Today I finished another chapter of Whiplash, titled "Emergence over Authority". The chapter talks about how our modern age of distributed knowledge advanced our growth.
Some of the fields mentioned in the chapter are ones that I am not even aware of, such as synthetic biology and molecular computers. I only heard of biohacking and to my knowledge, there is a lot of backlash on this area. However, with Joi and Jeff (the authors) detailing the effort within the MIT media lab and telling the story of the original intent, it removes a lot of my skepticism. Now, this even makes me excited for the future of molecular development.
The study of biosynthesis is founded by Tom Knight at MIT, who is an engineer that studied integrated circuit. He figured our current processing speed will be capped by the Law of Physics, and the future will assemble semiconductors chemically, which is best done in cellular level. Of course, this is not just to speed up computers, but to find new ways to understand biology. Understand biology from an engineering perspective by taking them apart and putting them back together again. This allows the lab to build small building blocks on how to work with cells. Thus to share and distribute this knowledge, and allow them to invite more people to add to the development. And thus, emergence over authority.
I'd joke around with my friends saying "the real cure will happen in the cell level, where cell heals itself", and turns out it is already happening since 1990. Now I think of it, of course it exists already! I would also safely bet that everything we saw on sci-fi movies, which influenced most of us, are in the development somewhere in the world. Sometimes we lose track of how big the world is because of our daily capacity. We have so much on our plate already living life with the people closest to us. It is amazing to see that technology is happening beyond our phone and food deliveries. ;)
I know this may still sound intimidating. I still do have a layer of skepticism too, and I think I should always. Either in MIT or not, these new fields are going to emerge in the future anyway. What's more important is the people behind them. And it's the job of our skepticism to make sure the world is going the right way, with good intentions.