I list up three kinds of technologies I am interested in except computing. If I were young, I would try to dive into these fields.
1. Sustainable Energy related technologies
I have always been interested in energy and resources issue since I was a boy, and before studing information technology in graduate school, I actually studied electrical engineering.
When I was studying power generation systems at university, I suddenly had this thought. “Is it the right way to use technology to increase power generation efficiency?”
I thought it was more important to use the information technology, which was developing at the time, to efficiently and optimally allocate energy and resources, rather than simply increasing power generation efficiency. And I changed the course.
There is no doubt that sustainable energy-related technologies have spread widely and deeply around the world in the last ten years.
- The price of solar electricity has dropped 89% in 10 years
- Solar Energy Map
- Map of onshore Wind farms in Europe
- Geothermal power
- Net-zero power: Long-duration energy storage for a renewable grid
- Gravity Could Solve Clean Energy’s One Major Drawbac
The reason for the sharp drop in the cost of solar power, in particular, is clearly the nuclear disaster in Japan on March 11, 2011. The world changed after that disaster.
I have mixed feelings about this because I was born in Fukushima1.
2. Cultured meat
The second is Cultured meat.
As I have already written on twitter, I firmly believe that the time will come soon when cultured meat will become mainstream.
100 years ago, if someone said that humans would eat chemicals in the future, he would be treated as crazy. Now we are developing Cultured meat. 100 years after, if someone says that humans used to kill animals and eat their meat, people will say he is lying.
The biggest reason I want this technology to spread is animal welfare, but the biggest benefit to mankind is the drastic reduction in food production costs.
American Farm Bureau Foundation claim it takes only 2.5 pounds of wheat to produce 1 pound of meat. But their claims are irrelevant.
To begin with, the idea of producing meat is primitive. If meat could be produced in factories, obviously costs would come down, because the cost of raising animals is very high. In particular, it is very expensive to keep animals in good health. Therefore, breeding in a terrible environment, so-called animal cruelty, has continued for thousands of years.
Now, we are trying to acquire the technology to cut off that negative chain. I always find it very strange that so many people are not excited about this.
To be honest, I still do not think the meat tastes good. But I think it is a matter of getting used to it. Costs will drop dramatically as cultured meat becomes more prevalent. Below a certain price threshold, cultured meat will take off. People buy it if it’s cheep because of essentials.
3. Regenerative medicine
I am unfamiliar with medical physiology, but I am interested in the development of regenerative medicine. This is also a dream technology for mankind, and its possibilities are expanding realistically.
I believe that the 2012 Nobel winner Prof. Yamanaka2, who discovered iSP stem cells, made a major breakthroughs.
I feel a little sad that Japanese companies and Japanese people have hardly been able to contribute to these technological developments.
In the past, a Japanese company called SHARP produced the most efficient solar panels. Of course not only the solar panels, Japan had many companies that developed sustainable energy technologies. But those companies are no longer in Japan. TOYOTA used to make hybrid cars called PRIUS, but in the current era of EVs they are completely behind.
Amazingly, the Japanese government chose to continue using nuclear power plants after that nuclear disaster, and they stupidly planned to sell reactors of Japanese companies to foreign countries3.
When SHARP was producing the world’s most efficient solar panels, many Japanese were positive about solar power. However, after SHARP stalled, the Japanese lost interest in solar power and now most Japanese are in favor of nuclear power. When TOYOTA’s Prius swept the world, many Japanese praised TOYOTA, but when it became clear that Japanese automakers couldn’t make good EVs, almost Japanese complained about EVs and listed up thousands disadvantages of EV. and also they hope EV will fail.
Regardless of the warnings of many Japanese Nobel Prize winners, Japan’s research budget is being cut year by year, and it is already impossible to develop new technologies and conduct research in Japan.
There are various reasons for this4, but in short, Japanese have lost their willingness to challenge new things, their interest in the new styles of life, and their courage to correct past mistakes. Financial bankruptcy is not the only way that a country will perish. The country itself can age and die like an old man.
- Even more ironically, Japan is one of the countries that did not change their policies. [return]
- However, he still runs marathons to get money for his research budget despite his accomplishments: Osaka Marathon 2014:Donation organization [return]
- Of course none of them sold. [return]
- This article has many hints: Japan was the future but it’s stuck in the past [return]