from the world's big
Are Robonauts Better Than Astronauts?
Michio Kaku: When you saw the movie Surrogates you said, “Well, that’s science fiction” when Bruce Willis has a mechanical robot who is perfect. Absolutely perfect. Handsome with superpowers and you put your consciousness into the robot. So you go into a pod. Your body ages. Your body is strapped to a pod but you mentally control an avatar, a surrogate who has superpowers, perfectly formed and has all your abilities. This sounds like science fiction, right? Or the movie Avatar where again you’re put inside a pod and you control an alien being on another planet breathing poisonous air. Is that possible? The answer is definitely yes. In Japan scientists at Honda Corporation have made a robot called ASIMO. It’s one of the most advanced robots ever made.
ASIMO, the size of a young boy, can run, walk, climb up stairs and even dance. In fact he dances better than me. I’ve been on science specials with him and he out-dances me every time. Honda Corporation has now taken a worker, put on an EEG helmet and have him control the robot. So it’s now possible that you can have a surrogate. This could be the future of the space program. Why is outer space not opened up for tourists? Because of a dirty four letter word that begins with C – cost. It costs ten thousand dollars to put a pound of anything in near Earth orbit. That is your weight in gold. Think of your body made out of solid gold. That’s what it costs to put you in near Earth orbit. To put you on the moon costs about a hundred thousand dollars a pound. And to put you on Mars is about a million dollars a pound. So you’re talking about your weight in diamonds to go to the planet Mars.
Why not put a surrogate? Because it’s life support. Life support that makes things so expensive in outer space. You see, robots don’t have to breathe. They don’t have to eat. They don’t bellyache. And most important, they don’t have to come back. So why not put surrogates on Mars, surrogates on the Moon and you the astronaut can just take a breather and go into your living room and mentally communicate with a robot on the Moon. This would be by far the cheapest way to have a permanent Moon base and that would be, to you the astronaut, communicating with a surrogate by radio.
Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Dillon Fitton
Michio Kaku on why robots make better astronauts than humans.
Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
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Many of the most popular apps are about self-improvement.
Emotions are the newest hot commodity, and we can't get enough.
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>