Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Try the Free Program Peace Paced Breathing App

 

Over the last year, I developed a breathing app designed to help people breathe more deeply. The app can help you learn the key elements of diaphragmatic breathing and is meant to guide people through the Program Peace self-care system. It is available for iPhone and Android phones. You can find it on the Apple Store or the Google Plus store. This blog post will explain its features and how it can help you.




Breathing short, shallow breaths creates tension in the muscles of respiration, which drives anxiety. Almost everyone breathes in this way to some extent. By training you to become comfortable breathing deeper and longer, this app will help you eliminate the tension and reduce the negative emotions it causes. The app also provides an easy-to-use interface without bloat, clutter, ads, sign-ins, in-app purchases, or full version upgrades. Also, the app collects no data.


Scientific studies have shown that paced breathing lowers blood pressure and heart rate and calms the mind. Research has also shown that breathing at longer intervals can improve mood, focus, and flexibility, increase athletic performance, reduce recovery time, mitigate fatigue, and help people sleep at night. This app is designed to help you take full advantage of those benefits. This app is designed to help you take full advantage of those benefits. It also provides an easy-to-use interface without bloat, clutter, ads, sign-ins, in-app purchases, or full version upgrades.

 

Read about the science of optimal breathing. Select how long you want your inhales and exhales to be. Choose the duration of the optional pauses between them. Peruse the preset breathing rates to learn about various breathing methods. Practice the Program Peace exercises to build confidence, a positive mindset, and rehabilitate systems throughout your body.

 

 

FEATURES:

* Breath counter

* Customizable breathing intervals

* Apple health kit integration

* Mindfulness minutes

* Current and longest streaks

* Track your history and progress

* Multiple audible cues

* Over a dozen preset rates

* Color palette options

* Custom reminders

* Rank system

* Recommended exercises

* Optional breath holds

* Vibrate function

* Multiple audible cues

* Dark mode

* Create your own color theme

* Free book included

* Original informative content

 

PRESET BREATHING MODES:

* Before sleep

* Box breathing

* Classic Pranayama

* Energizing

* Holotropic

* Panic blocker

* 4-7-8 breathing

* and more

 

EXERCISES THAT TARGET:

* The respiratory diaphragm

* Thoracic breathing muscles

* The voice

* The neck and back

* Facial expressions

* Eye contact

* Nasal breathing

* Fasting

* Laughing

 

The app is designed to help users transition from distressed breathing to calm, smooth, diaphragmatic breathing. This is accomplished by completing breathing sessions where you follow the breathing bar on the left side of the screen. The bar helps you lengthen your breaths which is key to activating the diaphragm and, along with it, the nervous system’s relaxation response.

Let’s browse through the app’s five main pages so I can show you what they offer. The first page contains a brief summary of the Program Peace book. It also has a tutorial video and a posture and mindset checklist video.

 



 

This second page offers 40 of the best program peace exercises which are designed for you to practice while you breathe along with a Breathing Bar.

 



 

Here exercise 3.4 teaches you to breath smoothly, meaning at a constant steady rate. It explains how the exercise should be done, why it is helpful, and shows illustrations to guide you. At the bottom you can see a button that says “start session.” When you press that button a two minute timer starts the session. And of course your sessions are tracked here on the previous page.

 

 


 

This third page is where you can change the rate of the Breathing Bar. You can use these plus and minus buttons to change the duration of the inhale and the exhale. Or you can do it by using the scrub bars directly. You can add breath holds or use this blue button in the middle to start a timed breathing session.

 

 


 

Below this you can choose from a number of preset breathing options. Just click on any of the i-shaped information buttons to read more about them and why you might want to use them. 

 

This fourth page tracks your progress and keeps a record of the number of breaths you have completed, the number of minutes you’ve used the app, your average breaths per minute, and more.

 

 


 

Below this there are timers for you to practice breath holds and extended inhalations and exhalations. Using these have really helped me train my body to, almost effortlessly, take full sixty second inhalations. There is probably no better way to relax, strengthen and desensitize your respiratory diaphragm.

 

The final page is the options page. Here you can choose the audible queue that tells you when to breathe in and out. You can opt to use a persons voice, a simple vibration, or a number of different sound effects.

 

 


 

You can choose to hide the System bar if you don’t want to see the time and battery constraints.

 

You can choose to use a full screen bar which is easier to see at a distance. This is a great option if you want to place your phone to the side of your television so that you can practice diaphragmatic breathing while watching a show or a movie. As we wait for the two bars to synchronize try breathing along with the bar now.

 

You can select between light and dark themes.

 

You can also choose to have your phone remind you to practice a breathing session

 

There are a number of other assets included in the app. This includes videos, and the entire Program Peace book in PDF form. 

 

This app is intended to be a companion to the Program Peace book, website, and self-care system but is also a fully stand-alone product. For more information, you can visit www.programpeace.com. Please leave a review or contact us through the app if you have questions or suggestions.

 

Program Peace will introduce you to eight different principles of relaxed breathing and then encourage you to practice them while performing related exercises. Here are the principles:

  1. Breathe deeply (high volume): Breathe more fully, breathing most of the way in and out in a way that pushes the belly forward during each inhalation.
  2. Breathe longer (low frequency): Breathe at longer intervals in which each inhalation and exhalation lasts for more time.
  3. Breathe smoothly (continuous flow): Breathe at a steady, slow, constant rate.
  4. Breathe assertively (confident): Do not let social concerns or stressors conflict with the other rules.
  5. Exhale passively: Allow your breathing muscles to go limp during each exhalation.
  6. Breathe nasally: Breathe through the nose with nostrils flared.
  7. Ocean’s Breath: Relax the back of your throat and breathe as if you are fogging up a glass.
  8. Breathe with purity of heart: Knowing that you have only the best intentions, and that you exemplify the combination of nonsubmissive and nondominating, will infuse your breathing with peace.

I designed the app and created a business plan and all of the artwork first and then interviewed a number of app developers on freelancer websites. I ended up hiring Bradley Martin and Dan Rodenberg at Another Reality Studios to program it. They were great and I highly recommend them. When you start designing an app you need to create a visual guide or schematic that lays out the workflow. This is called a wireframe. Here are some of the original wireframes that I drew to describe how it would operate. It was a fun process and it was easier and less expensive than I thought it would be. If you are interested, it cost under 10k and took about four months. If you have an idea that you want to turn into a digital app, I highly recommend creating some wireframes like the ones below, and then contacting some freelancers or online businesses to get quotes and feedback.







Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Rapid Progress of Technology is Ensuring a Bright Future

Human Technology is Improving Rapidly

I have been reading books on advancements in science and technology for a long time, and I believe our world truly is at an inflection point. A number of new circumstances are contributing to this unprecedented change. For example, AI in the form of neural networks is making rapid improvements to several areas of research and helping to increase the already prodigious rate of progress. We normally think of progress in terms of straight lines but for many reasons it seems like humanity's progress is set to explode in the form of a steep parabolic curve. 


What do you imagine technology 30 years in the future to be like? Well, some people might look 30 years in the past, gauge the difference between now and then, and extrapolate. This means they assume the difference between 1990 and 2020 should equal the difference between 2020 and 2050. But this is linear thinking. Technology grows at an exponential rate. This is because it is easier for more advanced societies to make additional advancements (consider how difficult it would have been to make lasting systemic advancements during the times of cave men). This means that the improvements we can expect by 2050 may be many times the improvements made from 1990 to 2020. Consider that esteemed futurist Ray Kurzweil believes that the progress made in the 21st century will be 1000x as significant as the progress made during the 20th century. 


The rate of technological progress itself has been accelerating for decades, centuries even. This is a documented fact, but let's use a thought experiment to illustrate the point. Imagine bringing someone from the 15th century to the 18th century. They would undoubtedly be impressed with the progress made in the intervening 300 years. But honestly, are you aware of any major technological breakthroughs made in that time span? Most people aren't, but they include things like the slide ruler, the steam turbine, the barometer, and the pendulum clock.

 

The progress made between 1400 and 1700 would pale compared to the progress made in the last 300 years. In other words, someone from the 18th century would be astounded if they could see today's inventions, vehicles, and computers. In my lifetime, the advances made in telecommunication, microprocessor architecture, and the realism of computer-generated imagery are practically incomprehensible. If you are interested in the progress humanity has made in the last 1,000 years, stick around to the end of this post, and check out the list of major inventions by century and decade.

 

It may not seem like it, but many major problems have been solved in just the last few years. Take voice transcription, for example. As long as you speak clearly, your phone can transcribe almost anything you say. Voice translation is similar. Your phone can translate, with fantastic precision, between most known languages. Also, consider optical character recognition, which now lets us copy, cut, and paste text from a photo of a written page. These are all highly complex problems that necessitated hundreds of innovations, from many experts, over several years that would have seemed impossible to many just twenty years ago. 

 

There are biologists today who, just a few years ago, did not expect humanity to map the structure of specific proteins in their lifetime. An AI software called Alpha Fold, created by Google, has now mapped all of the proteins known to science (over 200 million of them) with near-perfect precision. AI is accelerating scientific discovery in many fields. Today, computers are not just beating us at chess and checkers but at much more complex games like Go and Jeopardy. A number of computers have also passed the Turing Test in the last few years, successfully tricking human judges into thinking that they are human. This was once considered a grand goal of computer science, and now it is just another benchmark. New and exciting technologies are announced publicly every month. 

 

Ray Kurzweil calls the acceleration of progress “the law of accelerating returns” (LOAR). This is not a real ‘law,’ but it points to the fact that often advances tend to feed on themselves, increasing the scope of the next advancement. Many specialists believe that the rate of acceleration is accelerating. So, what will this mean for you and me? In his book, "The Future Is Faster Than You Think," Peter Diamandis talks about six different features of growth in the technology sector. These are features of "exponential technologies" and, when listed in order, give you a sense of the stages that these technologies will pass through as they mature. I think they are fascinating. Here they are:

 

The Six Ds of Exponential Growth


  1. Digitalization: Once digital, a technology can be stored, copied, shared, and spread at the speed of light. Also, things that have been digitized are subject to computation and rapid computer analysis.
  2. Deception: Exponential progress can be deceptively slow initially but speeds up before you know it. This is why many technologies that we take for granted today (such as the internet) were scoffed at initially when people first heard about them. Most people ignored and discounted the internet early in its development. Times magazine said, "it will never go mainstream." The potential of the internet was initially deceptive, and this is true of other emerging technologies (i.e. self-driving cars, robotics, 3D printing) that we tend not to think much of today.
  3. Disruption: This is when a new technology changes established ways of doing things and possibly impacts the entire industry. We are set to be hit with wave after wave of new disruptive technologies. Recent technological innovations have made it so that every year solar panels are cheaper and more efficient. The batteries used to store solar power are rapidly becoming more affordable with higher capacities. Because we can expect these trends to continue, solar will soon permanently disrupt the fossil fuel industrial complex.
  4. Demonetization: Technology is demonetized when advancements that make a product or service more efficient help to drive down its costs toward zero. Copying bits has almost no cost at all, and this is why we can duplicate a song or a PDF book for a friend for free. Many services have been demonetized in the last few decades including, Google search, GPS usage, encyclopedias, and email.
  5. Dematerialization: This happens when physical products are replaced by nonphysical services. For example, physical maps and reference books, in general, are essentially unnecessary today. 
  6. Democratization: When technology becomes so cheap that it is available to everyone. You see this today: most people can easily afford a cell phone filled with cutting-edge tech.

 

Why Dematerialization Means Less Waste, Less Clutter, and More Productivity

Let's talk about dematerialization a little more. Your phone contains many applications that used to be performed by separate products. Many of these products used to be pretty bulky, but now they can all fit into one device that fits easily in your pocket. Mobile phone apps have replaced (or dematerialized) the following physical objects:

 

A list of physical products that have been dematerialized by mobile phones:

 

calculator, alarm clock, clock/watch, stopwatch, timer, Rolodex, address book, little black book, calendar, thermometer, photography camera, video camera, mailbox, fax, pager, two-way pager, flashlight, answering machine, home phone, public telephones, walkie-talkies, maps, GPS device, music speakers, personal computer, PC software, internet browser, modem, router, personal book library, encyclopedia, notepad, weather predictions, television, movies, music CDs cassettes and vinyl, in-person education, healthcare, barometer, metronome, ruler/tape measure, level, universal remote, radio, appointment scheduler, organizer, world time clock, scanner, dictionary, thesaurus, magnifying glass, and much more. 

 

Products are becoming intangible algorithmic processes, and it is exciting to think about what other things may be dematerialized soon. As new tech is built into our cell phones, their capabilities will continue to expand. We have already seen phones benefit recently from the addition of things like accelerometers, lidar, neural processing units (NPUs), and others. In the last few years, we have seen our phones come to do fantastic things such as recognize songs (Shazam), play advanced video games, serve as DJ equipment and turn tables, and allow you to communicate with home devices remotely.

 

The combination of the internet and the mobile phone really has produced dream technology. It gives us instant access to real-time news, stock quotes, sports scores, weather forecasts, help wanted ads, the worldwide auction garage sale that is eBay, satellite images of any place on Earth, tax forms, real estate listings, records, catalogs, scans, manuals and how-to guides, traffic reports, an amazing variety of free music and video, tutorials, boilerplate legal forms, friend's updates, and pictures or video of practically anything you might want to see. There are countless websites with treasure troves of valuable information. For instance, the Pubmed site gives anyone access to a large proportion of the sum total of all medical knowledge.

 

Through digital photography, dematerialization put Kodak out of business. Through streaming, it allowed Netflix to do the same to Blockbuster. Through digitalization Amazon and Kindle put most bookstores out of business. Dematerialization is toppling old business models. It allowed Apple Music and others to put inefficient and wasteful music stores out of business. Once you can stream music on your phone, why buy CDs? Email reduced the need for paper, stationery, stamps, envelopes, and the transport of physical letters. If you can snap, store, and share photos on your phone, why buy a camera and film? Dematerialization has been incredibly disruptive and has improved our way of life.

 

There is not necessarily an upside to everything. Sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back. Right now, streaming a video necessitates that a hard drive somewhere spins at 2,700 revolutions per second and of course this contributes to global warming. But there are countless new inventions being tested this very week to reduce the energy consumption involved in streaming.

 

Converging Technologies Support and Amplify One Another

Next, let's talk about convergence. Part of the reason for optimism for the future of technology is that many developing technologies will converge. Once they converge, they will augment each other. For example, earlier, we talked about how recent advances in AI have been applied to protein folding and produced prodigious amounts of valuable data and insights. This kind of convergence will keep happening. Some of the most critical advancements in neuroscience have not yet been appreciated by experts in AI. Some of the most seminal advances in AI have not yet been employed in robotics. And robotics has not yet benefited from some of the fabulous advancements in 3D printing. But they will. All these disciplines will reinforce and complement each other. Peter Diamandis refers to these as "converging technologies," and the confluence between them is expected to boost all of them. Each technology in the following list can be expected to continue to improve incrementally over the next few years. As you read, just imagine how they will interact and amplify each other in synergistic ways. 

 

A list of converging accelerating technologies:

 

AI, robotics, computing power, hardware architectures, Wi-Fi protocols, fiber optic standards, networking standards, computer memory storage, satellites, sensors, quantum computing, superconductors, deep learning, machine learning, big data, cyber security, cryptography, material science, 3-D printing, bioinformatics, pharmacology, biotech, quantum physics, CPUs, GPUs, NPUs, QPUs, software engineering, programming, education, VR, AR, information sharing, open access, blockchain, cryptocurrency, nanotechnology, gigabit speeds, battery technologies, leveraged assets (Uber, Airbnb, mechanical Turk), crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, autonomous businesses and organizations, cyborg prosthetics, brain-computer interfaces, neuro tech, GMOs, CRISPR, cultured meat, vertical farming, renewables, solar power, wind power, robotic avatars, flying cars, VTOL, drones, autonomous cars, buses and trucks, electric vehicles, underground tunnels, rockets, and much more.

 

In his book, Diamandis points to seven forces of growth, that I also found compelling. These are forces that contribute to the law of accelerating returns. They are byproducts of converging exponentials that act as "second-order innovation accelerants."

 

The Seven Forces of Growth

  1. Saved Time: When a computer manufacturer shaves seconds off the boot time of a new desktop, it could potentially add hundreds of years of additional productivity on the population level. This is merely because the thousands of people using that computer won’t have to wait as long for their computer to start up. The newest solid state hard drives (SSDs) are 10 to 100 times faster than the old hard disk drives (HDDs). Just imagine how much time is being saved as the population switch from one to the other.
  2. Availability of Capital: The availability of money drives breakthroughs. New systems such as crowdfunding are now making money available to deserving entrepreneurs who would never have a chance in the past. 
  3. Demonetization: When digital services become dirt cheap, companies and individuals can stretch their dollars much further. Many of today's companies take advantage of the free services offered by other companies making their business models viable.
  4. More Genius: Globalization, integration, and interconnectivity make it easier to find geniuses in the world so they can get the education and resources they need to make their contributions. 
  5. Communications Abundance: The internet, information sharing, and cross-pollination drive progress. So many more people are connected today. This has made it incredibly simple to find and work with people across the world that are interested in the same things you are.
  6. New Business Models: New ways of doing business have further entrenched positive tech developments. These new models help make things better, cheaper, and faster. 
  7. Longer Lives: Increased longevity and improved physical and mental health increase productivity and output per person. 

 

Kevin Kelly, in his new book, Inevitable, talks about similar growth forces. I highly recommend that book as well. Next, let's list a few documented trends accelerating tech development.

 

The Law of Accelerating Returns: The evolution of human technology will continue to advance at an exponential rate, not a linear one. This is because the methods and progress from one stage will be used to create the next. Efficiency is increasing, and cost, effort, time, and resources needed are decreasing.

 

Moore's Law: Computer processing power doubles every 18 months. This doubling is made possible because engineers find ways to shrink transistors, making it so they can fit twice as many on the same size piece of silicon. Computer processing power has exhibited this kind of growth for over 80 years. In 2022 Moore's law is showing signs of slowing down. Still, aside from it, there are thousands of other trends and s-curves that are propelling advancements in computer science.

 

Rose's Law: The number of qubits in quantum computers is expected to double every two years. This is very exciting because each new qubit doubles a quantum computer's computational power. So, when we found ourselves at 4 qubits a few years ago, Rose's Law pushed us to 8 in just two years. When this happened, quantum computers became 16 times more powerful. Two years later, at 16 quibits they were 4,000 times more powerful. IBM now has a 433-qubit processor. Just imagine how powerful these processors will be in the near future.

 

Carlson Curve: DNA sequencing costs are decreasing rapidly as a function of time. It cost over one billion dollars to sequence the first genome in 2001. That price is now down to around $500 and shrinking fast.

 

Why I See Big Tech as a Good Thing and Choose to Share my Data with Corporations

Most people don’t feel grateful for the phenomena of demonetization, dematerialization, and democratization the way I do. They figure, “That stuff is just free now so that the big tech companies can track us and ‘steal’ our data.” Uninformed cynics mount countless arguments against the tech sector, AI, and "FANG" (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google). Informed ones do too. Sometimes it seems that all my friends and acquaintances dislike and disparage tech companies and the executives that run them. They assume that they are being swindled and spied on. Maybe this distrust is good because it keeps those companies and their executives in check. But in my estimation, the programmers and computer scientists of the last five decades are heroes. They have engineered monumental structures, many, many of which are entirely free to use. 

 

Much of the tech sector gets a bad rap in popular media. Documentaries such as Netflix's “The Great Hack” and "The Social Dilemma" (which I thought were well done and thought-provoking) make us paranoid. Even most news outlets have us thinking that big tech is trying to exploit us and “rob” us of our data. But how are scientists and engineers supposed to improve the internet if they don't have records of how humans interact with it? I always opt to share my info because I want it to contribute to the analytics and to the very progress I have been talking about in this entry. Many AI systems cannot recognize patterns unless they have millions of data points. AI needs as much data as it can get. I have nothing to hide, and I want to share my data so that they can contribute to the algorithms that are finding important patterns in our world. In fact, as the following few paragraphs will point out, keeping data open and sharing access to it is becoming a cornerstone of the industry.

 

It is becoming increasingly common for patentable or copyrightable material to be made open and given away for free. This "open source" and "open access" trend has been a tremendous boon to productivity. Much of the most essential data, code, and software being developed today is made open source. This means that it is not behind a paywall and that anyone can access, study, use, and distribute it anywhere. Millions of people have put their code up on the GitHub website so that others can utilize and alter (fork) it at no cost. Professional scientists, researchers, and academia, in general, are more widely adopting the open access model. I personally try to make it so that everything I publish is free. 

 

Remember Alpha Fold, that protein predicting software from Google that I mentioned twice already? The team that developed it made their software and all their findings open source so anyone can use, study, change, and distribute it. Similarly, Google invented the "transformer," perhaps the most important AI architecture in the last several years, and they made its structure open source so that anyone can take advantage of it. After installing the requisite applications, you could take the code for the transformer and run it on your computer. In a sense, this would be like Henry Ford dematerializing the Model T and gifting it to everyone on the planet. Scientists are now applying the transformer model to many different areas such as nuclear fusion and drug discovery with promising results. It is truly accelerating scientific discovery.

 

The internet itself could have been commercial rather than public. We surf the internet freely today, but it could have had toll booths and paywalls everywhere. Thanks to some forward-thinking inventors internet protocols such as TCP/IP, HTML, POP3 and many others have fair use and public interest baked into them. With the right hardware, anyone, from any country can tap into most of the web for no cost and be served the data they are requesting virtually instantaneously. Today’s search engines answer more than 600,000 questions per second, and those searches are all free and instantaneous. You could calculate the value of the average search in many ways. Many of the answers I am looking for I could not find at the public library and even the ones I could find there would take 10 to 30 minutes of research. If my time is worth 20 dollars an hour, then 10 minutes of searching at the library would cost me around three dollars. Even if the value of each internet search was only one dollar that would mean that search engines provide over 2 billion dollars’ worth of information every hour. But please keep in mind that if people had to drive to the library and perform an old-fashioned search every time they were curious about something, humanity would ask way fewer questions and be way less informed.

 

In the 1970s, there wasn't enough money or resources in the world to create the internet as it is today. However, intense efforts from millions of people over five decades made it a reality. Much of the net was created by users and hobbyists, rather than large companies or institutions. Experts estimate that more than 60% of the web comes from passionate volunteers and is not commercial at all. For example, most of the work that happens on Wikipedia is done by volunteers. This is true of many curated services on the internet. Today anyone can create a blog or YouTube channel for free and potentially reach a vast audience. This is something that would've been impossible just a few decades ago. It is also something that, to me, is a paragon of equality of opportunity.

 

Consider the privacy issue in the extreme. Consider mass surveillance. I recently read a news report about people in Hong Kong toppling lampposts because they believed facial recognition cameras were inside. Are they in the right? It is not clear. I am not against surveillance at all. I walk on the street at night a lot. I do it to clear my mind. I have been assaulted multiple times on LA streets. People would be mugged much less if each lamppost was passively tracking faces and license plates. Think about it. It would make it much more difficult for criminals to pull off battery, shooting, and kidnapping. It would save people from injury, loss of possessions, and trauma. It would make me feel safer on the street and in my own home. Also, I don't commit crimes or do things that I am ashamed of, so I have nothing to lose from mass surveillance. I certainly think there should be transparency at many levels and watchdog oversight. Still, I welcome the city of Los Angeles knowing exactly where I take my walks. What is the worst thing the government could do with my location? I can't think of anything.


If facial and license plate recognition took place at every street light many people would be forced to rethink their lives. No one would get away with anything illegal so people wouldn't even try. This would vastly reduce the criminal population. There are over 2 million people in U.S. jails. ...People that wouldn't be there if they knew there would be a record of their criminal acts.


Don’t get me wrong. Data can be used for to exploit people and can even be weaponized. It can be used to target people to be shown fake or misleading news. So data collection and use certainly needs to be scrutinized. I applaud whistle blowers like Edward Snowden who point out when governments or companies are secretly tracking citizens. I think that data should be tracked, but we should know everything about how they do it, with complete transparency. Perhaps we should even be enabled to self-monetize our own data. A quote from Kevin Kelly’s book, “The Inevitable” states this clearly: “If symmetry can be restored so we can track who is tracking, if we can hold the trackers accountable by law (there should be regulation), and responsible for accuracy, and if we can make the benefits obvious and relevant, then I suspect the expansion of tracking will be accepted.”

 

Digital privacy is important. You don't want criminals to have your credit card numbers. But I think we should be willing to give responsible corporations like Google and Apple our info. They mostly use the information in aggregate to improve their services, meaning that they are not interested in us as individuals. Where they are interested in us individually, it is mostly just in recommending better ads. If you are going to have to see ads anyway, wouldn't you want to see more engaging ones tailored to your interests? Personal data is also used by scientists to study trends, by politicians to illuminate policy issues, and by medical experts. Wouldn't you want your Apple Watch to be enabled to tell that your heart is beating in an arrhythmic pattern? If collecting your data could help Apple warn others of an arrhythmia, wouldn't you want that? 

 

I always opt to share my data. I don't know how much longer I will be on this Earth, and I would rather have my data be used to inform algorithmic decision-making (contributing to a greater whole) than be thrown in the trash as if it never existed. I know that big tech isn't solely out to improve our lives, and I don't see the coming tech revolution as utopian. That may be too optimistic.

 

But as long as technology keeps progressing, and as long as we keep holding tech corporations accountable, I see our future as a protopia where improvements are cumulative, and every day is better than yesterday.


What Can We Expect from the Future?

 

There is nothing predicted to slow the momentum of these ongoing technological revolutions. Let me throw out a couple of predictions of my own. These are hasty forecasts and meant to be taken with a grain of salt.

 

Predictions for the Future of Technology: 

  • AI will become conscious by 2050. 
  • Infinity water recycling and desalination will end most water shortages by 2070.
  • It will be illegal to drive your own car by 2040. 
  • Large 3-D printed houses will cost a few tens of thousands by 2060.
  • A desktop computer will have more computing power than a human brain by 2050. 
  • Nanobots will enable us to think in the cloud by 2100. 
  • Ubiquitous solar panels will make solar energy the primary energy source by 2060. 
  • Fusion power will be sustainable and cost-efficient by 2070.
  • Nanotechnology will make food mostly from thin air by 2100.
  • We will have microscopic nanobot doctors in our bloodstream by 2070.
  • We will have virtual avatars of deceased loved ones by 2030. 
  • Robotic earthworms will mine and biodegrade garbage by 2080. 
  • There will be major human rights issues around biological upgrades by 2030. 
  • Humans will reach mars and set up a base on the moon by 2035.
  • Tree planting drones will curb our loss of vegetation by 2080. 
  • There will be heavy taxes on the use of industrial robots and commercial AI, which will help pay for the universal basic income necessary for free basic food and housing for all US citizens by 2080.

·       Manufacturing and distribution will be heavily optimized by AI and cloud solutions by 2025. This will increase quality and decrease waste and environmental impact.

·       Quantum computing will become useful by 2030 and allow us to simulate complex systems with large implications for areas such as pharmaceuticals and performance materials.  

·       A variety of new technologies will help us to both reduce and remove carbon emissions helping us approach a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050.

 

I recently read a great book called "New Thinking" by Dagogo Altraide. It describes some of the most important inventions of the last 300 years in chronological order. It is a fun read because it allows you to follow accelerating returns through time. I used the book, along with several websites and Wikipedia to help me compile the following list of inventions. As you read through it, I hope you get a sense of how technological progress has been growing with compound interest and of how your future is brighter than you might have previously assumed. 

 

The 1000s

Paper money

Moveable type printing

Crossbow

 

The 1100s

Magnetic compass

 

The 1200s

Gun

Gunpowder

Eyeglasses

Mechanical clocks

Windmills

Modern glassmaking

 

The 1300s

Sawmill

Handgun

Scales

 

The 1400s

Piano

Oil painting

Hoisting gear

Printing press

Drypoint engravings

Muzzle-loaded rifles

Parachute

Whiskey

 

The 1500s

Flush toilets

Pocket watch

Etching

Bottled beer

Knitting machine

Compound microscope

Water thermometer

 

The 1600s

Refracting and Reflecting telescope

Submarine

Slide ruler

Steam turbine

Micrometer

Adding Machine

Barometer

Air pump

Pendulum clock

Pressure cooker

Steam pump

 

The 1700s

The Newcomen Steam engine

The Watt engine

The locomotive

The industrial revolution

The spinning jenny

Factories and textiles

Hot air balloons

Tuning fork

Diving bell

Fire extinguisher

Lighting rod

Sextant

Steamboat

Bicycle

Precision lathe

 

The 1800s

The voltaic pile, an early battery

Arc lighting

Jacquard Loom

Electric motor

Electric generator

Electric telegraph

Morse code

Transatlantic telegraph cable

Multi signal telegraph

The telephone

Photography

Stethoscope

Microphone

Typewriter

Propellor

Wrench

Stapler

Gyroscope

The phonograph

Incandescent lights

The transcontinental railway

The theory of evolution

Spectoscope

The camera

Electric ovens

Sewing machines

Refrigerators

The oscilloscope

The difference and analytical engines (early mechanical computers)

 

The 1900s

Vacuum cleaner

Washing machine

Entertainment radio broadcasting

Talking films

Escalators

Special relativity

The internal combustion engine

The horseless carriage

The assembly line

Drive-in restaurants, movies, and motels

Plastic

Animated film

Wearable parachutes

The Wright brother’s airplane

The Ford Model T

 

The 1910s

Continental drift

Stainless steel

The pop-up toaster

Bread slicing machines

Tanks and submarines

Mechanical pencil

Transcontinental telephone

Vacuum tube electrical signal amplifier

 

The 1920s

Jungle gym

Bubblegum

Hairdryers

Lie detector

Bulldozers

Cheeseburgers

Mass production through mechanization

The blender

The television

Cathode ray tube

The first transatlantic flight

Consumer credit

 

The 1930s

Helicopter

Ballpoint pen

Electric guitar

The Turing machine

Programable computer, mechanical switches

 

The 1940s

swing music

Slinky

Atomic bomb

LSD

Aerosol spray cans

Scuba equipment

Duct tape

Microwaves

The jet engine

Atanasoff-Barry computer

Vacuum tubes

ENIAC electronic general-purpose computer

The transistor

 

The 1950s

Univac tape drives

Roll-on deodorant

Credit card

Hula hoops

Power steering

Automatic door

The solar cell

Barbie dolls

Passenger jets

The black box

DNA and the double helix

The fender Stratocaster

The polio vaccine

Machine learning

Videotape recorder

Ultrasound

Programmable controllable robotic arms

Sputnik satellite

NASA and Darpa

Digital modem

Tennis for Two, the first video game

Portable Transistor radio

The integrated circuit

Microchip

TV dinners

Super glue

Music synthesizer

McDonald’s

Teflon nonstick pan

Hovercraft

FORTRAN

Lasers

Stem cell therapy

 

The 1960s

Supersonic airliner

Cassette tape

Intercontinental ballistic missile

First spacewalk, and moon landing

Digital video game

Computer graphics

Computer-aided drafting

Basic programming

LSD

Soft contact lens

Kevlar

Barcode scanner

Handheld calculator

ATM

Computer mouse

Hypertext

Hyperlinks

Intranet

ARPANET, first Internet

On-screen windows

Microprocessor/CPU

ROM

Virtual reality

Augmented reality

 

The 1970s

Word processing program

VCR VHS

GPS

Disco, glam rock, power ballads

Email

Floppy disk

C programming language

Post it note

Rubik’s cube

Voyager missions

Genetic engineering and GMOs

Magnavox Odyssey home gaming console

Computer 3-D animation

Cellular phones

Computer mouse

Graphical user interface

Personal computing

Digital spreadsheets

Laser disk

Portable cassette player /Walkman

 

The 1980s

Disposable camera

Stealth planes

Artificial heart

DNA fingerprinting

Music television

Boomboxes

General PC operating system

Desktop publishing

Deep learning

3-D printing

Electronic spreadsheets

World Wide Web

Music production software

Space shuttle

Prozac

Polymerase chain reaction

Gestational surrogacy

Computer worms and viruses common

 

The 1990s

SMS text messages

Personal digital assistant

Smartphones

Graphical web browser

Internet portals

Gene therapy

Human genome project

Online retailers

DVDs

Photoshop

Linux

eBay

Plasma TVs

USB

MP3 player

Internet search engines

Peer-to-peer file sharing

Emojis

Hybrid vehicles

Dark matter and dark energy

2G

 

The 2000s

3G

HDTV common

Tablet computers

Blu-ray Discs

Digital video recorder

Quantum computers

.com bubble

Video streaming

Camera phone

Social media

Capacitive touch screens

Mobile apps

Space tourism

USB flash drives

Blogs and wikis

Wireless networks

E-book readers

Videophones

Self-serve kiosks

Opto genetics

Blockchain

 

The 2010s

4G

Self-balancing boards mature

Uber

Airbnb

Meme culture

Esports

Crisper

AI transcription and translation

IBM Watson

AlphaGo

Alex net

Deep fakes

Quantum supremacy

Air taxis

5G

James Webb telescope

 

There are some definite inconsistencies in this list. At times I chose to include an invention in the decade it was actually discovered. At other times I chose to list the invention in the decade that it became widespread. There’s also a lot of gray area between the first instance of an invention and I the point where it is ready for commercial use. In placing them on a timeline, I tried to use reason and discretion.