By in Technology

In the future – The neighborhood terrorist

As a science fiction writer, I try to think how the future will look. Sometimes I look at big ideas like colonizing other planets, and sometimes I look at little things. It’s these little – and perhaps silly – things I’ll be writing about in this series.

In my two previous articles in this series, I’ve talked about genetically modified plants to produce items to be used around the home. While I do believe that genetically modified organisms could – and hopefully will – drastically change life for the better, I don’t want it to seem like I’m complete blasé about the matter and that genetically modified organisms could only be used for good. And that’s a key thing I think many people forget when it comes to genetically modified organisms. Technology is neither good nor bad, it’s how it’s used. For example, a rocket that launches a weather satellite to help better predict the path of hurricanes, could also launch a nuke to anywhere in the world.

Genetically modified organisms can be used to increase food production, create medicines, provide useful items around the house, and they could be used by some nutjob to unleash a plague. Biological warfare is not new. In days of old they’d catapult the corpses of plague victims into a besieged town, but nowadays it’s a bit more sophisticated. Currently there are treaties and regulations around biological agents, but as the technology to modify organisms gets better, and cheaper, and more prevalent in society, the day will come when the guy down the block will stop making meth, download the genetics of various diseases, and start whipping up a plague in his garage.

It’s just a, somewhat scary, idea.


Other posts in this series:

Adaptive roads

Firewood trees

Plastic plants

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vanGogh wrote on January 7, 2015, 3:21 AM

spot on scary. sci-fi writers they say are progenitors of the future; they have influenced how the future have and could become. they in a way have an important role: our world tomorrow could be gloom and doom OR a better place. What we conceive is what what we'll get

scheng1 wrote on January 7, 2015, 8:21 AM

A more realistic future is the curse of longevity. When people live too long, and resources are not enough to cope.

BarbRad wrote on January 23, 2015, 9:30 PM

Given the moral condition of the human race at this point in time, I don't see us lasting much longer. There is no longer a common morality or moral consensus to restrain those who want to do evil. Some won't even call evil evil. So we ignore terrorism and say the real enemy is climate change. I really don't think we'll last long enough for that to do us in. It's much more likely we will be murdered by our fellow men.