Many of the more successful startups recently follow the same pattern: they work to eliminate one job description. Zillow = real estate agents, Square = cashiers, LendUp = bankers, Yelp = food critics, AirBnB = hoteliers. Heck, the initial apps that made the personal computer successful also had that pattern: Visicalc = accountants, Adobe = print shops. Jobs and Gates got rich because they controlled the infrastructure that these businesses built upon, but the folks who built those apps also got fairly rich as well. Heck, Bill Gates's first programming job was writing a payroll program, and his first business venture was software for traffic counters.
Our particular domain is edible insects; we wrote this article about why entrepreneurs should get involved:
As the other commenter pointed out, black soldier flies are a wonderful output, but from my research I've seen that they need meat for to grow and their larva to hatch.
With regards to sustainability of input: insects have an inherent feed conversion ratio far higher than conventional livestock, meaning they create more body mass per gram of food, but the actual food source varies from species to species. Since many species can consume things that are currently underutilized, like corn husks, there's a lot of potential for capturing wasted energy.
If you're curious about growing crickets in your home state, drop us an email if you'd like to know more: email@example.com
Conclusion? There's going to be a lot of energetic, healthy people with time on their hands -- even more than at present. So there will be many future opportunities in the areas of entertainment, computer games and travel.
Also, on the medical front, because psychiatry and psychology are in the midst of a historic meltdown, in the future society will increasingly look to neuroscience for guidance about the issues that psychiatrists and psychologists are mishandling right now. My favorite example showing what the possibilities may be, is the story of a severely depressed woman who didn't respond to the available anti-depression drugs and was finally institutionalized, her life essentially over.
But a new procedure has come out of brain research (not mind research) called deep brain stimulation, that shows great promise for addressing depression's cause, rather than its symptoms (the present treatment approach).
In this specific case, after electrodes were put in place, the neurosurgeon threw a switch that began stimulation of a location of present neurological research called "area 25" that seems to play a role in depression. The woman's depression lifted instantly -- instantly -- something that no other treatment had been able to accomplish.
This is still very experimental, and the procedure is still too risky for everyday use, but if it matures and is made safe, it will revolutionize the treatment of depression. It will also accelerate the present trend away from psychiatry and psychology toward neuroscience.
Rather than a uniform reduction in hours, the result appears to be a swelling class of unemployed and increasing hours worked by those who are employed.
Those who have time do not have money and vice versa.
"The eight-hour day movement or 40-hour week movement, also known as the short-time movement, had its origins in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, where industrial production in large factories transformed working life. The use of child labour was common. The working day could range from 10 to 16 hours for six days a week"
We now need a 4-hour day movement. :)
These two aspects make sure the majority of people stays unfree and hence doesn't have enough time at their hands for useful work or projects.
I'd say if we can manage to solve this problem we unleash tremendous potential for improving the human condition and life for everyone.
But current events certainly argue against this idea -- if anything, on average people are working more hours now that they did in the past.
To some extent its correct.
But by and large there will be a lot of energetic, healthy people who will want to make more money with that extra time on their hands.
Wrong? No, just dangerous to children and some especially foolish adults.
> His approximate view is that if a field can't be held to the same evidentiary standards as experimental physics, it's not a science.
That's how any scientist looks at a field that the public trusts to deliver medical care. In fact, because physicists don't have clinics, they are off the hook with respect to this issue, but happen to be far more scientific.
Physicists have subject domain advantages that psychologists and psychiatrists do not. Quarks do not self-deceive. Atoms will submit to any torture. Photons behave weirdly, but every photon behaves identically to every other photon. Humans are an altogether trickier subject of study and so the full apparatus of science is not always applicable.
What a mature scientist does is say, "OK, let's accept the limits of our field and do the best we can". As better observational tools become available, I expect that psychologists and psychiatrists will change their theories to fit the evidence. They've already been doing that for a long time.
Yes, and the possibility of falsification is required for science. It's not a convenient option.
Quote: "The strength of a scientific theory is related to the diversity of phenomena it can explain, which is measured by its ability to make falsifiable predictions with respect to those phenomena."
No falsifiability, no scientific theories. No scientific theories, no science.
> What a mature scientist does is say, "OK, let's accept the limits of our field and do the best we can".
Yes, in science. Psychology is not a science. You do grasp, don't you, that there is a lower threshold below which it's misleading to call something science? This is why the director of the NIMH recently (and reluctantly) decided to drop support for the DSM.
It hasn't occurred to psychiatrists and psychologists yet, but when the NIMH dropped the DSM, it dropped them too. This fact may require 30 more years to sink in, in much the same way that the changing status of astrology did in Galileo's time. As serious as astrologers sometimes are, astronomy just works better.
These things take time.
> I expect that psychologists and psychiatrists will change their theories to fit the evidence.
1. Psychologists don't have theories, they have hypotheses. A scientific theory must be falsifiable.
2. I expect more fiascoes like Recovered Memory Therapy, in which science and evidence were held in contempt. So do many others.
According to Popper's definition. I don't recall him being appointed the universal lawmaker for science. I mostly recall that he created a definition and then insisted, as you do, that everyone accept it wholesale and hurl into the outer darkness anything that didn't fit his square hole.
You're also fond of trying to create false dichotomy between Science, immaculately conceived, ever perfect, and the process of systematically searching for truth to the limits of our ability to observe reality and compound evidence pro and contra which inevitably varies according to subject matter. For example, you pin your hopes to neuroimaging, apparently unaware that subject variability means that eventually that too will rely on (gasp!) large sample studies to produce (oh noes!) statistical results.
I presume that you hope by saying "it's not a science" over and over that people will instead decide that it is utter quackery, astrology, akin to crystal healing and chakra-cleansing. Because you never address, or even acknowledge, the median between strong sciences with experimentally-friendly linear problem domains and utter falsehood.
Your other favourite debating tactic is to select particular very serious failures, reintroduce them over and over, and then to implicitly generalise them to the entire field for all time. By this standard Galen condemns modern medicine and Ptolemy makes physics a joke. You talk about science, but you refuse to entertain the view that psychology and psychiatry change when the evidence becomes sufficiently resolved. You give only one test for what is a science and ignore all the others.
I don't know why you have singled out psychology and psychiatry for this treatment.
> According to Popper's definition.
Karl Popper didn't invent falsifiability, he discovered it. But I see you have a very common belief that falsifiability is optional, and that things can be called science that don't have this essential property. So let's do a thought experiment in which falsifiable theories aren't required -- let's see where this takes us.
Let's say I'm a doctor and I've created a revolutionary cure for the common cold. My cure is to shake a dried gourd over the cold sufferer until he gets better. The cure might take a week, but it always works. My method is repeatable and perfectly reliable, and I've published my cure in a refereed scientific journal (there are now any number of phony refereed scientific journals). And, because (in this thought experiment) science can get along without defining theories, I'm under no obligation to try to explain my cure, or consider alternative explanations for my breakthrough — I only have to describe it, just like a psychologist.
Because I've cured the common cold, and because I've met all the requirements that psychology recognizes for science, I deserve a Nobel Prize. Yes or no?
Ask yourself what's wrong with this picture, and notice that the same thing is wrong with psychology — all description, no explanation, no established principles on which different psychologists agree, no effort to build consensus, and no unifying theories.
> You give only one test for what is a science and ignore all the others.
There is only one test. It's a matter of common sense, philosophy, and law. The definition I gave, and provided references for, is written into the law, for a number of reasons including people's desire to keep religion out of public school classrooms. The Discovery Institute, that hotbed of Creationism, make the same argument you're making -- science isn't strictly defined, it's all a matter of opinion, and Evolution is just a silly idea cooked up by some eggheads.
> I don't know why you have singled out psychology and psychiatry for this treatment.
Easily explained. Sociologists and astrologers aren't scientific, but they don't have clinics and they don't mislead parents and children, invent imaginary illnesses for them to have. Physicists are scientists, but they don't have clinics and they don't presume to treat your ills. Doctors have clinics, but they're reasonably scientific, and when they're not, they can be sued within an inch of their lives, sometimes even thrown in jail.
Psychiatrists and psychologists are in a class by themselves -- they masquerade as scientists, some ill-educated people think they're scientists, psychiatrists can dispense rather dangerous drugs, but neither they nor psychologists are remotely scientific. And best of all, they don't have to accept adult responsibilities.
Rebecca Riley was diagnosed with bipolar syndrome and ADHD at the age of two, with the encouragement of her parents, who were already making $30,000 per year from Social Security payments for their other children, diagnosed earlier with bogus mental illnesses and already a walking gold mine. But Rebecca was their finest moment, and that of her psychiatrist. Rebecca died at age four from the drugs her parents and psychiatrist encouraged her to take.
Her parents were convicted of murder. Her psychiatrist is still practicing. Sort it out for yourself.
And you're still overgeneralising bad cases onto a whole field. Ordinary doctors commit horrible crimes too. Ordinary doctors misdiagnose because of a pet theory and kill people. Ordinary doctors make simple errors and people die.
You are comparing strawmen to strawmen and unsurprisingly, the negative strawman comes out behind the positive strawman. Then you denounce the negative strawman. A scientist to the last.
Psychology isn't melting down because of what's present, it's melting down because of what's absent -- reliable, unifying, testable, falsifiable principles. Each scientific field is defined by those principles that stand the test of time and evidence. Psychology doesn't have any of those. It's a movable feast that can't stop moving.
> And you're still overgeneralising bad cases onto a whole field.
No, actually, Thomas Insel, director of the NIMH, is doing that. His predecessor at the NIMH, Steve Hyman, is doing that. Allen Frances, editor of DSM-IV, is doing that. If what I say relied on strawman arguments, or if I were the only person saying them, I'm sure these very intelligent people, these leaders in the field, would refuse to say the same things and take the actions they've taken.
It's not every day that you see a field collapsing from the top down.
Quote: "The reification of the D.S.M. might not have been more than a philosophical problem, were it not for the fact that, at least in Hyman and Insel’s view, it was beginning to hamstring research. And, indeed, the D.S.M. has frustrated scientists, who note that the most common symptoms of mental disorder—sadness and worry, for instance, or delusions and hallucinations—appear as criteria for many different diagnoses; that many patients can be diagnosed with more than one disorder; and that the few solid findings about mental illness that have emerged from genetic and neuroscience studies indicate that the D.S.M’s categories simply don’t correspond to biological reality."
Wow. Look at all those straw men.
Quote false. To a greater degree than in the past, psychiatry and psychology are moving away from science, not toward it. The situation has gotten so extreme and frankly embarrassing for those who want to see more science in mental health, that the director of the NIMH has decided to drop support for the new DSM (DSM-5), arguing that the mentally ill "deserve better":
Quote: " While DSM has been described as a “Bible” for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each. The strength of each of the editions of DSM has been “reliability” – each edition has ensured that clinicians use the same terms in the same ways. The weakness is its lack of validity."
There's more. The editor of the previous DSM, DSM-IV, Allen Frances, watched the process that led to DSM-5 with increasing amazement and dismay. He now strongly recommends that professionals avoid the DSM entirely -- he recommends that people not teach it or use it:
How important is this? The DSM is to psychiatry and psychology what the Standard Model is to physics -- to a large extent it defines the field and it is the leading reference for theory and practice. And it has gotten so embarrassing that the most influential psychiatrist in the country (the NIMH director) is abandoning it, choosing to move in a more scientific direction.
> ... so I don't quite understand the "historic meltdown" point, any references on that?
See above. And read what others are saying:
Quote: "[Psychiatrist and writer] Greenberg is repeating a common criticism of contemporary psychiatry, which is that the profession is creating ever more expansive criteria for mental illness that end up labelling as sick people who are just different—a phenomenon that has consequences for the insurance system, the justice system, the administration of social welfare, and the cost of health care."
Believe me when I tell you, I could produce scores of similar criticisms from within the field, by people who are mental health professionals but who are incensed by what's happening to the field.
I have to say that anyone in the field of mental health who doesn't see fundamental changes coming, hasn't been keeping up with current events.
I say this because if you look at the last ten years, the rate of births in the age ranges of < 18, 18-35 have been decreasing while the age of women getting pregnant in the 35+ range has been increasing.
The birth rate of the United States is only as high as is now largely because of the immigrant population.
As more women in developed countries choose to have careers and go through higher education, the median age of pregnancies will continue to rise.
An aging industry, small margins for the older economic structure of small/medium holdings, little existing use of new technologies at scale.
As the industry demographic shifts and as 'new' technologies such as drones, robotics, remote sensing, pervasive wireless data, vat-grown meat and mixed land/marine farming are adopted there will be a lot of money to be made feeding the world.
There's a word for a stupid or wasteful farmer, and that word is "broke". You can't make it in agriculture unless you can make it against fierce global competition.
Ten years ago there was a lot of apocalyptic talk about the opposition of organic vs. GMO crops but the truth is that organic and GMO crops have both thrived. GMO crops are getting better, yet organic methods are advancing too and are being cherry-picked by conventional farmers when they are competitive. Robotic tractors are a reality today.
Presumably, the ultimate propulsion will be nuclear-boiled water ejected out of a nozzle as steam. I suppose you could do something similar with other low molecular weight (stable bonds), low atomic weight (plentiful in post-stellar debris) fluids, but water's on a sweet spot in terms of caloric density. Hydrocarbons would probably be good, so I suppose you could mine the atmospheres of the gas giants for those. Interstellar travel will involve strapping a reactor to a large iceberg lassoed from the Ort belt and accelerating for one half of the trip, then decelerating for the other half.
Space travel will require space mining (uranium, water, gold, titanium, lithium, etc)
Think of all the things involved: mining equipment, (robots) depots, transport, refueling stations, distribution. SpaceX has already shown vast industries are going to be largely robotic. But people will go to the same places as the mining, because something will always go wrong with something, and those will be the well-developed trade routes.
Those people will have all the same issues they have here. Governance, gambling, hepatitis, surgery. But there will be new issues as well. There will likely be founder effect: segments of humanity will venture off to planets many light years away. It will take decades to get there. How do you maintain the concept of "humanity" if they land on a planet with slightly more gravity, slightly colder, slightly less oxygen, so everyone becomes what we would consider a furry dwarf with an IQ of 170?
Synthetic genomics will be big in all sorts of ways, some related to the founder effects of space travel.
We will not travel faster than the speed of light and hibernation is a fiction. Our bodies just aren't made for that. I think this is a thing people haven't started really planning for very well. Interstellar travel is going to involve very large vessels.
but once we do Mars and the asteroid belt, there's not much left in this system.
How many people thought the sound barrier couldn't be broken?
Marijuana, online privacy, personal defense weapons, batteries, patent law.
Ocean mining, fuel and energy, long-distance wireless communications, medicines, education.
You can produce fully custom chips now but at any reasonable cost you have to use decade-old gate sizes making it hard to compete with general purpose parts. The lack of a busy market feeds back into itself making every step of the process more tricky and expensive than it needs to be.
Imagine the change from massive recording studio engineering to 'a laptop with pro tools' only in silicon instead of music.
With county budgets being stressed and more areas considering converting paved roads to gravel roads, any kind of delivery system that can avoid roads will be a benefit.
I'm with a startup called PetroFeed and we're looking to tap into the huge potential in the industry. Most startups in the O&G industry are concerned with building better drilling technologies, or finding new resource pockets; leaving lots of room for companies like ours. ;)
Everyone connected and addressed via internet. Eventually everyone personally will have an internet "address" that would combine voice, email etc. when you fill out forms and apply for credit, etc that will be part of your personal identification as well as the primary way to contact you.
Self driving long-haul delivery trucks, probably be accepted quicker than personal cars. Still will be manned initially to handle problems and to dissuade looters, or drive in hard to navigate areas.
Space travel - I'd love to predict fortunes in it, but it's still a wildcard and a dream.
Self-treatments on demand: someday, you wont need to go in a doctor office for diagnoses, medical check-ups and treatments.
99.99% of online educational videos suck. For example, watching the video is so painful that all I can think about is "how do I get out of here?". (Possibly I am spoiled from watching too many popular vlogs on YouTube.)
The other 0.01% of online educational videos that don't suck prove that it is possible to make such videos. The best examples I can find are RailsCasts and "Math Antics" (the first is for grownups, the second is aimed more at children, but I would watch something like Math Antics that had more advanced content).
Sins (Most already there),
Importation (3d printers).
Health, Space, Robotics and Food imho.
Health, to produce better treatments agaisnt sickness, cure for cancer and other applications like regenerative i guess will be the ones who will coin a lot of dollars, specially from labs.
Space and robotics to produce better transportation, manufacturing and other hardware potential advancements.
Food. The food industry will work for sure o new sintetic food, to mass produce as well to produce safe transgenic meat.
-Transportation (if you can find a way to decrease fuel costs)
-Disruptive medicine (traditional drug companies will be making less and less money, but companies that develop cheaper cures to common world-wide ailments will be extremely successful)
Basically, things that are necessities for living. Media/entertainment will become an increasingly zero-sum game.
(By the way, my reasoning was 10^4 for current cryonics prices, times 10^7 or 10^8 people, times 10^-2 or 10^-3 assuming a fee of 1% to 0.1%.)
Much the home will be automated, includes search and storage and cleaning. It will get smaller, lose the need for a garage, and be easier to lease out, reconfigure, move, replicate.
The world energy industry needs to be very substantially reworked otherwise there's a high chance that many (most) of us (or subsequent generations) will die.
There are massive fossil incumbents who will be displaced.
I'd say energy.
Lots of issues but the point I was making was simply that a) I want the best deal possible b) I'm lazy. I reckon I'm not alone either.
In an ideal world should have exactly 1 interaction with my utility ever - when I move in, give them my details and sign an agreement. If they need a second interaction, then that's likely due to some problem or failure.
The roughly 17 million people who are unbanked are the target market: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/09/wh...
That doesn't just go for electric power but other things as well like mobile phones, cable TV, internet, etc. I'm not optimistic that the Congress will get their shit together in the near future and force last-mile monopolies to provide access again like the FCC required for a while. But if they do, look out!
Artificial/in vitro food
If the anti-abortion folk are so serious about their beliefs, they should fund a massive research project to create artificial wombs that very early babies can be placed into to finish their development.
If anyone wants to work on the tech, that's the benefactors you should go after!
But i wasn't thinking of the abortion crowd, just a more safe way to grow people.
"Space is where the first trillionaires will be made"
Heat. It gets really hot the deeper you go. There are a lot of mines already where it's very difficult for humans to exist for very long.
Also, availability. There's a lot of stuff in the earth. But after 4 billion years gravity happened. All elements have different densities. Turns out a lot of the metals that are really, really useful also turn out to be pretty dense. Think uranium and platinum as examples. Most of these elements have sank into the deep mantle and the core over time. The bits we find left over aren't even a taste of how much is collectively in the earth but can't get to. On a side note, it's been theorized that the massive amounts of uranium that sank to the core has been powering the earth for billions of years. Basically, the earth is a giant fission reactor.
The third point is that there's a lot more stuff up there than down here. If you had to pick a direction to mine, in the long term it's going to be easier and more profitable to mine the stuff in space than to dig deeper into the ground.
I think google is years ahead of everyone else here, and it will be a product that will be high price, high margin. And the market is huge.
I really don't see how google could walk away from that one without gobs of cash in their pockets.
Fulfillment will be a place for fortunes to be made, as it always has been. Amazon has been executing exceedingly well in this area but it's not as though everyone else has been sitting on their ass. Over the next decades the sort of smart, high-tech, low latency fulfillment that we've come to associate with Amazon will be the worldwide standard anywhere and everywhere. Also look for infrastructural improvements along those lines. It used to be that people had visions of pneumatic tubes running everywhere. But consider some variations on that theme, a fully automated delivery system that could route standard sized containers across cities, continents, or maybe even the world. Maybe autonomous vehicles could play into that, but it seems as though building custom infrastructure would also provide a substantial RoI. Imagine how different the world would be if every housing structure had a 1m^3 "mail box" that you could receive packages in or send packages from which would immediately deliver them anywhere in the system 24/7 without human intervention. Economics changes a lot, consumerism changes a lot, industry changes a lot, and so on.
Fully automated manufacturing and configurable manufacturing. These may not replace all manufacturing but they seem likely to me to become a "big deal", and people will make a lot of money off them. Imagine if you could go to a web page upload a bunch of plans (3D models, wiring diagrams, etc.) and place an order for a factory to manufacture something you've designed. This is more than just the home manufacturing (3D printing et al) revolution, it's something on an entirely different scale. Imagine how this sort of thing would affect the cost of production of material goods. Imagine how it would affect the iteration speed as well. And think about how it would affect the mass production society we've grown accustomed to. What happens when a designer can produce a batch of a few hundred or a few thousand custom designed smartphones or what-have-you? Instead of everyone buying from a small pool of mass produced goods does the market change to focus more on boutique versions of such things? Do people start buying things that are more customized in functionality? What happens when you create factories that can effectively replicate themselves?
Education is slated to change dramatically over the next decades. Much of the world today lives in areas where formal education is not the norm. As those areas become developed there are education opportunities other than the traditional ones, especially when you consider the widespread abundance of computing devices in the future (see above). There is a huge market for learning software, on a multi-billion dollar per year scale, but a hell of a lot of work will have to go into creating all of that software to make it effective and practical.
Space will be big business too but that can be a bit hard to predict. Through the 21st century the cost of launching things into space will drop by at least a factor of 10 if not a factor of 100 or more. That will cause an exponential increase in the amount of stuff and people we put in orbit which will create substantial off-Earth economic activity which will gain momentum due to positive feedback effects. By 2100 I'd expect millions of people to be living off-Earth and trillions of dollars in revenue to be involved in off-Earth commerce and industry. This starts to get really interesting when you consider what sort of potential advantages building things in space might have. Obviously it makes it easier to test spacecraft, of course, since you have access to the environment they'll operate in right there. But there are also some other interesting aspects. Vacuum is abundant and easy to get at. As is zero-g or nearly any level of g-forces you desire. A lot of manufacturing processes would be very different if vacuum conditions were cheap and easy to get at.