Ang Perrier

This conversation is closed.

Projections for the next 20 years

Based on current global trends, financial, military, social, technological, etc... what are your predictions of what the next 20 years will have in store for your country, state, business, world, or all the above??
Compare what you think will happen to what you hope will happen.





The end of this conversation is drawing near. The theme of which has been very much what I thought it would be. Every one of us can pin point the problems of today that will lead us into a dismal future unless rectified. None of us here on TED has the "power" required to solve these problems. Individually we are far too powerless. Take a look at the size of this online community, there aren't very many of us. We are the people who choose to discuss, debate, and challenge each other. If our need to speak out and communicate about substantial issues was being satisfied completely in our daily lives many of us would not be registered in an online community seeking other like minded individuals who will care about the thoughts we think. An ignorant complacency has been epidemically spreading for too long and feels irreversible which makes the future seem a dark and dreary place. My optimism lies in the fact that we all get "it", we know, we understand, but in order for anything to come out of this understanding of what changes need to be made and what the end result has to be for all of us we need to buckle down and do something. I'm in no way trying to make that a personal attack statement, I don't feel as though we're all standing idly by as everything happens to us.
There were numerous comments suggesting that something big is speeding toward us, a game changer, a war, a revolution, a revelation, a...something. Whatever "it" is I just hope that we can discuss, debate, and challenge each other to become empowered individuals with answers as opposed to a list of problems.

Closing Statement from Ang Perrier

Thank you for all the contributions :)

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    Aug 9 2013: I think we need to change the whole system if we are to survive the next 2 - 3 years.
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    Aug 31 2013: The end of this conversation is drawing near. The theme of which has been very much what I thought it would be. Every one of us can pin point the problems of today that will lead us into a dismal future unless rectified. None of us here on TED has the "power" required to solve these problems. Individually we are far too powerless. Take a look at the size of this online community, there aren't very many of us. We are the people who choose to discuss, debate, and challenge each other. If our need to speak out and communicate about substantial issues was being satisfied completely in our daily lives many of us would not be registered in an online community seeking other like minded individuals who will care about the thoughts we think. An ignorant complacency has been epidemically spreading for too long and feels irreversible which makes the future seem a dark and dreary place. My optimism lies in the fact that we all get "it", we know, we understand, but in order for anything to come out of this understanding of what changes need to be made and what the end result has to be for all of us we need to buckle down and do something. I'm in no way trying to make that a personal attack statement, I don't feel as though we're all standing idly by as everything happens to us.
    There were numerous comments suggesting that something big is speeding toward us, a game changer, a war, a revolution, a revelation, a...something. Whatever "it" is I just hope that we can discuss, debate, and challenge each other to become empowered individuals with answers as opposed to a list of problems.
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    Aug 10 2013: We are in a 'trapped transition' between two economic development stages - the Information Age ends with Centralised stagnation. The next stage 'Wisdom Networks' crowd creates distributed prosperity. We may be trapped in transition for another 15 years.

    The community (or crowd) has been building the foundation for distributed prosperity for decades - the first three elements data (internet 30 years), information (world wide web 15 years), community (social networks 10 years) ... the next three elements to be distributed are collaboration, knowledge and wisdom will be achieved in less than 5 years with wisdom networks.

    In the Information Age, our technology allows point to point communication. Reach increased from near to far. Speed increased to instant. Our society developed tools based on point to point communication that included hierarchies, centralised knowledge and decision making. The internet has sped up the status quo with neglible productivity benefit. These tools don’t scale and are failing to deliver global prosperity, productivity or equality.

    IF we restructure communities FROM point to point communication and its centralised form in the physical world TO peer to peer collaboration and distributed contribution over the internet, THEN it solves huge problems resulting from Information Age structures and delivers a new era of productivity, growth and distributed prosperity.

    Wisdom Networks are an elective singularity and reshape the status quo using the peer to peer structure of the internet and achieving a rapid jump in productivity, potential output (18.2% to 55%), productive work time (28% to 50-75%) and usher in the new era of prosperity. This is the overdue third revolution in economic development.

    I predict that distributed prosperity will be enabled in less than 2 years with less than 30 networks and 900 people and it will transform the world within 5 years ( http://is.gd/wnimwww ). Citizens will demand societies are organised like Facebook.
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      Aug 26 2013: You paint a very intricate picture. The stages you're referring to, I've never heard of that before but I can absolutely see this playing out. We'll finally utilize the internet for something far more substantial than we have been since its debut.
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    Aug 31 2013: Inter-species understanding , that's where futures at !
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    Aug 28 2013: Based on current trends, we will likely see:

    - The accelerated expansion of technological unemployment.
    - The increased use of robot-assisted surgery.
    - Custom, genetics-based medications and therapies.
    - Regional farm towers (20 to 50 stories tall), which grow food hydroponically to feed local populations.
    - Micro-manufacturing plants, which can produce small batches of custom or semi-custom goods as needed.
    - Textbook-free schools, where the digital "books" can be updated with the latest information nearly instantaneously.
    - Driverless vehicles, which could likely reduce or eliminate traffic jams and accidents, and increase relaxation and productivity.
    - An increased use of nanotechnology, perhaps going so far as to have swarms of "nanobots" descend upon a garbage dump, and systematically break it down at the molecular level, recycling virtually everything.
    - The further development of a "space elevator," which could sharply reduce the costs of transporting materials into orbit.

    Overall, though, I see sustainability as the overarching issue, both for the next 20 years, and the decades that follow. I do not think that our current global system can or will provide all that our planet can for all of its residents. In other words, I believe that the Earth has enough resources to comfortably feed, clothe, shelter, and - by extension - educate the billions that are already here. We need a different way of managing our resources. How this might be done is a very complex question, but one that I think can be answered by pooling our minds and collective desires for a better way of life.
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      Aug 31 2013: So what you're saying is that we need a solution not another band aid for all of our resource problems? :)
      • Sep 3 2013: I feel that there is a need to re-visit the current world order. Come up with a rational new world order, chart out a plan to ensure that the world optimises its resources, develops in a rational way, rather than getting suppressed / being colonised.

        Like how the Internet has been able to be a wonderful leveler, where there are hardly any disparities, the new world order should seamlessly be available to all, without any big-brother attitude.

        Intellectual forums like TED have a great role to play there in pooling the views and help give direction

        Hence, debates like this are absolutely the way to go
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          Sep 4 2013: Can't agree more. And more and more people, feel the same way.
          It will evolve towards that eventually.

          As illustrated by Ramez Naam:
          " [...] We keep on acting in the way we have, pumping carbon into the atmosphere, warming the planet, acidifying the oceans, hunting fish towards the brink of extinction, depleting the last fossil water buried under our lands. On that path, we’ll eventually come to realize that we’ve made a mistake. When the rivers and wells run dry, when we can no longer find the type of fish we used to eat, when the corals we used to admire have all bleached, when droughts and floods and storms wreck our cities and fields, then we’ll realize that we’ve taken the wrong path.

          And then we’ll respond."

          http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-limits-of-the-earth-part-2-expanding-the-limits

          It is going to get interesting for sure. As in life, it is the journey that makes it worth it, not the ends. Hopefully it will be a journey with a minimum amount of suffering. Be prepared and stay strong, I would say. In case we end up in the wheel of time scenario:

          @ 8:04 :
          http://fora.tv/2007/02/15/What_If_the_Singularity_Does_NOT_Happen
  • Aug 25 2013: Commerce will change.
    Wall Street will be shuttered, until Transparency is guaranteed.
    Limited Liability Laws will be rescinded by Congress.
    Articles of Incorporation will be made to contain an integrity clause.
    ===
    Nomads will take their revenge,
    They will do so by development of Drones, Missile Delivery Systems
    with Nuclear Warheads that can pinpoint and hit a target within 1 meter.

    Revenge Wars as are being conducted today will sicken people, and
    they will stop their Geographical Governments from making War upon
    other nation's shores, and lying to their peoples to get their support.
    ===
    Geographical Governments will begin to decline, as Laws and Justice, and
    their required Regulators and Enforcers slide into Consensus Government,
    slated to become world-wide within 50 years.

    Need for Central Banking world-wide will be eliminated and Money saved
    through Non-War economies will raise standards of living world-wide.
    Consensus Government will declare Banking illegal.

    Money saved from War Making will be used to build Green Infrastructure's
    providing more jobs than can be imagined.
    ===
    Geographical Government Corruption will replace murder as the No.1 crime.
    The Arms Industry will be deemed illegal and immoral, dismantled, and all
    Weapons destroyed.

    The United Nations will be re-formatted, much like a computer.
    ===
    I hope that when this happens, we can find out which pockets
    those Spoils of War went into, over these last 80 years.

    I hope the Bankers can find employment building infrastructures.
    I hope the Bush, Clinton, and Obama families do too.
    They will need the work.

    One can only hope.
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    Aug 22 2013: As I read through the comments I was saddened that many of the comments were about the baby boomers dying in order to make things better .... if the tea party dies .... when the old people are gone .... I fully accept that this is a extremely liberal site .... but wishing death on people to get your way is not nice and speaks poorly of the future.

    I am concerned that many programs are being rushed into without a great deal of thought. Radical changes in power production without a real plan in place is .... stupid. Radical changes in the whole medical system without even reading the proposal is .... stupid. To implement welfare (social) programs without funding is .... stupid. To allow government to continue to grow beyond the ability to fund it is ... stupid. To allow the fed to operate without controls is ... stupid. To operate under a Keynesian economic theory allowing to spend past income is ... stupid.

    If these are the wave of the future and the means of governing the country then both the near and far future are in danger of total collapse.

    Considerable damage has been done. Working in small corrections for a extended amount of time will be required. The impact on the future cannot be predicted. The major factors are religious and political. The march toward socialism / communism will eliminate religion and dictate known politics.

    Life in the USA has and will always be altered. Civil strife, anarchy, and wars are foreseeable.

    We have failed to learn from history ... and are therefore doomed to repeat the errors made before us.

    Sorry for the bummer forecast ... but it follows a historical pattern.
    • Comment deleted

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        Aug 22 2013: I have ... please be specific .... at least try to refute any of the above ... other than calling me a conservative .... by the way I am a Independent and attempt to look at all issues without the restrictions of a political platform.
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        Aug 22 2013: Wow. You really should lay off the kool ade. Do not put words in my mouth. You are not even close.
        Stop trying to make things up and read the post without all of your filters.

        Out spending your income is a no brainer ... dumb. Passing any law without reading iot is a no brainer ... dumb. Committing to any program without funding is a no brainer ... dumb.

        Not understanding basic economics .... inexcusable.
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        Aug 22 2013: Wow .... once again your error. If you look I denied it all.
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        Aug 22 2013: Since I have already stated my objections and you have failed to read them .... or to understand them ... we have a communications problem and I shall not continue .... I always look forward to TED exchanges but will not waste time with someone stuck in one agenda ..... good luck
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      Aug 24 2013: Robert,
      Maybe, these youngsters are correct. What good is all the wisdom gained through experience? So, I say, we should go away.. maybe not passing over, just.... fishing. Let these youngsters make all these liberal ideas come to fore. I mean, don't they know better then all our experiences have taught us? Sure, they are smarter then us! Just ask them. And, they won't make all the stupid mistakes that we did. Just ask them.
      • Comment deleted

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          Aug 25 2013: Maybe we should. British researchers have noted a drop in IQ since 1850. And it's beginning to show, I look today and I see contemporary adults (18 -54) more and more relying on technology to amuse and plan and direct their lives. Those that do manage to attain some level of education are more devoted to great social causes then those practical endeavors that could do more for social issues then all the flowery prose of today. The biggest jokes are they claim great new solutions to problems such as fossil fuels etc... when a moment at the library would show them it's mostly all "been there, done that". No the IQ is falling faster then even the Brits imagined.
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    Aug 21 2013: having read the all the posts below.... i would say great projections guys but is that all what the world or we instead needs? How about some more of love between every human? I don;t know about technology but the day every human really wakes up and realizes every person's value, i bet the would become exactly the way it looks from space - united !
  • Aug 17 2013: i wish there is peaceful in the world
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    Aug 11 2013: I believe we are at the verge of a fundamental societal choice. From my perspective it boils down to the question: do we believe that we can live abundantly or not? We are building technology that enables us to do so, but today our economic perspective is one of 'crisis', basically because our economic system has touched its limits.

    If we focus on the lack of things ('crisis') and don't change our economic system, from my perspective, you can expect to see a societal dysfunction (I dislike the word collapse). Today, a large majority of people go to work to earn money to pay for their needs. Our technological advancements though are increasingly replacing the need of human labour

    (take a look at the research of 2 MIT professors on this: http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/515926/how-technology-is-destroying-jobs/)

    In short, this means fewer and fewer people will have an income to pay for their basic needs, pushing the middle class into poverty and crumbling our fiscal systems that have built our societies. I let you fill in the dots what impact this has on a societal level.

    Another avenue over the next years is to implement monetary and public policies that enable this technological advancement for the good of people. It is possible. One avenue that was proposed by Martin Ford was one of a tax redistribution system based on the number of people you employed. In short: technology driven companies would pay higher taxes than 'human' driven companies. Another avenue is to provide everybody with a basic income to fullfil his/her basic needs and work from there.

    The first step is simple though: creating the awareness that abundance is possible if we want it to. If we do not do that, our biology will work against us (fear in your limbic brain will create fight, flight or freeze mechanisms) and we'll end up in a technological dystopia.
    • Aug 12 2013: Bruno: I believe that the real basis of the advanced comfortable level of civilization which, though battered, we still enjoy , was due to 150 years of cheap and abundant coal and oil power. Which is now fading, and getting too expensive . If we want abundance, rather than Life Support , we are going to have to find replacement sources. "Renewables" are not it., basically because they are too expensive for mass use. Luckily the problem was solved 40 years ago, with the invention and demonstration of a safe form of nuclear fission power, a secret design of an aircraft engine, powered by a Liquid fueled Thorium Molten Salt.(LFTR) It does not have all the downsides of the existing nuclear Uranium plants. No fuel rods, no steam, no high pressures, or explosions. The power is cheaper than coal, and Thorium is plentiful , and widely distributed. The reasons we have not been using this for the last 40 years are complex, but largely political and financial. But it's not too late, natural gas will give us a generation or two to figure out why we have not been using the obvious solution to the Energy (Wealth) problem.
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        Aug 12 2013: Shawn, I agree that the fossil fuel era has propelled us forward.I looked into Thorium and it indeed shows to be a valid "safe" alternative for uranium, thanks for this! From my point of view, energy is not the bottleneck on wealth/abundance, it's the monetary/economic system in which the energy provision is plugged. Sure, natural gases will enable us to bridge a part of the gap, but in the mean time we are hurting our ecosystem for short term (monetary) gains.

        From that perspective, the problem is that negative (non monetary) externalities of an activity are "processed" via market economics: only if people find environmental damage that important to be willing to pay more for an alternative or leave the incumbent one, market forces will be positive towards that alternative. Sad and contrary to a logic of living in abundance...
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    Aug 9 2013: :)
    Deep sea rare mineral mining will be a major growth industry, and lead to the first floating ocean city.

    Russia and Snowden will start a NSA proof internet service, and will quickly become the largest internet provider in the world. ;)

    Mexico will have trouble dealing with the massive number of immigrants coming from America looking for freedom and the Mexican dream.

    Or houses will become smarter, but our cars will still be smarter than our houses. But that’s ok because our cars and houses will be able to talk to each other.

    :)
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      Aug 25 2013: Deep sea rare mineral mining? What are these minerals used for?
      A floating ocean city, makes me think of Waterworld with Kevin Costner. :)
  • Sep 5 2013: Think globally and act locally. Live simply so that others can simply live. Reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink, refuse, remediate and replenish. Value our natural capital and reduce the dependency on transporting goods and food. This will extend the capacity of the world to adjust to change. You will not get governments or business telling you to do this.
  • Sep 4 2013: I posit that every response so far is a potential future state, each with a probability of occurrence. Some futures have higher probability, but random events can bring an unlikely situation into reality and obviate higher probability futures. This is why it's impossible to predict the future in detail; you would have to know of all future chance events that change the probabilities.

    This said, there are clear trends that influence the probability of what the world will become. While there are many (all of which could radically change the future and as noted above have the potential to render more likely trends moot), I feel there are four interrelated trends that will have the most impact: population growth, water shortages, environmental change, and exponential advances in technology.

    In 20 years there will be an additional 1.5B people on Earth, bringing the population to 8.5B+. Growth is slowing, but with 7B+ already here, it is inevitable. To provide just the incremental food and shelter will be painful, and in some geographies disastrous.

    Earth is 71% covered in water, but just 1% is available fresh water, created by the hydrologic cycle. Humanity has been diverting increasing volumes of fresh water from this cycle, resulting in negative impacts in other cycles. Water availability will shape economies and populations.

    The evidence that emissions from burning fossil fuel and deforestation have changed climates cannot be denied, but humanity will continue to put economic growth ahead of addressing this issue. The unknown is how rapid and severe the changes will be.

    The accelerating rate of technology advances has the potential to solve some or all of the issues above, but will bring new issues to bear. Barriers to our understanding of all aspects of science are falling at an ever increasing rate. Our expanding command of the physical world will give us ever more control. For example, by 2033 death will no longer be inevitable, for those who can afford it.
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    Sep 4 2013: I don't have time to go through your conversation, but I have to recommend you to read the book "Physic of the future" by Dr. Kaku. It covers a very wide range of topic. The audio version of its runs for 16 hours. You should read or hear it.
  • Sep 3 2013: The whole world is going to see many changes like never before. These changes are going to be propelled by
    i) Technological Innovations
    ii) Economic Realities : - Redistribution of Wealth and Re-Configuring of Trade & Commerce
    iii) Political Instabilities across the world
    iv) Influence of Demography in Development, Trade, Commerce and Power
    v) Revised definition of the World order

    The Bottom of the Pyramid Population, Business Potential on account of the more number of those in the Bottom of the Pyramid will influence most of the changes, along with technology.

    Technological Breakthroughs in Nano Technogy, Genome, Bio Chemical / Bio Mechanical, Information & Communication will lead the change.

    There is a likely hood of chaos on account of re-definition of Economic Activities influenced more by the countries like China, Mexico, Africa, India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, Gulf Region than the currently developed world of the USA, Europe, Japan etc. Such chaos could become more complex to manage / contain.

    Fossil Fuel, Drinking Water would become largely contentious items and influence the chaos.

    Qualitative Improvements across the world would be minimal. The Real relevance of the Internet would have been understood.

    World over, extensive use of Technology would be seen in the Education space.

    On the whole, the first 10 years are like to be largely going through turbulent times, with the stock markets constantly under strain, not much clear direction emerging. The second 10 years would largely attain maturity and direction. If not managed properly, world over, there will be awkward situations.

    The Need of the hour : A Real World Governing Forum, not like the current UN. The new World Governing forum should represent the current realities of the world, not try to hold on to its legacy, which is no longer relevant.
    • Sep 3 2013: Replying your opinion about new world governing forum, its really can happen because of the changing of the world power to the next developed country which many of nato country member that getting economics crisis, and of course US which has many debts,losing much money for war and getting economics crisis. But iam still not sure US will go down because they still has many oil stock, and if the jewish don't want US lost their power, US will still stand even in dark hour.Back to topic,the current world power will change to the new economics giant beacuse economics power really critical

      btw nice analysis mate bad format cause replying using phone
      • Sep 4 2013: Thanks Andrew!

        I deliberately avoided polarised views, as I felt touching upon those would remove the focus from other real / critical requirements.

        When UN was formed, the world had an entirely different set of realities which were relevant at that point in time. Now those assumptions need to be revisited entirely and current realities need to be factored for formulating the relevant / revised world order

        One important aspect to be focused on : What should be the basis for the power equation - relative position - of the various countries? Should it be political strength? Or should it be Military Strength? Or should it be economic? Should it be Education? Should it be Technology? I think the list could be endless. I keep an open mind for ideas.
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    Aug 30 2013: Our natural resources become depleted and the over growing human population may induce a greater strain to the limited production of food supply. I believe that if this cardinal issue is not being catered well started from now, a bloody war can be anticipated for a piece of pie. Although we acknowledge that our scientist already embarked on the research for a better solution, the will power of political side still play as a vital force to expedite the process or vice versa.

    As for my country, I still have great faith as our resources and food supply are still intact. However, the food supply tends to diminishing as the demand for palm oil increases. The booming property sector also demanding for more land. This has resulted to the mass clearing of the forest reserve and the conversion of agriculture land. The trend keeps on increases.

    To be honest, I'm not sure if the next 20 years will be better. We as the present community must do our part regardless of small or huge contribution in order to provide a better or close to better future.
  • Aug 30 2013: Life as we know it in an evolutionary process. Nothing remains the same. This is a personal view base on knowledge acquired. If you stop and try to eliminate what a man of many word said and quote" Don't let the Chatter distract you". It all makes sense. It is imposible not to accept that today we are at point A and tomorrow we may be at point B or C. It all depends on the individual's focus and choice. You decide to stand still and confide that other(s) will do for you.... so cahnges still occur but whose benefit? I extrapolate that we all must play the role we came into this world to play and not intend to play the role give or pursue by some else. As I was told once, no everyone can be a horse racing Jokey or a Doctor, or a Lawyer, we came to perform a role. So, let us get to it.
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      Aug 31 2013: What happens when the role you were born to play is eliminated?
  • Aug 30 2013: Life will change, is for certain. The velocity of change, though, is unlikely to match that of the last 3-4 decades. Its inherent as human beings or any being for that matter to resist change. Or at least be apprehensive towards it. But if you come to think about it judiciously, you will agree to appreciating the changes that life underwent since before you were born, till today. We all will agree, in one way or another. To an extent or less. But agree we will.
    (I know we have a school of thought that says life was simpler once. Not very long ago. But what is debatable is whether it was better. Better, for that matter, is subjective to opinion!)
    Now the question i want to ask is, why then we frown upon what is yet to come? Why do we say nay, to what we don't know about? Why can't we take it in our stride and give change a direction. Because that, we can do. That's in our control. What is to happen - not so much.
    Why waste life, moping around, trying to fill heads with apprehensions about times to come? I have observed a trend in most people, and i know i am generalizing, but then i am just trying to make a point here. People as they go further in life, tend to become more pessimistic. I think it is just how the human mind works. We justify what we undertook once and we support our actions with circumstantial evidence and explanations. But we tend to shoot things down and share a word of caution or two, when we look at the youth doing something that we define as "reckless". This is true: in life, technology and business. Think about it.
    Personally, i believe that life and the world around it at large has changed for better. Even with all its complexities, its imperfections, its drawbacks, life is still loved. It is still worth living. Perhaps more than ever.
    So choose to believe in what is to come. Chose to trust. Have faith. I know i do. If you can influence and give it a sense of meaning and a direction, do it. But while you do, mean well. I know, i try.
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      Aug 31 2013: I'm not trying to justify a pessimistic attitude but as we travel through our lives we tend to observe the number of people not learning from mistakes. Whether it be mistakes that they've made personally or someone else, whether it's from ignoring the lessons that history was supposed to teach us, or what have you. It's frustrating and some of the outcomes can be devastating for a great many people.
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    Aug 28 2013: If it isnt broken, then they will break and rebuild it again to best fit the minds of the future that will most likely be focused on survival and progressive evolution.
  • Aug 26 2013: In the next 20 years, I think and hope we will begin a re-sensitizing process that will cause us to reconnect with our souls. The quest for speed will be less important, and we will begin to enjoy the journey. We will see less focus on these tech startups that are creating nothing more than distractions.
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      Aug 31 2013: YAY!!!! I would love to see that happen :)
  • Aug 23 2013: The next twenty years will unfold according to what we think. Change what we think and the next twenty years will follow. We imagine our future into being. Somehow the self evident is lost in the lure of aggrandized fantasy.
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      Aug 23 2013: However inevitably we categorize our thinking into what we feel will happen regardless of what we want, and what we actually want to happen ends up being thought of as wishful thinking.
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    Aug 22 2013: Whatever happens over the next 20 years, it is bound to be driven by accelerated uncertainty.
    Faster technology developments will continue to shift power balances, unpredictable weather patterns will affect food production, and an increasingly volatile and fragile economic system will up the ante generally.
    All this will result in people becoming more scared which will drive them psychologically to behave from baser survival instincts. In turn a scared and needy population will "invite" strong leaders to emerge to sort out the mess and bring some sense of stability; however, this will come at a price - democracy.
    How much people will trade in their democratic rights in order for some strong (or puppet) leader to assure them that everything will be O.K, remains to be seen - the passing of the Patriot Act after 9-11 is not a good sign.
    Any wild card of some global disaster happening (mass disease, economic melt-down, catastrophic climate change) will only add impetus to the emergence of a global dictator who will seize the opportunity in the ensuing outcry and chaos (viz Russia in 1989).
    That's my pessimistic view;

    I also have an optimistic view. We will at last get some spiritually and psychologically mature sane leaders who are not afraid of an empowered populace but see empowerment of the masses as actually making the job of governance easier. The simple solutions that already abound to solve the world's problems will actually be implemented, rather than being side-stepped in favor of the funding the next crazy war.
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      Aug 23 2013: Scared people utilize baser survival instincts. A scary thought.

      I find it discomfitting that what your statement reveals is that really what we are looking for in a leader is some sanity, maybe a little humanity, and someone who doesn't despise us for having the ability to think. Why is it that something like that is so rare?
  • Aug 21 2013: I was told that Confucius was asked what does a stable government must have in order to continue its rule. He answered - Military, food security and trust. Pressed whether the government could continue its rule with only 2 elements. Confucius said yes with food security and trust. Whatif only one element? Confucius said yes - trust. Without trust the government will fall. Trust is the most abused value today by just about all entities of the society so the projections for the next 20 years - constant and endless conflicts between member entities of the society and between nations. Whilst science and technology will progress by leaps and bounds and the society at large the world over will continue to benefit from the applications, personal freedom and privacy will be compromisedfurther in the name of peace and democracy. Collusion between the rich, priviledged and powerful will distort the fair distribution of wealth and further erode what little trust left. Whilst material gains for masses will continue the mysery index will increase substantially. Towards the ending years of the projections, emergence of even more forceful leaders and messiahs will heigthen the chasm of the society. The UN will become as impotent as ever hijacked by powerful nations for selfish reasons. Regional conflicts between nations will have reached crisis points as diminishing natural resources and natioal interests and hold of pawer to stay in power make the issues insoluble as trust finally disappears. Crackdowns and more crackdowns lead to despair and desperation eventually power comes from the barrel of the gun as trust finally ready to make its exit from the human race -
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      Aug 31 2013: People seem to be seriously lacking any kind of motivation to earn trust. There are too many people to swindle and too little time.
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    . .

    • +1
    Aug 21 2013: ...everyone will have watched one TED talk.
  • Aug 20 2013: people will marry different background different country ,rich people more rich poor people make be better than now , and the technologic with the computer and intelligent of robot will do more work in human life .
  • Aug 19 2013: Shame shit, different day. A true realist. :)
  • Aug 14 2013: I also agree that we are in a transition period right now. I suppose that good outcomes could be achieved through good practice examples of alternative living in the next 20 years. What I mean is the actual application and adaption of good practice examples in real life. Good examples could be located anywhere in the world, in any country, region, city or village. This may be the restructure and application of new technologies, like renewable energy and robotic technology in the economy. At the same time, old technologies like fossil energy need to be reduced or even redundantized. But the current economic system inhibits such processes, as it is highly founded on debts and other dependencies (fossil fuel etc.). Therefore it depends much on capital investments and capital revenues (profit). A total change requires a collapse of the contemporary economic system, followed by a redistribution of capital, technology and resources. But an economic change needs to be accompanied by a societal change. So it needs a new definition of the modern lifestyles, because modern lifestyles and economies are highly interconnected with consumerism.
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    Aug 13 2013: Here are some projections in detail, video-form.
    All of them have been uploaded in 2011-2012, interesting to see projections for 2012 and 2013....

    Everything from when next FIFAs will take place to datastorage in exabytes, nanofabrics, bionic eyes, collapse of EU, manned mission to Mars etc. Watching all three takes almost 25 minutes, just a warning.

    Enjoy:

    The 2010s:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_233021&feature=iv&src_vid=1Lmd3l0W5JI&v=j4YDcx3aP20

    The 2020s:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=1Lmd3l0W5JI

    ...and the 2030s:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdtKUW94tVA

    See you in the future :) I can't wait!
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    Aug 13 2013: 20 years is a long period for a human life, a very long one for technology developers, and a very small one for human civilization , not to say for our planet. So I believe we will see more of what we have today with some local crisis around the world like Mandy Fischer ´s saying , some Dragon Kings appearing and if we are lucky, one or two black swans, one good, probably in medicine advance and a bad one in energy shortage.
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    Aug 12 2013: I think we'll have some neat AI 20 years from now.

    And there will be a trend towards more transparency of government and companies.
    Democracy will adapt to a better system
    And I hope steps towards a world government will be taken.

    As for climate change: I think we will start to see the first adverse effects and possibly some wars and turbulences around it.

    The chinese and other bric countries will stagnate and the developing parts of Afrika might start their rise as economical powers.

    I would predict that we'll produce a lot more local again, religion might start to crumble from within, our understanding in deseases will be better, as other sciences... and maybe some other things

    Though we will all still be humans and make our same mistakes over and over again... guess each generation will make those errors.
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      Aug 13 2013: Your suggestions sound like some of the same I heard in 1985. 1985 plus 20 = 2015. So, instead of 20 years we have only 2 years left before the predictions of that era pan out. And still no flying car. :)

      Michio Kaku has a great video about the next 20 years: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=219YybX66MY
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        Aug 16 2013: (1985 +20 = 2005) I think it's interesting to make the exercise and look at the thing realized, being realized and being not realized (and probably never will be)...

        Still no flying cars...true. And if you look at it: it's just not plausible. The energy needed and cost are quite high... (Why not helicopters? they do the trick, but are far too expensive for daily use)

        I do think that, compared to 1985, I couldn't say that Bric would stagnate, as Bric was then on the rise and was predicted to soar (I even think people were still busy with the cold war aftermath).

        There have been improvements in democracy (at least in Europe), AI, science, technology,... So I think these tendencies are firm enough to go further.

        And of course, we can look at Rosling's projections about population...
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      Aug 22 2013: I sincerely hope you're right about the transparency part, Christophe!
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    Aug 10 2013: people will marry different background different country ,rich people more rich poor people make be better than now , and the technologic with the computer and intelligent of robot will do more work in human life .
  • Comment deleted

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      Aug 25 2013: So every bit of the data that we will be able to receive is centralized and can be edited and in some circumstances deleted? I don't like to be the conspiracy theorist all the time but even now I find that searching certain topics online circles me around to a few limited informational sites that don't give me everything I want. I want to have access to pure and unbiased data. But where is that even an option any more, or was it ever?
      • Aug 25 2013: One of our biggest problems today with data is there are millions of copies of the same data. In the future the data will be analyzed and only one online copy will be retained. That includes software and your own personal data.
        I know some hate the idea of socializing any services however it will be the norm of an intelligent society. If we do not learn to share we will perish. Not only should you be able to get everything you want but so should everyone else. If we learn to share there is plenty for everyone and greed and hoarding will become socially unacceptable.
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    Aug 10 2013: In 20 years time I both think and hope that people will realize that they have no reliable ability to guestimate what the world will be like 20 years from then.
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      Aug 25 2013: I fully appreciate the fact that we are not psychics and don't have a crystal ball to tell us our future. But people really need to develop their forethinking ability and recognize trends to be able to better understand how it is that we end up where we do. People are always saying that hindsight is 20/20 and that they should have seen the signs. Why not give a moment to allow yourself to really "see" signs, interpret their meaning, and put a little thought into what MIGHT transpire.
  • Aug 9 2013: I am going to have some fun if you do not mind Ang - probably longer than 20 years but one technological change and the affect it could have on society

    assumptions: fusion power is available and a small form factor and cheap

    1. now we can have a car run on a cup of water for a year
    2. cheap power for everyone without a grid
    3..major changes in the power industry - fuel, power generation, and distribution
    4. the number of people that will need to change employment will be large
    5. still need petro-chemical industry but it will be cheaper and will need less production - exploration and production in environmental sensitive areas can be curtailed
    6. applying this to food production, housing etc. I have hopes that cheap power will help these problems
    7. cost of food and products will drop due to transportation and manufacturing cost going down with cheap power


    bad side
    1. the number of unemployed could increase dramantically
    2. the economic upheaval would be similar to the industrial revolution
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    Aug 9 2013: Such pessimism.

    The world will be challenged by natural disasters in the future,
    In the last 30,000 years there have been ice ages, plagues, volcanic eruptions, dark ages, megalomaniacs run wild....
    Mankind has survived and got us here.... all I am reading here is doom and gloom.

    What ever happened to hope and change... OK, that line has been used and not well, but
    there is nothing I can imagine that could happen that would that we can't survive as a species....
    The sun isn't due to go south for a few billion years, big asteroids announce their presence way in advance,

    All this [political nonsense about wealth, There have been richer people and poorer people in history than now,
    In some of the most inhospitable parts of the world, we find Eskimos fishing ice packs and Arabs crossing blistering hot deserts.. lets not forget jungles where man is not on the top of the food chain.

    It will not come without struggle, but how bad can it be? At the worse, people will not be able to live like Bill Gates,
    but if we look around, earth has enough resources to meet the needs of many more people than there here are now...
    All I see is the lamenting of the possible loss of wants being expressed.
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      Aug 25 2013: The earth can sustain us if the big time political players relinquish their claims of power over all of the world's production. There are laws, regulations, and limitations making it near impossible for average citizens to acquire the resources necessary to support basic needs. This could bring about a huge game changer in our future or...the powers that be will continue to control everything and people will just sit back and continue to let them thinking it's all in our best interest.
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        Aug 25 2013: I am not sure... there is perception. Basic needs for an average citizen in an African jungle village is different then the average citizen in New York City. Regardless of how the players wheel and deal, I think there is enough, more than enough for everybody.
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    Aug 8 2013: It is impossible to accurately project the future. Why? Because it could all change in an instant with a single event known as a black swan- something utterly unpredictable and out of the norm. Tomorrow we could find a ginormous asteroid hurdling toward Earth, in which we have zero capability to stop impact. That would shake thing up a bit. Or perhaps a little virus, feeding off mass world travel and crowded urban centers, growing and growing until finally our big boy gulps up half the population.

    But, for giggles, we can have fun with speculation.

    Personally, I foresee a world where....

    Drinking water becomes a luxury, and the days of mindless waste will be over

    Food becomes marketed to feed the masses, and therefore more processed, convenient, and less nutritious. Only the wealthy will have assess to healthy, fresh, organic food, as prices skyrocket due to less usable farm land and more disease/parasite issues resulting for mass pesticide/GMO use.

    Land prices will jump as the population increases.

    Speaking of population, famine and war will become more common as third world countries continue to see their numbers rise exponentially, as the developed nations struggle with an aging populous and limited youth.

    Coastal cities and island communities will struggle as water creeps ever closer to their doorsteps.

    Speaking of climate change, expect to see weather patterns alter drastically and populations crowd to areas with favorable conditions.

    On the topic of crowding, I suspect that urban centers will continue to expand as more and more people bunch together in search of work, living quarters, and opportunity. National forests, parks, and wildlife areas will decrease; as wil agricultural communities.

    I could go on... but it's kinda making me depressed. I hope I'm wrong, and I'm just a pessimist expecting the worst. I just don't see anything getting better, the people are getting dumber, and the world is struggling to keep sane. Ugh.
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      Aug 11 2013: In the world you foresee, which is similarly pessimistic and hopefully wrong, how does the colonization of Mars fit in?
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        Aug 11 2013: What I hope to happen and what I foresee to happen are two very different perspectives.
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          Aug 11 2013: I meant to say, "which is as similarly pessimistic and hopefully wrong as my own." Not that it matters.

          Ugh.
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      Aug 25 2013: An unsettling number of people have similar ideas about what the future will hold. It's true, nothing does seem to be getting better as far as quality of life is concerned. Our leaders don't appear to be getting very fundamental concepts like humanity, common decency, and morals. Pessimism and realism...not much of a difference.
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    Aug 8 2013: There is one thing that has not been calculated into these projections.... people.
    As the population ages as it is in many parts of the world, all these new technological innovations, advances in science and medicine that would appear to move the nations forward will be met with resistance to change. Oldsters, including me are satisfied with things the way they are. When we were young, we pushed ahead with the new technology of our day. It is a tiring process. We had to fight with the older generation of our times and convince them that the changes were good. There were fewer of them at that time, now there are more of us and we like things the way we made them and the way they are. So progress will be slow and cause great frustration for the young innovators of today. I will say to them "understand the nature of man, when you are old and only seek peace and quiet for your remaining time, some young whipper snapper will want to change everything that you have finally begun to understand. That's life.
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      Aug 23 2013: The problem I see with that is fewer and fewer children show any kind of respect for their elders. The opinions of the aging generations will fall on deaf and uncaring ears no matter how logical an argument or obstinate they stay.
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        Aug 24 2013: And that is the other problem.
        When I was young and knew it all, I still had a respect for the oldsters, because they overcame some problems quite well that I didn't have to address. I would simply solve all those problems they didn't get too. Life was simple.
        Too many of today's young ignore the wisdom that comes from years of experiences that my generation has gained.
        Like we don't know that fossil fuels has some serious side effects, and we have seen what the replacement would cost to include replacing our distribution system and the half century it would take to change it all over. And the inspired youth tell us a few windmills will do all just fine.

        All we have to do is cut back on carbon dioxide generation and the global climate would... settle back down and be like it was in the old days??? Us old timers know that we can somewhat effect regional climates but the global thing is way beyond anything we can do so we should best prepare for what ever is thrown at us.. I can list a dozen more, but you get the idea.
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    Aug 8 2013: More social networking sites,

    more physical isolation

    and more dependance on gudgets.

    After some thousands year lower limbs will be redundant and vestigial.
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      Aug 23 2013: It seems to me there is quite a pull in 2 opposite directions. There are many people who prefer that everything in their lives have something to do with technology. These folks find little enjoyment in the outdoors however, there are those who would never give up the physical aspect of their lives without a fight. What are your thoughts on the possibility that people could split into different "species" (for lack of a better word)?
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    Aug 8 2013: 1-5 years: Society will change to a greater community from a focal stand point of view. Many tools will be available at your local library. Tools are clutter in homes or sheds today still. Like books and media, we gather the information or knowledge and return them. Well, we use the drill to make the hole we need for a lifetime and return the drill unless we need it everyday for work.

    5-10 years: Many improvements in transportation for the community. Plastics are recycled in our own homes with the use of 3-D printers. We begin to become more opened minded and understanding of other individual wants and needs rather than just our own. We trust others more. We work less hours per week. We don't just hang around watching the minutes drag and the hours jerk at work anymore. Things get done and we leave the job; we are less owned.

    10-20 years: Service industries, or what is left of them, is the only thing still attached to the monetary system. We will have our own community gardens on the top of our homes. Technology will replace or limit all labor jobs. Our relationships with each other will become more meaningful and pleasurable than ever before.

    I'm being very optimistic on the time frames :) which are my only hopes. If this is not where we are already headed today then the greater amount of suffering will continue. The longer the suffering continues the greater the unity will become.
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      Aug 23 2013: Wow loving the idea of a tool library. Do you know of anywhere already doing that? I don't. You're absolutely right about homes being overly cluttered and it would really make sense given the current economic state for people to be able to go to a place and utilize a tool without having to purchase it.
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        Aug 23 2013: I have only heard there are few places in Florida that have community tools. I've recently been there (Miami area) and found none. How can we make it happen?
  • Aug 8 2013: Ang you asked what are some of mine. Fusion power in packages both large and small. It will replace most other power sources and the internal combustion engine will start becoming something only your parents know about. Medically grown, personal to your DNA, body parts replacement; mechnical arms, legs, hearts, etc will no longer be used for health but for mechanical body specification to enhance the body for work or pleasure pursuits. Disease intervention at the molecular level will replace most chemical interventions, e.g. cancer, MS, etc.

    One area likely to lag and not have significant changes will be education. It may begin to morph into more individualized maybe online, but no significant change will happen. It may be set to take a significant leap forward but not in the next 20 years. A second area with little change will be transportation. Due to the fusion power the cost will be greatly reduced but the means of delivery will not be substantially different.

    As for ideas, we will begin to put many ideas together in overarching theories reversing the trend for science reductionism. Insight in the the functioning of the mind will begin to reveal now brain function actually works. Which will help with the education revolution of mid century.

    Here are just a few from me. Have a great day.
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      Aug 23 2013: Disease intervention at the molecular level...any thoughts on where that could lead?
      • Aug 24 2013: Just mostly as the name would suggest. Instead of 6 weeks of weekly chemicals placed into your veins, you would recieve a virus or some other delivery means that would carry DNA repairing/replacement parts to cells creating a disease or other problemic issue that would replace the defective DNA. The cell would revert back to a heatlhy cell and healthy for the body cell.

        Of course as soon as the procedures are figured out, others will use it for personal enhancement. Just like plastic surgery is now. Going to what might be called extreme today, as more understanding of how the body parts effect other parts, governments or even your own family may even one day force a criminal or the odd family member to undergo DNA replacement to remove whatever it determined to have caused the criminal or odd behavior. So just as we find means to correct diseases, other will be using it to corect social "illnesses."

        Welcome to the use and abuse of modern technology. Well we have been doing this for centuries and likely won't be changing that any time soon.
  • Aug 7 2013: I would deal fully with the State government. I would use the subsidy of the transmission lines as an incentive to get companies to build the turbines in my state. The tax revenue from that heavy industry and jobs would more than make up for the tax burden of paying for transmission. Also, all the residents would favor this because of the health benefits.
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      Aug 7 2013: Is this something that you're currently working on in your area to facilitate change?
      • Aug 7 2013: use to, not currently.
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          Aug 7 2013: What became the inhibitor? Why didn't it take? Stop me if I'm prying but I'm curious.
  • Aug 7 2013: You can't understand the costs with just these two numbers.

    1. The pollution from coal has a huge cost that is not factored into that number. So you can save money on electricity buy you will pay it back with interest in your healthcare costs.

    2. Imports of coal adds to our trade deficit. Wind energy is heavy manufacturing. The money spent on wind goes right back into the economy. It creates excellent jobs and the government and community make 40% of that money in taxes. The jobs created spend their money in the community buying houses and goods. Whereas with coal you are burning the money and it is going up the chimney. These are very real benefits that have also been calculated. The money spent on coal almost always leaves the community, whereas money spent on wind stays within the US and often within the community itself. Especially as time goes on.

    3. Importing fossil fuel is the major reason for our wars. The cost of these recent wars have gone over 1 trillion dollars. This is another cost that is not factored in.

    4. Because of our heavy use of coal we have no credibility to talk to China, India or any other country about climate change, etc. There is a diplomatic cost to using coal.

    5. A major cost of wind is the transmission cost. If the US govt subsidized the transmission lines the cost would be far cheaper. So the US govt subsidizes the cost of coal by letting tax payers pay the inherent health costs, by letting tax payers pay for the military to fight our wars over fossil fuel, and by paying for the highway system and railway system which is the "transmission lines" for coal. So then you are not playing on an even field.

    Since taxpayers paid for the transmission lines for coal over the last 150 years shouldn't it be up to tax payers if they want to pay for the transmission lines for wind?
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      Aug 7 2013: If it was your job to convince the gov't to subsidize the transmission of wind energy how would you tackle that? What would it take to convince them that wind energy is what they should want too?
  • Aug 7 2013: Assumption: No major breakthroughs
    Technology
    1. There will be direct communication between a computer and the brain
    2. Phones, camera, recording, tablet, pc will be embedded in the human body
    3. communication to the web will be from everywhere
    4. people will have petabytes of storage and connections to super computers
    5. voice input and output and this will be used to create apps, dbs,
    6. motion input and output will be used also
    7. 3-D printing will be in every home
    8. Bio id will be standard limiting identity theft

    Society
    1. There will be a growth of social clubs to support the need of physical contact
    2. There will be a growth of isolation of the individual
    3. Major movement back to the cities
    4. Major movement to small towns
    5. Semi-death of the suburbs

    Business:
    1. Big Box stores will be changing due to small things will be made with 3-D
    2. Even more will be bought through the net
    3. growth of the service business (i.e. handy man, building special furniture, etc.)
    4. Globalization will continue but instead of having local "company" per country, it will be divisions spanning multiple counties

    will add another comment on what i hope.
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      Aug 7 2013: 3-D printing that's an interesting concept. Like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with the chocolate bar through the TV?

      Based on your technological predictions I would predict an even larger divide of the classes.

      A growth of isolation of the individual? Can you describe what you mean?
      • Aug 7 2013: 1. 3-D printing has been around since the late 1980's - I saw a prelim version in 1988. This new version makes use of the latest ink jet printing tech. and new chemicals.

        2. There will be a huge divide between the classes - notice i said individuals would design their own apps - a huge numbers of lower level programmers, analysts,etc. will be laid off. Only the top programmers will make major money and the top 1% will earn even more.

        3. the isolation will come in 2 ways
        3.1. Workplace isolation
        3.1.1. factories that used to have 4000 employees will go down to 40, the social network will be changed drastically or destroyed
        3.1.2 work from home with collaboration tools and rare face to face mtgs
        3.2. living isolation
        3.2.1 moving back to the cities will lead being alone in the crowd - the ability to create deep connections will be hard to do in the cities
        3.2.2. Major movement away from family and growing up location to find a job.

        There are more and I might add them as I think of them.
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    Aug 6 2013: Ok, Some ideas about the future and I have a good basis....a long past....to guess...

    Things will not have changed much in general as they are today in and for the US...stock markets will be bullish or bearish as the wind blows. The Federal government will be more a little "conservative" than it is today. Multinational Companies will show political nations as people learn that cooperation with others and sharing of local resources can provide more for all
    See how WalMart did more for the generation of the Chinese economy that all the Marxist politics ever dreamed as American's got low priced product saving them a few dollars.
    A few will hold fast to the notion that they can effect global climate changing local processes, but most people will come to realize climate is a natural force that will have to be accommodated.
    However, more concerted effect will be made to address the worse of all pollutants... people. Megalopolis such a found on the coastlines will collapse under their own weight and people will begin to form small sustainable communities. The next big technological advance will be in nanotechnology and biotech engineering. People will begin to live better a few will want to live longer, but most will come to believe that life gets boring after a hundred years and that will be about enough.
    I see the biggest changes coming in education. Local schools will soon realize that the current concept federally promoted that one education fits all, will come to realize that we are raising half our young adults as functionally illiterate, so they will take back their schools and provide education to meet the local needs. Agricultural communities will focus on agriculture, seacoast towns will teach about fishing and industrial communities will teach trades and manufacturing processes. Those exceptional students will still have even better opportunities for the highest academic levels. The important lesson: all educational endeavors are equal in value.
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      Aug 6 2013: Fed Gov. more conservative ; Multinational comps sharing resources ; Smaller sustainable communities ; Nanotech and biotech engineering ; Education to meet local level needs ; Agriculture making a comeback

      What trends and events are giving you the basis for these predictions?

      All endeavors are equal in value...true statement.
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        Aug 6 2013: I am looking back and seeing trends that got us here today, civilizations seems to change as a pendulum swings what is true today is out of fashion tomorrow and a generation or two later it's back again. We are at the point where large cities are on the verge of implosion and people seem to be looking in small town old fashion neighborhoods for quality of life experiences. Schools can not get any worse and have to change....but mostly, it's wishful thinking and maybe even prayer.
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          Aug 7 2013: You're right, schools are abysmal :( and yes trends do come and go.
          Having grown up in the cities and now living in a small town I wholeheartedly agree that my quality of life has changed drastically. I do see cities quickly reaching a boiling point, the appeal is fading.
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      Aug 6 2013: Aside from the end of days type prediction of what will occur as we near the end of this plain of existence I'm curious about what threads of future events we can follow just based on our own intuition and ability to utilize forthought. You say there will be earthquakes, floods, and other severe weather natural disasters...caused by what? What will we as humans face leading up to the point where we exit this realm.

      The idea of closing out a karmic account is an interesting one. Almost makes me want to create a positive and negative chart to find out where my balance is sitting. :)
  • Aug 6 2013: 1. The issue of what to do about climate change will be resolved in the next 20 years (good news).

    2. The way we are going to resolve the issue of climate change is that there will be collapse of international currency prompted by a loss of confidence in the US dollar. This will precipitate a collapse of the world economic system. This in turn will spark a free for all attack on the middle East oil resources, otherwise referred to as "World War III" (that is the bad news).

    I hope that as a result of the devastation that those who are currently in power will no longer be in power and that the "phoenix that rises from the ashes" will have the good sense to learn from the mistakes of the last 2,000 years.
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      Aug 6 2013: So a free for all on Middle East oil will resolve the issue of climate change? What other steps are involved for that to occur?

      I like the idea of a phoenix rising with some sense, cross your fingers...and toes :)
      • Aug 6 2013: The US dollar is a fiat currency. Since all other major currencies are or were linked to the dollar this has created one huge ponzi scheme. As of 2009 it is quite public that these other countries want to cut the cord to the US. The minute these other countries stop buying US debt will be when the US dollar collapses. Likewise it is very clear that trying to cash out of your US debt will also be met with stiff resistance. These countries know they have been scammed but trying to deal with it will destroy their economy as well. Fiat currencies like ponzi schemes will always at some point collapse. 2008 was merely the first rumblings of that collapse.

        When this world order collapses then countries will be looking for another currency. Black gold is the most likely choice. China, Russia, the US will all converge on the middle east. Most of the other steps have already taken place. The US needs to put their army in place in the Middle East, they did this during their recent hunt for Osama bin Laden. Only in the twisted US geopolitics does hunting in the hills of Afghanistan require a huge military presence in Iraq.

        Human induced Climate change is a result of human economic activity. If the world economies collapse one benefit is they will stop adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

        1. collapse of US currency

        which leads to

        2. War over middle East

        End result, huge reduction in global economic activity along with massive reduction in human population. Or, to put a nicer spin on this "a solution to the global climate change issue".
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          Aug 6 2013: Right, I can follow all that easy enough. Where does climate change resolution come in?
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          Aug 6 2013: Oooohh ok I see what you mean. So what we can hope for is that the ones with the most amount of what will become useless currency will be adversely impacted and lose that power that their money paid for. The people who actually have marketable skills in a world with limited technology will become the leaders and without so much excess there will be far less waste.
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    Sep 4 2013: According to Hector Ruiz on Big Think, and I feel the same way, cognitive computing is going to be the next big thing:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iGnGsCO164&list=PLE50FC91A844EEC33

    My personal projection is that of Ramez Naam:
    http://www.kurzweilai.net/the-limits-of-the-earth-part-2-expanding-the-limits

    "Ultimately, there are two paths forward for us, the easy way and the hard way.

    In the easy way, we acknowledge the evidence that we are causing real harm to our planet, leaving it worse off for future generations, and flirting with the possibility of sudden and dramatic consequences. We retain our optimism, that we can both address these problems and be far richer in the future than we are today. We take our wildly successful economic system and we fix it so that it recognizes the value of our shared resources and encourages their protection, restoration, and careful, efficient, sustainable use. We invest in action to reduce the risk of even worse future disasters caused by our unwise past. Nothing is certain in life. But on that path, the most likely outcome is that we’ll solve the problems that plague us and grow progressively richer even as we reduce and eventually reverse our negative impact on the planet.

    On this path, there’s no sign that economic growth needs to end. There’s no sign that we’re anywhere near the wealth limit of this planet. We have sufficient energy, sufficient water, and the capacity to grow sufficient food to provide 9 or 10 billion people with a level of affluence far beyond what even the richest in the world enjoy today.

    The other path, the hard way, isn’t so pleasant. On that path, we continue to deny the damage we’re doing, the very real consequences, and the risk of much worse if we continue along this path. We keep on acting in the way we have, pumping carbon into the atmosphere, warming the planet, acidifying the oceans, hunting fish towards the brink of extinction, depleting the last fossil water buried under our lands...
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    Sep 1 2013: Next twenty years is the transitional era,which will witness the transfer of global power,from west to east,China will surpass US as the sole superpower.
  • Sep 1 2013: Well stated and possibly scary topic dont loose hope yall.
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    Aug 28 2013: .

    More badly, pursuing invalid (harmful) happiness
    to reduce the sustainability.

    Or, starting to quit invalid happiness
    to increase the sustainability.
  • Aug 27 2013: Everything not compulsory will be forbidden. Everything not forbidden will be compulsory. In any given situation, there will be only one action to be taken that is free from sanction, and it will be required to be taken. Or you will be sanctioned. Offending someone will be at least a misdemeanor. Newspeak is already taking hold on the front page of Yahoo! Apple, Amazon and Google are mining your data to sell whatever they think they can. Self-driving vehicles that deliver your mail, groceries, and clothing are just for grins. Being off-grid will mean you cannot engage in commerce. Cash will not be accepted. If you do not allow others access to your bank account, they will not do business with you. There will be less individual ownership of material goods and more licensing and rental, so that control of capital goods lies in fewer and fewer hands. You will not be free to modify, experiment with, or otherwise alter your capital goods (your car, home, appliances, etc.) You will not be allowed to resell them, as Google Glass is trying to establish. You will not be allowed to enter a contract for a service unless you give up your right to litigate for damages after you discover you've been had, damage has been done, or you were otherwise wronged. You will exist to feed the pockets of others. Because if you don't, you won't be able to feed yourself.

    What do I hope will happen? That people will seek to entertain themselves with education. That they will become increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of life they're being led into and rebel against it. But the odds are that they will be a minority. At least, until one of them taps the spirit of the masses in a way that has escaped coercion. Because we all know that once the masses get ahold of something, it's a done deal.
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      Aug 31 2013: Someone has read 1984. :)
      Cutting down language and making it more difficult for us to communicate clearly and be understood may lead to a general frustration with socialization. Becoming antisocial creatures means we are far less likely to ever organize and address injustices as a cohesive entity.
      • Sep 2 2013: It's not about being organized so much as the numbers. If enough people clamor for change and adopt behavior that encourages it, change will come. That's how cell phones and VCR's got to be so big. It was the acceptance of these innovations on a large scale that led to further innovation and change. It was the widespread personal tolerance of homosexual behavior that led to the change in laws governing such behavior, just as the widespread poverty of old age in the Great Depression led to the acceptance of a program like Social Security. There is some cohesiveness here in the form of organized support and resistance, but it becomes important only at higher levels of the market where actual negotiating for market share or power takes place. Unless the numbers of people interested in change are there, there is nothing to negotiate.

        Except for the seeming decline in our literacy, I disagree with the idea that communication between people is becoming more difficult or leading towards a frustration with socialization. Being social seems highly prized nowadays, and the churn of the numbers in a group that seek to either belong or drop out doesn't seem any different to me than a generation ago. I'm certainly not hearing "Turn on, tune in, drop out" like I did 40 years ago. Whether it's simple self-esteem or pecking-order status, people seem to want to "tune in" socially much more now than then. I don't see the difficulties as between ourselves so much as between us and those who mean to exploit us. Previously, we could tolerate this sort of relationship because the economics were straightforward, the values were clear, and there were timely remedies for transgressions. We stood a fair chance on a level surface. But the table is tilting, so my hope lies in this - that there are enough of us spreading our dissatisfaction with how tilted things have become that an alternative will get more support than the current model. Market rules in the marketplace of ideas.
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    Aug 26 2013: Dear Ang Perrier,
    Change is a natural process and it happens always sometime after a second or sometime after an year. We can do two things first we can sit and hope that this has to be happen in next 20 years and 2nd we can contribute and make it happen. But as you mentioned financial, military, socia;, technological then these are the areas is which progress is guaranted. but in the next 20 years its all about the idea not about discovery and inventions. As everything is available now in every field but now what we need is just an Idea to use things and develop ourself and our country. I am bit confused about the social life because people may have great time in it or it may happen people won't have any time for social life.
    I just tried to put my view.
  • Aug 25 2013: More social networking sites,

    more physical isolation

    and more dependance on gudgets.

    After some thousands year lower limbs will be redundant and vestigial.
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    Aug 24 2013: There will be a world wide economic collapse. In preparation for this, the united states, under false pretenses of protecting us against terrorists, has stripped its citizens of important constitutional rights (for example, the 5th and 6th Amendments to the Constitution) so that U.S. military forces can control the civilian population and prevent a revolution. The NSA is recording everything it can about us, which makes the job of controlling citizens much easier. And while all of this is happening, the wealthy and elite are increasing their share of global resources.

    What I hope will happen: We already have everything we need to care for everyone in peace and harmony. We just get in our own way. I hope we all come together rather than fight over resources. Our species' history would make that an unlikely outcome.
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    Aug 24 2013: :D I project in the next 20 years (or greater, of course greater! Much greater!) wii will be living in a virtual society where our very own minds will be placed into jars and live for eternity. Our reproduction will come to cease. Sarcastically truthful speaking with laughter. What do other planets have to offer? I don't know. Who cares? We are were we are now. :) :P I'm enjoying it now and doing what I can in the moment! Helsinki. Have a drink on me :) It's all about green eggs and ham for now! In a boat or with a goat? Differences. Collaborate as one. My time, my time is ...is beyond expiration. I am meaningless to what is present, or am I? I want to be born 100 years later :B, DORK! But, I don't want to be a brain in a jar, just somewhere in between those days. ;) A ram necklace pulled by force to the crevices of the down fall of monopoly as not a savior but an example to the present state of humanity. We are all the pain of it's very own time. :D Ultimate goal? Peace, equality, and happiness. What effect do we have on the world today?
  • Aug 23 2013: Waaaaaaaayyyyyy to broad of a question way to many answers
  • Aug 23 2013: http://www.2052.info/

    i suggest reading this book
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    Aug 22 2013: I believe we are in the midst of a health revolution, with devices that track yours steps, your heartbeat, to developing projects that track your brain activity. The later being the one (my opinion) that will play the biggest role, starting a paradigm shift; revolutionizing the way we take control of our actions. I tend to be a bit optimistic, i just can't help but to think that as soon as people start dwelling into their minds and get a glimpse at the world with as little judgement, their might be change.
  • Aug 21 2013: Over the next 20 years in the US the boomer generation will be coming to an end, hopefully after that America can rebuild and reclaim its pre-boomer glory
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    Aug 21 2013: It is said that China will take over the top rank being the largest economic power in the world in about 20years. And I think more and more Chinese people will master at least 2 foreign languages and be more competitive in the world that time. With the increase in investment from Chinese people all over the world, more and more people will start and keep good relations with Chinese people. More and More foreigners will learn Chinese as well as Chinese culture and try all out to attract Chinese customers, travellers,etc. Regarding the business field, I think the growth of online shopping will shoot up like a rocket, people living a fast-paced life will get more and more used to do shoppings at home.And the third party of payment platform between buyers and sellers called Alipay will expand its business all over the world. As for the nature changes, I think because of the human's activities, the climate will be worse and worse and the resources will be scarcer and scarcer. Some new kinds of energy would be developed but still can't replace the traditional ones. Due to the pollutions, an extrodinarily enigmatic plague will take away lots of people's lives. And considering the technology, I guess most of the mobile phones will be multifunctional and as soft as a rubber which makes it easier to be carried in my pocket or bag.Electric cars will be a mainstream fashion in car industry........
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      Aug 31 2013: China as THE world power; pros? cons?
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        Sep 4 2013: I'm not good at big topic like this. I'd like to answer it from a low angle.I think there are 56nations in China and we've got along well with one another in different cultures and custom from ancient times. We don't have any discriminations against any minority nationalities. So I think Chinese people have some people skills and riveting culture that could be a large diplomatic power influencing other countries as well as activating global better communications when Chinese economic power becomes stronger and stronger. And because Chinese food culture is profound and extensive, Chinese food is delicious and healthy, it will change the westerner's food habit, help them keep fit and in good shape, possibly reduce the large number of obesity patients in the world. And most of all, Chinese people are smart and more diligent than others(I think), our attitude in study could make us more competitive in every corner of the world, we can contribute more intellectual solutions and creative ideas to the world.
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    Aug 20 2013: It will be illegal for US civilian to have Google-Glasses, but it will be mandated for all government employees to wear them. And they will come with a security rating, so janitors will have data collection only, and our sovereigns and their police will have access to everything from live security camera feeds to our Xbox and web cam feed.
  • Aug 20 2013: The diversity of the earth will continue shrinking. Translation humans will continue to do themselves in. In the meantime we'll be completely distracted by all the magical things abundant energy and technology can do for us.
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    Aug 19 2013: Prognosis of most prominent event is the purging pandemic plague of 2019.
  • Aug 19 2013: I think we need to change the whole system if we are to survive the next 2 - 3 years.
  • Aug 19 2013: There will be more trade and finance between India and China and far east Japan.USA and European, African countries. , Enhanced Rail net work- opening of silk route- Large scale smuggling of arms in Asian and African countries.Terrorism will evaporate as a passing evil of current time ,but not before it takes a high human toll, it will not be carried forwarded.The true nature of humans that of prosperity with peace era shall emerge .......this will all happen as per the law of equilibrium. law of equilibrium states that all states will revert to its natural position but how ? after it demolishes its higher state at the same time it will not stay in a lower orbit also. but its current state shall be the average.Now what are the factors in a human society which are higher and those which are lower which are supposed to extinguish naturally?

    .People will demand and expect more transparencies in state administration. enhanced standard of living and better policing, Educational . security , food standards.

    States not adopting people oriented policies will perish(Law of equilibrium) with mounting problems of fiscal management /inferior civil servants to manage states /mass migration to better administered states. Influx of criminal gangsters in states /ransoms kidnappings. Environment disasters on unprecedented scales/politicians operating as gangsters in parliaments and snatching large portions of revenues of state in their private lockers.men and women will be afraid to walk on streets or staying in homes as all services will be additional pay services called as corruption . Detroit like situations will be the order of the day .States going bankrupt, unemployment,, atrocities on women and children , Sovereignty issues with neighboring states.Religious and Cultural issues.

    The inherent nature of Humans of peace and prosperity(Equilibrium) will be compromised before a great TSUNAMI seen on the Horizon in different countries. Population will reduce to Half.
  • Aug 17 2013: In the next 20 years, I think and hope we will begin a re-sensitizing process that will cause us to reconnect with our souls. The quest for speed will be less important, and we will begin to enjoy the journey. We will see less focus on these tech startups that are creating nothing more than distractions.
  • Aug 17 2013: More social networking sites,

    more physical isolation

    and more dependance on gudgets.

    After some thousands year lower limbs will be redundant and vestigial.
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    Aug 17 2013: It will be as miserable as ever.
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    Aug 16 2013: in the US, the older generation (> 60), markedly more socially conservative and religious than younger age groups, will be replaced at the bottom end by a more socially liberal and less religious younger generation. Hopefully, better reality based policies will result, and maybe a president (and a less crazy congress) can get elected without having to be seen exiting a church with a bible in his/her paw..
  • Aug 15 2013: he planet will not sustain us indefinitely, yes that's clear but do you ever feel like you know the result of some action, trend, law, event? That's what I'm looking for, not the obvious.
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    Aug 15 2013: Gave this more thought and look at what others have said....
    Technology - to many are looking for technology to fix too many problems. Technology are just better tools. I look at the wienie behind the wrench to fix the problem.
    Entertainment - I hope we get away from mean entertainment so prevalent today. We don't need to ridicule or denigrate others as the popular punchline or song lyric.
    Design- Soaring glass walls of multistory high raises. Somebody has to wash all those windows.... black and white walls, square cornered chairs.... future designers will design attractive but creature comfortable environments... I hope
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    Aug 13 2013: I think we will spend most of the next 20 years recovering from WWIII.
    • Aug 22 2013: Nah.....no WWIII........I think we are too smart for that, don't you John?
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        Aug 22 2013: Of course Mary. You and I are too smart. But, what about everybody else? The last time I turned around and looked, there was no crowd of people following me around. How about you? :)

        I should elaborate on this statement:
        No one is putting me forth as their leader. I have no following. War seems to be the path of humanity throughout history. I don't see any improvement in world society that indicates we will not follow that path if circumstances remain the same, or get worse.

        I believe there will be a WWIII, Mary. Either due to some impetus or due to consolidate everything under one banner. Of course, if more people felt as you do, the task would be easier and perhaps require less bloodshed.

        But, yes. I believe there will be a WWIII. If you lived in Syria, you would think it was happening right now. If you lived in Iraq, you would believe that WWIV is starting up. The feeling you have is due to the luxury of where you live. It's all relative.

        I'm making a concerted effort myself. Check out my website for elaboration on this statement.
        Enjoy your coffee and the quietness.
        • Aug 22 2013: "The last time I turned around and looked, there was no crowd of people following me around. How about you? :)"

          Depends...........I'm following someone, whose following someone, whose following someone, whose following a leader...........perhaps I do have some following me...........time will tell John..........I am making a concerted effort, sometimes daily, to share what I have come to know as the way of peace.

          Not everyone is interested in living peacefully. Yes, they talk about it, but they do not walk the walk......for that to happen one must be willing to step away from society as a whole.
          And that my friend, requires boldness, and a lot of integrity in what you believe to be the truth.

          I do not believe there will be a WWIII. I really don't.................................for now :)
  • Aug 12 2013: In any moment to get to this 20 years, there will be a major catastrophy (locally or globally, because of nature or man made) that will impulse a REBORN and force to do things differently in all ways. The alternative energies will be part of our everyday basis. A new economy will rise based on these alternative energies (produced by water, wind and sun). Poverty worlwide will be sustainly reduced. The education (inhome, at school) will be more effective and accesible for all.
    • Comment deleted

      • Aug 12 2013: Thanks for your reply. I will complement my previous comment. Common sense in our everyday life would make a difference if ALL OF US applies it in an every day basis. "The respect of others rights, is peace" I live with this in mind everyday and of course I have my common sense VERY SHARP. I am a normal citizen (not worst or better than any other) just a citizen that wants freedom, good relationships, health, well made money, help others when I can, love and feel loved.
        In my personal opinion, in the next 20 years we ALL should use and develop more our common sense to become a better person, better citizen, better human being.
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      Aug 26 2013: I agree, there always seems to be a large handful of issues bubbling and without taking the pot off the heat it will boil over.
  • Aug 10 2013: Whatever happens, our reactions to the changes will be indistinguishable from our responses to the world we live in today, only the context will change. Our comparisons tend to be relative as opposed to absolute so that someone who's creature comforts today are exceptional will be seen as disadvantaged in the future.
  • Aug 10 2013: I was going to write something smart and deep, but then I thought of making a list of possibilities instead.

    1) Current trends will continue and in 20 years Alaska will be open to oil companies, due to the fact that most western companies are barred from OPEC because of all out war against Iran, whose quest for nuclear power had gone too far.

    2) Technology will advance closer to the edge of human imagination, hopefully vindicating the movie "Back to The Future"'s predictions. (Who doesn't want a hover board?)

    3) More countries will become developed, forcing countries like The United States to share more resources.

    4) Economic collapse, then the UN declaring all debts unpayable or forgiven, possibly causing a war with China.

    5) In the event of a war, all countries will avoid using nuclear weapons. Developed countries would use nukes in order to avoid an unconditional surrender, but radical countries like North Korea and (maybe in the near future) Iran would use nukes in order to avoid any kind of defeat or surrender or maybe just to send a message to the world.

    6) China will make their move. (Sounds ominous right?)

    Best case scenario: None of the above occur, The World economy recovers due to years of rationing (much like America in WW2), Humanity breaks the barrier of human imagination (technically impossible), and the world's most powerful leaders congregate around a bonfire to sing "Kum Ba Yah". Hopeful, maybe, but it's a lot better to think about than any of the other possibilities.
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      Aug 25 2013: I rather enjoyed taking a second to picture a group of suited, uptight guys with briefcases and rolexes sitting out in the woods looking disdainfully around thinking that the other guy got the best spot, or that guy has a better chair than me all the while struggling to remember the words to Kum Ba Yah and never understanding what the meaning of it was supposed to be. lol

      "China will make their move" yes very ominous. What do you think that move might be?
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    Aug 10 2013: Hi Ang,

    I live in Christchurch, New Zealand which, you may have seen on the news, was largely destroyed by earthquakes in early 2011. Since then I have been looking at Christchurch's history (which is not especially long if we only go back to collonisation) and I'm disheartened by the effects of modern culture and financial inflation. They have led to numerous architectural wonders being destroyed (long before the quakes) to be replaced by cheap, modern eyesores. Christchurch was originally a very victorian town, with plenty of gothic revival buildings, the most famous of which was the Cathedral. We currently have over 100 stonemasons in christchurch desperate to start work restoring all the old wonders but they're not allowed due to bureaucracy and limited funding. Christchurch was destined to become a world heritage site before the quakes. But I digress.
    I aspire to be an architect so I hope to influence some of the rebuild. But I'm not yet qualified.
    In the next 20 years I believe christchurch will grow into a garish tourist attraction, with "the finest examples of modern architecture". I try not to throw up every time I hear that phraze. I have no problem with tourists, but I dislike the fact that the government wants to destroy the beauty that already exists within the country and replacing it with painted metal, glass, plastic, concrete and pre-fab wood. The use of Brick has now been banned due to the quakes. All in all the future of this country and especially my city, after the effects of global culture, are looking dire indeed. What would it take to drive back global inflation to turn of the century levels? Conventional wisdom would say it's impossible...

    I hope I'm wrong, but I think that we are going to see many species wiped off the planet; high on that list are sharks, global average temperature rising at a steady curve causing accelerated weather, and most people with the power to stop the situation deteriorating will not act until it is too late.
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      Aug 11 2013: Rob, I had a day client who turned out to be a key figure in setting up either Auckland uni's geology dept or the govt's dept, I can't remember except he was getting his chimney pulled down at the time and it was in perfect condition. He told us a little of his history and what he told us was that Chch was just the start and it will move up the islands. Unless you can come up with a cost effective way to design with stone that can withstand a 9 then timber housing is our countries current path and you know as well as anyone that there is a landlord bubble in some places.

      We have only 5 million people either we beggar our children and take out massive loans or ? We're on our own down here, we always have been.

      What happened to all that donation money that the world gave towards Chch?
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      Aug 25 2013: A disheartening outlook given your life has thus far been to prepare to create something you and many others perceive as a beautiful piece of work. Not only that but the thing standing in your way seems to be society as a whole not giving enough of a damn about stopping our destructive ways that contribute to the serious weather and natural disasters.

      That sucks, I'm sorry :(
  • Aug 9 2013: As John Lennon sang ..and NO religion too, only blue skies above.

    7 billion people today and earth is already over populated and poluted. If poorer countries do nothing and keep adding to population, breeding us all into oblivion, there is only one outcome....disaster and much escalated from hereon.

    Poor nations rich people escape to other countries for a better life rather than addressing the problems of their own nations. Often resulting in culture clashes, unemployment and drain on welfare benefits. Many ask how many people do we let in before our own country is just as poor as the countries they have come from ?

    I see only more poluted skies as in China now. Oceans are already cess pools of rubbish. Land sinking underwater, turning to dust, our rivers drying up

    .......I ask what do you expect ?

    The scurge + cruelty of factory farms and battery hen cages are breeding disease for humans - I wonder if deservedly so.

    By 2050 (= 12 Billion population) something will have to give, wars over food, water, land for sure, or one of the rich nations firing off Nuclear bombs to stop themselves from being overrun ?
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      Aug 25 2013: "I wonder if deservedly so" the idea that we have brought this all on ourselves seems so unfair but at the same time...correct. People, I fear, are more parasitic than beneficial for this planet's survival. An anguishing thought when considering the extremely limited number of options we have left after the thorough and complete destruction of our home. The answer to everything feels so simple for anyone with a shread of common sense but then why do we avoid a solution and work tirelessly to speed up our demise?
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    Aug 8 2013: Hi, I really recommend you a great lecture of the books Harvard Trends, from the author Pedro Barbosa.
    It has a clear trend predictions in so many different areas, so you can explore that. He also wrote the End of Facebook, a interesting e-book. http://www.theendoffacebook.com/Home/index_en
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      Aug 23 2013: Watched the promo for it and just added it to my list, always looking for good recommends, thank you :)
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      Aug 8 2013: I'll give my best efforts for an answer. Books will slowly become a thing of the past which has already started. If you want it the old school way the user or buyer will have to go the extra mile just like with many other things today. The rat will take an easier path to the cheese if provided.
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        Aug 23 2013: Yes I watched the beginning phase of books dying from behind a register at Borders Book store. One of the last remaining products produced, printed, bound, and glued in America and now we're turning all that over to an electronic file. :( sadness
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    Aug 7 2013: Consider the implications of the technology under development that allows your mind to control physical objects. See www.youtube.com/embed/6LWz4qa2XQA?feature The possibilities are mind-boggling.

    And to add to what another commenter said, yes 3D printing is here. Product design firms already buy them for one-off manufacturing. Once they get cheap enough, envision one in every home. You want a new vase? Design your own (or buy someone else's design off the web) and print it.
  • Aug 7 2013: Pros? unlimited immortality incredible intellect faster stronger just everything would be better in every way.
    Cons? this incredible technology can just as easily be used as a weapon as with all things so caution would be very serious other than that i would say it can and will kill humanity as we know it but that's no problem because we killed the attitude of being monkeys and it wasn't all that bad.
  • Aug 7 2013: I was in the process of patenting a new invention when I discovered someone had beaten me to it, getting it patented literally the same month. When I called him about it he hadn't even heard himself. I worked with him for a while to sell the invention but I also have another job. Ultimately I had to leave that work to focus on my other job. As a result I am familiar with the pros and cons of wind.

    Personally I think that offshore wind will take over. 65% of the population is near the coast so this deals with the transmission issue. All offshore locations have high quality wind, so that reduces or eliminates the need for extensive wind studies. Offshore turbines can be huge both individually and as wind farms.
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    Aug 7 2013: Over the next 20 years in the US the boomer generation will be coming to an end, hopefully after that America can rebuild and reclaim its pre-boomer glory.
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      Aug 7 2013: So you're hoping the generations that are coming up to the point of taking the reigns will do a better job? Or the problems will go away with the boomers?
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        Aug 7 2013: Some obstacles will go away, some improvements are in the works, and mostly is hope and faith in the younger generations.
        For example; in the 1950s US education was the best in the world, the younger generations will likely replace the industrial age monopolized public school system with a free market blind (oops make that Blend) of online and classroom school system. The younger generations are not racist or sexist; boomers are obstacles to ending racism and sexism despite their desires to end them.

        I’m saying it’s all their doing just that in pre-boomer times America was love and respected though out the world, and now that is not true. And I see boomers doing nothing to repair America.
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          Aug 7 2013: Have you ever heard of the book "The Dumbest Generation"?

          Sexism and racism do seem to be diminishing greatly with each generation which is a definite check in the pro column. It's hard to say what the up and coming generations will have to offer. They've spent the majority of their lives listening to news about wars and civil unrest around the world to the point where many have become desensitized to it. The attitude of "there's nothing I can do about it so why should I care?" is prominant and worries me.
  • Aug 7 2013: There was a similar a question asked on edge.com. It was the question for 2009, What will change everything? Some of the answers given there are similar to here. However, the panel of about 150 individuals could give as long or as short an answer. Here is the heading including background information copied from that site.

    Through science we create technology and in using our new tools we recreate ourselves. But until very recently in our history, no democratic populace, no legislative body, ever indicated by choice, by vote, how this process should play out.

    Nobody ever voted for printing. Nobody ever voted for electricity. Nobody ever voted for radio, the telephone, the automobile, the airplane, television. Nobody ever voted for penicillin, antibiotics, the pill. Nobody ever voted for space travel, massively parallel computing, nuclear power, the personal computer, the Internet, email, cell phones, the Web, Google, cloning, sequencing the entire human genome. We are moving towards the redefinition of life, to the edge of creating life itself. While science may or may not be the only news, it is the news that stays news.

    And our politicians, our governments? Always years behind, the best they can do is play catch up.
    Nobel laureate James Watson, who discovered the DNA double helix, and genomics pioneer J. Craig Venter, recently were awarded Double Helix Awards from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for being the founding fathers of human genome sequencing. They are the first two human beings to have their complete genetic information decoded.

    Venter is on the brink of creating the first artificial life form on Earth. He has already announced transplanting the information from one genome into another. In other words, your dog becomes your cat. He has privately alluded to important scientific progress in his lab, the result of which, if and when realized, will change everything.

    "What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?
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      Aug 7 2013: I posted one example already "Enroll or Enlist".

      I think the islands of Dubai are causing a lot of our severe weather. They've been transferring all that sand from the bottom of the ocean to the surace. Ocean currents are taking different paths and sending warm and cold water to different areas than before and changing ecosystems.

      The richest people in the world happen to live there and can afford to keep any kind of research from being conducted or published about the negative effects those islands could be having on the world. I think it will come to light in the next decade or so that our severe weather would diminish greatly if those islands were to go. A class battle of rich against poor.
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      Aug 7 2013: Any predictions of your own?
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    Aug 7 2013: I'm hoping we have nailed variable temp superconductive materials taking us into the next phase of transportation but we will most probably see a rise in individual personal violence due to a rise in heat and precipitation due to climate change. It's not the cause but exacerbates the stress and tensions that we will face in the future. It happened in the past, it will happen again.

    Our phones and glasses will be the only devices we will need.
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      Aug 7 2013: Individual personal violence? What do you mean?
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        Aug 7 2013: Sorry Ang, Interpersonal violence is the correct phrase i should have used or flash point violence. Even if we get our population growth under control the idea is already there, that the planet is overcrowded already regardless of the data that might point to the opposite. A meme that adds to the everyday stressors that we already carry with us 24/7. It's really just an opinion, back in 93' i would not have come close to projecting an accurate state of what 2013 would be like based on what i know now.
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          Aug 7 2013: Ok I think I get what you're saying. Each individual's propensity for violence will intensify just based on the incleasing difficulty to live each day of life. Is that right?
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    Aug 7 2013: Seriously?
    We hardly know what is going to happen tomorrow and we are still attempting to figure out what happened yesterday.
    Long range planning is being done by some, but this information does not trickle down to most of us, and for god reason.
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      Aug 7 2013: Theodore,
      I held the job of long range planner for 10 years. It's easy. Give it a shot. How do you think it will turn out.?
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      Aug 7 2013: The ability to think several steps ahead is in constant use in games like Chess and in war strategy. Why not implement the same concept when it comes to life? Don't we all try to teach our children to think things through before they act to avoid negative consequences whenever possible?
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        Aug 7 2013: In games such as chess, the rules are delineated and the objective is clear to both players. This is not true in forecasting the future. We don't all have the same information, we, you and I, mostly have limited information. Therefore our prediction are little more than wishful thinking.

        There are already those that have made decisions about which direction certain industries will take. There is a five to seven year lead time to coordinate activities, and large sum of money are being invested. If you build electric cars you need somewhere to recharge them for example. If you want to meet expected energy demands you need new sources. In this regard, the European Union is further ahead of the US.

        Have a glance it this research:

        Using data obtained (circa 2007) from the Orbis database (a global database containing financial information on public and private companies) the team, in what is being heralded as the first of its kind, analyzed data from over 43,000 corporations, looking at both upstream and downstream connections between them all and found that when graphed, the data represented a bowtie of sorts, with the knot, or core representing just 147 entities who control nearly 40 percent of all of monetary value of transnational corporations (TNCs).

        Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2011-08-powerful-corporations-world.html#jCp

        I believe that we in the US are not preparing to meet the future in many ways; energy, education, infrastructure, or even psychologically.
  • Aug 7 2013: Do you know why we aren't building more wind turbines in this country? Generating energy from wind is cheaper than any other source and that isn't even when considering the health consequences of coal. However, the power plant decides whose power to buy. Since they own a coal fired plant they buy their power until they are maxed out and then, only then, do they buy wind energy. So although the wind turbine is generating clean power that is cheaper it isn't purchased. This makes sense to the power plant because they have an existing investment in the coal plant they are trying to protect. The biggest hinderance to progress is the powers that be.
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      Aug 7 2013: The state I live in is one of the top wind power states... COP per KW from wind is $0.14...
      COP average from coal, gas, or nuclear is $0.08... so, your house, where are you going to buy your power?
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        Aug 8 2013: What does COP stand for?
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          Aug 8 2013: Cost of Production. The cost of kilowatt of electricity at the meter on your house.
          It includes all cost: labor, materials including fuel, maintenance and repair, etc.
          Actually, fuel cost: wind, water, coal, gas, or nuclear is not the biggest bite of the apple...
          it's getting it into electricity and getting it to your house.
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        Aug 8 2013: Wait...we still are getting a line entitled "Katrina" added down here in our bill. I wounder how long this is gonna ride and ride and ride.
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    Aug 6 2013: For example...

    I have felt for a long time that because education budgets continue to be cut and we fall further and further behind that it's an intentional step in the process towards a desired change.

    Too many young people are unable and will continue to be unable to earn a livable wage and end up dependent on some form of assistance.

    To relieve the economic strain I see the gov. implementing an enroll or enlist agenda.
    Upon graduating from high school students have to either enroll in college or enlist in the military. This would keep people dependent on the gov. which is the way I think they like it.

    There are many places I could go with this but there are certain things I see every day that support my theory. The number of commercials about the military and how they can pay for college and then you're not left with so much debt being one.
  • Aug 6 2013: Waaaaaaaayyyyyy to broad of a question way to many answers
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      Aug 6 2013: Provide as many as you wish. I hear a lot of people who have a handful or a mouthful of theories and predictions for the future of this planet. I just wanted to read a bunch of them and see if there are any evident patterns that present themselves or any particular issue that seems more prevelant than others.
      • Aug 6 2013: well ok we will become the machines we are creating it has already begun instead of robots and humans evolving separately we will be one.
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          Aug 7 2013: Robots and humans fusing. To what end? What would be the purpose and functionality of a human desiring robotic parts?
      • Aug 7 2013: Ummm we already desire them and use them? technology in the future will improve the human form by adding robotic parts we already do this to great extent cellphones artificial organs replacing bones really any and all technology used to improve humans will just become better imagine your brain connected directly with the internet or a smartphone built into the skin on top of your hand the possibilities are endless
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          Aug 7 2013: How do you view this type of advancement? Would you put your name down for robotic attachments? :)
      • Aug 7 2013: I view it as what my generation will experience as the new amazing thing as the last generation thought of internet and computers. And lol i dunno man can't call it attachments if we become the machines you could call it humanoid attachment though.
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          Aug 7 2013: So there are definite pros and cons do you have a few tops in each column?
  • Aug 6 2013: More more and more people more problems Water Energy Food and the Environment.
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      Aug 6 2013: Utilizing hind sight and forthought are you able to make any predictions? So you're saying here that over population results in water, energy, and food shortages? How might society or gov. attempt to resolve the issue of shortages? How would you? That's what I'm looking for.
      • Aug 7 2013: That's a good point, but the problem is that tech fixes often create new problems - and no one wants to pay for them and while any solution will create problems - linear ones create even more problems.
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          Aug 7 2013: Based on the problems that tech has already caused and the solutions we've attempted what do you think is yet to come?
      • Aug 8 2013: More birth defects, hunger, thirst,war , religious intollerence, and crime.
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          Aug 23 2013: You don't feel that there's any solution that would constitute a genuine solution without perpetuating the cycle and escalating the problems?
      • Aug 24 2013: Okay this would require very widespread intelligent adult behavior. That is a rare thing in human history.
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      Aug 6 2013: The planet will not sustain us indefinitely, yes that's clear but do you ever feel like you know the result of some action, trend, law, event? That's what I'm looking for, not the obvious.
      • Sep 4 2013: Our planet will not survive, and whether humanity will survive the catastrophe that ends our planet's ability to host humanity is far from certain. I feel that there is a generative life force, an iterative process of trial and error perhaps, that introduces life in hospitable environments on any hospitable planet, and in my estimation there are likely many such planets across our observable universe where evolved life forms exist.

        But my reply to this topic is, given the highly evolved state of humanity on Earth, the hopeful among us can find reason to believe that the soundness of our evolved and evolving reason and logic will be applied toward continuing to improve our abilities to overcome the problems of humanity on all fronts; unfortunately at a painfully slow rate.