Fine Structure

The Last Innovation

Although I'm not completely sure how I started thinking about this particular topic, I was pondering what will happen when virtual reality gets a second wind and we replace excessively polygonal shapes viewed from a facemask with actual sensation from some sort of neural link. I crossed this with some thoughts on social networks to come up with the idea that real neural-linked virtual reality is the Last Innovation in meatspace.

I think it's safe to bet that an immersive virtual reality (bitspace) will be a reflection of the real world. Similar problems will arise that could only be solved by high technology and testing and too many years in the real world. Who knows if ultra-fast planes or teleportation will ever exist in the real world but they would most surely in bitspace.

That's all fine and dandy but it was leading towards another thought which was more interesting. A prediction, really: There will be a generation that will grow up with bitspace and they'll see little reason to be anywhere except bitspace. Just like the current batch of 14-21s spend all their time interacting with friends on their social networks via the internet. And we know some interesting forms of entertainment and even viable jobs (think gold farmers from WoW on the next level) will show up. All they need is nutrition through a tube and waste disposal. As that generation grows up I'm not completely convinced that they'll see any particular innovation in meatspace as useful when they can have all that and more in bitspace.

Bitspace is the kind of technology that isn't outside the realm of appearing in my lifetime (as opposed to, say, distant space travel) so it'll be interesting to watch in the decades to come.

*Posts about 'the future' may or may not actually pertain to facts about the future or facts in general.