• Log In
  • Sign Up
    • The last century has seen some of the most dramatic scientific discoveries and accomplishments imaginable. Some of these discoveries were inspiring, like the moon landing, while others, like the harnessing of nuclear power, were (and are still) fraught with existential doom.

      What potential discoveries are you looking forward to experiencing in your lifetime? Which are you afraid of?

      Besides breakthroughs in climate change related technology (which is probably its own conversation), the future science I’m most excited about revolves around finding life in our solar system.

      NASA is sending a probe to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, in 2023. It may be able to detect signs of life from the vast volcanic plumes of water the moon shoots into space. If it does, it’s likely NASA will send a yet more advanced mission there soon after. I sincerely hope to be around for these discoveries.

      What about you?

    • This may sound extremely unrealistic but I hope to be around when we discovered/confirmed an actual habitable exoplanet, even if we don't have the technology to actually arrive at the planet yet.

    • I dream of that too. Can you imagine finding a planet like ours teaming with life?!

      But in the meantime I think artificial intelligence is going to unleash a parade of amazing accomplishments too incredible to believe. The way AlphaZero taught itself to play chess so quickly and then taught us to think about chess in a way we never had before was SO FASCINATING!!

      Imagine the novels it will write, the rockets it will design, the movies it will make. I want them.

    • I'm hoping we're going to get some fundamental physics questions answered. Why can't we unite gravity with other fundamental forces? String theory? True/false? Also, on the high end of the scale: dark matter? What is it? Dark energy? Is the universe really expanding at an accelerating rate? Why? What's the end game there?

      Yes, for humans (their robots, that is) to go for a swim in the extra-terrestrial oceans would be a highlight. But, discovery of extra-solar life would definitely be the biggest discovery ever, and also one to fear the most, because the potential consequences would be the greatest, potentially existential.

    • That's cool! Before I want it to write any novels for me I'd like to see it writing "intelligent replies" on my behalf in my social media accounts. By "intelligent" I mean something that is actually worth reading and not memes and shitposts like I often do. Ouch!

    • I would like to be around when we fully understand and can control the ageing process.

      That's not for selfish reasons (well, not entirely). I just think the potential of the species will be realised at a quicker rate if the term of personal experience extends beyond current limits.

    • I hope I live to see the discovery of an inexpensive, safe, and efficient way to generate and/or store huge amounts of electricity. The possibilities it could unlock would be virtually limitless.

      With cheap, clean, plentiful electricity we can begin to reverse climate change. Manufacturing, transportation, and construction become vastly less expensive. Exploration of space and the oceans becomes much more feasible. Desalinization becomes a cost effective source of limitless fresh water. New technologies that were previously infeasible due to energy requirements suddenly become viable. And so on.

      Energy is the limiting factor of so many human endeavors right now. Breaking through that barrier will open up countless possibilities.

    • I hope we discover what the other several milliard neurons in our brain are there for, and perhaps even start using them.

    • It seems like my entire life we've been predicting more time on our hands. We don't have to spend all our time farming anymore, we are automating our factories, we have more disposable income, technology will do so much for us to save time.

      And yet, here we are, with low unemployment, at least in the U.S., and incredibly busy.

    • I do not think being busy is a valuable asset. Liberty of personal choice, on the other hand (and according to understanding some of Socrates ideas on explaining how short life is being perceived to be) would ideally yield the most of our breathing moments.