Title: Visions of a limitless future from science and bio mechanical invention.

"In the twenty-first century, brainpower and imagination, invention and the organization of new technologies are the key strategic ingredients ....Today, knowledge and skills now stand alone as the only sources of comparative advantage."

p. 13, Kaku, pp. ix- 19, Kaku metaphor.

"This interplay between the three scientific revolutions

    1. quantum physics,
    2. molecular biology,
    3. computers, -- voice recognition sensors & artificial intelligence


"human intelligence"

is one of the most important factors driving the science of the future, as we shall see throughout this book. "

p. 73-74, Kaku, Visions, .

Background | Information | Dates | Words to know |Essay | Argument | Conclusion | Lesson


"In the twentieth century, the quantum theory has given us the ability to understand the matter we see around us.

"In the quantum theory, electricity can be understood as the movement of electrons, just as drops of water can make...."

In the next century, the quantum revolution may open the door to...the ability to manipulate and choreograph new forms of matter, almost at will."

p. 8, Kaku.

The twentieth century has been called the atomic age and as such nuclear physics. engineering and applications are a model to compare other tool complexes to such as the automotive, aircraft, and pesticide (all oil based) or the electrical complex of refrigeration, hand appliances, air conditioning, lights, and electronics particularly.

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"The twenty-first century, unlike previous ones, will be typified by synergy, the cross-fertilization between all three fields, which will mark a sharp turning point in the development of science. The cross pollination between these three revolutions will be vastly accelerated and will enrich the development of science, giving us unprecedented power to manipulate matter, life and intelligence."

p. 13, Kaku. Kaku metaphor.

Definitions | Details | Dates | Data


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revolution, 1500s, Copernicus, a complete movement, hence to turn around to change direction.

communications, information revolution

New measurement, common to the sciences, the meter and the Ecole Polytechnique (France 1790s)

synergy, the combination of separate factors such that the combined impact is greater than the sum of contributing factors.

reductionism, a method of analysis reducing everything to the lowest common denominator, or smallest parts.

Quantum revolution, discovery of the weak and strong nuclear forces or fission (radiation) and fusion; moving particles.

Biomolecular revolution, the engineering of genes, bacteria, and molecules to make new therapies, such as synthetic insulin.

Computer revolution, the processing of information mechanically, electrically and eventually electronically first with tubes and wires and now with transistors and wireless

Kaku metaphor

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Dates, for the Brave New World:

1898, discovery of the electron

1905, Einstein's three revolutionary essays:

Brownian motion, photoelectric effect, & special relativity

1920, First commercial radio broadcast

1930, Enrico Fermi discovers the neutron

1942, first sustained nuclear chain (fission) reaction

1953, Four people help to discover of DNA's structure

1954, above ground or atmospheric testing of atomic weapons makes fallout

1956-58, Sir Charles P. Snow describes three great threats due to Two Cultures

1962, Nuclear test ban treaty stops atmospheric testing of hydrogen bombs

1965, Gordon Moore publishes his prediction, later called: Moore's law

1970s, telomeres "cap" [TTAGGG repeat sequence of base pairs] the end of chromosomes --shortening the life of the cell after repeated replications.

1984, DNA enzyme called "telomerase" discovered which reverses the telomere formation, or "aging process" in genes (older the cell the shorter the telomeres).

1989, scanning tunneling microscope; IBM labs.

1996, gene therapy for brain tumors; P-53 gene.

1997, Edinburgh scientists clone the first mammal–a sheep.

2003, Human Genome Project completed in discovering and sequencing all the estimated 20,000-25,000 human genes.

2006, The sequencing of all the chromosomes in the human genome with chromosome one completed.


More dates.

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"One powerful attraction of the electronic battlefield was that it created a technological 'killing ground' where only the enemy, and not we ourselves, were present. It was reinforced by an old racist belief that 'life was cheap in the Orient.'"

Pursell, p. 158, "War in the age of Intelligent Machines."

Kranzberg's Laws reveal the technical --physical, chemical or material constraints -- imposed by materials on the capability, imagination and skills of the inventors, designers mechanics, and users of tools particularly when people in a society are unable to engage in the requisite dialogue, Pacey insists, that is at the very core of technological development, social change and personal transformation.

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Background | Information | Dates | Words to know |Essay | Argument | Conclusion | Lesson



"that we work in a compulsive way, not thinking of the consequences. The allure of technological adventure, risk taking, and powerful machines may also lead to violent consequences, but these again are usually unintended. The compulsive use of power does not by itself explain the most violent application of technology, some of which imply more twisted motivation."

Pacey, Meaning, p. 190

"pleasure in violence linked to technology,"

by Italian Futurists (1909 Manifesto)

"He quoted one writer who found the peacetime machine a disappointment because it delivered only "meager quantities of the intense pleasure of domination."

Pacey, Ibid., p. 191

Compare this to Postman's analysis of the Milgram Experiment on pages 150-154


"Unlike science, social research never discovers anything ....I have tried to show that science, social research, and the kind of work we call imaginative literature are all three quite different kinds of enterprise. (Organizationally distinctive)

"successes have come in medicine, pharmacology, biochemistry, astrophysics, and all the feats of mechanical, biological and electronic engineering made possible by the consistent application of the aims, assumptions, and procedures of natural science. These successes have attached to the name of science an awesome measure of authority."

"We need so desperately to find some source outside the frail and shaky judgments of mortals like ourselves to authorize our moral decisions....And outside of the authority of brute force,...we seem to have little left but the authority of procedures."

"To ask of science the answers of such questions" ....as "what are good and evil ends" or "what is life? .... is Scientism. And it is technopoly's grand illusion."

Postman, Technopoly, pp. 155, 57, 161, 163.


"smart weapons,...High levels of accuracy and efficiency. It turned out, were dependent upon equally high levels of information."

p. 160.

Background | Information | Dates | Words to know |Essay | Argument | Conclusion | Lesson

Kaku metaphor

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Write an essay about a representative technology and the tool complex it works within to explain how the three aspects (or facets) of technology have the power to shape human organization, reshape the countryside and reconfigure human thought, emotions, imagination and desires, as it solves problems, thereby creating consequences for our use of tools.

James Watt and the reciprocating Steam Engine. In the late 1600s and early 1700s the steam engine was a collection of machine tools that were used in the mining industry to improve iron making by retrieving more ore at a faster rate. Watt was experimenting with the Newcomen engine, as it was called, in order to perfect its movement. Used to pump water from the deep coal and metal mines in England, Savery's and Newcomen's earlier engine (1700s) had reached a performance limit. When, in his Edinburgh laboratory in the 1760s, he made a terrible mistake, Watt had hoped to make the engine more effective in lifting water. And to do that he had to....

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If you apply Kranzberg's Laws of technological development to any of these tool complexes: petrochemical, electrical or digital, you begin to recognize the fallacy of, the challenges posed by and the underlying limitations of Kaku's assertion that "the biomolecular revolution will ultimately give us nearly godlike ability to manipulate life almost at will."

Kaku, p. 9

That is because synergy is a "two-way street." That means what we make biologically can also be altered by the very biological processes we use to alter ourselves and our surroundings. In a very real sense, biology bats last.

"With these discoveries, we now have a working hypothesis about cell aging, cell death, and cancers. The telomerase act like a clock which measures the process of cell aging and death. The shorter the telomeres, the older the cell. Cancer cells, because they can manufacture telomerase , which freezes the contraction of the telomeres, 'have forgotten how to die,' as Samuel Broder, director of the National Cancer Institute, puts it."

Kaku, p. 170.

Pursell discusses the breach between intended expectations and results in the use of "smart bombs" and television as helping to make modern war better in some sense." (Pursell, p. 167) with respect to the First Gulf War (1989-1990). He instead applying Kranzberg's law "Technological change is not inevitable." to demonstrate how we have become desensitized to the consequences of our powerful tool complex because we lack the capacity to feel, taste, or smell the "scenes of civilian and military carnage."

Pursell, p. 167, and Kaku, p. 9

Background | Information | Dates | Words to know |Essay | Argument | Conclusion | Lesson

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"Where are we now? you might ask. At present, we are a Type 0 (zero) civilization. Essentially, we use dead plants (coal and oil) to energize our machines. In this planetary scale, we are like children, taking our first hesitant and clumsy steps into space....the sheer power of the three scientific revolutions will force the nations of the earth to cooperate on a scale never seen before in history."

Kaku, p. 9

Kaku does recognize, for a physicist, that there are "natural" that is biological constraints. As he notes, " The second approach has to do with the development of natural cancer fighters. Science is beginning to understand at the molecular level why certain natural products and vitamins help guard against cancer."

"are known to reduce the mutation rate in cells."

Kaku, p. 171

Kaku metaphor

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We stand at the edge of a coming alteration so profound that we must learn to recognize signals of a new automated organization sustained by allegedly smart tools and capable of transforming people, groups, societies away from traditional cultural restraints.

mapThis transformation requires you to be more responsible, responsive and multiply intelligent unless you wish to be dominated by your tools.


Pursell | Tenner | Pacey–World| Pacey–Meaning | Postman | Eberhart | Snow | Kaku

Title | Background | Information | Essay | Argument | Conclusion | Lesson

Diamond | Tenner |Pacey | Pursell | Robots | Kaku metaphor | AI | Time

Final Exam