Over the weekend, my dad asked me to sit down as he began to watch a lecture given by a famous theoretical physicist, Dr. Michio Kaku. At first, I was thinking of just how uninteresting the idea of watching a 40 minute video hosted by theoretical physicist was. Reluctantly though, I agreed.
I’m sure you guess it by now, I found the talk to be incredible. He’s not only one of the co-founders of string theory, but he doubles as a futurist and his talk centered around taking the audience ‘through the future’. He explained a lot of ideas and innovations he predicts will happen in the future. I found two things that were highly relevant to this class to be the most interesting.
The first is perhaps the most important. He said that with the cost of the average microchip decreasing exponentially, soon the simplest ones will cost less than a scrap piece of paper. This, he said, has tremendous implications for our daily lives. He brought up the use of electricity and how omnipresent it is in our lives. He points out that when you walk into a dark room, you instinctively reach for the light switch because you expect to find electricity there, even though you can’t see it. He then extends this to the internet. With the cost of technology decreasing with every new innovation, in the future, we will expect to find internet access and a linking port in every room of every place we go. He says, ‘like electricity, the internet will be everywhere, and nowhere’. This means we will not only continuously expand our use of the internet, but we will begin to expect it everywhere.
The second point I found interesting was when a student from the audience raised the question about his thoughts on a 1984 type future. Much to my surprise, Dr. Kaku concluded that that sort of dystopian future is almost impossible now. He says the distinction in the history of our world and the one Orwell fashioned can be attributed to the downfall of the Soviet Union. When the physicists of the Allied Forces created the Internet to communicate, and eventually win the war, they took they creation and gave it away for free afterwards. This led to the dependance and widespread use of the Internet today. He says that with the unimaginable proliferation of the Net, it is completely impossible to police it in the same way Orwell predicted.
Anyway, I thought those were pretty interesting points. What do you guys think?