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Current time:0:00Total duration:11:07

Video transcript

In the last video I mentioned how I've been asked to make predictions for the year 2060. And the last one I focused on education, and that's obviously what I'm working on now. So I have some opinions about that. But what I want to do in this video is do maybe slightly more broad and wild predictions, and my one prediction I'll make is I'm probably completely not going to predict the real reality of 2060. And probably the really big things to predict I will completely miss. But with that out of the way it is fun to predict things. So let's give it a shot. So the first area that I will predict is what's going to happen in the field of medicine. And in particular, I think that the human lifespan is going to increase dramatically. So I'll be conservative and say that the lifespan, the average human lifespan, is going to be, and especially in the developed world, and once again, hopefully by 2060 most of the world is developed, that the average human lifespan is going to be over 100 years old. And I won't say whether that's going to be a good or a bad thing. There's arguments either way about the proper way to live, and what happens to global populations. But if the world is for the most part developed and educated you actually will probably have a lower rate of reproduction. So you might actually have some space in the world for older people. But this I think there is a very strong chance of this happening, because we are starting to understand the molecular basis of aging. It's not a given thing that because of some form of wear and tear things have to die at after 70 years, or 80 years, or 90 years, and we're starting to understand the mechanisms, and how to maybe improve the repair mechanisms, or how to augment it in some way. So I definitely think this is going to happen. I don't know whether it's going to be a positive or negative. But it's likely to happen. The next thing-- and this is kind of closely related, this is still biological-- is you're going to have a close integration between the digital and the biological. And once again, I won't make any statement of whether this is a good or a bad thing, but it seems like it's just an extrapolation of the direction we're already going in, digital and biological integration. So already you're getting more and more in your handheld devices. Imagine when your screen is now no longer in your palm, but it's being projected onto your retina from some little thing. And then eventually you have a direct connection with your retina and your brain can directly access areas of memory through just direct through some biological and digital interface. So I definitely think this is going to happen. This is a big deal, because this is starting to-- And I think it's already happening with a lot of what you see around technology. It's really going to reshape what the individual human experience is going to be. We already see people kind of living in virtual realities and playing these immersive games, and spending all of their time on social networking platforms. What happens when they're literally plugged in all the time, when almost their cellphone is in the brain? I don't know. I'm not going to comment whether it's a good or a bad thing. But it does look like a trend that's going to keep on going through the next 50 years. Now, if we take that even further, we're talking about a digital and biological integration, but if you go at the extreme, and actually it's probably both of these top two things combined in some way, is that we are learning. And once again, not make a comment whether it's good or bad. It's just an extrapolation of what we're already seeing. We are seeing more and more ability to understand our genome, to molecularly target things, to manipulate actual biology. And so what you have is that you can actually have manipulation of biology. And this is on some level creepy. It could be creepy or it could be exciting depending on how it all plays out. But it could do things like augment human intelligence, which would, if you think about all the progress of society and all the things that already accelerating, imagine how society will change if intelligence itself is augmented. And as someone with a limited intelligence, I can't even imagine what will happen as soon as you do this. And obviously, the more you augment intelligence, the more that you can learn how to augment intelligence, and increase lifespan, and do digital and biological integration even more. So these things I see as some form of a trend. We'll see how it all plays out, and hopefully it plays out in kind of the feel-good Care Bear version versus some type of crazy society and we all turn into the Borg in some way. Now, the other trend, and these are the things that just popped into my brain today when I pressed record, but the other trend that I think is interesting is some of the things that we've taken for granted in terms of how nations interact with each other, and nation states in particular interact with each other. And just as a kind of an overview, so there's a notion called a nation state. And in everyday language the word nation and the word state almost means the same thing, but they kind of mean different things if you want to be a little bit more formal about it. And that's why people use the word nation state. That's like to a lot of people, hey, doesn't that mean saying like state state? The difference between a nation and a state is these are a group of people that feel some type of common identity. It could be a language. It could be a culture. It could be a value system. So this is some kind of common identity. And it often is somehow associated with geography, but it does not have to be associated with geography. It could even be a religion, or it could be whatever else. That's what a nation is. A state is a formal governance structure that makes the laws and has the institutions to make society function. Now, a nation state is what most of us live in today because it both has an identity and some type of formal institutions. So a very pure nation state would be some place like Japan, where there's relatively uniform, in terms of ethnicity and religion, and in terms of culture, and you have that same group of people are governing themselves. In a place like the United States ethnicity, religion, that's diverse, but what gives identity is a notion of shared values and a notion of maybe a common history or whatever else, or a certain kind of world view. And obviously there's a formal state structure. Now, what I think is going to be interesting here, and I actually have no idea how all of this is going to play out, but when you see things like some of the revolutions in the Middle East due to things like people being able to communicate irrespective of the traditional media, I think there's going to be some interesting questions on what happens to the nation state, especially nation states that are able to secure their power by kind of having a bottleneck on access to information. And all of that is, I think, going to change in a very dramatic way as you have more and more integration between people, cross-border communications, when people realize that the people on the other side of the border really aren't that different than themselves. And another interesting thing, even the notion of democracy-- and once again, I don't know how it's going to play out-- but all notions of representational democracy that we have today are somewhat based on geography. They're somewhat based on geography. And that's because when the major representational democracies came about that was the best way to represent each other. Hey, let me pick some representatives from our county or from our region, and they'll go elect other representatives, and they'll go to the national government. But now that we have this instantaneous communication with people you might be able to have different types of a representational democracy, or maybe you could even have more direct democracies. Who knows, because of things like [INAUDIBLE] communication, and technology, and whatever else. And then the other way that I think nation states are, the way they fundamentally interact is going to change is actually in things like warfare. And once again, already seeing this trend. In particular, I think developed countries are not going to have humans on the front line. And depending on your point of view, this could be a very good thing or it could be a kind of a scary thing, because if you have no humans on the front line, and you're already seeing things like this with these predator drones and you see these robot bomb detectors, and things like that. And it doesn't even have to be these big things. There's already a DARPA funded project to work on miniature insects that could be used as some form of reconnaissance, or you could imagine eventually they could have these little things on them that could knock someone out, or who knows what they do. The exciting thing is that all of a sudden a human won't be there to get shot. And so hopefully military casualties would go down. The scary thing here is if you don't have humans on the front line nations might be willing to enter into war, especially developed nations, they might not take it as seriously. And so it might be something that they do a little bit more when they're in the mood. And it would actually create a huge disparity between developed and developing nations when this happens. And you already see that to a certain degree. A developed nation, they don't have to put as many humans in harm's way. And it's purely driven by their wealth to have capital that can go, you know, these robots and these drones, and their technological innovation, while in the developing countries they actually would have to use human beings. So their cost would be much, much, much, much higher. So it's an interesting question. And once again, who knows how this plays out, whether it's a good or bad thing in the long term. And I think a similar thing with this is I think you're going to see more and more nonlethal weapons, which once again, it's very similar to this, it sounds like it's a good thing. You know, if there's a gun that instead of having to kill someone, it incapacitates them in some way, or it stuns them in some way, kind of the classic Star Trek put your phasers on stun things. I guess the scarier version of nonlethal weapons is the threshold for using it becomes much lower. So if a government wants to subject its citizens or subject another group of citizens it can literally just stun them, or it can make them pass out, or it could control them in some way. And so this could be a little bit scarier. So who knows how all of this plays out. So those are my predictions or things to think about over the next 50 years. These are just the things that happened to jump into my brain today, probably based on some of the science fiction books I've been reading, or whatever else. But taken with a huge grain of salt I don't know if these things are really going to happen or not. And I don't know if they're even a good thing or not, but they seem to be a bit of an extrapolation of what we're already seeing.