The City of 2057…

Have you ever wondered what our world will be like in the year 2057? Okay well maybe not the exact year 2057, but just the future in general?

Discovery channel documentary ‘2057: The City of the Future’ explores their idea of what the future holds for us, supported with a scientific insight.

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We are advancing into  a future that is taking a new shape each day. In around 50 years will we have automated cities, flying cars and artificial organs?  With computers not even existence 50 years ago the rapid rate at which technology is developing, who can even begin to estimate what the future holds. Scientists that’s who! The scientists within the documentary creating a virtual world and story line, their impression of the world in 2057.

So what do they think that the world will be like in 2057? 

They think it will be a “network city” a  world with ultra modern architecture, where children will have holographic dolphins that can jump out of their computers and interact with them, with cities all linked together by computers, everyone swimming in gigabytes of data! Not to mention the fact that they believe there would be cars function via auto-drive, our clothes will be constantly processing gigabytes of data and no one will even know what a keyboard and mouse are anymore!!

The plot of the documentary uncovering the fatalities that can come with the introduction of this kind of techology, even in the future computers can crash and networks can fail. A child hacking into the system sending the whole network, the whole city crashing down. A  major downfall of this almost glorified network city.

So what do I think? 

Well after viewing the documentary and extensive, alot, a little bit of research I think, as NBC’s “Deep thinkers see how things will be in 2058”  explores I believe that with medical science progressing in 50b years one of the major achievements will be cures and explanations for  many diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Schizopherenia, Bi-polar and even Cancer. I also do happen to agree that we may have automated cars (which would be quite cool) and hover-boards! ( according to back to the future we should already have them after all)  However, I am not quite sure about the whole. The fact that having such a city all controlled and connected by computers was shown even in the documentary to go so devastatingly wrong so quickly sends great doubts in my mind that whoever is to be running the world/ country/ universe in 50 years would actually allow a system as  extensively connected as the one shown to be put into place.

There are always going to be predictions that are way off, as history has proven! Although back then scientists didn’t understand the law of nature so now the predictions can be more accurate. And I guess whilst there is no point spending too too much time living in the future as the scientist in the documentary states it is “better to walk in a forest with foggy glasses than be totally blind.”

Six Degrees of Seperation

“You know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone who knows me or well anyone on the entire planet!”

True story, or at least according to the logic of the theory of the six degrees of separation.

Ever heard the saying: “Did you know you’re only six hand shakes away from anyone in the world?” The documentary ‘Six Degrees of Separation’  by Lucy Leveugle, explores the idea that maybe our world is not as unpredictable and full of coincidences as we have always thought.

So what exactly is this 6 degrees of separation theory?

Basically, it is a theory of networks that suggests that everybody in the world can be connected in just a few steps.  Nature having this hidden blue print structure that connects us all, the world much more unexpectedly connected than you ever thought.

A theory that has the potential to change the way we fight terrorism, predict pandemics and combat disease! And who would have thought that this, one of the greatest scientific insights of moder times would have been inspired by the Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon ( yes, the one from Footloose and a lot, a lot, a lot of other movies ).

The six degrees claims that everyone on the planet can be connected to everyone else in just a few steps, all due to networking. So if I know 100 people and one of them knows 100 people in two steps there is already 10000 people, in 3 steps already a million. Although, there could be overlap which makes the whole theory so difficult. We tend to know people very much like ourselves, making our social circles very clustered. A contradiction in itself! How can the world be both large and small at the same time? Solving this paradox the key to understanding the Six Degrees.

The solution?

Well the pattern suggests that the majority of people know only a small amount of people, yet there is a small amount of people with extremely large networks who have come to be known scientifically as ‘hubs’.

Marc Vidal and Steven Strogatz two scientists who began looking into networking, deciding to look into the Hollywood network to try and prove their theory. After all within Hollywood there is a huge network of connections, more than a million actors have worked on more than half a million films. During the mid 90’s college students began playing a game which linked every actor to just one star: Kevin Bacon. This later got turned into a website which would track an actor’s path and find their ‘bacon number’. Seriously try it! Type “bacon number” and then the name of any actor into google. No matter who you type, even the most little known actors they will be traced back to Kevin Bacon in approximately just two steps. Its legitimately insane!

AND is proof that the Hollywood  network supports the Six Degrees theory. It conforms precisely to the theory clustering over a million actors in just a few steps. Kevin Bacon inspring a phenomenon without even realising it, now a cult figure for the Six Degrees of Separation. Even starting his own charity, which is all about “using [the six degrees of separation] idea to accomplish something good. It’s social networking with a social conscience.” (

From urban myth to math equation to a daring new approach to fighting disease, this the promise of network science a new way of seeing the world Six degrees is not just an urban myth after all. The world truly more interconnected than I could have ever imagined.

I guess it really is a small world after all!