Despite all the technology in academic and pharmaceutical institutions, nothing can stop a microbe from figuring out how to best an antibiotic. As such, the mood is sombre at best and apocalyptic at worst. Instead of trying to develop yet another complex mousetrap, the answer lies in looking at weapons of mass microbial destruction already in use in the wild.
With "Future Day" a week away, there have been many recent articles on "What Did Back To The Future Get Right?" Rather than bore you with a typical comparison, I thought I'd take a different approach, and highlight how both the BTTF trilogy and Demolition Man made technological predictions of a more inclusive and accessible world.
More needs to be done to identify the careers of the future -- this is especially important as the demand for a more professionally trained and highly skilled workforce continues to grow. It is more essential than ever to identify the future opportunities for young people and ensure students and parents know what qualifications are required to pursue those careers.
Last week, a story appeared that seemed to come out of the pages of a science fiction novel. A team of researchers in Switzerland developed a new way to store digital data. Instead of hard drives, chips, or crystals, they used the genetic material found in all living organisms, DNA. On top of that, they were able to show the information could last for at least 2,000 years.
Given predictable increases in population and demand, for meat production to take place responsibly in the future, we will have to significantly diversify our eating habits, and with them, our production habits. In vitro meat is one alternative. We don't know enough about it yet. But we know we can make it. It is possible.
We are witnessing political, social and economic exclusion of young people in many countries around the world. Frustration and resentment are mounting. We feel the power of these young people. We fear their anger and their numbers. But we don't listen to what they are saying. We need to stop seeing young people as a threat and make them part of the solution.
Many new jobs will emerge -- such as a robot counsellor, who is someone that matches robots with humans depending on their needs. While it all sounds very sci-fi in 2014, many of our job predictions are based on technological advancements that currently exist and are just 'waiting in the wings' for commercial development. It's all very exciting.
Like most religious minorities in Quebec, I am only slightly shocked by the proposed charter of values. The people that at the short end of the proverbial legislation stick are kids. Because our kids will live the rest of their future in the shadow of the laws and governments we support, it is imperative to consult them. So I decided to put my ear to the ground, and asked my youth group girls and their friends what they thought of the Quebec charter of values. Here are some reactions by girls age 12-16, all from different backgrounds and religions.
Future scenarios should be thought of as being in perpetual draft form; they should be rewritten constantly and thought about critically -- always in the condition of workshopping. Questions about how things like new technologies ought to exist are matters of vital social consequence. They are political decisions; questions that we should all be engaging.
For as long as I can remember, I have been an obsessive planner. I love to make plans, to organize, to prepare. And I'm quite good at it, too. Long-term goals, schedules. These are things I like. A fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants girl, I am not. With my cancer diagnosis, a lot of things came crashing down around me.