Last year I attended a singularity conference and Ray Kurzweil's avatar predicted it was 25 years away. Well, it's been 25 years away for a long time. It's a nice, safe number, close enough that no one gives up and stops buying books (global warming will happen in 100 years, for example) and not so close anyone looks silly (Al Gore saying in 2006 that we were doomed in 10 years, for example) it if doesn't happen.
In 1993, for example, Vernor Vinge said "Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended."
In the ongoing concern about future generations not being as intelligent as prior ones, due to computers, video games and what not (in my day it was calculators that would lead to brain rot) the many examples of creative people doing things we never would have thought of are lost.
I can't go to the pharmacy cold medicine aisle and buy Drixoral these days - I instead have to go the pharmacist and sign some document to get it and I finally, owing to the need to buy some every three years or so, asked the pharmacist why. Turns out young people had discovered that they could make crystal meth or something from it. Amazing. I would never have thought of that, and I am usually the smartest guy in any room I enter. I just used it to cure sniffles.
I just got back from a vacation in Hawaii and for the entire time, I had laryngitis, or some sort of thing that made me unable to talk and my throat sore. So I could not speak.
I tell you, I have never been so attractive to my wife, even though she married me because I am brilliant. My lack of communication made her unsure if I had concerns about us and the relationship, it seems, along with an extra dose of 'cold' and 'distant'. In reality she could not see me pointing wildly to the coffee maker and then my throat from where I was bedridden.
Self-loathing Americans, and Europeans happy to oblige them, have long noted how fat Americans are, and a common urban myth has been that America is the fattest nation. But that is not true, others noted, America is simply the fattest of the rich, industrial nations (and even there, it is just an average and America does not lead by much).
In case you don't know it, the Navy is not the 1970s "Village People" branch of the military. These guys do some cool stuff and are making even cooler toys to do it with.
Want to find future tech for megawatt-class laser beams in next-generation weapon systems? The Navy. Want to go completely science fiction and find work on a railgun with a projectile that rides an electromagnetic current to its target? The Navy.
I enjoyed a drink one time with a fellow who was, even for science blogging, left of left. I won't name names because it doesn't matter, he is a talented writer and a good guy but I always feel like he loves politics more than science and his persistent belief that Republicans/conservatives/right wing neo-cons/Nazis/(insert your favorite term here) are anti-science and progressives are not seemed rather odd. But I have written about the Democratic War On Science many times