29th Jul 2012

botherjoseph asked: We’ve seen the advent of so-called revolutions changing how man has lived- for example, the Agricultural, Industrial, and even Information Revolutions. What do you think could be mankind’s next Revolution?

In the 20th century, we were promised a future filled with flying cars, jetpacks, and personal robot assistants. Many people today are disappointed that we don’t have them—and yet, we have amazingly capable phones and supercomputers, with the ability to communicate instantly with people across the globe. Basically, we expected a revolution in energy but instead we got a revolution in information. The development of physics played a large part in this unexpected revolution—our understanding led us down a different path to what we’d hoped, towards a different but just as amazing type of technology.

I’m inclined to say that we’ll have our anticipated Energy Revolution next, but I don’t think we can accurately predict it. We’ll just have to keep an eye on the development on physics. James Kakalios’s book, The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics, discusses the physics of the “revolutions” very interestingly—check out this great excerpt.

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