Tuesday, September 18, 2007

During Your Lifetime... A Young Person's Guide to the Future

During Your Lifetime... A Young Person's Guide to the 13 Unstoppable Trends and Earth-Shaking Changes of the Next 50 Years

During your lifetime the most dramatic changes in history will occur. That much is not so hard to imagine since we all accept that technology is accelerating.

The last 100 years saw unimaginable progress... the industrial revolution, harnessing nuclear power, landing on the moon, the oil age, globalization of commerce, and wiring the world into a single cyberspace. And if you thought that was a lot, just wait. Perhaps the volume of changes won't be as marked, but the impact will make the last century look like child's play. Some of the changes will be mechanical, physical... mere order of magnitude items. But others will be sea changes... voyages into uncharted waters. In this simple list we'll take you through some of the things you'll live through.

During your lifetime...

Your World:

1. It will take fewer and fewer people to create the necessities of life.
2. Physical goods will deteriorate more slowly than their usage, and accumulate almost endlessly.
3. Manufacturing of goods will exceed our capacity to consume them.
4. Frictionless travel will be the norm for long-distance mass transit.
5. The number of cars on the road will double before it is dealt with.
6. Mass transit will displace private, suburban commuter traffic.

Your Environment:

7. Everything you do, good or bad, will be on the internet.
8. Companies that provide neighborhood, bike-able offices will dominate.
9. We will start digging up landfills to recover the petrochemicals.
10. Nuclear power will be safely developed to supply industrial demand.

Your Life:

11. College testing and instruction will be separated from one another, finally creating competition and lowering prices.
12. Healthcare will be separately managed in three parts: preventive, acute, and catastrophic care.
13. The change in the stock market from auction house to corporate feeding trough will make your lifetime savings an uncontrolled gamble until the rules are corrected so it supports only genuine investment, not gaming the system.
14. Aging will be stopped by medicine. Then what will you do about population!?

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