“Truth is stranger than fiction.” The adage has never been so compelling and believable. It’s an absolute joy to flip through the pages and appreciate the mind-bending potential of the on-going or yet-to-begin research works in hundreds of labs across the globe.
First of all Physics of the Future is not a novel and Michio Kaku does not intend to weave stories by wrapping the scientific probables with palatable fictions. Rather he chooses to remain factual, very close to the hearts of science students to popularise puzzling concepts like life will have replicators.
Michio Kaku’s vivid and lucid narration of futuristic world that will enjoy the benefits of ground-breaking incubatory projects can be likened to Richard Dawkin’s monumental effort to demystify Selfish Genes or Stephens Hawkins’s all-time best A Brief History of Time. All examples of popularising science amongst common people.
Bizarre may it sound, but none of his narratives is unrealistic — nano sensors in brain might move objects with the strength of thoughts, Internet-powered contact lenses, self-driving and self-guided cars, vehicles floating in air-leveraging magnetism, all-cure molecular medicines for genetic diseases, billions of DNA sensors to safe-guard blood cells…
Space elevator will no longer be a fiction. It is an endless list of incubatory projects and possibilities like emotional robots, photographing dreams, creating new life-forms, expanding life-span.
The greatest challenge faced by scientific discoveries is “justifying the expenditure and ethics for experiments. But human mind will never cease to explore the unknown.
Despite budget constraints, NASA will be able at least discover extra-terrestrial intelligence in this Century, claims Kaku.
Global Warming will swallow glaciers at an alarming rate and the giant islands of metropolis will be shielded from the effects of green-house and giant sea-waves.
Scientific community toiling day and night to maintain the health of the earth and will succeed in convincing world-leaders to take all sorts of protective measures.
Kaku is the modern-day Jules Verne who is expanding the horizons of imagination and building enormous curiosity amongst students to build the technology for tomorrow. He makes it very clear that the human race will still remain slave to primitive instincts, but definitely would be able to overcome most of the negative sentiments.
Nothing would be able to completely replace the experience of watching movies in a theatre, or playing soccer in grounds, reading hardcopies of newspapers and magazines.
Finally, the book also touches upon the political and economic situations in 2100. He discusses the wide-spread emergence of a planetary culture. Kaku takes us on a whirlwind tour offering glimpses of automatic-disease detector toilets, portable MRI machines, clothes with emergency-sensors and many fascinating research areas.
Interesting topics like how easy accessibility and falling price of international travel fast erodes the misunderstandings between nations and promotes global fraternity, the speed at which breaking news spreads out across the world and makes it harder for autocrats and dictators to suppress the truth. Global movements for equality and freedom leveraging Internet will pick tremendous momentum and reach its zenith.
In fact Kaku immensely owes it to Marquis de Condorcet’s Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind. The most important point he makes is “But science by itself is morally neutral”. He highlights why the world leaders cannot help take immediate actions to protect environment. He spurs the debate on how to build an educated, informed electorate that will make proper use of the device called democracy that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve through Internet the so-called guardian of democratic freedoms.
Kaku urges us to envision how the heavily loaded train built by the “Physics of Future” barreling down headed our way and how it’s fuelling the ambitions of the young generations to board the train and drive their destiny.
As a departing note, he reminds us what we need to do now to ensure that future generations can enjoy such fruits of science. He quotes Stevens Post: “Our perfection lies not in gene advancement, but in the enhancement of character.”
Finally Michio Kaku pushes the button of his time-machine… 3… 2… 1.,. 0…
- Few hundred years from now imagine your great-great grandson is about to participate into a mission to save a megapolis from deluge…
- As he is approaching his home from space, he takes out an old worn-out book from back-pocket… by someone who envisioned the world free-of-violence…
- He glances through the last few lines of the book… a constant reminder how the world attained united planetary civilization by rendering the violent nations completely irrelevant…
Wealth without work,
Pleasure without conscience,
Knowledge without character
Commerce without morality
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice,
Politics without principle.