Sionnach Glic wrote:What will our societies look like?
50 years is utterly insignificant in changing cultural qualities; I tend to think that the biggest change on this front will be the continuing erosion of geographical differences in culture. That is, we will see the continuing adoption of cultural traits in non-native areas. In the U.S., for example, cultural enclaves like Chinatowns, the Indian enclaves in parts of the northeast, etc., will become larger and and more frequently found outside of their current range, which consists of the largest urban centers and the sites of initial immigration. In the U.S. specifically, if the current trend continues, Hispanics will become by far the largest minority and will (though I expect it will take a lot longer than 50 years) possibly become the majority cultural group. This of course will lead to the even greater adoption of Latino heritage in "mainstream" U.S. society, which adoption has already become quite prevalent in the urban centers. I, for example, am whiter than rich men's bread; but I would more readily call a small corner market a bodega
than a "deli."
Sionnach Glic wrote:What will computer technology be like?
I daresay that it will probably (for better or ill) look much like that of today, just better. In other words, I don't expect a revolution in the way computer technology works; just in the quality, speed, and reliability of the way it functions. Materials technology can of course lead to a quantum leap in actual processing ability, much as transistors did over vacuum tubes; but I don't foresee a paradigm shift (like in Neuromancer
) in the appearance of computer tech.
Sionnach Glic wrote:Medical tech?
Assuming the political climate allows for it, this may be the area of greatest advancement of the current state. Continuing research in gene therapy, adaptive prosthetics, and diagnostic and imaging technology could very well change the entire way we look at the treatment of disease. The finding of congenital components of many syndromes, combined with the advances listed above, will lead to a proactive treatment of many things.
Sionnach Glic wrote:Will we have space travel?
No. At least, not significantly greater than we do now. To spend the resources necessary on true space travel as you're envisioning, the climate down here on Earth has to become much more stable than I believe the next 50 years could bring.
Sionnach Glic wrote:What will military tech be like? How will robotics have progressed?
I put these together because military tech is and will be the forefront of robotics. I see a continuation of what's going on now - user-independent and adaptive things like the Crusher, only on a scale at which these things can serve at the front without reducing the available manpower for other efforts.
Sionnach Glic wrote:Will the nations of today even still exist in fifty years?
More or less. We are fast approaching a terminal velocity at which the European regression to countries based on nationalities, rather than World-War-inspired arbitrary gerrymandering, will be complete. Hell, Moldavia is a friggin independent nation now. There may be some realignment to bring some of these nations more in line with historical ranges, but that's a nominal change. There's little such regression to do in Asia, and in the Americas the Native American Nations are too fragmented and listless to effect a Shadowrun
-style assertion of sovereign territory. I don't see the Irish as moving forward with a merger/liberation of Northern Ireland within 50 years. The biggest shakeup could be from the EU. If it somehow manages to continue on its apparent present course of adopting political control rather than just economic compatibility, a very strange bloc could indeed arise if there don't appear more Irelands and Czech Republics to stand up to the Union.