Oats Market and go skiing whenever you need some exercise.

    I would like to see the discovery of free energy and time travel.

  4. I knew I forgot something! Fusion power . Maybe not free, but cheap!