Letter #12: What’s the future of…?

Clayton d'Arnault
Apr 6, 2016 · 3 min read

April 1, 2016

Dear reader,

Arguably, the future is in a constant state of motion. Everyday, with each technological advancement, we get a little closer to the future. Yet, at the same rate, ideals evolve and the future gets further away. But progress is progress, right?

In this letter, I’ll take you to the near future of death, medicine, and sex.

Great Scott!

Something we can’t avoid.

Death is something we can’t avoid. But since the 1960’s we’ve been dreaming of doing just that. Cryonics, the technique of deep-freezing a dead body or brain in liquid nitrogen so that one day the deceased can be brought back to life, is our answer to that dilemma. But right now, nothing about this technique is convincing. There’s only a few people practicing cryonics in the world, and aside from the obvious skepticism of the process actually working, these places charge patients up to $200,000 to bet on the future. And if we find that the method does in fact work, making it a social norm will be a bit of a challenge, because of moral backlash. But, if there’s one thing to be sure about, the process is fascinating. Follow along with a genuine cryonics specialist as he describes the process from start to finish, and the industry as a whole in this interview from Hopes&fears.

Go deeper:
Wait But Why makes the case for why cryonics makes sense.

Something medicinal.

Virtual Reality (VR for short) is considered the next big thing in entertainment and education by many tech publications and journalists. But others, medical professionals in specific, have bigger plans for the next big thing — medicinal VR. For instance, Argentine psychologist Fernando Tarnogol is using VR to treat phobias, while neurosurgeons at UCLA are using it to build in depth, virtual maps of a patient’s brain before they operate. Though it might not be the most popular, or expected use for virtual reality, it’s looking to be the most beneficial.

Something sexual.

Inevitably, sex, our most primal instinct, is becoming more advanced thanks to technology and our innate obsession with sexuality. If the future brings anything that will be accepted into society quicker than the highest speed of the most impressive vibrator, it’ll be high-tech sex. We’re already using our advanced modes of communication for sexual means, why not kick it up a notch? Experts say that future couples, no matter the distance apart, will be using a variety of products to do the deed including VR, holograms, stimulation suits, and robots. But where do you draw the line? Will the future of sex improve our sex life, or utterly destroy it? How long until some people start associating love with Artificial Intelligence? (see: HER). The future looks a little weird from that perspective.

Go further:
Flash Forward goes to 2086 to explore a future with sex robots.

Clayton d’Arnault
The Internet Traveler

P.S. — Found something interesting on the Internet recently? I’d love to include it in a future letter. Reply to this email or tweet @cjdarnault to submit your links.

This is an adaptation of Letters from an Internet Traveler, a newsletter comprised of a few thought-provoking tidbits discovered on my travels across the Internet, casually delivered at least twice a month (maybe). For more Internet traveling, Subscribe here and follow the Medium publication here.

Letters from an Internet Traveler


Clayton d'Arnault

Written by

Writer/Editor @the__disconnect and @dgtlculturist. claytonwrites.com.

Letters from an Internet Traveler


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