Reading "Physics of the Impossible" by Michio Kaku. So started out talking about how many times people who've said something was impossible have been proven wrong, historically, but then just now he had the audacity to say "there's a fundamental difference" between our time and Jules Verne's time, that "the basic laws of physics are now understood." HA! I laugh! Many minutes of pointing out how many times people in history have thought they knew the laws of physics, immediately followed by that statement? Mr. Kaku, you're being just as silly as those naysayers of the past. We *think* we know the basic laws of physics. But just 100 years ago, the method of communication I'm using now would have seemed like magic. In 100, a thousand, or a million years our descendants will no doubt find it absurd that we thought we knew how the universe works. Just 100 years from now, we will have technology that will make our current technology look primitive in comparison. I'm writing science fiction stories set 7000 years in the future but with technology inspired by what this book thinks is possible eventually, but in 100 years it might be hopelessly dated.
On the other hand, my Traipah novels have in them races with such advanced technology that I'd be surprised if the tech in them dates them too soon. Quantum Manipulation Technology, for an example, looks like magic.
*Sigh* Mr. Kaku, I love this book, but even you seem to suffer from the mistaken notion that we understand the way the universe works. *That* is the truly absurd thing: that one can live in 2009, be aware of scientific and technological breakthroughs and trends, and think for even a minute that we understand even 1% of how the universe works.
Okay, I just had a brainwave and I wanted to run it by y'all. Well first of all, I should note that what gave me the idea was that I had Mindeodean adopt Michio Kaku's idea of superconductors under the streets to allow for a sort of maglev kind of thing (these are high-temp superconductors; they operate at the temperature of liquid nitrogen)1, since superconductors have a repulsive magnetic force. Mindeodean uses metamaterials to enhance this repulsive effect. I got to thinking about other possibilities of ways to use superconductors that way, and one possibility that came up was that I wondered if it might be possible to create a magnetic "laser". I was going to go with "maser," but that term is already taken. But yeah, the idea is a focused, directed beam of magnetism. It could have many interesting applications if possible.
1 = They double as the power grid.