10 Cool Technologies That Will Materialise Soon

I don't like to make tech predictions, but I love thinking about them. I put this list down of technologies I have seen that seem to be making headlines and that will change the way we live. Enjoy!

1. Super materials

Want a jacket made of solar cells? Pants that don't get dirty? Plastics that are cheaper, tougher and lighter than steel? Materials science and nano technology can make all of this stuff happen. We may soon see a revolution of new materials that make everyday things orders of magnitude better. Most of these materials have already been invented and much of the work involve ironing out some remaining issues.

2. Self driving cars

Some people are not excited about this, but I am. I love driving around the countryside on a Sunday afternoon, but I hate sitting in traffic. If that part was automated imagine how different the experience of driving could be. Because it is safer less safety equipment may be necessary. You could sit in the back and have cornflakes and watch YouTube videos. No more screaming, hooting or suffering in traffic jams. In fact the only jam you might have would be on your toast.

3. Supercapacitors.

So you plugged your phone in and it is charging. That is going to take about 3 hours to charge, so you do it everyday before you go to sleep so you can wake up with a fully charged phone. A battery runs on chemical processes that basically get reversed every time you charge them, but capacitors charge instantly. They can also discharge instantly. You can even hear the capacitor in a big camera flash charging up. The problem is that they can't hold all that much charge. Supercapacitors are the best of both worlds. They charge as quickly as capacitors but hold as much charge as batteries. You would be able to charge your phone really fast, maybe even in seconds.

4. Wirelessly transmitted power

We all know about charging pads, but there is another technology that allows you to pump power straight into a device from a distance. This could be Tesla's vision finally coming to pass. There are lots of challenges currently, but imagine your phone charging in your pocket simply because you walked into the front door. If you move between enough charging areas you would never need to charge your phone manually again.

5. 3D printed organs for the patient on the go.

So imagine you need a new kidney. Hard to come by right? Well maybe not all that hard if you just give your doc some of your cells and they grow those cells in culture and print you a whole new kidney from scratch! This technology could save millions of lives and extend our lives (and our quality of living) much further!


6. Augmented reality: FOR REAL THIS TIME

So imagine walking down the street and seeing a restaurant. You feel a little peckish, so you wonder what will be on the menu. You can check it out with your augmented reality glasses. A sample of the menu is read out to you and some reviews are picked. The prices are also available. You know there is a table available even though they are busy so you pre book it and walk in. Your augmented reality system draws a path on the floor for you to follow to your table. While you walk you order a drink. By the time you sit down your drink has arrived. Bon apetit!


7. Virtual reality: ALSO FOR REAL THIS TIME

You look down... it is a 500 meter drop. You never thought you would be base jumping but here you are. You run enthusiastically and hold your breath as the earth seems to open up beneath you. You feel a rush of adrenaline. You scream a little bit when you realise that you miscalculated and you are now falling to your death. JUMP FAILED flashes across your vision. You have just played a game that shows you what base jumping is like in a virtual reality world. This one is going to be lots of fun!

8. Vertical Farming

You go to the local fresh produce store, except that it is in the middle of a dense urban area, and it is a towering skyscraper covered in solar panels. All the produce sold is made in that very building to the highest quality in a clean environment. Robots harvest the cabbages and scurry them down into the sales area.



Being an atheist rocks!

I think that every atheist should write a post like this. Not some post to explain why they became atheists, or what they think about religion. A post-religious explanation of what it is like to be an atheist. I was inspired by a post by +Rob Minnaert where he asks if people think they have attained more positive traits after becoming atheists.

I wanted to write this for two reasons. The first being that not many people write about it, or... if they do perhaps I haven't read much of it. If you know of such writing please let me know. Secondly, and this is important, theists like the argument from utility. They also like to bash atheism as being devoid of any moral basis or any useful philosophy. This essay is not intended as a sort of rebuttal of any of those claims, but rather what things make atheism fun and cool. Please don't consider this a sales pitch, maybe a little more of the other side of the fence weighing in on their view. Of course I don't speak for all atheists, but I am sure that some of them will be able to identify with the things I have to say here.

So when I became an atheist initially I was filled with panic! "What if I am wrong" I thought. "What if I will go to hell?" I thought. The cool thing about becoming an atheist was that questioning was no longer taboo. I didn't have to try and retrofit any of my conclusions to some belief in a higher being, or what a god wants. I am happy to question my atheism, and have done so over the course of my atheism many times. Each new argument for the existence of god I read fills me with some sort of perverse thrill that maybe this one will be really good. Sure a part of me thinks that unlikely, but another part of me wants to be surprised. I don't feel guilty when I read christian materials, or even the bible. Doubt and questioning has become a norm for me, and it's one of the greatest parts of being an atheist because there is nothing more rewarding than the aha moments that come with figuring things out for yourself.

Another thing that was a bit unexpected, because nobody thinks about these things, is that all of a sudden the world became a lot simpler. Sure it is infinitely complex, but still simpler, because ghosts, demons, spirits, and all that shit melts away. One of my favourite tricks is to invite all the demons of the universe into my soul, theists will cringe. Happily I can laugh it off. Without a supernatural world everything is more placid and enjoyable. The world, though complex, becomes a discoverable mystery.

This has another cool effect. When you realise that the world is discoverable, you may start thinking it a good idea to go and do it. I used to avoid reading books because I felt guilty about not reading my bible, but now I have fun reading interesting books about how the world works. There is no such thing as Truth with a capital T, everything is much more interesting than you thought, and you have no intellectual barrier or requirement to explain how gawd did that fancy thing you just learned about. Especially when that thing is a parasite that replaces the tongue of a fish. What kind of sadistic god would invent that?

Guilt plays a major role in religion, I used to be wracked with guilt for not praying enough, not readin' my bible enough or for looking at some sexy girl and undressing her with my eyes. It turns out that the Christians are right about there being absolution from all sin, they just had the wrong answer. The answer of course is ATHEISM. mmmm sin... so good. The thing is that what Christians consider to be sin is hardly abnormal for any human being. We evolved (EVOLUTION IS TEH EVOL) to lie, get horny when we see a sexy person and indulge in all kinds of other less than Christian behaviour. Thing is, the truly contemptible things like bigotry and war are okay in christianity, but when you think these things through on your own you come to different conclusions. HINT: bigotry is fucked up and war is wrong.

That results in something amazing. You stop thinking you are some loser maggot sinner, and start thinking more highly of yourself. Not super duper ego inflation, but an upliftment from the depraved sinner you used to think you were that needed to grovel in front of an almighty being for constant forgiveness.

Therein lies the rub. When you become an atheist you switch your life from a god-centered worldview, to a human one. It is no longer about what a god wants, but about what is good for us as a species. This humanism has a profound effect on many newly enlightened atheists in that it makes you think of the harm that actions do to others. It fosters the concept of empathy and generally makes you feel like a kinder, more well-grounded person. We know what humans want and need, figuring out what some imaginary deity wants and needs is impossible, and the cause of much of the pain and suffering in the world. When you switch to the human view you start liking yourself, and in turn you start caring more for others.

** AS I SAID, I DON'T KNOW HOW TRUE THE ABOVE IS FOR OTHER ATHEISTS. SURELY IT WASN'T TRUE FOR STALIN.