Aerospace and defense systems developer Sir Charles Shults discussed his work with alternative energy sources, the discovery of new extrasolar planets, the new rover which will land soon on Mars, and the concept of mind uploading into virtual worlds which could lead to a form of immortality. The Curiosity rover is scheduled to arrive on Mars on August 5th-- it's a larger vehicle than the previous rovers, and has advanced testing and photographic equipment. It's due to land in Gale Crater-- an area where water would have been present over a great period of time, and Shults believes there is a high probability that fossils of primitive life may be found there. (Check out our Insta-Poll on whether you believe there's current or past life on Mars.)
There may be some simple ways to develop interstellar travel, Shults declared. One possibility is a reactionless thruster, which could be thought of as a quantum mechanics device "that could produce thrust in one direction without throwing exhaust out the other side," he explained. Regarding energy, he'd like to see the end of burning petroleum for fuel, and one development he expressed enthusiasm for is a new type of fuel cell that can also act as a kind of battery.
By 2025, Shults foresees the ability for people to upload the contents of their brain, or back-up their memories to a computer. This capability could prove highly useful if someone suffered a brain injury, he noted. There are some amazing extrapolations from this type of technology-- "Imagine being scanned into the computer, having a model of your mind, and then setting the clock speed of the computer a million times faster. Now in the space of about 30 seconds, you could experience a year's time," he marveled. Further, he continued, you could plug into the computer to study a problem or go on a vacation in a virtual space that would seem like a week's worth of time, but when you unplugged, only a few seconds would have passed.
First hour guest, author Howard Bloom reacted to a recent case of road rage, and talked about the evolutionary roots behind such incidents. In the animal kingdom there is a pecking order or dominance hierarchy within small groups, but when a new animal comes into an established pack, chaos ensues and there is a new battle for dominance-- this is akin to episodes of road rage where angered drivers fight for control and dominance by shooting or attacking, he suggested. Further, people who drive larger vehicles such as SUVs are trying to appear dominant, he opined.
Bumper music from Monday July 02, 2012