Yes, this is where the futurist speaker and the writer in me get all tingly….
I spent all day working on my next futurist presentation.Â After all, my last slide deck was made BEFORE the election and the recession and all that change.Â So I’m talking about three topics – demographics, medicine, and the environment.Â My medicine research dug up a few interesting things, some not-so-palatable….
So on the genetic engineering and biomedical front:
I found a story about a “cancer-free girl” – or more accurately, a baby who was screened before implantation for a bed cancer gene, and so won’t have the same 70 to 80% of getting breast cancer as her mother and grandmother.Â Now – on this one, I’m having trouble sympathizing with the people questioning the morality.Â Why wouldn’t you screen for something like that?Â I know a woman who is having to watch her child slowly die because even after she and her husband were genetically screened against a common family gene, it popped up. It is a most-not-pleasant experience, and seems like a good thing for science to save us from.
A fertility clinic is LA promised to let parents choose eye color, gender, and the like. They withdrew their offering after massive protests.Â Sorry.Â I’ve been reading science fiction too long, I guess.Â What’s to protest?
I also found the U-BOT 5, a bot being designed at the University of Massachusetts with the idea of standing in for absent us for elder-care (or maybe – by the time it’s commercially available – being my elder-care).Â This could be elder abuse, at least unless they dress it better and give it a friendlier face. Althoughm if you get the demographics, we’re going to need something like this.Â Japan has cuter one, also designed for elder-care, called Wakamaru.
I did find a totally protestable bioethics issue:Â The Chinese Death Bus. Talk about the nightmare-inducing side of bioethics.Â Who snuck real-life horror into my science fictional world?
Anyway, we’ll have a lot to think about in the future.Â By the way, as I searched all of these topics, I found an awful lot of references to stuff “that used to in the realm of science fiction.”Â So lets hurry up and make up the light side of our future!Â Write on!