What can we expect in the next 100 years? Jonar Nader talks about the inventions that we might enjoy into the future. Could we live to be 200 years old? Would we explore outer worlds? To listen to an excerpt from the radio broadcast, please click on the green play button below.
Below is a transcript of the audio file.
Host: Imagine this scenario: it is the year 3095 and the United Nations is about to launch Solar 1 – the first mission to the sun. By then, robots will be indistinguishable from humans, and time travel will be due for legislation. So wrote our next guest, writer and futurist Jonar Nader, in a business magazine. Jonar joins us now to have a look at what life on earth could be like a century from now. Hello Jonar welcome back.
Jonar Nader: Hello Angela
Host: You also wrote that anyone who harboured a seed of doubt about your predictions was among the masses who suppressed creativity and quashed innovation. Do you still stand as solidly behind your predictions?
Jonar Nader: Yes. You see if you look at all major predictions and inventions, they either happened by accident or they happened like giving birth to an elephant… no one would believe it… who would have thought! Things we take so for granted now if you go back in time you’ll experience the drama and the terror that their inventors had to go through to put their ideas across. Back when Pythagoras was talking about mathematics, they banned him from having a mathematics club because it was considered evil. That was the scenario. The people who argued that the earth was not flat, or that somehow the earth was not the centre of the universe, were jailed. Some of them died in jail. So although we are so well developed and so well advanced, to this day you say to someone we will soon send a mission to the sun and they will say, you are crazy, not possible, it is so hot nothing can get near it. Well that is true because we are using the current knowledge. It was also true that we could never get to the moon. They also said you could never develop a computer to rival the human brain. They said if you did, you would need so much electricity that you would melt the earth, but they were thinking of the computers they used to have . Computers the size of football fields that could hardly calculate the 2+2. So they were right, but they had no idea about micro electronics
Host: Ok Jonar I take your point. Tonight we are going to look at life on earth 100 years from now. Are you convinced the earth will still exist then.
Jonar Nader: Why are you predicting gloom and doom? Actually, 100 years isn’t that far away. It is only a few generations, but in computer language that is a long time because we talk about web years and a web year in the technology cycle is 4 months so really we are talking about 400 years. Just like cats years is 7 to one (7 years of cats life is equivalent to one year of a human life), 4 months in technology equates to 1 human year.
Host: So where do you think the greatest changes will take place Jonar? Is there any one issue or one industry which you think will see a disproportionate rate of change compared to anywhere else, in medicine for example or military hardware?
Jonar Nader: The military one is fascinating because that is where a lot of technology came from. It is slowing down a little bit and we will go into that in a moment. Medicine is what I call fusion – when we start to fuse the technology into things that we take for granted. When you take an Aspirin pill you don’t really know what is going on. When you take a blood pressure pill, there is just so much happening behind that. So I am predicting that when we fuse the beauty of technology, the speed, computerisation, nano technology and more microscopic style of nature (moving away from silicone chips and going into biology chips where the chip is a living organism rather than just this dead silicone) then we are moving into an area where we can start to really shape human life. The whole function of technology in business is to create an advantage but the function of technology in the human is to extend the bod. People are just so desperately trying to do that aren’t they, they go from hair transplant to teeth whitening… almost everything today can be artificial can’t it? You don’t even know if you are shaking hands with the same person you shook hands with 10 years ago.
Host: What do you think our life expectancy will be in 100 years from now? Do you you actually think we will reach a point where death can be postponed indefinitely?
Jonar Nader: Many an author has written about this subject. They have written novels about the uncle that just will never die, and they say would you hurry up and die. When I was writing that futuristic article for a business magazine I interviewed so many people, and one of the groups of people said that we might have to have a voluntary code of death where if your name ends in a certain letter of the alphabet it is your turn to die.
Host: Or you live in an odd or even number!
Jonar Nader: Yes because now they are predicting that you could live to be 200 but you see our biology is such that we are designed to give birth and die. A lot of the biological processes of life dictate that you are there to reproduce and then die, yet here we are hanging on for dear life. In fact, certain lab technicians have put two worms together and have forbidden the worms from having sex. They report that worms can live up to 4 times longer if they don’t have sex and if eat fewer calories. Could that be the answer? Stop having sex, eat less and you could live 4 times longer? If that sounds unreal and people don’t believe that you could live to be 200 all you have to do is go back and look at the history of human life. Humans used to die at the age of 20. We have gone from dying at the age of 20 to now having a western world average of 80 – look at that! Therefore, it is not inconceivable that in a short period of time we can move beyond 80. For example if you fix heart disease you save 8 to 15 years. If you fix other cancers you save 5 years. With maybe a single twitch in a technicians accidental lab experiment to get rid of blood clots you can add 30 years to someone’s life. You can further add to that by replacing human body parts and so forth.
Host: Jonar what about, with all these humans around, do you think we will all be living here on the earth, or do you think humans might have reached a stage where they can live on other planets or someplace else?
Jonar Nader: Sure self sustained eco systems are possible of course it’s just a question of who would want to do it except for the novelty factor. I always find it fascinating. As much as I am an advocate of space research, I find it funny when news reports say that we might be able to live on Mars. What does that mean? We take a ticket and if your name begins with a certain letter or you live in an odd numbered house or whatever, you somehow get sent to Mars. As if that is going to help the population problem. Yes, of course you could live elsewhere but I don’t think that solves anything. People move from Sydney to Melbourne so now they think they can move from the Earth to the moon to escape. Human nature being what it is, anything we are trying to escape from will probably follow us. Especially as we move towards world governments and world tax systems, and with cyberspace now demanding that laws catch up and become even more uniform than they are today.
Today laws are such a mess from one country to the next, from one state to the next, that you do not know which jurisdiction it is or whose authorised to come in with a gun and say you are under arrest. We’ll have the comic scenario, ‘No, I’m the sherif here!’, ‘But I’m the FBI so I’m in charge’, followed by, ‘But I’m the CIA so I have seniority!’ Who’s in charge here? I don’t know. The fireman maybe. So you’ll go to the moon and some goon up there will start a new world government. That would be the way to go wouldn’t it? Why don’t we say all the Liberals can go to the moon, all the Labor party can go to Mars, and the Democrats can stay here! I think Laurel and Hardy did that once. They found an island and decided that on this island there are no rules. Then the thugs turned up. That meant that they had to introduce the first rule ‘no one will be a thug’ and then… you know… talk about George Orwell and Animal Farm.