“In the first half of the 20th century, the prevailing idea was that humans could be masters of nature and the universe. We thought that human power was unlimited. We thought- ‘we can change rivers, we can move mountains,’ we can actually conquer nature. Then sometime in the second half of the 20th century, we made the realization that the relationship between nature and humans is actually much more complex than that.” -Dr. Michael Nosonovsky.
If you love technology, congratulations! You’re living in what is, without a doubt, the most exciting time for it in human history. We’ve got self-driving cars, Oculus Rift, ubiquitous pocket-dwelling supercomputers, giant televisions in nearly every home— It’s almost enough to make you forget about ISIS, Ebola, killer asteroids and climate disaster.
So let’s dampen the fear mongering feedback loop a bit further by jumping the technological brainwashing (I use that phrase with great affection) up a few notches. Let’s go right on up to that blurry border between Science Fiction and science reality. I’m talking self-healing surfaces, swarm robots and parasitic skin grafts. Yes those are real things, they also happen to share a common lineage— biomimicry.
Biomimicry is pretty much what it sounds like, technology that mimics living nature. After all, nature has already figured out how to do pretty much everything. It self-organizes, heals, evolves, and manifests truly amazing attributes. Why not learn from it?
That’s precisely what engineers like our guest, Dr. Michael Nosonovsky are aiming to do. He’s a highly-renowned expert in future fare like self-healing concrete and the lotus effect, (the ability to repel water in a way that’s looks completely god damn miraculous).
The good professor allowed us to invade his office to pick his brain about biomimcry, technology philosophy and what the future might look like.