A Next Millennium:
Emergent Systems Epoch
By Paul Douglas Renselle
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Stan Davis in, "2020 Vision," says that global society will leave our current information systems epoch. We will see a huge transformation. We will enter a new epoch. In Earth's 2040-50s we may call that new epoch, with hindsight, an ‘emergent systems’ epoch. We are on a leading swell of a great new epoch-shift. As we look into a crystal ball of our future, we see many agents of change.

Key transformation agents — Internet 

Internet is one key agent of that transformation. Internet is an emergent system. Some describe it as a new life form. It is an evolving, communal context that allows those in it to communicate with and sense its global environment. It is a foundation infrastructure for an emergent systems epoch. 

No matter how we portray Internet, it is a pioneer and precursor of things to come. It is about a future: man-made and emergent systems-made entities expressing emergent, almost life-like behaviors. 

What can we predict about our Internet-driven, emergent systems epoch? 

In societies’ futures, interactions with Internet grow in surprising ways. Web pages, browsers, applications, agents, and applets assist us every day. They are ubiquitous magic panes of capability that leverage each of us in work and play. 

This is different from television, though, because we choose randomly and willfully what we browse, search and consume. Channels are unlimited. A concept of channels dissolves into hyper links. Content is unlimited. Content expands faster than our ability to follow. Yet we easily find latest knowledge, news, and entertainment we want. Advertising does not intrude 30% of our viewing time. 

We begin to understand, intuit, and mimic Internet values. Internet shows how freedom and power emerge from autonomous network elements that communicate unhindered. We work and play in Internet and experience good, free, healthy, happy, productive lives. To paraphrase Pirsig, note1 "Internet is quality, and we are in it, and it is in us. It is more highly evolved than any single society or culture on earth. It emphasizes dynamic interrelationship patterns of intellectual-social behavior. These dynamic behavior patterns improve limiting static patterns of a previous information systems epoch." 

Internet shows us many autonomous elements each with essential connectivity are good. This simple concept becomes a revived value – a common measure for freedom. note2

Key transformation agents — Freedom 

We become more autonomous. We expect autonomy. We demand it. Why? Freedom is a cornerstone of happiness and peace of mind. Perhaps Pirsig note3 says it best, "Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce [right] work…" 

Internet and global freedom mixture spawns big effects. Familiar things fade away:

  - newsprint, 
- most magazines and journals, 
- telephones, 
- real-estate, travel, and most human agents, 
- commercial television, 
- six- and eight-lane highways, 
- schools and school buses, 
- office buildings, 
- organized bureaucracies, 
- post offices, 
- government mismanagement, 
- government intrusion, etc.
 Some extended complex side effects are:
  - reduced media bias, 
- reduced business travel and pollution, 
- lower crude oil prices, 
- devaluation of commercial real estate, 
- architectural changes to homes, 
- real-time voting, 
- smaller government, 
- fewer attorneys, 
- self governance, 
- dramatic growth in GDP, and many more.

More of us work in our home cave-cocoon, but something new happens: our cocoon becomes virtually portable and mobile. We act as autonomous, one-person, virtual workers. As needed, we enjoy gathering temporarily to work in groups, anywhere, anytime. We carry portable Internet access providers anywhere we go. 

Pretend that a project needs workers. Virtual teams establish virtual corporations and do projects over an Internet. Mostly virtual team members work at home. Perhaps once a week, we work together in a studio chosen for convenience. Lights-out, just-in-time, mass customization factories contract with virtual corporations to manufacture physical parts. Virtual teams assemble soft parts from public and private domain components available on an Internet. On project completion, virtual corporations and teams disassemble and workers move to other tasks. We find ways to deliver and track revenue flow from products to virtual workers who created them. 

We register and maintain our skill profiles in Internet data bases. Search engines find teams or team members for new projects. Virtual workers carefully monitor search statistics to see which skills show increased demand. We hone our skills to match demand trends. 

We are happier and more fulfilled because we:

  - eliminate artificial deadlines imposed by scheduled work at remote sites, 
- eliminate daily long drives or commutes, 
- balance and schedule our work and play, 
- raise our children without worry of surrogate misbehavior, 
- spend more time as family units, 
- have more discretionary leisure time, 
- associate with peers of our choice, 
- work for teams we like, 
- get paid for value added - not by the hour, and 
- become responsible for our own success.

We become more aware of and practice optimal behaviors for good life. 

Through personal autonomy, we manage our life activities to achieve balance that is right for us. Some work more, others less. Mothers and fathers work and raise children at home. 

Playful folk can golf or tennis during sunlit days and work mornings and evenings. Work and play intermingle freely permitting us to nurture our value centers and quality of life. 

Eating habits change. A typical person eats much less food. It became clear in 1990s life-spans increase to 140-170 years by fecundity delay, proper environment selection, exercise, eating and drinking habits. In a new future we will unselfconsciously fast as part of our new culture.

 Key transformation agents — Emerscents

Many of us still want to have fun and get high. Emerscents note4 replace alcohol and recreational drugs. Emerscents are safe, smart nanoscale molecules. They self-replicate and self-destruct. Emerscents have similar and expanded effects of classic drugs and libations. However, their effects are controllable, impermanent, and reversible. People who want artificial highs may choose to have emerscents installed.

Emerscent designers foresee a future where emerscents gradually come under control of a host mind, and gain autonomy from external control equipment. They see an onset of new communications technology. One technology allows them to install correlated particles in emerscents. Installation of correlated emerscents in multiple people permits shared thoughts and artificial euphoric experiences whether they are in one room or one galaxy.

We have more energy and time for leisure, since we seldom travel to and from work, and we spend much less time consuming and digesting coarse foods. Many of us fill our homes with virtual reality equipment. VR equipment works with a huge and growing list of emerscents people buy. VR equipment merges exercise equipment, on-line books, videos, and other sources of entertainment. It works with or without emerscents and produces a virtual entertainment environment for all. Some of us use emerscents during exercise to elicit pleasure and fitness.

Key transformation agents — Quantum Communications 

Internet's underlying infrastructure and all means of communication changes. Breakthroughs in quantum communication make it possible to provide instantaneous, quasi-infinite bandwidth connections. Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen thought experiments of 1934-5 become reality. Engineers glimpse quantum teleportation still slightly beyond reach. 

All communication satellites, microwave relay stations, massive high-power antennae, antenna dishes, and intrusive cable installations become obsolete. Old communication infrastructure decays much like railroad tracks and easements that became jogging-bicycle trails in 1980s and 1990s. 

Quantum communications pass through all media, for example metals, Earth, etc., without delay. Designers integrate quantum transceivers into most physical assets people possess. Every physical device has at least one Internet Protocol address.

Key transformation agents — Quantum Computing 

Quantum computing becomes reality under a many-worlds metaphor of quantum theory. This innovation provides almost infinite computing resource for processors in physical devices. 

Effects of this change are profound. Quantum computing architecture replaces a defunct von Neumann architecture. In just a few years QCs, quantum computers with integrated quantum communications, replace antiquated PCs. Without QC capability and resources, teams and projects fail to compete with those who transition to QC architecture. 

QCs are general devices. They adapt to our uses and needs. They support any kind of communications medium that we desire. They behave as entertainment or work stations at our whim. They can record, transform, manipulate, and distribute all media types and formats. They sense environment, including taste, smell, touch, sight (full radio frequency spectrum), emotions, and sound. They can control all robots currently in production. They can control all emerscents currently in production. 

Given Internet, freedom, quantum communications, and quantum computing, human productivity exceeds all previous measures. Time to complete day-to-day computational tasks approaches zero. Data bases and application interfaces that took weeks now take minutes. Product concepts become prototypes in less than a day. New technology challenges and societal needs increase to nearly balance resource growth accomplishments. Net of all this, we have even more discretionary time.

Key transformation agents — Genome Engineering 

Concomitant with these new technology developments, we finish mapping human's entire genome and genomes of most other phyla on earth. QC speed enables us to decode DNA from a tissue or blood sample in seconds. We can compare decoded and mapped DNA to reference DNA structures and identify differences that may indicate presence of disease or congenital defects. 

Physicians now have a choice. They can engineer corrective DNA segment viruses note5 to edit defective codes. Where virus engineering has not proceeded far enough for a given disease, we use emerscents to mitigate effects of a disease. Virus engineering for known diseases progresses rapidly. Scientists and physicians expect cures for known genetic diseases in a few years. 

Scientists learn that all DNA and life-form specifications and physical designs are wave functions. We find ways to transmit specifications for any life form very quickly over quantum communication links. We can send information wave functions for a virus anywhere and use it to assemble a virus at selected sites to fix defective DNA. 

Crime analysis and forensic science tools which depended on genetic patterns become less useful. Genome engineering enables people to alter their DNA. Using new tissue regeneration emerscents and viruses, some criminals change DNA that controls their finger print patterns. Criminals steal DNA patterns from other people and duplicate their finger prints. They design new print patterns and use those. Security systems that depend on genetic pattern invariance become obsolete.

Key transformation agents — Organoplastics 

Organoplastic or polymer transistor technology advances beyond performance of solid-state silicon, germanium, and gallium devices. Electronic logic in polymers affords integration of software and firmware logic into previously unimagined applications: paint, plastic coatings, Band-Aids, balloons, tires, saran wrap, etc. An endless list. 

New products with unique behaviors evolve: 

Balloons that say, "ouch," at a pre-burst point. Band-Aids that talk when we try to remove them. Foldable, rollable color displays as thin as paper. Tires that tell you to fill them or stop. Business cards that replay your pitch, list your product line, and help a customer contact you. Bottles that sense and display their contents. Credit-card-sized entertainment storage devices that contain hundreds of hours of multimedia you preview on a card's face. Door locks, light switches, keys, mailboxes coated with materials that confirm your identity when you are near them. Maps that continuously upgrade. Maps made from a sheet of plastic as thin as paper, with built-in Internet and GPS communications.

Key transformation agents — Free Energy 


  • Casimir plenum (1948)
  • Quantum flux
  • Sonoluminescence
  • Casimir coherent fusion
  • etc.


  • Zero cost incremental production/replication (just like software!)
  • Zero cost mass customization
  • Distributed, virtual, individual production control
  • Unlimited product synthesis
  • etc.


Our crystal ball says leave now's information systems epoch. Enter an emergent systems epoch. Make it happen about 2010 to 2020. Use a whole raft of technologies to leverage your participation in a new transformation. 

Glimmering deep in shadows, further in our future, our crystal sphere shows another new form about to emerge — NeoSapiens.


1. "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," and "Lila," by Robert M. Pirsig, Bantam Books, 1974 and 1991.  

2. What John Stuart Mill describes in his essay, "On Liberty."  

3. Paperback page 267, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," p. 267, by Robert M. Pirsig, Bantam Books, paperback, 1974.

 4. Coined by Paul Douglas Renselle, June 1, 1996. From ‘emergent ascent’ of mind. We can achieve emergent ascent artificially and harmlessly using emerscents.  

5. These are ‘good’ viruses. In the 1980s and 90s we called them silver bullets. They can edit all the DNA in one body quickly and efficiently.

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To contact Quantonics write to or call:

Doug Renselle
Quantonics, Inc.
Suite 18 #368 1950 East Greyhound Pass
Carmel, INdiana 46033-7730

©Doug Renselle & ©Quantonics, Inc., 1996-2011 Rev. 11Jul2009  PDR — Created 6Jun1996  PDR
(5Dec2001 rev - Add top of page frame-breaker. Change 'dissemble' to 'disassemble.')
(16Aug2002 rev - Reformat title, cell padding, page size, and justification.)
(30Oct2002 rev - Add EPR link under 'Quantum Communications.') 
(23Feb2007 rev - Adjust format and color.)
(11Jul2009 rev - Make page current.)