MWAH Hah hah hah HAH!
March 5, 2010 1:51 PM   Subscribe

It's like that one episode of Dollhouse, where the military subsidiary of Rossum puts zombie chips in its corporate soldiers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:54 PM on March 5, 2010

I love the last two slides:

ETA for tech-enabled extinction is 2085. Thank you!
posted by LordSludge at 2:05 PM on March 5, 2010

Depending on how broadly you define "the future," the WMDs of the future are going to be bigger rocks and sticks than the other side has.
posted by you just lost the game at 2:16 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

As a mad scientist, I've always hated these things, because the military consistently underestimates your work and they never just assume that you've already put all the shit they are going to ask for in there.

"Oh, that's a very impressive unstoppable zombie soldier you've created, could you make him cybernetic? Ah, well very nice. Since it has a neural interface, I was thinking, could it be designed to control our UAVs with its mind? Good, that'll come in handy. Now could we irradiate it so that merely walking into an area would be lethal to everyone around? Excellent! Ok, one last thing, can you make it so that it can repair itself by violently eating any corpses it finds? Well done! This is going to be very popular!"

I mean, they didn't even notice the anti-matter self-destruct, or the ability take control of children by possessing them from up to a half mile away.

Sometimes I wonder why we bother.
posted by quin at 2:16 PM on March 5, 2010 [15 favorites]

You do it for the love of mad science, quin. For the love.
posted by Mister_A at 2:18 PM on March 5, 2010 [5 favorites]

Why is it in looking at this stuff I get the feeling that in 5 years we're more likely to just distract the enemy with widespread high bandwidth Internet service and YouTube videos of baby animals.
posted by Muddler at 2:19 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Mad science is its own reward.
posted by vibrotronica at 2:19 PM on March 5, 2010

Honestly, this sounds only slightly more credible to me than killing a goat with my mind.
posted by xthlc at 2:22 PM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

Something went wrong!

The first link is not working for me.
posted by Sova at 2:22 PM on March 5, 2010

Oh, now it is. Hmm, seems temperamental.
posted by Sova at 2:22 PM on March 5, 2010

I suspect his timelines are extremely optimistic.
posted by Caduceus at 2:25 PM on March 5, 2010

The startling/ sad/ funny thing is that WMDs don't need to be futuristic to bring about terror. As symbioid brought up in a recent thread: If they really fucking wanted to, there's nothing stopping them from walking into an airport with a few bags of explosives up to a checkpoint in a few airports and blowing the shit up. They don't need to cause a huge spectacle like 9/11, just fear.

Unless the goal of WMDs is to utterly destroy another city/ state/ country, making people fear each other is good enough to create a significant turmoil, disruption, and terror. Some pretty basic ingredients made a huge impact.

Also, I'd like to see more sourced information on such hypothesis as the "zombie-making yogurt WMD."

Furthermore: "I am proficient in most aspects of the future." - Dr Ian Pearson, Futurologist. I wonder if the crystal ball is used in his every-day work, or if it's only for photo ops.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:26 PM on March 5, 2010

Oh no! The page 503 errored.
Something went wrong!
This is probably a temporary error.
I can imagine the planet-busting AI smart bomb from John Carpenter's Dark Star saying exactly that.

For imagined future WMDs of the past, I still enjoy the demented genius of The Flying Crowbar. Terrain-following hypersonic nuclear-ramjet powered craft spewing out hydrogen bombs and deadly radiation both, possibly with lethal shockwaves just as an added bonus! You can just hear various General Buck Turgidsons almost purring at the presentations.
posted by Drastic at 2:27 PM on March 5, 2010

Are they mad scientists or mad engineers? 'Cause ho boy there's a difference.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:28 PM on March 5, 2010 [3 favorites]

posted by Fezboy! at 2:28 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Man, no imagination these rubes. Give me a small military budget and a loyal army of henchmen and re-animated Nazi scientists and I would have the world on it's knees and LIKING IT before Spring Break.
posted by The Whelk at 2:29 PM on March 5, 2010

And Dr. Future is on Twitter, too. Sharing about the comical US police, and reminding us that fun matters, amongst other things.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:30 PM on March 5, 2010

Mad science is its own reward.

Well, that and the billions you can collect from the world's nations all from the comfort of an Island Lair. You just need to make sure you team up with a sufficiently evil Evil Genius. Because there is nothing worse than listening to someone haggle with the UN;

"Now, I'm not saying that I have in my possession an orbital based kinetic weapon capable of shattering the earth's crust and penetrating all the way to the core, I'm just saying, if I did have something like that, how much would it be worth to have me not use it?.."

Maybe I'm just too old school, I like my EGs up front in their demands. It makes it easier to spot when things are about to go off the rails and you need to get the hell out before some suave agent comes in and kills everyone.
posted by quin at 2:36 PM on March 5, 2010

In the future, mad scientists will not create presentations using PowerPoint 95.
posted by brain_drain at 2:37 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

and here I am working on my death ray like a sucker.
posted by shmegegge at 2:41 PM on March 5, 2010

posted by not_on_display at 2:42 PM on March 5, 2010

Yo this dude invented text messaging, which has already rendered the highways incompatible with human life, so maybe we should take his killer yogurt botnets a little more seriously.
posted by Mister_A at 2:44 PM on March 5, 2010 [5 favorites]

Proof that the dude invented text messaging.
posted by Mister_A at 2:45 PM on March 5, 2010

Since people were having issues viewing this, I started transcribing it, but then I imagined this as a presentation with hecklers.

Hello, I'm Dr Ian Pearson, futurist consultant with Futurizion
I'd like to tell you about Technology for mad scientists
Next slide.

1950-2050: Ongoing IT miniaturisation
Getting more out of less
Everything from personal computers to bags of money fit into current smart phones. Rather, that image of a bag of money is supposed to represent financial transactions being carried out over phones. Yes.
And it isn't over yet!!!
Next slide, please.

2010: Electronic jewellery
Comes in many forms, such as:
Social status
Digital image augmentation
Digital bubble
Tribal signalling
Identification, security
Mobile website
Communication, data distribution
Medical monitoring, alarms
Next slide.

2011: Surveillance-free nets
Direct inter-device networking using extremely short range radio or IR will become an alternative internet
Perfect for illicit file-sharing and terrorist coordination
(Yeah, if you live next door to another terrorist!)
Hey, I heard that! Well, it's scary stuff.
Next slide.

2012: Espionage
35nm tech means 200M trnasistors/mm2
Small specks of smart dust can be concealed anywhere e.g. sand or dirt, passed on by handshake, or dust settling from the air, in food, seeds, gravel or in clothes, stick to shes.
(And they'd know the smart dust from the dumb dust how?)
Use ants to carry food with embedded bugs into caves.
Coins or banknotes could be used to hide devices to monitor and locate miscreants
Exploding smart coins could detonate themselves on hearing certain keywords in certain locations
(So that money really is burning a hole in your pocket! Hah!)
Shut it! I'm speaking, Q & A is later.
Next slide, please.

2015: Smart yarns
Clothing can already be made using yarns with various electronic properties, e.g. touch sensitive
(What, hypercolor? Yeah, circa 1992!)
Optical fibres can be used as microphones - develp this further to make microphone yarns
If fabrics incorporating smart yarns (mix of microphone, storage and transmission) are infiltrated into manufacturing/distribution, then enemy will sometimes unknowingly buy smart clothes
(Or we can finally hear what women talk about in the bathrooms together. Hah!)
Can then easily monitor enemy
(Or you could just be a total perv)
Next slide.

2025: Smart bacteria WMD
Uses for AI, enslavement or terraforming. Exist in both real and virtual world
1 Micron, including custom DNA and molecular circuitry assembled by cell
Bacteria linked together via infrared, to make complex self organising circuits. Could be present in air or on any surface. Could breathe them in. Security is almost impossible if bacteria are used because they can get almost anywhere. Could be used as a WMD by blanket attack on corporate security.
(Until we make sure everyone washes their hands a bit more often)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:49 PM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

If by the enemy, you mean "ouselves", you are entirely correct... your vision has come true; Here we are looking at powerpoints detailing our own demise.. we lost, decades ago... they nuked us from orbit. We are the final ephemera of the planet Earth's last inhabitants lost auras'.

2026; Smaahhht Yo-gouuurt camee ahwnline. Self OwhrGahnizeeng Smahhhht Bach-teeh-Reehyah... (reading through the powerpoint 95 presentation{which I hope means he gets prior art, and some of the credit when we use these ideas to kill humans}, a lot of these plans involve doing stuff which does stuff, which makes people become Zombies... good plan there, WCPGW?
posted by infinite intimation at 2:52 PM on March 5, 2010

I heard Ian Pearson give a talk on the future of sex at the World Future Society conference in 2000. It was more disturbing than tittilating, believe me. His job is to be a provocateur, to make people uncomfortable and tip sacred cows. He bypasses the obvious extrapolations and reaches for the farther-out wildcards, just beyond what I'd consider credibility. But that's his schtick. Ian is a lot of fun to have a beer with.
posted by cross_impact at 2:53 PM on March 5, 2010

this sounds only slightly more credible to me than killing a goat with my mind

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:58 PM on March 5, 2010

I was not criticizing the man, I like it; I mean, we devote millions of $ as a nation to actually trying to make WMD (as weapons, or "counter weapons")... so people making suggestions about the area only makes sense. And makes us think about it.

Also every opportunity that makes me hear Arnolds voice describing AI, and cybertronic yoghurt... I like it. (all times when things like this are described usually fit that description.)
posted by infinite intimation at 3:00 PM on March 5, 2010

I had a straw poll going on a couple of weeks ago asking which is more terrifying to people: Cthulhu or Ice Nine.

I'm solidly in the Ice Nine camp.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:09 PM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

"Mimetic polyalloy."
"What's that?"
"Smaht yoguht."
posted by Ratio at 3:15 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Well, assuming nothing untoward and a normal life span (and no life extending medical breakthroughs), I can make it to 2030 and maybe 2040 to see all the vertical invention slope, that, at least, will be fun.
posted by yeloson at 3:33 PM on March 5, 2010

I had a straw poll going on a couple of weeks ago asking which is more terrifying to people: Cthulhu or Ice Nine.

Yeah, Ice Nine because it's real.
posted by fuq at 3:38 PM on March 5, 2010

And soooo refreshing!

. . .

Wait, I was thinking of ice tea.

Ice Nine is pure horror.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:50 PM on March 5, 2010

Mad scientists don't create WMDs for the military, they create them to use against the military. Now quit bothering me or I'll never get this earthquake ray finished.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:32 PM on March 5, 2010

Wait, I was thinking of ice tea.

Ice Nine is pure horror.

I like my Ice Nine with a twist of Cthulhu. It's maddeningly good.
posted by ryoshu at 5:58 PM on March 5, 2010

Curse you, Perry the Platypus!
posted by briank at 6:00 PM on March 5, 2010

I am giving up my dream of being interesting enough to merit an invite to give a TED talk in favor of the more realistic goal of being insane enough to give a mad scientist lecture for TRADOC.
posted by humanfont at 6:18 PM on March 5, 2010

WANNABES! All of you, spit-polishing your prosthetic limbs, and whitewashing your liverspots for this wretched back-patting, smarty-party! The true mad scientist does not make public appearances! He does not wear the "hello my name is" badge. He STRIKES from below like a viper! Or on high like a PENNY, dropped from the tallest building around! He has only the one purpose: do bad things, to good people, WITH SCIENCE!!!!

You're not mad scientists, you're a bunch of hippies!
posted by snwod at 6:30 PM on March 5, 2010

So, MetaFilter, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.
posted by carsonb at 7:04 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

He has only the one purpose: do bad things, to good people, WITH SCIENCE!!!!

Yes, we can't let the government control our doomsday devices! Today the mad scientist can't get a doomsday device, tomorrow it's the mad grad student! Where will it end?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:02 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

They forgot the best scifi WMD of all time:

"...suppose, young man, that one Marine had with him a tiny capsule containing a seed of ice-nine, a new way for the atoms of water to stack and lock, to freeze. If that Marine threw that seed into the nearest puddle...?"
"The puddle would freeze?" I guessed.
"And all the muck around the puddle?"
"It would freeze?"
"And all the puddles in the frozen muck?"
"They would freeze?"
"And the pools and the streams in the frozen muck?"
"They would freeze?"
"You bet they would !" He cried. "And the United States Marines would rise from the swamp and march on!"

posted by Ndwright at 9:09 PM on March 5, 2010

Call me old-school, but I think the real ultimate WMDs are self-replicating machines. I'm still in favor of their development, though, because having such machines on our side is the only way we can keep the first bad guy who deploys them from killing us all. Assuming people are mostly good (ha!), and we all keep defensive SRMs around, then even the slight exponential base advantage gained by the baddies due to the element of surprise hopefully won't be enough to overcome the strength in numbers of the defensive 'bots.

Plus, SRMs might make terraforming a fun hobby.

And, of course, they could allow us to manufacture enough stuff for everyone in the world, with no human labor, leaving all people free to do whatever they like, be it art, science, sports, traditional agrarian living (with a safety net), or (more likely) lots of sex and trolling. Hopefully whoever gives the world this technology will do so on the condition that people stop reproducing beyond the replacement rate, but that might just be a pipe dream on my part.

So anyway, that's my favorite weapon.
posted by Xezlec at 10:33 PM on March 5, 2010

Oh, I guess I should mention that the above machines are intelligent, too. And any other feature you want, throw it on there.
posted by Xezlec at 10:35 PM on March 5, 2010

These people are a menace and should be arrested.
posted by homunculus at 11:37 PM on March 5, 2010

I originally read "mad" as "angry." I'm not convinced I was wrong
posted by From Bklyn at 7:27 AM on March 6, 2010

Hmm. I fear some members may be a little more fuzzy than others on the difference between responsible, incremental science, and lightning-in-a-bottle, Jovian-sky Science!. Please note the capitalization and exclamation mark.
posted by LD Feral at 6:37 AM on March 8, 2010

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