The World Of 2060

The World Of 2060

Postby Sionnach Glic » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:35 pm

People in the fifties often speculated about how in the year 2000 we'd all own flying cars and take vacations to hotels on the moon. Needless to say, they were all full of shit. So let's try our own hand at predicting the future of Earth, hopefully with a bit more accuracy than our fathers and grandfathers.

So how do you think the world will look in fifty years time? What will our societies look like? What will computer technology be like? Medical tech? Will we have space travel? What will military tech be like? How will robotics have progressed? Will the nations of today even still exist in fifty years?
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Mikey » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:44 pm

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.
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Graham Kennedy » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:31 pm

Off the top of my head...

If you think computers are common now, just wait. By 2060 you won't spend a second of your life that isn't spend surrounded by them. They'll be built into practically everything, doing stuff for you constantlywithout you even knowing it most of the time.

As a result of the above, you'll never be out of contact, ever. Audio and 3D video communication with anybody else, anywhere else, 24/7 from the day you're old enough to use it, along with access to most of the sum of human knowledge.

We'll likely have sent people to Mars, and may have some sort of small manned outpost on the Moon. We won't have a significant manned presence in space beyond that. And the "we" in question may well not be the USA, or anybody in the West. My bet's with China or India.

Fusion power WILL finally have relieved the energy problem. Cars will be electric of hydrogen powered or some other "clean" system.

As a result of the above, there will be a shit storm in the middle east because the day we stop needing the oil, the Arab will will come to find that nobody gives a crap about them or what they want any more. Wars, revolutions, you name it, on a massive scale, and the west will stand back and watch it happen without lifting a finger.

Global population will be largely stable and will have already fallen somewhat after peaking at around 12 billion. We'll have solved world hunger, or will be well on the way towards doing so. Standards of living worldwide will be far higher than they are presently.

There won't be any real question about global warming any more; it will be an accepted fact. Efforts to curb it will have failed, and our descendants will have to simply live with the consequences. But I suspect those consequences will prove to be liveable with. Disruption, maybe, economic strife, maybe, people moving away from coastlines in some places, maybe, but it won't be the end of civilisation or remotely close to it.
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Tsukiyumi » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:28 am

Normally, I'd say that sounds too optimistic to be likely, Graham, but you worded that well enough that I can see that outcome actually being possible.
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Sonic Glitch » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:31 am

When asked to consider things such as this, I usually point to This song, minus roughly 500 years.
"All this has happened before --"
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:37 pm

Tsukiyumi wrote:Normally, I'd say that sounds too optimistic to be likely, Graham, but you worded that well enough that I can see that outcome actually being possible.


It's really not that optimistic. For all the TV shows you of famine and war and such, the world is in a massively better state now than it was 50 years ago in almost every respect. It'll keep getting better, I think.

People will still bitch and moan about how awful it all is, though.
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Tsukiyumi » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:39 am

GrahamKennedy wrote:...People will still bitch and moan about how awful it all is, though.


I try to only bitch about the stuff that is awful. :wink:
There is only one way of avoiding the war – that is the overthrow of this society. However, as we are too weak for this task, the war is inevitable. -L. Trotsky, 1939
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Aaron » Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:26 am

Hey man, my bagel still gets cold on the way home. Till they fix that...the world blows. ;)
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Mikey » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:21 am

GK may have a point about computers. I suppose I could envision a scenario in which people walk around continuously online. Could you imagine seeing a pop-up for each store you pass on your augmented-reality glasses, or have your size and style preferences automatically fed to the shoe shop as you walk in?
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Sonic Glitch » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:25 am

Mikey wrote:GK may have a point about computers. I suppose I could envision a scenario in which people walk around continuously online. Could you imagine seeing a pop-up for each store you pass on your augmented-reality glasses, or have your size and style preferences automatically fed to the shoe shop as you walk in?

I can... and I don't like it.
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby colmquinn » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:58 am

The best thing to happen by then, will be as GK said I believe, the middle east will run out of oil and they can go back to doing whatever it was they did before it came along. And russia with its natural gas can do whatever it was they did before they had the income from that.

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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Reliant121 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:58 am

Me and dad were having a huge debate about this kind of topic last night which was...interesting to say the least, if only on a generational mindset. The idea of constantly being online, as in having a uplink to the internet 24/7 absolutely abhorred him, it was disgusting. Like being on a lead to him. Where as me...well, I already am in a sense. I never leave my phone, which isnt just a mobile phone but an internet access point as well, So I am constantly "tethered" to society. Moreover, I would find it incredibly difficult NOT to be.
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Sonic Glitch » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:04 am

Is it weird that as a member of this technologically focused generation, I'd prefer not to be as connected as we are, and that the thought of even more connection between us worries me?
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Tsukiyumi » Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:42 am

Sonic Glitch wrote:Is it weird that as a member of this technologically focused generation, I'd prefer not to be as connected as we are, and that the thought of even more connection between us worries me?


Doesn't sound weird to me...
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Re: The World Of 2060

Postby Aaron » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:18 am

Reliant121 wrote:Me and dad were having a huge debate about this kind of topic last night which was...interesting to say the least, if only on a generational mindset. The idea of constantly being online, as in having a uplink to the internet 24/7 absolutely abhorred him, it was disgusting. Like being on a lead to him. Where as me...well, I already am in a sense. I never leave my phone, which isnt just a mobile phone but an internet access point as well, So I am constantly "tethered" to society. Moreover, I would find it incredibly difficult NOT to be.


While I don't find the idea abhorrent, I don't particularly want to be. It's cool if folks do but I honestly have better things to do with my time then be online all the time, I mean, yeah I have a phone with an Internet connection. But I never use it, unless I get lost or I need to figure out what time a shop opens. I usually check that stuff before I leave though.

My father is similar, he has a phone but it's just for emergencies.

My wife...she's always online, checking Facebook or something with her smartphone. So I suspect she'd embrace the idea.
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