Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Future

In the year 1960 the famous futurist and sometimes scifi novelist, Ned Toffler, predicted what the world would be like in 50 years in the year 2010. As we approach the year 2010 lets look back and see how accurate he was.

Flying Cars and Giant Computers

In the year 2010 we will have flying cars all controlled by a massive computer the size of the Empire State building. The number of vacuum tubes in that computer will be in the billions and this computer will cost trillions of dollars and will run the United States. The magnetic core memory of this giant computer will have the capacity to store trillions of bits.

Today’s computer languages will evolve to meet the needs of the future. All computers will be programmed in advanced forms of Lisp, Algol, Fortran or COBOL.

Every country will build similar massive computers. Every home and business will have a small computer that communicates with the Mother Computer via radio signals and a large network of radio towers. A network of radio towers floating at sea will help computers communicate across oceans.

The Global Computer Network will be referred to as the G.C.N.

The World’s Knowledge

All of mans knowledge will be on computers stored on video tape. Anyone anywhere in the world can access any information at any time. Because of this, libraries will no longer have books but instead be a place where you search for information on the computer. Paper will be a thing of the past. Books will only exist in museums since people will have access to anything at any time via computer panel interfaces which will be everywhere and available to access for free. Small personal computers will be free. If your computer breaks, throw it away and get a new one.

Computer programs will increase in sophistication and will eventually start writing themselves. We will no longer understand how computers work since they will build themselves and are computer maintained by fleets of robots.

The workings of the brain will be 80% understood. Computers will be designed to emulate the working of the brain which will cause a great advance in artificial intelligence but that last 20% will prevent robots from actually being as intelligent as humans. A big controversy in the year 2010 is the rights of robots as they gain human intelligence. They are still far off from being human but the worry is that someday they will achieve sentience and self-awareness and demand their rights. Laws will be passed to place limits on how intelligent a robot can be until the moral issues are worked out.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence will evolve to the point where computers are almost as smart as man but they still cannot understand human emotions and feelings but they are able to create some amazing art for example music, paintings, sculpture and even author books or scripts for movies and Television shows. Computers will be able to beat the best master level chess players in the world with ease. People will enjoy watching two robots playing chess. Some robots will become as famous as celebrities for various reasons.

Tall Buildings

The Empire State building will no longer be the tallest building in the world. It won’t even be close. New stronger materials will be invented allow buildings to reach up beyond the clouds. Having the tallest building in the world will become a source of pride as well as a good source of tourist income causing many countries to compete resulting in the tallest building in the world being replaced by another every 5 years. The tallest building in the world in 2010 will exceed 1 mile high! The observation decks on these high buildings will require depressurization, air-tanks and very warm clothing. Super fast elevators will be needed traveling 100 mph getting you to the top in less than 10 minutes.

Some buildings will be pushed beyond the limits and collapse. With great height comes many great dangerous for example high winds, fires, collision from planes and accidental depressurization.

Population

The population of Earth will triple from 3 billion to 9 billion by the year 2010 but we will not need 3 times as much land to live on because most people will live and work in these massive buildings in the cities. The space we need to live will expand vertically instead of horizontally.

Space

By the year 2010 we will have a space station housing thousands of people. The moon will also be a permanent home to thousands and a colony of hundreds will live on Mars. Thanks to advances in rocket propulsion, the journey to and from Mars will only take a week. Other smaller colonies in space will exist on the moons of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. There will also be smaller colonies within the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. People will also hitch rides on many of the comets that visit our solar system on a regular basis for example Halley's comet which visits us every 76 years which we will see again in 1986.

Missions to deep space will be in the works with plans to visit the outer planets and beyond but much better propulsion will be needed. Nuclear power will be used to power rockets and just about everything.

The rich will visit space for vacation. Casual space travel will not be cheap enough for the average person. The health benefits of zero gravity will be many but it can be a problem for babies born in zero gravity and grow up in zero gravity. These zero-G babies can never visit a planet with gravity unless they wear a special suit because they have never learned to walk so they still need to get around in a self propelled wheel chair.

Energy

There will be enough cheap power for everyone. Nuclear powered cars can go for 20 years before the fuel rods need replacing. Nuclear power will power the most of world except for those areas powered by the forces of nature (discussed later).

Scientists will find a way to neutralize the radiation created by the waste products of a nuclear plant. Nuclear waste will be rendered harmless and the materials can be reused.

Robots

Robots will walk among us doing all of the hard-labor jobs. This will make for a lazy society causing most people to get fat (see Health for more info).

Robot auto-pilots will drive cars and fly airplanes. They will be far more reliable than humans. Accidents will still happen but they will be extremely rare and usually caused by human error. Forget about directions and maps. Simply sit back and tell the robot where to go then enjoy the ride. Cars on robot highways will travel 150 mph so you can travel coast to coast in 24 hours. Read a book, watch a movie or sleep. The car is nuclear powered so it’s quiet and it’s clean and there’s no stopping for gas.

If you get a flat-tire, the robot will safely pull over and change the tire and you will be on your way within 5 minutes.

Most surgeries will be done by robots. Their speed and accuracy will far exceed a human’s abilities. Only the most complicated and experimental surgeries will be done by humans.

Humans will have robot limbs. If you lose a hand, foot, arm or leg due to an accident you can get a robot replacement which will work as good if not better. We will also have the ability to grow new body parts.

Pneumatic tubes

A huge system if interconnected pneumatic (air) tubes will circle the globe. Mailmen are a thing of the past. To send a letter, you place it into a capsule and drop it into the tube. Every house has one! Every address in the world will get a unique number so you simply write the number on the outside of the tube. All capsules will be sent to large hubs where robots will intercept the capsules, read the number, and transfer it to the correct tube. Traveling at more than 500 mph, the capsules can travel from New York to California and about 5 hours. Sending a message to your neighbor next door still takes 30 minutes because it must first travel to the nearest central hub then back again so you might as well just walk over and talk to them in person or call them on your video phone or send them a digital message using the GCN.

Phones

All phones will have a video screen so you can see and talk to the person on the other line. You won’t need to dial the number. Simply tell the computer who to call. Computers understand spoken language. Just say “Call Robin” and since you’ve already taught the phone that “Robin” stands for the phone number 10172489042104324325, it will automatically dial the number for you. Phone numbers will be about 20 digits in length in the future because it will allow you to call any phone anywhere on Earth without the need of an operator. Unfortunately you cannot call someone on the moon because the time-delay would make it impossible to have a normal conversation.

Humans

Humans are getting taller over time and by the year 2010 our average height will be 7. The hoop in regulation basketball will need to be raised to 12 feet.

Health

One problem caused by the robots doing the all of the hard-labor is that most people will get fat but this will be cured by a pill. People will be able to eat what ever they want and still maintain a strong healthy body through a variety of pills. No more lifting weights at the gym. Take a certain pill and you'll have strong big muscles.

Most disease will be cured including most cancers. At first the improved health will cause an over population problem causing doctors to sterilize all children at birth in such a way that is easily reversed once they are adults and decide to have children. Government permission is required to have a children and the government limits two children per family to limit population growth. The goal will be to prevent the Earth from exceeding 10 billion people since resources are limited.

Improved health will result in people living longer with the average age being 100 years old by 2010.

Wealth

Poverty will be eliminated. Third and forth world countries will be a thing of the past. Some countries will still be richer than others. Free education and a single world economy will improve the lives of everyone.

Food

Animals will no longer be killed for food. Artificial food created in labs will contain all of the nutrients we need and taste just like animal meat like beef, chicken, pork, fish, etc.

Money

The world will use one money standard. No more dollar, franc, pound, yen, etc.

Paper money and coins will no longer exist. Your body is now your money. There will be many ways to use your body as money for example computers will be able to recognize your face, your voice, your finger prints, etc. There will be no need to carry around an identification card because you are your own proof of identity. Use of password and computer identified signature will also be used.

Payments from one person to another will happen using the global computer network (GCN). Login to the computer and transfer money from your account to their account. Money will simply be bits in a computer.

Education

Education is free including colleges and universities although advanced degrees for Masters, Phd and Post Doctorate degrees still cost money. Since all manual labor jobs are now done by robots, everyone must have college degree in order to compete in the job market. The average intelligence of the world is raised not only by schooling but also by smart pills that assist in learning and memory.

Sleep

Sleep is optional and can be controlled by pills. Everything our body gets from sleep will be provided by a pill although some people will still enjoy sleeping naturally to experience normal dreaming. You will be able to record your dreams to video tape and play them back for analysis as well as entertainment. Lucid dreaming will be possible using a system of electrodes that keeps you awake enough to have full control over your dream. You will be a God in your own universe.

With pills and special head gear you will be able to learn in your sleep but the learning will be limited. You will still need to attend school and use what you learn otherwise it is forgotten unless you are also taking a memory pill which assists your brain in retaining what it already knows.

War and Peace

World Peace will finally be obtained when the world unites under one government known as the UEF which stands for the United Earth Federation. It will be governed by representatives from each country. Each country will still maintain its own style of government (Democracy, Communism, etc) but instead of waging wars, issues would be settled via peaceful negotiations.

Voting

You can vote from home using the GCN. The information about all of the candidates will be on the computer for you to research.

Drugs

Dangerous illegal drugs will be a thing of the past since safe alternative drugs will be invented that are not addicting and yet give the same high. They will be made available at the local drug store. With a pill you will be able to safely experience drugs like marijuana or LSD with no side effects or addiction and no possibility of over dose.

Smoking

Safe cigarettes will be invented.

Religion

By 2010, only 50% of the world will be religious. Science and rational thought begin to replace religious thought. The term “in god we trust” will be removed from the US money. The US pledge of allegiance will have the term “under god” removed.

Sports

The world will still have the major sports that exist today like rugby, cricket, tennis, soccer, football, basketball, hockey but spectators of televised matches will be able to choose the camera angle while watching Television. Each person will have their camera mounted on their body so you can see the view from their point of view.

With car racing, each car has 4 cameras looking forward, backward, left and right so you can choose which car and which direction to view. There will be a dozen other camera angles to choose for example the view from the blimp, fixed camera views setup around the course or human controlled cameras panning with the action. Or let the broadcaster choose which camera you view as they pick the best view at any point in time.

Most sports will have a robot version. There will be robot soccer, robot football, robot basketball, robot baseball, robot boxing, etc. New sports will be invented just for robots for example robot death matches where robots fight to the death. Viewing such an event is dangerous to your health so you can only view such events on Television from a distance. These robots will stand 30 feet high and have many weapons. Some matches are controlled remotely miles away by teams of people. In other matches the robots use their own artificial intelligence to fight.

New sports will be created based on new technologies that are invented including new kinds of car racing with the invention of new types of cars, new types of bike racing with the invention of new types of bikes, new types of boat racing with new types of boats and so on.

Due to improvements in health, fitness and shoe technology, running 20 mile marathons will no longer be challenging. Marathons will be increased to 100 miles in length and be held in very harsh environments like Sahara desert or the Arctic North Pole.

Sports in Space

New sports will be invented in space in zero gravity for example swim matches will be held in a giant sphere of water. A new sport that is a cross between soccer, basketball, hockey and football will exist within a closed room. Each team will have a goal and the ball can be rebound off any wall. Players can push off walls and various obstacles. It will be very physical with players colliding from all possible directions.

Bicycling and running in zero-G will also be popular on circular tracks. Centrifugal force will keep the people on the track or the courses will be spin to give them artificial gravity.

Olympics in Space

We have the summer and winter games but by 2010 they will also have the space Olympics. There will be events in zero gravity as well as events on the moon like the high jump and weight lifting. Although nobody has been to the moon scientist theorize that the gravity is 1/5 of that of Earth. Lifting 200 pounds on Earth is the same as lifting 200 pounds on the moon. 200 pounds is 200 pounds but that same weight would be 1000 pounds on Earth so it would look more impressive on the moon.

Moon golf will be very popular although players will be able to hit the ball for many miles. But these will be special balls that are easy to find because they transmit a special radio signal. Fast jet transportation can take players quickly to their ball. Courses will cover hundreds of miles.

There will be more countries to compete that we have now since new countries will be established on the moon, Mars, other moons and even large asteroids.

The Moon

Buildings on the moon will be built far underground to protect them from meteors which can punch a hole through a wall. It will be illegal for any building to exist on the surface of the moon.

There will be plenty of tunnels for housing because of the underground strip mining that will be done. Valuable elements not found on Earth will be mined and rocketed to Earth. Its value will far exceed that of gold or diamonds.

Gold and Diamonds

Gold and Diamonds will have far less value in 2010 because new technology allows us to make them. Gold can be made in any purity including 18 carat. Diamonds more perfect than the real thing will be created using high pressure and high temperatures. There will be no more need for gold or diamond mining.

Because the value of gold will drop, money will no longer be based on the gold standard. Jewelry like wedding rings will no longer have diamonds but instead be created with the more valuable and rare jewels found only on the moon.

Travel

Another form of transportation is underground tubes which cross the ocean connecting New York to London. With speeds exceeding 500 mph the trip can be made in 7 hours.

All commercial flights will fly faster than speed of sound traveling from New York to California in 3 hours.

Crowded cities will contain robot taxis. No human drivers will be allowed in large cities. Traffic will be computer controlled eliminating traffic jams and reducing travel time.

Political Boundaries

With fast and cheap transportation will revolutionize the world but the biggest change will come when the one centralized government (UEF) drops all boundaries and allows anyone to travel and live anywhere at any time.

Language

The languages of the world will slowly merge into a single language as we become one world. As we speak we will mix words from English, Chinese, Japanese, German, Russian, African, etc. Due to cheap and fast transportation as well as the lowering of country boundaries, allowing anyone to travel and live anywhere, the people of the world will migrate and blend and become one giant melting pot and so to will our language.

Races

Only 20% of the world will be of a pure race. Some countries like Japan will resist racial intermixing due to their culture but most will embrace it. As the world mixes, it will be rare for people to marry their own race causing the races of the world to slowly blend into one. A person might be part Japanese, African, European and Australian or maybe part Mexican, Hawaiian, Alaskan, Indonesian. The question of race will lose its importance. We will all be mutts.

Housing

Cheap homes will be built by robots in a day. You can design your house the way you want it then feed your design into the computer. The computer will then command the robots on how to build it. Hours later you have the house of your dreams.

Television

Television screens will be the size of the wall. There will be hundreds of channels from all over the world including broadcasts from space, the moon, Mars, other moons and beyond. People will spend 8 hours per day watching TV on average but it won’t be a problem since nobody sleeps. They still have enough time to work and play.

Death

Massive corrections will occur in the population over the next 50 years due to sickness, war, natural disasters and yet the human race will still reach 9 billion by 2010.

There will be no room for cemeteries in the future so everyone will be cremated. Some rich people will prefer to have their bodies rocketed into deep space or into the Sun. The rich can afford to have themselves frozen when they die in the hopes that some future society can revive them and give them a new life. By the year 2010 there will be over 100,000 people frozen awaiting a cure from death.

Suicide services are provided for anyone over 75 or for the very sick who would like to die a pleasant and pain free death.

The definition of death will be redefined as science finds new ways to revive someone whose body has stopped. A person is not considered dead until all attempts to revive them have failed. Their heart may have stopped an hour ago and they are brain dead. In today’s world we would declare them dead but in 2010 they will be able to revive someone from this state.

Some patients will be “killed” in order to save their lives. They will be placed in a state of cold suspended animation until the doctors are ready to perform the necessary procedures to bring them back to life. They may remain in this preserved state for days at a time and be revived with little ill effects.

Crime

George Orwell’s novel 1984 let us know that in the future “Big Brother is watching you”. This will be true to a point. Cameras will be almost everywhere. It will be nearly impossible to commit a crime without having it caught on tape.

Prisons

Breakthroughs in rehabilitation make prison sentences very short. Due to a greater understanding of the brain and the relationship between nature and nurture, we learn why people commit crimes and how they can be reprogrammed to lead a normal life that conforms to the rules of society.

Capital Punishment

Punishment by death unnecessary due to advances in rehabilitation (see Prisons).

Weapons and War

Remote control rockets can be launched into space and return anywhere on Earth so every country could attack every other country with ease except for the anti-attack rocket system that would detect and destroy any foreign incoming rockets.

Every country would have the ability to attack any other country with remote rockets but the attack would futile.

Armies of robots could do battle instead of armies of people.

Even though countries would have the ability to attack there is no need. The problems of the world are worked out through negotiations in the United Earth Federation.

World Records

10 years ago Joseph Kittinger broke three world records:

  • Highest Parachute Jump
  • Longest Freefall
  • Highest Freefall Velocity

His accomplishments are simply a precursor to freefalling from space. This will not only be a sport people do for fun but it is also a practical and fast way to return from space. Space suits will be invented that can take the heat on re-entry. They will also have wings and a parachute. What Joseph Kittinger did is amazing to us now but in the year 2010 it will be common place to free fall from orbit.

Thirteen years ago Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier flying in the X-1. Today breaking the sound barrier is common place. Speeds records will continue to be broken so by the year 2010 the fastest jets can travel 10 times the speed of sound.

In 1954 Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four minute mile and today that accomplishment is still nearly impossible by our top athletes but by 2010 this will be common place by all top running athletes due to improvements not only in health but also in shoe technology.

The tallest person will reach 12 feet tall.

Largest Population: China 4 billion people

Pollution

Pollution levels drop by 2010 due to nuclear power. The cleaner environment will leading to longer lives. Most things will be powered by electricity generated by nuclear power including homes, cars, businesses, ships, planes etc. Other forms of power derived from nature will also provide power like hydroelectric (power from dams), solar power, wind power, tide power, geyser power, volcanic power, earth quake power, tornado power, hurricane power … anything in nature that provides power will be tapped for energy. The need for fossil fuels will disappear. This will bankrupt some countries that depend on oil export for their economic stability but as we merge into one world economy and fast cheap transportation becomes available along with the dropping of political boundaries, people can easily migrate to where the job opportunities are.

Unemployment

Since people will no longer be limited to looking for a job in their limited area, they will find it easy to find a job anywhere in the world, in space, on the moon, Mars, etc. Since education is free, people can easily learn new skills for new and growing technologies.

There will be a large demand for explorers who are willing to risk their life to spread humanity to the stars.

Industry

The main industries will be space travel, computers, robots and tourism. Without the need for sleep, people will have more leisure time. They will also be expected to work longer days averaging 10 hours per day 6 days per week. But stress can be kept at a minimum with stress pills and motivation can be kept high with energy pills. If you feel like sleeping you can take a sleep pill.

Pills

There will be pills for sleeping, pills for staying awake, pills for losing weight, pills for improving muscles, pills for staying motivated, pills for improving learning and memory, pills to improve your sex life, pills to reduce stress and relax and so on. But to avoid taking so many pills everyday you can custom order a pill designed specifically for your needs so you only need to take one pill per day that does everything you want.

1 Comments:

Blogger alvinwriter said...

Regarding the part about space stations and lunar bases, it would be good to note that researchers have reason to believe that workers stationed in such distant and lonely places can suffer from stress resulting from depression. If people will one day live for extended periods of time one the moon or any other planet, the pay would also have to be astronomically high. That way, they can think of how rich they are and be down less often. http://thenewsroom.com/details/435704/Science+and+Technology?c_id=wom-bc-ar

- Alvin from The Sci-Tech Desk at TheNewsRoom.com

12:32 AM  

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