Thursday, December 01, 2022

Deserted cities, autonomous cars and lots of metaverses: in 10 years the world will be like this, according to novelist and inventor Michael Rothman

Leaving home, getting in the car, going to the office, stuck in traffic, arriving and getting there once, meeting face-to-face with coworkers who have had to do the same but with long journeys have forced them to another city, another To travel to and from the country or another continent.

These are activities that will become obsolete in just 10 years. At least that’s what Michael Rothman predicted, science fiction novelist and inventor,

“Once everything related to the Metaverse that Zuckerberg is promoting is established in our lives, it won’t be necessary for us to physically move every day. Plus, driving will be something different. It’s just a matter of traveling by one.” point to another, and that task will be left to the machines because not doing so would be considered stupid and unsafe”, he explains. Business Insider Spain,

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“Work environments will change and cities will change. For example, we are having this conversation with different continents. there will be more to it“, add.

Rothman portrays a hyperconnected future but with somewhat empty cities.

“I work for a big tech company, and usually when I went to headquarters, I had to swim in a sea of ​​people to get to my position and I had no parking space. I went last week And it was like visiting. A ghost town. Something surreal. Imagine going to Madrid and not having a single car. The post-coronavirus world will be very different, and we’re already starting to see change.”

It’s not just a sound. With more than 1,000 patents to his credit (just under 300 in the US and over 700 outside the country), Rothman should be credited with a number of other discoveries known as the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). goes. In English).

It is a technology that defines the interface between the operating system and the firmware and, basically, speeds up processes such as turning on the computer.

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Writing science fiction novels came almost by chance: “I used to make up stories for my kids before bedtime. One day, I started writing those stories. That’s how it all started,” he explains.

“Logically, I base my novels on everything I know about science, and add to that what I find. But first I am a scientist and then I am a writer, it is clear to me. My interest in science is genuine, telling stories that arouse interest is something I have learned to do.”

In the end, he hasn’t been too bad at writing: 3 of his novels have been included in the list. best Sellers of magazine United States of America today You It has sold over 120,000 copies in the US.

They have done this before arriving in Spain Darwin’s algorithm (Sadmarkand), is a dystopian novel that begins with a near-future premise in which humanity is headed towards its extinction after the discovery of a definitive cure against cancer.

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He, however, doesn’t have a negative view of the world or science: “I’m quite an optimist. I believe in science and I don’t think anything has to be sacrificed every time a discovery is made. What happens is that Imagination Every victory has to pay a price, with a certain sacrifice. Otherwise, people don’t take it seriously.”

Rothman adds one more to these materials to pique the reader’s interest: No one goes too far back in time: “My novels don’t relate to what’s going to happen in hundreds or thousands of years. What I’m going through in them Play with that. Happening soon in 10 or 20 years. It makes the reader feel more threatened.”

Adrenaline junkies of dystopia

With a handful of published novels, Rothman, who is commonly compared to science fiction maestro such as Michael Crichton, participates in a literary subgenre, which goes under countless names (technothrillerhard science fiction, epic fantasy…), are devoted to playing with one idea: the end of the world.

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He is not alone, far away from him. For example, Netflix recently made a strong commitment to series like 3%, The Snowbreaker, Altered Carbon, from Spain fence And, of course, one of the most successful productions on stage, black Mirror.

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Each with their own characteristics, they all share a common characteristic: a more or less pessimistic view of what is to come,

“The success of these types of stories is due to a number of factors. The first is that the sense of danger wakes up our adrenaline, with it increased anxiety and with it we become involved in the story. The second element is That the end of the world awakens a certain sense of a global village. There are no boundaries, no sides, only one humanity,” says Rothman.

For now, though, it’s about more or less controlled threats: “I don’t think the future I’m proposing will have Darwin’s algorithm nor do many such fables, Countries will respond soon.”

However, the authors have high hopes for potential advances in medicine.

“I see many diseases that were fatal in the time of our parents but are not a problem today. For example, many of us have chickenpox, but today my children have been vaccinated and will not get it. I look forward to seeing this. Where medicine is going in the next 10 years,

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For these advancements to come and wait for humanity to be put to good use, we have to settle for the vast number of stories that fantasize about the idea that it is not.

If we have to talk about the apocalypse, Rothman confirms the classics: “I love Tolkien. I know fantasy was his thing, but if you look at what he does, it’s kind of It’s the Middle Ages that have been completely devastated by a war. It’s an apocalyptic fantasy. Stories like these inspire me.”

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