1. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    18 Apr '10 02:33
    Suppose peace broke out on Earth and the economy soared. The UN elects you as head of the "create new cool stuff" division. Every nation is taxed to pay for your technological wonders. Your genius is recognized.

    What could you make, or accomplish? What could humanity really do?

    Some ideas...

    Cryogenic storage of humans and other animals a la Aliens.
    Nuclear Pulse Propulsion technology for space travel
    Railguns
    Fusion power generators
    Robots and drones
    Cyborgs with various machines embedded - internal cell phones, Internet Explorer HUD, enhanced eyes with night vision, extra strength and toughness, a brain with a built in computer for calculations and information storage, remote controls for other machines, weaponry
    Generation Ships for interstellar travel
    Greatly elongated life
    Biological "machines" which result from extensive breeding and genetic manipulation
    Laser weapons
    Explosive Reactive Armor with an automated reloading mechanism to replace the tiles after they go off
    Video camera/projector based invisibility
    Partial mind control (maybe a gun that electrically or otherwise creates intense terror, etc)
    Mind reading machines
    Evolved humans leading to different species e.g. War of the Worlds' aliens that were nothing but fingers, brains and sense organs because they had technology for all else, or the once-human species in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series.
    Kinetic Bombardment AKA Thor Shots
    Actively burrowing "smart" weapons/one use suicide gopher robots
    Dyson Swarms of solar energy collectors
    Mind control via organism or machine that is directly linked to the spine and brain
    What Isaac Asimov called "Psychohistory" - the refinement of statistical sociology/psychology to the point of mathematical precision and the ability to predict the future in a limited sense due to this
    Space Elevator
    Completely artificial organisms
    Vortex Ring Guns
    Sonic weapons
    Microwave weapons
    Ring shaped space stations with artificial gravity a la Niven's Ringworld or the Haloes from the Halo games.

    Any other ideas?
  2. Joined
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    18 Apr '10 15:44
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Railguns
    Laser weapons
    Explosive Reactive Armor with an automated reloading mechanism to replace the tiles after they go off
    Partial mind control (maybe a gun that electrically or otherwise creates intense terror, etc)
    Kinetic Bombardment AKA Thor Shots
    Actively burrowing "smart" weapons/one use suicide gopher robots
    Vortex Ring Guns
    Sonic weapons
    Microwave weapons
    If peace on Earth broke out, anyone being made head of this division and spending all their effort developing weapons seriously needs a slap.
  3. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    18 Apr '10 18:34
    Originally posted by mtthw
    If peace on Earth broke out, anyone being made head of this division and spending all their effort developing weapons seriously needs a slap.
    You could use your powers for evil as well as good!
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    19 Apr '10 06:11
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Suppose peace broke out on Earth and the economy soared. The UN elects you as head of the "create new cool stuff" division. Every nation is taxed to pay for your technological wonders. Your genius is recognized.

    What could you make, or accomplish? What could humanity really do?

    Some ideas...

    Cryogenic storage of humans and other animals a ...[text shortened]... gravity a la Niven's Ringworld or the Haloes from the Halo games.

    Any other ideas?
    Weightless games in space: I envisioned a space station, big one, with a rec room where you would have 3D billiards or some variation, maybe with magnetically charged balls, a large (~2 meter long and ~1.5 meter wide egg shaped) table with the balls starting off in mid air, carefully placed and holes all around the skin of the egg, just big enough, say one cm or less, for the Que stick to enter and be able to aim at various angles and there would be say, 6, holes big enough for the balls to exit and collect in a little magnetically charged bag or electrically charged to attract the balls.
    Seems like a blast to play with such a ellipsoidal shaped table.

    Or tennis on the moon in a large indoor room, versions where you play in spacesuits outside with no air and versions played inside with normal air. How would the dynamics of the game differ from the Earth bound form?

    Swimming in a weightless sphere where you have oxygen tanks and play some form of underwater soccer or football.

    Playing some form of soccer on the inside skin of a fast rotating large wheel, ~1 Km in radius but with enough side forces to throw off regular calculations of thrown or kicked ball trajectories.

    3D version of that laser/mirror game where you have various block shaped reflectors that people place in 3D space to change the path of a laser beam so at the end one side or the other gets the laser beam to his port in spite of the moves of the opponent.

    These are some of the games I would develop if I lived in a future space enabled society. What do you think?
  5. Cape Town
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    19 Apr '10 06:28
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    These are some of the games I would develop if I lived in a future space enabled society. What do you think?
    Its not something that should be funded by taxes. It should be funded by either the players, or spectators.
  6. Cape Town
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    19 Apr '10 06:301 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    What could you make, or accomplish? What could humanity really do?

    .....
    Greatly elongated life
    .....
    Elongated life should take first priority, including cures for some of the worst diseases and a cure for 'ageing'.

    Artificial intelligence should probably be next as it has the potential to revolutionize scientific endeavor. Highly intelligent machines could achieve all your other goals at a much lower cost.
  7. Subscribersonhouse
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    19 Apr '10 06:372 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Elongated life should take first priority, including cures for some of the worst diseases and a cure for 'ageing'.
    Longer lives, like 2 or 3 hundred years, would severely strain any civilization. If everyone hung around that long, the population would go to 100 billion. If you thought the world overcrowded now....

    So that would require a greatly reduced birthrate and therefore a stagnant society where the extreme elders would be greatly motivated to maintain the status quo and to keep the mere 100 year olds from gaining power and the teenagers? Pariahs. What few of them there would be.

    What kind of society would it be if a sports star like Roger Federer at the age of 300 was still # 1 in the world of tennis, what kind of dynamics would there be in the sport if all you saw was the same individual winning tournaments decade after decade, century after century? While it would be nice to see sports stars have a longer professional life, say 50 years like writers or musicians, 3 or 4 hundred years? Untenable.

    If something like that were to come about, it would seem likely to ban players for some period of time, say 10 years minimum, to allow others to shine for awhile.

    Indeed, banning people from any profession after 50 years or some such, you reach a pinnacle of some trade or profession, retire from that by law, then start over with something new, maybe an archeologist becoming a minister or a singer becoming a race car driver or something, anything but what they were before.
  8. silicon valley
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    19 Apr '10 16:46
    after longevity, skyhooks to offload all the newly surplused population.
  9. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    19 Apr '10 20:31
    Here's one - a machine that intercepts the signal to cause pain and gives a pop up window in your mind with an annoying sound effect instead of pain...

    "Curses, I cannot focus with that stupid buzzing in my ears...yes, I know I shattered my thigh bone, but can't we turn this off? Oh wait, that would hurt really bad...never mind."
  10. Joined
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    19 Apr '10 23:09
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Longer lives, like 2 or 3 hundred years, would severely strain any civilization. If everyone hung around that long, the population would go to 100 billion. If you thought the world overcrowded now....

    So that would require a greatly reduced birthrate and therefore a stagnant society where the extreme elders would be greatly motivated to maintain the stat ...[text shortened]... inister or a singer becoming a race car driver or something, anything but what they were before.
    I think the change in profession would/could happen naturally. People would get deathly bored of their profession whether they were at the top of it or not.

    The problem there would be that people would want to change careers and maintain their standard of living.
  11. Cape Town
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    20 Apr '10 07:52
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Longer lives, like 2 or 3 hundred years, would severely strain any civilization. If everyone hung around that long, the population would go to 100 billion. If you thought the world overcrowded now....
    I am not convinced the world is overcrowded now.
    The problem with increased longevity is nothing new. First world countries already have life expectancies almost double that of the past (and current third world countries). One of the biggest problems however tend to be the fact that the older people do not work. If we truly cure aging, it may be possible to continue working in 'old age'.

    Population control will always be an issue, but surely it is more humane to control the birth rate (as in China) than to control the death rate (by refusing to cure disease or increase longevity) as you seem to be suggesting.
    I guess we could always introduce mandatory death at 500 years old.

    In reality, as lifespans and wealth increase, birthrates go down.
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    20 Apr '10 09:431 edit
    I think that in this scenario any increased population would be manageable as long as some other developments went alongside it.

    - a cheap, plentiful source of energy (fusion, efficient capture of solar energy, extracting energy from quantum foam, whatever)

    - more efficient food manufacturing

    - (beyond a certain point) the ability to colonise space and/or other planets
  13. Subscribersonhouse
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    20 Apr '10 14:071 edit
    Originally posted by mtthw
    I think that in this scenario any increased population would be manageable as long as some other developments went alongside it.

    - a cheap, plentiful source of energy (fusion, efficient capture of solar energy, extracting energy from quantum foam, whatever)

    - more efficient food manufacturing

    - (beyond a certain point) the ability to colonise space and/or other planets
    The only problem with that scenario is with 'just' the 6 or 7 billion we have now, we are already using up close to 50% of the entire planetary resources. Already we are running out of fresh water, of course an infinite supply of energy from whatever could make fresh out of salt water or to divert a water comet into close orbit around the Earth and use a space elevator to melt, purify, and bring that water down to Earth or some such but for now that kind of thinking is pure pipe dream, we have to work with what we have.

    For instance, there is a multi-pronged effort to achieve nuclear fusion through several techniques but it is not at all certain ANY of those projects will bear fruit. If they don't, you can bet we will stay on the Earth with not much in the way of a space program, we cannot get into space in a big way with just chemical propulsion, so a lot of basic physics has to be developed to make any of those dreams come true.
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    20 Apr '10 15:19
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    The only problem with that scenario is with 'just' the 6 or 7 billion we have now, we are already using up close to 50% of the entire planetary resources.
    Well, that was my whole point - effort would need to be put into something that would increase those resources. It's not an entirely realistic discussion, is it?
  15. Standard memberPalynka
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    20 Apr '10 15:34
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Suppose peace broke out on Earth and the economy soared. The UN elects you as head of the "create new cool stuff" division. Every nation is taxed to pay for your technological wonders. Your genius is recognized.

    What could you make, or accomplish? What could humanity really do?

    Some ideas...

    Cryogenic storage of humans and other animals a ...[text shortened]... gravity a la Niven's Ringworld or the Haloes from the Halo games.

    Any other ideas?
    Why so many weapons?
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