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Memories of the 28th Century

Following the Trends

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I already explained that following trends until they end is usually a winning strategy for predicting the future. By looking at trends that already exist we can make predictions that might be accurate. Individual trends are simple, but putting them together is more interesting.
In high technology the trend for the next century will be toward Quantum computing and time travel and trans-dimensional travel.

In government the present trend is toward centralization of power. This has been going on for decades and is likely to continue until something comes along to trip the governments.
In medicine, gene therapy and longevity are probably the major trends for the next several decades. But there is a fairly high probability of a major pandemic; epidemiologists have been predicting this for some time, and it is becoming more likely with every passing day.
In business the trend has been away from manufacturing, shifting that to the lowest cost countries. Rather than making things businesses are trying to get by on sales and service and by manipulating information.

The major combination of these items is that longevity probably will lead toward lower population, and the pandemic will help that along. The pandemic probably will strike poorer, lower wage countries more than wealthier countries.

The change in the population may trip up the totalitarian governments, because the remaining people probably will be more intelligent and demanding than the typical population now. Business will have the same problem; consumers won’t be as willing to buy products that are over-priced and of little use, but they will also be demanding low priced clothing and other goods.

Inter-dimensional travel may come to the rescue by providing locations for manufacturing, and, because there will have been two pushes to decrease population, moving manufacturing to others of the multi-verses. We will have to wait and see how that will work. It may be even worse than making clothes for Americans in East Asia, where people usually come in different slightly proportions. In addition to shoes never fitting, the people in one of the manufacturing worlds might have wasp-like proportions, so they will never believe that people could have waists that were about the same girth as their hips, or maybe they will have long, long arms, so people who wear thirty-two inch sleeves will have to wear short sleeve shirts, because the shortest long sleeved shirts will be forty inch sleeves. And there are even more problems that the writers of science fiction never considered. Imagine computer monitors made by creatures that have no blue vision; the high end of the frequency that they can see end with green.

Of course, there will be advantages in the changed demographics. Housing will not be in short supply. It may be necessary to destroy a great many housing units of various sorts, especially in the poorer sections of the largest cities, because those people probably will be most affected by the pandemic.

The economic problems will be solved fairly easily by dispersing production facilities around the world, so there will be lees of a tendency for production to be concentrated in any area. This will also tend to level wealth around the world, and that should lead toward education being similar. And for those reason, the trend toward totalitarianism probably will reverse. The remaining people probably will be better educated than the average of today, so they will be more likely to not be amused by government regulations and less likely to believe the reasoning.

Overall, what will the world look like? It won’t be Paradise, but it won’t be the dystopian mess that many novelists have suggested, but dystopia makes for better stories than a pleasant, peaceful word would produce. The population probably will be, on the average, older and much healthier than it is now, and most people will be wealthier, but it will be harder to tell, because the value relationships among things will change. Land will be less expensive, but it will generally be put to more efficient uses: there won’t be as many houses built on the best farmland for one example. Many people will have two or more part-time jobs, especially people with rare skills, and this trend probably will continue for some time. The pricing of labor has seldom been efficient, but it has been more efficient when positions outnumbered people (unlike the situation now when there are hundreds of people for almost all openings), but there will also be a tendency toward self-employment.

As for myself, a hundred years from now I will be making wine from Pinot Noir grapes.

What will you be doing in a hundred years? Remember that the aveerage life expectancy will be a few hundred years, if you make it through the really Great Pandemic.


  1. hannah_arendt's Avatar
    I have no idea what I be doing in a hundred years and I don`t want to know it.

    I agree that we are closer and closer to new totalitarisms. Sometimes it seems to me that there nations/countries which are not prepared for democracy. Other thing is that being able to choose, decide about yourself and other is something very difficult and responsible.
  2. PeterL's Avatar
    Well, you may not know now, but you will be doing something. Remember, we have a date in Paris for the turn of the next century.

    This time they are being a little more subtle about it. Getting to choose between two who are identical is not having any real choice.
    (copied from my reply on facebook)
  3. hannah_arendt's Avatar
    I remember about our date