Forecasting the Future
One of my favorite books as kid was Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. Packed with trivia that I would regurgitate ad nauseum to any family member that would listen, one of my favorite pages dealt with predictions of the future that turned out to be amazingly dumb.
Still, I can’t resist the temptation to imagine our future world and make a few predictions of my own. Here are some of which I remain particularly convinced. If they don’t come to pass, I hope that they will at least be amusing.
- My friend, Scott, also believes that “2035, smart cars will be ubiquitous the way smart phones are in 2015. There will be fewer traffic deaths, especially those linked to drunk driving, better traffic flow, and less parking issues. I think we’ll just share smart cars by participating in a something like a ride share – for $500/month a car will pick you up wherever you want and drop you off wherever you say, on demand. You won’t own your car, but we’ll all have so much more time, space, and safety. Smart cars are a smart bet for the future.”
- I believe this also, and will add that by 2050, cars will run on some sort of rail or wire system with centralized power, rather than each car needing to convey its own energy source.
- By 2040, I believe that insects will make up more than 25% of human protein consumption, supplanting factory farming of cows, chickens, and pigs.
- By 2040, I believe that the United States Government will offer financial incentives for smaller families in order to slow or reverse population growth. By 2060, family sizes may be legally constricted.
- By 2050, humans will be earnestly engaged in extraterrestrial resource harvesting. This includes bringing these resources back to earth for refinement, and also establishing working colonies on other planets.
- By 2030, the concept of private life will be radically different. Facial recognition software and connections between publicly available data will allow anyone to quickly and easily summon large amounts of information on anyone they happen to see. There will also by a significant market for products that help obfuscate a person’s identity and corrupt their publicly available personal data.
The future will be frighteningly fast-paced. While governments will continue to improve protection of their citizens from physical violence, they will be increasingly powerless to prevent financial and psychological criminality.