The Future Part 2

I have been thinking about the future and I have some very specific predictions.

There will be self healing paint for walls and for cars and things.

There will be construction adhesive like nails or soldering bolts made from a substance like the adhesive that mollusks use to adhere to rocks.

A type of grown in incubation tanks building material that is based on a hardened but yet resilient coral-like material will be developed.

People will return to gardening when food prices go skyrocketing as climate change alters the landscape and makes regional crop production less productive.

There will be underwater and rising through and above the water business and housing developments.

A type of solar powered aircraft will be developed that can make trans-oceanic flights.

The race to keep information free or under control will continue.

The human life span will be expanded with those who can afford longevity and neural regeneration treatments creating an aristocracy.

Genetic engineering will begin with identifying fetuses with genetic anomalies, proceed to correcting the anomalies, move on to engineering zygotes to exclude genetic mutations and unwanted recessives, and lastly become a way for parents to design the child they desire.

I would like to think that in the upcoming energy crisis that a populist movement arises where people begin to use such things and ideas as geothermal heat, more solar and wind energy collection, permaculture design, etc. to create communities where each household is either independent from outside energy sources or contributes to a collective grid to power community necessities like schools, libraries, government buildings, and more.

I fear that the current energy brokers are investing resources not only into grabbing the last of the oil as we head over the hump of peak oil production into the era of dwindling fossil fuels, but also are doing research and development to identify not a new technology that will move us away from oil consumption but another type of controllable resource that can be used to generate an economic situation of supply and demand. Technology can only be contained for so long before it is replicated, but some new resource would guarantee ongoing profits.

Still thinking on all of this. More tomorrow.

Future Predictions Part One

I have been thinking about what the future might look like for a couple days now.

In regards to resources, I think that there will continue to be disparities in what people have, how they live, and what they have available to them. But these disparities will grow. As the population of the earth grows and becomes more urbanized, space will become rare and at a premium. The wealthy with have green space and their accommodations will continue to be similar to the luxury that we have now. For the rest of the planet, there will be the working class who can afford a small space for themselves and their families, but they will fuel the economies of great and sprawling slums. People will continue to leave the rural areas looking for opportunity or because they have been driven from rural lands by international agri-business that will have a strangle hold on food production. Those in the slums will create their own economy of services and goods.

Food. Food will become the defining resource of any economy. Low quality food stuffs will be made from inedible plant matter such as grass or kelp that is processed by bioengineered bacteria. Higher quality food stuffs will be grown but the corporate agri-businesses will have monopolies on seeds and the chemicals necessary to germinate and fertilize seeds.

Education. Formal education will continue to have value at the upper echelons of society which will be more strongly stratified. At the lower levels of society formal education and credentials will have far less value than being able to do a job and having information, experience, and skills. Apprenticeships and indentured servitude to gain skills will become a growing norm.

Health care. For those who can afford the treatments their life spans will be greatly lengthened. Longevity will be the privilege of the wealthy. In a world where calories are rare and the quality of food is not as high, children will be “inoculated” with beneficial and bioengineered bacteria that will enhance the flora of their gut to make it possible to more thoroughly extract nutrients and calories. A course of carefully manipulated viruses will be given to children not only to protect them from common illnesses but to create a beneficial immune response and shield them from depression and anxiety. Genetic testing and treatment will occur while a fetus is still in the womb.

For the poor, health care will be no existent except for what treatments can be concocted as home remedies.

In the next 100 years a human being’s personality, memories, and thought processes will be transferred to an electronic form. The first consciousness to be transferred will go insane without the limits of the senses that act as perceptive interfaces and after this the next breakthrough will be to find ways for the consciousness to take information from the environment and process it and to use this information to feel grounded and oriented.

Ok. Enough for tonight. I will see what I can think up for tomorrow night.

What WIll the Future Look Like?

What will the future look like?

When H.G. Wells wrote Anticipations in 1901 he predicted trains and cars would make it possible for people to live in suburbs, there would be greater sexual freedom and expression for women and men, the defeat of German militarism, and the existence of a European Union. The man who created some of the standard tropes of science fiction looked at what was before him and was able to see into the future with some degree of startling accuracy. He also predicted a few things wrong. For instance he didn’t think there would be a successful aircraft until at least 1950. He was off by a couple decades. And he thought submarines would do nothing but suffocate whoever was in them.

Is it possible to look into the future now using what is evident in this time period to predict the future? Obviously there is no way to know without a time machine to travel forward along the years.

It isn’t hard to seize on things predicted. One can view any number of TED talks where global warming will alter the face of the planet, the information explosion will continue and alter the way things are done and the way economies work, and medical breakthroughs will change the way humanity lives. All of this information is painted with broad strokes, what are the details that will make up people’s lives?

Can we look forward and see a future? And what might that future look like for people? There will BE a future as the earth orbits the sun and the sun spins in the galaxy and the galaxy rushes away propelled by the Big Bang. But for how long will humans be an infintesimially small part of this future? And what will they be doing? How will they live? What will be of significance?

I am going to go out on an intellectual limb over the next few days and make some predictions. I don’t know if I’ll be right. There is no way to tell. If you want to join in in the comments, please do so.

Stay tuned.