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Logo Logo Nick Hodges

The Next Big Thing?

/ 3 min read

There was a time when humans, such as we were back then, didn’t even have the ability to harness fire. And then we did.

And then somewhere along the way, we figured out how to harness and use wind and water to help us do things like grind grain, drive saws, and more.

And then we figured out that steam could be used to do a lot of those things. It could power even bigger factories and transport people and goods to places where they were more useful.

Then we discovered and harnessed electricity to power those factories, provide light, and usher in all kinds of new devices that made the world a better place.

Endless progress

Electricity let us figure out things like radio waves and radioactivity. We soon harnessed and used those things as well.

So taking a broader view, humans existed for many millennia without any notion of, say, how the principles behind bolts of lightning could be used for our benefit. For most of our existence, we were blissfully unaware that we could transmit messages instantaneously around the world or that we could send live images of ourselves to people across the country. We were utterly ignorant of nuclear power except for the last maybe 120 years or so.

So it makes me wonder — what natural phenomenon is out there now of which we are currently blissfully unaware and that will provide us with unimaginable capabilities? I mean, there must be something, right? What is it?

And I’m not talking about fusion or quantum computing — we know about and can conceive of those things. I’m talking about something which is the equivalent of what ubiquitous electrical power was to a medieval peasant. Something that is completely beyond our comprehension. And it’s just sitting out there, totally unknown.

And of course we don’t know anything about it. That’s pretty much the point.

It kind of hurts my brain.