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What Will Change Everything? - Comments

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 2 by KRKBAB

what dark energy is

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 17:00:00 UTC | #295771

HourglassMemory's Avatar Comment 1 by HourglassMemory

I'm not gonna give some idea I think will change everything.
But I'm just commenting to say that I can't wait to see the "official" answers on this questions. By official I mean by famous scientists. By the big names who bother to answer.

The Edge Questions are pretty cool.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 17:00:00 UTC | #295769

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 3 by KRKBAB

HourglassMemory- I hope my pedestrian answer gave you a wince.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 17:02:00 UTC | #295772

Godfree Gordon's Avatar Comment 5 by Godfree Gordon

Where's my other sock?

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 17:04:00 UTC | #295774

HourglassMemory's Avatar Comment 4 by HourglassMemory

3.
Dark energy? that would be a pretty big step.

I've started skimming through the answers.
I can't wait to read them through.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 17:04:00 UTC | #295773

dochmbi's Avatar Comment 6 by dochmbi

Finding out how the human brain works and creating a super intelligent computer as the result of that.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 17:05:00 UTC | #295775

Godfree Gordon's Avatar Comment 7 by Godfree Gordon

What's become of that crispy bacon we had before the war, hey?

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 17:05:00 UTC | #295776

Godfree Gordon's Avatar Comment 8 by Godfree Gordon

Was Bush really an android, sent by Xenu...?

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 17:07:00 UTC | #295777

jo5ef's Avatar Comment 9 by jo5ef

"He has already announced transplanting the information from one genome into another. In other words, your dog becomes your cat."
And the first award of the year for gross oversimplification of science goes to....

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 17:10:00 UTC | #295778

Pete H's Avatar Comment 11 by Pete H

Nobody ever voted to get the vote either.

Some amazing new technology innovations that actually do work might be good.
Say a non-stick frying pan that actually doesn’t stick. And some so-called long-life fluorescent lights that actually really do last longer than the obsolete and much cheaper incandescent bulbs.

And perhaps now that have collectively accumulated so much new knowledge it could be timely to start work on clearing out some of the old useless stuff.

Intellectual property rights might be among the first obsolete intellectual developments on the garbage pile. It might otherwise be very irritating to have to de-evolve myself or my dog because the process of genome manipulation is subject to copyright litigation. I'm not sure that the legal system has yet caught up with the fact biological reproduction involves illegal copying of genetic information - much of it may already be subject to copyright or patent law protection.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 17:52:00 UTC | #295787

Karlsson's Avatar Comment 10 by Karlsson

Getting a "Theory of Abiogenesis" that's as good as the "Theory of evolution". We know how life evolves, but we don't know how life began. There's lots of bits and pieces, lots of hypotesis but no great theory...

Another thing would be alien life, in any form. A big thing would be to find evidence for intelligent life and a huge thing would to actually meet intelligent alien life. But I don't know if that would be a good or bad experience...

A third thing would be teleportation that can transport big objects over smaller and greater distances. Real teleportation that actually take an object and somehow move it from one place to another, not the fake one which works by copy and delete...

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 17:52:00 UTC | #295786

notsobad's Avatar Comment 12 by notsobad

I need a teleport.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 17:53:00 UTC | #295788

Gustavus29's Avatar Comment 13 by Gustavus29

I see Dawkins has not contributed this year. Seems decidedly odd, as this is the first time he hasn't done so. I smell a rat.

What is Dawkins trying to hide?

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 18:05:00 UTC | #295791

ivo's Avatar Comment 14 by ivo

Well... he's retired, now.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 18:14:00 UTC | #295792

ghique's Avatar Comment 15 by ghique

Space elevator.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 18:25:00 UTC | #295793

Gmork's Avatar Comment 16 by Gmork

Jump pads.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 18:37:00 UTC | #295796

sidelined's Avatar Comment 17 by sidelined

I expect that there are two necessary breakthroughs.
First dealing with human social enforcement of worldwide birth control to limit the burgeoning population so damaging to our potential survival and,second,the actual implementation of successful commercial fusion energy to allow for sufficient means to deal with many problems pertaining to energy demand and waste management.

I expect it will occur in my lifetime but it will require the sober realization of enough of society to force a concerted effort to fund the necessary technology. I believe it would be a better investment than oil and would go a long way to mediating conflicts in much of the world.

One can dream anyway.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 18:39:00 UTC | #295797

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 18 by Dr. Strangegod

Cybernetic enhancement and replacement of all major organs and limbs.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 18:46:00 UTC | #295802

He-man Daunted World's Avatar Comment 19 by He-man Daunted World

This contribution from Martin Seligman is mildly disturbing:

"Most of real world “intelligent” performance is based on intuition, not on reasoning. The expert surgeon just “knows” where to cut. The experienced farmer just “knows” that it is going to rain. The expert firefighter just “knows” that the roof is about to collapse. The judge just “knows” the defendant is lying. These finely honed intuitions are fast, unconscious, multidimensional, inarticulate, and are made confidently."

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 19:09:00 UTC | #295816

Robert Maynard's Avatar Comment 20 by Robert Maynard

the end of biological deterioration (aging) as a cause of death.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 20:16:00 UTC | #295872

j.mills's Avatar Comment 21 by j.mills

What would change everything?

The less animal produce consumed, the less land, pesticide, fertiliser, water, energy and pollution will be needed to create our food, and the less incidence there will be of cancer, heart disease and umpteen other diseases, and obesity - reducing the burden on state-funded health services. This in turn increases the land available for natural habitat and development, as well as the overall food supply. (You can eat 10kg of soya, or feed it to a cow and end up with 1kg of beef and 9kg of shit.)

All that requires no legislation, no compulsion, just education. Numbers of veggies and vegans are growing anyway, but government buy-in to publicising the benefits could snowball this growth to everyone's advantage.

Dispiracist moaned:

And some so-called long-life fluorescent lights that actually really do last longer than the obsolete and much cheaper incandescent bulbs.
*Sigh* Most of the fluorescents in my house have lasted since I moved in 7 years ago, and they can now be bought for £1. However, even if they were priced 10 times as much as an incandescent and lasted no longer, they would still save a small fortune by using only a fraction of the energy (and thereby creating only a fraction of the emissions). Why is this hard to understand??

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 20:19:00 UTC | #295875

Big T's Avatar Comment 22 by Big T

Try 'The Hedonistic Imperative' of Dave Pearce.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 20:32:00 UTC | #295886

VrijzinnigMan's Avatar Comment 23 by VrijzinnigMan

How about a renewable economically-viable non-polluting source of energy.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 20:32:00 UTC | #295887

beanson's Avatar Comment 24 by beanson

Convergence of man and man's creations

or Gerentological breakthrough

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 22:39:00 UTC | #295928

RedPen's Avatar Comment 25 by RedPen

I think it's pretty clear that the greatest discovery in the coming decades will be the discovery of life on other planets. Everything humanity has done to that point will pale in comparison.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 22:59:00 UTC | #295929

cam9976's Avatar Comment 26 by cam9976

The induction of extreme longevity / heathiness in humans through genetic engineering...

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 23:03:00 UTC | #295930

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 27 by rod-the-farmer

Fusion power, so we can cut our reliance on fossil fuels. I am sure most readers can imagine the political impact of this, which these days is of more interest than the chemical pollution effects.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 23:04:00 UTC | #295931

frederikan's Avatar Comment 28 by frederikan

What will change everything?
Change itself.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 23:30:00 UTC | #295933

Butler's Avatar Comment 29 by Butler

He-Man Daunted World: "This contribution from Martin Seligman is mildly disturbing:

"Most of real world “intelligent” performance is based on intuition, not on reasoning. The expert surgeon just “knows” where to cut. The experienced farmer just “knows” that it is going to rain. The expert firefighter just “knows” that the roof is about to collapse. The judge just “knows” the defendant is lying. These finely honed intuitions are fast, unconscious, multidimensional, inarticulate, and are made confidently.""

What a nitwit. All that is explained by experience and muscle memory. Now, if I, with no medical training, could operate on someone and just "know" where to cut... well, then he might be on to something.

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 23:56:00 UTC | #295935

Raiko's Avatar Comment 30 by Raiko

It kind of irks me when they don't mention Francis Crick. :/

Fri, 02 Jan 2009 00:01:00 UTC | #295936