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IEET > Life > Innovation > Health > Vision > Futurism > Technoprogressivism > Contributors > Dick Pelletier

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The 21st Century: a Brief Glance at the Next 9 Decades


Dick Pelletier
Dick Pelletier
Positive Futurist

Posted: Sep 15, 2012

What can we expect over the next ninety years? If we track expected progress in today’s science and technologies, we can create a plausible scenario of how our twenty-first century could unfold.

The following timeline reveals achievements and events that could become reality as we move through this high-tech twenty-first century future:

2010s

More people become techno-savvy in a fully-wired world. Smart phones, the Internet, global trade, and automatic language translators give birth to a humanity focused on improving healthcare and raising living standards. Stem cell and Genetic engineering breakthroughs emerge almost daily. (see video below)

2020s

Nanotech, computers, robots make life easier. Medical nanotech improves healthcare, ending many causes of death; quantum computers unravel the mysteries of consciousness, lowering crime rates worldwide; and household robots surpass cars as the most indispensable family purchase.

2030s

Improved transportation, longer lifespan, stronger security systems make the world safer, more enjoyable. Driverless collision-proof cars have reduced auto deaths to near zero; hyperjets fly to anywhere on Earth in an hour or less; and except for violence and accidents, most people now enjoy an indefinite lifespan. Future home provide more comfort, convenience and security to our lives. (see video below)

2040-2060

Human-machine merges bring us closer to conquering death. Humanity’s future lies in transitioning into nonbiological beings, writes physicist Paul Davies in his book The Eerie Silence. “Biological life is transitory,” he says, “It is only a fleeting phase of evolution.”

By 2050, bold pioneers begin replacing their biology with nonbiological muscles, bones, organs, and brains. Non-bio bodies automatically self-repair when damaged. In fatal accidents (or acts of violence), consciousness and memories can be transferred into a new body.
Death is now considered no more disruptive than a brief mental lapse. Most patients are not even aware that they had died. Built labor-free with nanofactories, non-bio body parts are easily affordable.

2060-2075

Humanity heads for the stars. Successful Moon and Mars forays bring a new era in world peace as countries begin collaborative efforts to develop space. By 2060, innovative terraforming technologies provide pleasant atmospheres on offworld communities with breathable air and Earthlike gravity. By 2075, population has reached 10,000 on the Moon and 50,000 on Mars. By 2100, populations grow to 2 million on the Moon and 10 million on Mars.

2075-2100

Faster-than-light travel is developed. Scientists have selected fusion power and zero-point energy as the most probable technologies that could enable space ships to break the light-speed barrier.

For example, a 2070s hyper-drive vessel or 2080s warp-speed ship might reach Alpha Centauri (four light-years away) in just 30 days, or make the six-month trip to Mars in three hours. Officials at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have explored other options to travel faster than light-speeds (see video below) and believe that, in the future, humans may even harness wormholes, enabling instant access to vast distances in space.

Can we expect the future to unfold in this optimistic manner? Positive futurists believe we can.


Dick Pelletier was a weekly columnist who wrote about future science and technologies for numerous publications. He passed away on July 22, 2014.
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COMMENTS


This article is sorta coincidental because the September-October issue of The Futurist magazine had and article about what life could be like form now to the year 2100.  They even included a rough timeline generated from TechCast.org which bases it predictions from income data about different scientific/economic fields.  IMO, this timeline is a little more realistic but it does some of the things from your timeline.  Here it is so you can compare it.

2015: Next Economic Cycle
Our timeline begins around the year 2015, when the following technological advancements are expected to start the next 35 year cycle
* E-Commerce. Internet use explodes worldwide, producing trillions of dollars in revenue.
* Global Access. About 50% of the world population will have internet access
* Globalization. At today’s rate, we’ll halve poverty by 2015.
* Green Business. 30% of corporations are likely to practice environmental management, leading to a $10 trillion-$20 trillions of dollars in revenue.
* Telemedicine. Online records, video conferences with your doctor, and other electronic practices will improve medical care and reduce escalating coasts.
* Telework. Globally, 1 billion people in 2010 were mobile workers, That number should increase to 1.3 billion.
* Spacetourism/Commercialism.  Spacetrips for tourists and visits to low-Earth orbit are likely to produce a boom commercial space.
2015-2020: Global Mega-crisis
From 2015 through 2020, a doubling of global GDP will cause the Global Mega-crisis to become intolerable, with the planet teetering on environmental collapse (see The Futurist, May-June 2011).  Here are TechCast’s four Scenarios:
* Decline to Disaster (25% probability): World fails to react, resulting in catastrophic natural and economic calamities.  Possible loss of civilization.
* Muddling Down (35% probability): World reacts only partially, so ecological damage, increased poverty, and conflict create major declines in life.
* Muddling up (25% probability): World reacts in time out of need and high-tech capabilities; widespread disaster averted, although many problems remain.
* Rise to Maturity (15% probability): World transitions to a possible global order.
2020: High-Tech Era
Assuming the world survives reasonably well (Muddling up), major breakthroughs are likely to introduce a high-tech Era:
Smart & Green transportation : e.g. intelligent cars, high speed trains.
* Climate Control, Alternative Energy
* Mastery of life. e.g. personal medication, organ replacement cancer cure.
* Second-Generation Information Technology, e.g, “good” artificial intelligence, automated routine knowledge, robots, infinite computing power.
2030-2050: Mature World Order
A mature world order evolves beyond knowledge to an age of global consciousness:
* Space: exploration & colonization of the Moon and Mars
* Advanced Energy: Fusion energy becomes viable.
* Life extension: Average life span reaches 100 years
* Expanded consciousness: e.g., generation AI, thought power, neurotechnology, Humans become almost godlike
2070-2100: Beyond Earth
* Deep Space: Contact is made: star travel becomes possible.
*Unified World Systems: Humanity achieves type I Civilization (mastery over most forms of planetary energy).





Another thing that should interest you is that scientist are now saying that warp drive may be more feasible than previously thought (http://news.discovery.com/space/warp-drive-possible-nasa-tests-100yss-120917.html).





Interesting comments, Christian.

I think that anytime projections range more than five years out, it’s kind of iffy.

However, it’s a lot of fun to fantasize how the far future may unfold.





True that smile.





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