I love Ray Kurzweil. Here is a short but interesting interview from CIO magazine where Kurzweil predicts things that will sound outlandish to most people:

• outsourcing is a good thing and in the bigger picture not an issue because it’s not a zero-sum game – he gives a 200 year view of these similar trends;
• China is committed to building 50 MIT equivalent institutions;
• their move towards generating intellectual property may result in them actually caring about same;
• computer technology will disperse and become ubiquitous – routers, desktop computers and servers will disappear – [I have a hard time with the server part.]
• IT departments will become Information Departments, focused on privacy, data protection, and security against pathogens;
• humans and machines will merge through the application of nano-machinery and nano-computing intelligence added into the body and brain;
• culture shock won’t happen because of the boiling frog theory (my paraphrase);
• biotech is just beginning [I agree, we’re only 36 years into what may well be another standard 80-100 year technology cycle.]
• we currently have the means through diet and supplementation (he takes 250 supplements per day) to slow down aging such that the person can still be around to take advantage of biotech discoveries that will allow them to rebuild their bodies and brains in order to live a longer life;

I love Ray Kurzweil because his interviews and writings are always so completely outrageous to most people.

And my favourite quote of all was when the interviewer, in response to the augmented intelligence comments, asked him, “Aren’t you smart enough already?”

Ray replied:

QUOTE

“Absolutely not. Are you kidding? A major focus of my interest is in tracking technology trends, which requires me to get my intellectual arms around a lot of diverse fields. It’s really an opposite activity to what a lot of scientists do, which is to become more and more narrow. So I’m a neophyte in just about every field I run across.”

UNQUOTE

I love this because I relate! I am interested in so many fields that I find it difficult to specialize and deepen my skillset in any one of them.