It’s not even lunchtime and we’ve listened to presentations by Craig Venter on his plans to create biofuels made by microalgae: an acre, he believes, will be able to produce 10,000 litres of oil per year, as opposed to corn, which can produce just 18. He’s just received $300m of investment from Exxon to make it a reality.
I’m amazed by how many of my friends think that the world is rapidly coming to an end. Granted, our progress thus far isn’t workable but as a species we’re getting it figured out.
:: Great Article on Singularity University via Email (Thanks Lana!) ::
It’s worth noting that this article is a tad starstruck and isn’t quite as critical as it should be of Mr. Kurzweil. Also, I think that asteroid mining, while exceptionally cool, is a sexy vanity project for nerdy billionaires. If the goal is resources the answer is the ocean. It’s much easier to visit and we have barely even touched on the resources available there. Except fish, we’ve really fucked that scene up. Sorry dolphins!
++ Update ++
I forwarded this quote to my friend and she replied:
I visited a guy who is working on it at UC San Diego. He said that basically when humans were evolving agriculture we spent 10,000 years breeding wheat from a random grass to the fat stalks we have today, something capable of becoming a staple crop and supporting huge populations, cities, kings, armies, and all that civilization stuff.
Now we have to perform that same genetic engineering feat with generations of algae to get the stuff that will grow petroleum. WE have far more powerful tools to do it like supercomputers. But we only have like 10 years.
here is a crazy picture of a starfish