USC Engineering Professor Bart Kosko returned to the show to discuss technology and its future uses. Right now, he said, there is a "gold rush" for patents on nanotechnology devices. Carbon nanotubes are starting to be seen in such products as baseballs and clothes, and they may soon be introduced in flat panel displays, he detailed. A type of body armor is also being developed, in which a liquid-like vest when impacted could become rigid and protective.
Kosko shared his vision for the year 2030, which he previously explored in his novel Nanotime. He foresees a WWIII scenario, fueled by increases in computer efficiency and the spread of radical Islam.A "smart war principle" will be in effect--- namely that it's "cheaper to attack, than to defend," and that could translate into incursions carried out by unmanned vehicles and information devices, he said.
In preparation for some great calamity befalling the Earth such as an asteroid hit, Kosko suggested we send a repository of digitally stored information to the moon for safekeeping. He also commented that the Space Elevator would make a great international project, even more so than the current Space Station.
First half-hour guest, Dr. Henry Niman of Recombinomics, shared concerns about H5N1, the emerging Avian flu virus, that has continued to spread to humans. A red flag was raised this past March, he said, when an entire family came down with the ailment in Vietnam. He also expressed concerns about the virus's ability to mutate or recombine into new strains.
Bumper music from Thursday May 05, 2005