High-Tech Search & Rescue

High-Tech Search & Rescue


This episode is sponsored by Audible In the centuries ahead, humans will explore and visit every corner of the Earth and Solar
System. It’s tempting to hope that technology will
somehow protect us from serious accidents. But if history is any guide, the technology
that allows this exploration facilitates bigger accidents… and in more dangerous and remote
places. Every year our first responders to emergencies
are called upon to perform countless thousands of rescues in life and death circumstances,
and with a very high rate of success compared to prior years. This indicates a trend of both better safety
and better recovery efforts, which we can confidently attribute to better technology
and better training all around. More knowledge allows us to better utilize
what we have, as well as enabling us to develop new and better equipment, and is the penultimate
tool of both your survival while you wait for rescue as well as search & rescue efforts. The ultimate tool of course is courage. In dangerous situations, the will to survive
is the most important part of making it through a crisis, and on the opposite side, the will
of rescuers to jump onto a sinking ship or into a burning building represents extraordinary
bravery and puts the lie to the cynical notion that humanity is cowardly or selfish. Every year, countless first responders put
their lives and health on the line to rescue folks. That’s something to keep in mind for later
this month, as the US Senate recently passed a resolution naming October 28th First Responders
Day. I doubt I’m alone in feeling this is well-merited
and long overdue, and I wanted to dedicate this episode to those first responders and
every Good Samaritan who has stopped to help when they could have just walked or driven
by. I often get asked about how I always manage
to be so upbeat and optimistic about the future, and folks like that are a big portion of it. Through willpower, courage, and curiosity
we can overcome just about any situation. Of course it is also our curiosity which so
often gets us in trouble, and which will doubtless put us in even more perilous places and give
us even more dangerous activities we’ll need to be rescued from as we venture into
ever more inhospitable parts of our world and beyond. But we are who we are, and our habit of sticking
our necks out has benefited humanity as a whole, if often not the folks who did it. You wouldn’t need a smart drone that can
dive deep into oceans and worm its way into fissures to bring a hapless diver an emergency
air tank; nor would you need one to deliver thermal protection and food and water to a
mountain climber stranded on an icy mountain peak, unless enough people found themselves
in these dangerous life and death situations. I wanted to start with the topic of safety
gear first, those garments and gadgets that give someone in a dangerous situation better
odds of survival, or even removes the need to be rescued. As we noted a couple weeks back in our Space
Suits episode, improvements to those in terms of increased comfort and versatility might
become as commonplace as firefighting gear, or even become a staple of day to day clothing
and accessories. Knowing what and where something has happened
is critical to a fast response, and I’d not be surprised if in the next decade or
two it becomes customary to wear health monitors and personal GPS tags whenever doing anything
dangerous or in a remote area, or even at all times. If we can open up a log, hopefully secured
and encrypted to ensure privacy of course, to see where someone has been, we’ll be
in a much better position to organize a rescue party, even if the monitoring equipment has
been broken or removed. Time is often critical to search and rescue,
we want to do everything we can to minimize how long it takes to find a person in danger
and maximize how long they can hold out or even enable them to find their way to safety
on their own. Just as we have smartphones replacing cellphones,
we might find the ubiquitous first aid kit itself being replaced by something smarter
too. But all equipment, smart or not, is useless
if you don’t know what to do with it. Survival and first aid kits need instructions
and the less familiar with their use someone is, and the more stressed out and panicked
they are, the more detailed and clear those instructions need to be. We would benefit from training with smart
first aid kits, which is really all about repetition, so we’ll be able to remember
how to use the new tech properly, even when panicked and distracted. Now the ideal scenario is a phone that can
be stuck into crisis mode and brings up a doctor or survival expert who can see what’s
going on and tell you what to do till helps arrives, but in the absence of that you need
something that can respond to voice commands and has the relevant data on hand, especially
in remote locations where coverage may be spotty. Improvements in voice recognition and command,
in image analysis, and in general improvements in processing and memory, might mean everybody
would be carrying around not only a library of medical data in their pocket but a useful
capacity for diagnosis and treatment. And indeed we do have some decent forerunners,
the Red Cross for instance makes a first aid app and if you haven’t got that or something
similar on your phone, you’d be wise to schedule in grabbing one of those and taking
at least a few minutes to familiarize yourself with it. Doubtless those mobile apps will improve with
time but I think it very likely that normal first aid kits and survival kits will start
including more electronics and machinery in them in years to come. With better robotics and AI we might have
first aid kits that could tell if someone was injured and go into action to treat them
properly. So too, there are limits as to how fast humans
can be moved to a place to rescue someone and they are far slower than what a local
machine might achieve. As an example, we could hypothetically get
rapid response teams anywhere on the planet by dropping them right from orbit, but re-entry
is a process of around 20 minutes even once you’re over the right spot to start your
descent. Even dropping from a stationary orbital ring
isn’t much faster. However, we wouldn’t want our drop pods
carrying emergency teams to simply fall, that’s slow. No, we would do better to accelerate them
and then decelerate them as fast as we could, same for an aircraft or ground vehicle heading
to the destination. If you’re curious, a plunge at 5 gees, about
what most folks can handle without passing out, followed by a hard braking using fuel
or a very good parachute at the same acceleration, would let you cover the distance from the
International Space Station to ground – 250 miles or 400 kilometers – in just 3 minutes. We talk a lot on this channel about things
like spaceplanes, mass drivers, launch loops, and orbital rings as a way to get folks and
cargo into space cheaply, but that same technology used groundside could potentially let a single
station in any region, be it on the ground or in orbit, send a team to an emergency at
rapid speed. Incidentally with constant acceleration your
travel time rises with the square root of distance, so quadruple the distance, double
the time to get there, a hundred times the distance, ten times longer to get there. 400 kilometers in 3 minutes, 1600 kilometers,
or a thousand miles, in just 6 minutes. Of course our atmosphere gets in the way of
things like that, as would water or rock for folks underwater or in a cavern or mineshaft,
but explorers or colonists on some airless planet can realistically expect aid pretty
darn quick from any base on that planet or ship in orbit. However, that aid might not necessarily be
from people there in the flesh. A major principle of first aid is not to turn
one victim into two, so if you can avoid putting the rescuer in dire risk that’s always a
good thing, and doubly so if you can get a robot there faster anyway. It might make more sense to fire a pod out
of a rail gun that can handle way higher accelerations. If you can pack a robot and supplies into
a pod that can handle 500 gees, not 5, you can keep that cannon loaded all the time and
fire it in mere seconds, and potentially fire it at speeds well in excess of even orbital
velocities. On arrival it unpacks and an expert runs the
robots by telepresence, though not by on-site AI. I put that caveat on there because if your
artificial intelligence is that good that you can make robot doctors then you don’t
need to be firing anything to a rescue site. If you’ve got robot doctors you’ve robot
factory workers who can build robot doctors and that means they might be so dirt cheap
that any person is likely to have their own posse of drones and gear hanging around them. Same applies for any technology that would
let us simply download skills right into someone’s head so they could act as a surgeon or survival
expert for someone nearby or themselves. If you’ve got that technology, odds are
everyone has already downloaded it as part of their normal childhood. Whoever coined the phrase “search and rescue”
clearly wanted us to understand how much of rescuers’ time and effort go into just trying,
and sometimes failing, to find the people they intend to rescue. If the rescue-ees aren’t wearing trackers,
it sure would be nice if the rescuers had one of those “life-sign detectors” that
always seem to be on spaceships in science fiction, but the writers tend to be rather
vague about how those work. Such a device doesn’t have to only detect
humans, especially on some barren moon or planet where you don’t have to worry that
you’re getting a false positive on a cow or something. But what do we emit that would identify us
as human, or at least as something alive, and can be detected from a distance? It might vary a lot on circumstances. We all give off infrared energy, generally
around 100 watts of it at a wavelength of about 10 microns. Lots of things can spread that frequency out,
everything from clothing – or a thermal blanket – to simple foliage being in the
way or the atmosphere blurring or distorting it, but in many cases you could find someone
by their infrared heat if you’ve got the resolution and processing power for it. If you’re search zone is a square ten kilometers
wide, taking a photo where each pixel is just a meter wide is a hundred million pixels you
need to analyze for a possible infrared heat signature, flag all your hits and then check
each out in more detail. This method works great in space when dealing
with a moon or asteroid or airless world, alternatively you couldn’t use something
that worked on sound in such environments, but that might work very well on Earth. But there’s a lot of ambient noise and trying
to pick up a heartbeat from that is a very dubious proposition. You’ve probably heard about new Search and
Rescue drones that can pick out a heartbeat from a person even if they’re buried under
meters of rubble, but this is actually done with microwaves, and is a good example of
space technology finding a use back here at home. NASA and DHS worked to put the concept together
and it is very similar to ground penetrating radar. There’s a pretty distinctive motion and
pattern to a beating heart or breathing whereas rubble does not move, and the radar can go
through the stone fairly well and give you reflections from which you can build a 3D
image. A second later if that image has altered,
that’s motion, and again fairly specific motion for breathing and heart beats. This is light speed so if you ramp up the
power and receivers you could potentially be doing this detecting from orbit. And since it is using low-powered microwaves,
it’s possible it’s the sort of thing we could patch cellphones to do not too far down
the road so that a ton of volunteers in a remote area or in a city that had a building
collapsed could potentially help rapidly scan that zone. I also would not rule out major improvements
in microphones on smart phones allowing everybody to network in to pick out noises. With enough processing power and enough microphones
you can potentially pick out all sorts of stuff. Same if you’ve got access to those phone
cameras and very good image processing. We might call this notion Crowd-Sourced Search
& Rescue, but there’s a long precedent already of crowd-sourcing our search, rescue, and
relief efforts, however this might be something we could setup to be near-instantly activated
and automated, which would be kinda handy. Kinda creepy too but the bad news about technology
like this is that it’s kind of inevitable you’d be able to generate ridiculously accurate
and invasive data on folks, awesome for search and rescue and detecting crimes but definitely
raises the scary specter of Big Brother watching everything you do. And I hate to say there’s no way around
that capacity existing, you deal with that either by controlling how such data is collected,
stored, sorted, and accessed, or by counter-technology like having a microwave reflective coating
in your clothes or walls. That is obviously a double-edged sword if
you find yourself buried under those walls or kidnapped and locked in a shielded dungeon. As always with technology, it solves a lot
of problems but often gives us some new ones too. That same sort of awesome detection and data-sorting
capacity, while great for S&R, also helps on the prevention end and the best emergency
is the one that never happens. You’re a lot less likely to be buried in
an avalanche while skiing or mountain climbing if some radar system is scanning the slopes
and compiling and processing that to detect one ready for collapse and knows exactly where
to whack it with a drone or sound blast to cause a fairly controlled and minor avalanche
instead so it’s safe for people to walk on. Same, if someone falls down a well or shaft,
we can excavate a lot faster if the digging tool is wired into a ground radar and computer
that’s constantly picking out the next safe scoop. On the rescue end, while St Bernards are cute,
some bullet drones that can slam through snow and ice to right next to you and blow a bunch
of air bags open to cocoon you is a lot better, and that potentially works well down in shafts. As is a tiny drone that can worm its way through
rubble pulling a small air hose or compressed oxygen tanks to a victim before they suffocate
or get them food and water and a microphone and speaker so they can talk and hear and
not go insane with panic while we get them out. A drone carrying a skinny but ultra-strong
tether of Kevlar or graphene might be great for looping around someone in a flood or sinking
undersea or drifting away in space, so we can grapple them and winch them in. Or even in the air. Right now if a plane starts going down in
a crash we can’t do anything from outside but offer advice, if you could get tethers
or nets latched onto one very quickly, you might be able to safely bring it down. Speed being everything, there are occasions
where some bullet or missile might be just what we need for a rescue. If a plane is dropping, it’s still usually
going subsonic and has some kilometers to cover before the crash, the same technology
that might protect us from missiles, point defense systems, might also be employed to
rapidly and automatically fire pods full of parachutes or airbags or solid rocket boosters
at a plane within seconds of the pilot or onboard computers slapping the panic button
or air traffic control detecting a terminal trajectory. That might work on cars on a freeway too,
as an alternative if people don’t warm up to self-driving cars. You can’t automate the vehicles but you
sure can automate that highway so that the guard rails and asphalt and ditches all blow
airbags or have cannons along the median machine gun a car with compressed gas air bag bullets
and presumably do the same on buildings or bridges for if folks fell or jumped off. You’d want really precise automation on
that though to avoid blowing kilometers worth of traffic into cocoons if someone just swerved
off the road, but I like the self-driving car option better. Personally I trust a computer more than my
own driving but more importantly I trust it more than the driving of someone drunk or
busy texting, but I’m generally of the opinion that technology is more about giving us what
we want than what is necessarily best for us. That’s important in this context because
a lot of search and rescue happens because someone was being rather reckless and telling
someone they ought not climb a mountain with minimal safety gear or take a submersible
down to look at a deep ocean trench is often not going to stop them from doing it. Humanity’s curiosity and courage are two
of our most admirable traits in my opinion but stupidity and foolhardiness often masquerade
as them and can be difficult to tell apart even for a wise man, who are darn rare and
usually acquired that wisdom by sticking their nose in a bear trap and lucking out a few
times. I’m usually considered a pretty cautious
individual and I know in my own case, and in the case of most other cautious folks I
know, that we acquired that trait after sticking in pennies in a wall plug a few times. Most of us have done something that would
nominate us for a Darwin Award and that’s why we rush out to save folks even when they’ve
brought it on themselves. That will be a lot more challenging as we
move away from Earth, a very dangerous place but still the safest one in the Universe for
people. How do you rush out and rescue some asteroid
miners a million kilometers or more from the nearest help where they might all have asphyxiated
before their emergency signal even reaches you? How do you run off to help some colony on
a planet orbiting an alien sun a century of travel away? A lot like hunting for survivors of a shipwreck
a century ago you’re relying on them staying alive for a long while on their wits and improvised
solutions, but while we tend to write off cases like that as impossible to help, I think
you’d still try, just manage your expectations and plan with reason in mind. A little imagination helps too. I had a bet going before I wrote this episode
if I could come up with a legitimate reason to use an atomic weapon, death ray, or relativistic
kill missile for search or rescue and we did come up with all of the above. Setting off nukes to save people might seem
a bit crazy and over the top, although I’m pretty sure SFIA regulars have a rather high
threshold for that after enough episodes, but there’s actually a ton of occasions
where it does make sense. Tsunami, hurricanes, or earthquakes can potentially
be dealt with by precision application of huge amounts of energy as can asteroids on
a collision course with Earth. So too, firing off nukes in a diamond around
some ship or escape pod wandering through debris can potentially vaporize that debris
without hurting the vessel. But on the search end of things, often passive
detection of looking around isn’t enough and you need active detection, the difference
between a flashlight and radar versus a low-light camera for instance. At the scales involved in space, blowing a
nuke off in an area is a very good way to get a large flash to illuminate your search
in whatever spectrum you are looking in, and you can pack substances around the warhead
that will absorb the radiation and re-emit it in particular detectable frequencies. Good way to make an impromptu lighthouse or
serve as the deep space equivalent of a flare gun. We also have ship designs that use atomic
bombs as their propellant, see the Nuclear Option or Spaceship Propulsion Compendium
for details, and a good way to rescue a ship that’s plowing through space at high speeds
is to basically send them a warhead with a pusher plate attached to it, and a relativistic
kill missile carrying one as it’s payload could be fired out after even interstellar
ships moving at a high fraction of light who had their fuel tanks rupture light years from
home. Needless to say, a laser built to serve as
an anti-asteroid vaporizer or a death ray for leveling cities also makes a very handy
deep space flashlight or radar for hunting after lost ships. Very powerful lasers are also handy for cutting
and vaporizing your way through rubble to get to someone too. The key on all these things, especially the
high powered or ultra-fast ones is precision of course, since a miscalculation could end
up burying, burning, or crushing the person you’re trying to rescue. Another key thing is that with good automation
you can use a quantity over quality approach, by flooding an area with search drones or
having them stationed at high density so some medical rescue robot is attached to every
telephone pole. There are of course far more options for things
to go wrong in space than we could cover today, and we’ll explore options like what to do
to handle a dome on Mars cracking open or someone blowing a giant hole in the side of
space habitat in future episodes on catastrophe-proofing civilizations and high-tech doomsday preppers,
and we’ll look at some more of the far future disaster options and how we can avoid them
and react to them if they do happen. Daring survival stories are pretty common
in all genres of fiction, and doubtless long predate even ancient tales like Homer’s
Odyssey, and certainly are popular in science fiction, with many great classics, but great
stories about the folks looking to find and rescue folks are a lot less common outside
of detective mystery novels where the person being sought fell afoul of a criminal rather
than a natural disaster or ill luck. One of the things I especially like about
the novel “The Martian” by Andy Weir and its film adaptation is it not only gave us
a pretty realistic story of a man surviving against the odds, but the folks back home
at mission control working against the odds to find and rescue him and folks risking and
sacrificing a lot to try it. No crazy villains or aliens or handwaves or
contrivances, just realism and determination, so it’s an easy pick for our book of the
month. If you’ve seen the film, the book is even
better, and the narrator of the audiobook does an excellent job with the performance
too, a good narrator can make a good book even better, and it’s a great book to begin
with. You can get a free copy of The Martian at
Audible.com/Isaac or text Isaac to 500-500. Audible offers a 30 day free trial, but each
month you’re a member you now get a free audiobook and 2 audible originals, and those
credits rollover to the next month or year and stay yours, along with any books you got,
even if you later discontinue your membership. And with their convenient app, you can listen
on any of your devices and seamlessly pick up where you left off, whether you’re listening
at home, commuting, running errands or off jogging or at the gym. Audible makes it cheap and easy to access
a vast collection of amazing stories on any device. Of course one day such a device might be even
easier to access as we develop seamless and intuitive mind-machine interfaces, and as
mentioned, we’ll be looking at those next week, both the advantages and challenges ahead
of us for developing and safely using such technology. A point we’ll make next week is that such
technologies are almost inevitable for us at this point, it’s just a matter of when
and which methods we can most easily develop and feel comfortable using, but advances in
technology might not be inevitable even when possible, and in two weeks we’ll be going
back to our Fermi Paradox Great Filters Series to examine the idea that advanced civilizations
in our Universe might be rare not just because the planetary conditions and evolutionary
pathway to intelligence might be rare, but because many civilizations might not pursue
technology. For alerts when those and other episodes come
out, make sure to subscribe to the channel, and if you’d like to support the channel,
you can visit our website to donate, or just share the video with others. Until next time, thanks for watching, and
have a safe week!

100 thoughts on “High-Tech Search & Rescue

  1. Some Nobel prize winner that's an astrophysicist said we will never reach another planet and if we do we will never colonize. I call bullshit.

  2. I'd love to listen to an audible book read by Isaac. I like the Ringworld narrator but Isaac doing it would make it feel like a really long SFIA episode.

  3. Uplifted Saint Bernard reaches your location.
    Say's "Just hold still, while download your mind. Any unnecessary movement, will cause our personalities to irreversible merge, and I don't risky behavior. And you wouldn't like dog kibble. "

  4. i always wondered if we can cheat the G force problem, to accelerate or deccelerate faster, like the G-Diffuser system in star fox. you should do an episode on it

  5. haha… oh oh man… yes, I've been there… While using a bare rusty razor blade and accidentally cutting the big red rubber wire in an old B&W mac was not a pleasant experience. Pretty sure that was one of my quantum deaths 😉 (how many of these do I get btw?)

  6. I'd argue that The Martian does use one plot contrivance. Namely, the storm that kicks off the plot can't physically happen.

    And that's ignoring the author's repeated use of 'what is the worst way this can go badly but still be survivable?'…

  7. Neglecting air resistance and Earth's rotation, a (freefall) drop from the top of a 150 kilometer tall tower to sea level would take 178 seconds, or about 3 minutes. The classical mechanics equation is

    tᵢ−t₀ = √[r₀/(2GM)] { √(r₀rᵢ−rᵢ²) + r₀ arctan √(r₀/rᵢ−1) }

    rᵢ = 6371000 m
    r₀ = rᵢ + 150000 m
    GM = 3.986004418e+14 m³ sec⁻²

  8. call me weird but if I get to make the call it would always be "download medical knowlege required for self-surgery" instead of "put me under and let somebody else cut me up"

  9. There are two kinds of sailors, those with rescue beacons and insurance… and those without. Both kinds feel they are being more responsible. The first kind feel they should make rescue as easy as possible and cover their butts as best they can. The second feel they take responsibility for their own actions and if they vanish, that is their choice. They make sure they feel "OK" with loosing their boat. I think someone who knows they are doing dangerous activities should at least have the choice of saying "don't rescue me". I think there are some times where the person doing an activity should never expect to be rescued even if they might want to be. Those who do not expect to be rescued probably further the human race more than those who do…

  10. yeah, i know that getting a drivers license is laughably easy in your country, but in my countrs, its a long and hard procedure, which also includes first aid. and i think interstellar travel would scale that concept up exponentially….

    second: if you are travelling far, the most likely way to ensure that theres someone there to help you if SHTF would be to be travelling in a swarm from the start. yet, a swarm is just nominally different from a single ship that has an abundance of failsaves.

    so… are we even interested in creating a society in which also the dumbest people are able to get themselves into critical situations?

  11. I live on a farm, and one time about a year or so ago a fire broke out in one of our hay-barns, the entire thing was consumed in flames, i remember my mum waking me up at like 3:am to watch the fire. She told me that she'd already called the fire department and that they were on their way, but our house is a bit hidden away and we weren't entirely sure if they'd arrive at the right spot. So i had to walk down the road (barefoot) and direct them to our house so that they could extinguish the fire. There were about three vehicles and probably twenty firemen, but what i remember most vividly about the experience was when i looked toward one of the trucks with firemen pouring out of it, with the rising sun right behind them, they looked so badass that all i could think was "real life super-heroes", come to save me (or rather my barn) from the fire.
    As Issac talked about modern day rescuers at the begging, it really reminded me of the experience, like we see people like iron man and bat man on tv all the time, but it's easy to forget that such heroes exist and they do their job everyday. No ones life was at risk in my situation, but they were heroes nonetheless.

    Bless your face Issac, good episode as always.

  12. “Gps/health monitor at all time? Hah thats a bit much”
    He said, forgetting about the smartwatch he is currently wearing.

  13. Oh my god thank you for talking about this! I have a scene in the book i'm writing where a CBRN Army Unit coordinates with the National Forrest Service to do a Rescue op on the main character. NFS straight hired Former Airforce PJs and they brought Army Sappers with em lol

  14. [pause] Wait. Pennies in the wall socket? nope, cant say I have ever heard of that.
    butterknife in the wall socket! never pennies.

  15. Some channels just throw in an ad. Others cleverly transition to the ad. But never have I seen a YouTuber transition from content, to an ad, and on to more content! Marvelous

  16. Issac
    Check out the wondering earth on Netflix the premise is that we move the earth by making earth engines all over the world and propel our way across the universe
    Funny movie cool ideas let me know what you think

  17. Lunch time with SFIA, life is good.

    And the idea of nukes being the new SOS flare. 🤣 Such is SFIA, where preconceived notions are turned upside down and the potential reality of the future turned up past 11.

  18. Some respect for firemen, I wouldn't piss on a cop to put out a fire. There's a 5'10 280 tax thief running a revenue trap 500m from my house most days which is almost all of what that particular agency does. The main road in my area that I live off of is long enough to have 3 "Jurisdiction Changes" so there are literally 3 different police agencies running speed traps on it and a state trooper dug in like a tick in the immediate vicinity of the interstate off ramp that leads to said road. We need to layoff or outright fire a large portion of the cops in this country if they can literally "Revenue Farm" all fucking day.

  19. Joe Scott recently did a good interview with Andy Weir
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cvZ9NWgsws
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dgwnhFf_6Y

  20. 18:00 – From the time I was a kid, I learned caution the smart way. I didn't stick pennies into wall sockets to see what would happen to me. Instead, I observed what happened when other less cautious kids around me did such things instead, and so learned not to do such things myself in the first place. Why be the lab rat when you have friends willing to take all the risks themselves – especially when it's their own idea to begin with?

  21. Truly Awesome!, I enjoyed it a lot!, See this New Album 'Monish Jasbird – Death Blow', channel link www.youtube.com/channel/UCv_x5rlxirO-WKjLIyk6okQ?sub_confirmation=1 , doo check 🙂

  22. As soon as he mentioned "orbital drop" I had images of Halo's ODST in fire fighting gear in my head.

    And then it got sillier with the drone cannon.

  23. My Darwin Award moment: repeatedly kicking something I thought was a training mine in Fort Polk. Turns out it was a forgotten live anti-tank mine from world war 2.

  24. Could you make a "Shell" that is full of oscillating X rays? to fill it with energy so that the shell itself will shorten the distance and thus travel time?

  25. Someday we will all have RFID chips (like my cat) that could include transponders and health monitoring devices.
    Suppose you have one in your hand, and it is used to authorize payments and entrance into secured areas.
    In that case, health monitoring might be needed to detect coercion (to say nothing of a bad guy removing your hand).

  26. Excellent episode! But I want to hear more about the mind-blowing concept of emergency autonomous decapitation and it's future applications as a survival technique.

  27. I have this fantasy of "peace keepers" (SWAT) orbiting (via balloon) so that they could quickly intervene when local listening devices detect bad guys causing trauma. The could descend in high-speed gliders so that they could have HALO-like speed but much greater range and carry more equipment than parachutists could.

  28. Awesome episode! Leave it to a former artillery man to come up with an almost literal “star shell” you could fire off to illuminate deep space. 🙂

  29. The title makes me think of Jerry Anderson's Thunderbirds and International rescue
    I've fond memories of being guled to the TV watching them on VHS as a kid

  30. I was excited about that heartbeat detecting radar stuff right up until I heard that the USA DHS was funding it. Now I know it's not actually intended for search and rescue, but for mass surveillance, with search and rescue as a PR stunt, just like everyone knows that the DARPA robotics challenges are often billed as firefighting/NBC emergency response exercises, but are mainly intended to determine when humanoid robots are good enough overall that it's not stupid to directly spend money on developing robotic soldiers. (The Russian counterparts aren't even trying to hide it, you can see videos online of Russian scientists awkwardly putting their humanoid robots through akimbo pistol challenges to try to drum up support for their funding). It was kind of funny seeing DARPA do contortions trying to explain how the AIs doing a competitive hacker capture-the-flag tournament (a game where attack and defence of computer systems are equally important) were only interested in defence. They altered a bit of terminology from how the game is normally thought of, but it played just the same. Of course, you really can't separate one from the other in that context because fixing security bugs is mostly about finding security bugs and understanding how they are exploited, but I found it dishonest how hard they tried to hide that fact when talking about the competition.

    Looks like we need tinfoil shirts too now! Might as well bring plate mail back into fashion… 🙂

    Oh well, at least after the state has its fun (and once the tech gets reverse-engineered by other parties and goes out of classification and patent, then comes down in price from competition; if we're still alive by then) all those technologies could potentially work in their PR purpose too (and drive advancements for other, more mundane purposes), so there is still a sliver lining. Can't they just be honest? "We want this technology to keep our populace under control/fight our international rivals, but it's cool tech you can use for these other purposes too (at least in theory)! Bring your pitches to our contest, cash prizes will be awarded and it's great exposure!"

  31. As always, what I thought was a simple concept gets twisted around by the real world implications until we're discussing "Big Brother." Inevitable, really! This channel is driven by one of the broadest approaches to futurism I think I've seen! Well done.

  32. Its already pretty normal for sea kayakers to carry an epirb (emergency position indicating beacon)

  33. Anyone taking bets that the first legit use of a power-suit will be for fire-fighting? Doubtful the batteries will have the endurance up to military tasks (despite the hype and glorification for this role), and perhaps a bit pricey for jobs equally suited to a fork-lift. But in a dangerous situation, in a possibly confined space, with a lot of heavy equipment and extracting people that may not be able to move on their own, the tech would make perfect sense. And you don't need much more endurance than the air tank, since it's a get in and out as fast as possible type situation.

  34. A Nuke honestly isn't a good idea for a Hurricane unless you have some way to assure that no debris gets out since radiation is pretty bad and adding energy to a heat engine tends not to be the best way to turn it off… Since with advanced technology able to manipulate flows to prevent explosive ejecta from getting out you would likely have far better alternatives. Even with precision a sledgehammer remains a crude tool in many respects after all the laws of physics and radiative pressure remain the same under all conditions in space and time at least to our limits of understanding.

  35. I wrote a story where a man blown out of his starship by battle damage finally understood his grandfather's story of crying on seeing the reentry tracks as the super power dropped medical teams on his plague ridden planet when he saw the blue glow of the engine of the ship braking to pick him up.

  36. I remember seeing a documentary on fire-fighters in Kuwait putting out oil rig fires. Many used explosives to kill the fire so they could then cap the well after it cooled a bit; Problem was the metals in the well head were so hot it often restarted the fire. So then there was this team with a couple of jet engines bolted to some sort of tracked vehicle that literally blew the fire out & as an added bonus cooled the well head enough so that it could be quickly capped.

  37. The Martian was very unprofessional, astronauts would not be using bad language, they are too disciplined for that., to focused on the mission.

  38. 3:34
    WOW! I know this isn't a "babe channel" but WOW!

    Another great ep, Isaac. I did notice more than 3:34 and I'm looking forward to future eps. Especially like the airline-catcher. The last time I had the opportunity to fly, the thought did occur to me that if this thing breaks up, there's no way to catch us on the way down. Then I almost forgot about it and thought about how sore my butt was getting. Bring on the hypersonic airliners, man.

  39. Let me just say, that was a damn good transition to the ad. I was listening to the ad for about 15 seconds before i realised it.

  40. I suspect that fixing dome cracks will involve duct tape and flex-seal (aerosol rubberized plastic in a can) – it's cheap, versatile, and anyone can use it. Hell even expanding foam and sheets of cloth (basically fiberglass) would do.

  41. Hey Isaac thanks for the uploads man. It might sound dumb but your videos really mean alot to. I been going through a rough patch at the moment/last few years and for some weird reason your videos always give me a bit of comfort and a bit of escapism I guess. I dunno, it's kinda hard to put into words but anyway yeah just wanted to say thank you and keep doin what ya doin. Cheers dude!

  42. On the subject of Big Brother and how you can't block him without also blocking search and rescue, I'd rather be able to choose between getting rescued better or having privacy than have no option where I get rescued better.

  43. Funny fact: this week a building falls in Fortaleza-BR, in of the survivors take a selfie under tons of debries…
    The guy is already rescued, and is fine.

  44. In 2018, after 22 years as a professional firefighter/EMT/Hat-mat Specialist, I was retired out due to injury. I have something like a 66% likelihood of developing cancer from the various carcinogens I have been exposed to. I made it to the rank of Captain, and am still very proud of that. Thanks for recognising us, and dedicating this episode to to people who risk their lives to save strangers.

  45. Please do video series covering police of the near future , future & far future .
    And
    Military of the near future , future & far future .

  46. First aid kit of the future, includes an Emergency Medical Hologram. "Please state the nature of the medical emergency." Can't wait!

  47. To be honest, Isaac Arthur, your optimism and faith in humanity is part of what I love about your channel and content. For me it's a breath of fresh air when compared to the vast sea of Futurists who prefer to wallow in cynicism.

  48. won't this technology not be trusted with some humans hands, since they might hack it for their own means or just weapons it to see it and use it against the people.

  49. There's a sound in your music (ex. 14:54) that sounds distressingly like an alarm. Upvote if you would prefer it not be in future music because it make your teeth try to jump out of your face-hole.

  50. It wouldn't surprise me at all if emergency tech baked into our everyday devices keeps getting more and more common. Just a few weeks ago there was a story about a cyclist in Spokane that had an accident out on a mountain biking trail, and was knocked unconscious. Their smart watch called 911 and EMS personnel were able to get to him within minutes. Guess we'll see what future generations of the same tech does!

  51. 17:54 I love love love that you crack up a little bit on your next sentence.
    It's what I've been telling people for a few years now. Physical and financial pain aren't just the best teachers, they're the ONLY teachers.

  52. Humans, the paramedics of the stars, treating all, regardless of political state, race, whether they're human or not, and not caring about their homeworld

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