The near future might have many synthesized foods, materials and experiences

The near future might have many synthesized foods, materials and experiences — The rumor on the Internet is that most “olive oil” is already a substitute. If it truly disappeared, there are ways to make oils by blending that can substitute. And ways to make it by building molecules with industrial chemical processes. There are many products now sold on the Internet that are fake, misleading, substitutes.
If Elon Musk gets his way, then Moon and Mars and space colonies will likely 3D print their molecules. Or he makes trillions from selling colonist food at high prices, after he has cajoled them to move where there is only one supply chain.
Carbon Hydrogen Oxygen. Oleic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, alpha-linoleic acid and about 30 phenolic molecules. With machine learning, it should be possible to start with a rough mixture of almost anything close, and then tailor it in real time with heat, ultrasound, pressure, laser electron ion molecular beams, even KeV and MeV radiation radiation sources. Now with so many “measure and control” algorithms, it is not “can we do it”, but which is the most economic and sustainable? Using land for animals is likely unsustainable, as humans occupy more land.
Since human responses and feelings can now be synthesized, it might be easier to change the human sensory responses rather than change the molecules. Eating yeast cakes with oil and tasting meat and olive oil. That is about as cheap as you can get. That happened in the Matrix – intravenous nutrients and total sensory synthesis. That is not impossible now.
I am fairly certain soylent green will not be used. But reprocessed waste will be. Solar system colonization will not be possible without synthesis, and cell and insect colonies, even viral colonies might work, but require water, nutrients, heat, and lots of “measure and control” data. I expect a lot of humans to die before that. Not just olive oil, but many foods and nutrients and products. Look for more reports of “synthetic food deaths”.
Fake olives should be possible, simply taking the cells and genetically modifying them, or simply taking mixtures of products from several colonies and blending them and squeezing or other modifications. What is fermentation but chemistry. And that can be done in the computer now.
When the “Chemistry AI” and the “Physics AI” and the “quantum electrodynamics and gravity AI” come out, they will be a blend of LLMs and regular programming and some frankenstein mixtures and copy and paste. Home fabricators will be able to buy “make your own olive oil at home for fun and profit”, just like beer and wine, cheese and yeast.
I do not have many more years left. So I won’t see it. The heat strikes are acting more like tornadoes and hurricanes. The high temperature spikes over larger and larger regions act more like avalanches and lightning – strongly nonlinear. I can almost model that, but will die before they master “scan and record all human memories”. I remember when all the trees on my brothers land and that whole area died one year. One short season killed everything.  Was it heat, or ice, disease, flood, humans or insects? I cannot remember, why bother?
Even it is clear and predictable the old human systems are not capable of handling that. “Oh, it is too complicated”, “not our fault”, “not our job”, “we don’t like those people”, “why bother”, “they are in our way”.
From the Famine Early Warning System and then decades of studying those kinds of systems for creating near real time digital twins — I know that drought does not kill most of the people, it is a few humans who deliberately prevent many humans from receiving the resources they need to live at all – that does most of the killing. That is far more likely than “So all humans can live lives with dignity and purpose” that is the aim of the Internet Foundation.
Look closely and see how calloused the world is now to the deaths of a few hundred thousand, and project that to when the deaths of a few hundred million will be so common, no one will have enough energy to care at all. I hope I am wrong.
Richard Collins, The Internet Foundation
Richard K Collins

About: Richard K Collins

Director, The Internet Foundation Studying formation and optimized collaboration of global communities. Applying the Internet to solve global problems and build sustainable communities. Internet policies, standards and best practices.

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