After a lifetime of thinking about the future, often with depressing and disastrous scenarios involved, I awoke from a dream of a brighter future this morning, and felt it was a good starting point for my first blog on the future. I will do more focused study on this topic in the future, and do more reading of similar blogs as I find them (I have always read books and articles, and been involved in discussions with the smartest people I know, about what the future may hold given what we know today).
Here is the dream, as I recorded it in my planner/journal: ————————–
20 years in the future, my wife and I are doing as well or better than currently (2008), courtesy of monthly stem cell infusions and some kind of DNA treatments. Of course, we’re still working to pay for it, but we’re enjoying life. We look nearly as good as we did in our late 50’s/early 60’s.
Our grandson’s generation (born in 2007) were the last to be born in large numbers, as population had to be controlled before Mother Nature could do it for us. Everyone knows their DNA information in detail, which is recorded in government-held secret databases accessible only by the person described and their designated medical professionals. Laws limit access to the information to protect the individual.
After 2015, people were not only discouraged from having children, but were able to decide, based on knowledge of their DNA and other factors, whether to do so, knowing what potential health and world problems their children would inherit and face. 80% of the world is now developed/industrialized, with people having more comparable educations and economic levels than ever in previous history. The other 20% of the world is less developed, and still struggling with the “four horsemen” of overpopulation. More draconian population controls are in place in many of the less developed countries.
Population is declining steadily toward an as-yet undefined, sustainable level, and pollution and climatic effects are declining accordingly in the developed world. Population is declining also in most of the undeveloped world, in some cases even faster due to the shortage or unavailability of the high-technology medicine practiced in the developed world. In other cases population is still growing, and political and economic strife are great.
Population control is mandated under a Kyoto-like treaty, to which all developed countries and most undeveloped countries agree, with legal controls used in the less-developed world similar to, but in some cases more draconian than, that used in China at the beginning of the 21st century. Improved education for the masses has contributed to a broad understanding of the risks of overpopulation, and more intelligent choices around procreation. The business world and ultra-rich of the world have recognized that a strong middle class and sustainable economics are the basis of their success, and no longer try to accumulate power and wealth in ways that are regressive and controlling. Instead, the success of innovation in combating global environmental problems has brought about a recognition of the value of education and personal freedoms, and society has learned to hold creativity, invention, and art in high esteem.
Lifespan is uncertain in the developed world, as many have nearly stopped aging. Nanotechnology is used in medicine only to address systemic illnesses such as cancer. Nanobots are controlled using radio signals implemented in high security networks, and carry out distributed processing within their groups using the same type of wireless network technology. Those who reject genetic, stem cell, and nanotechnology-based medicine are declining in numbers as they age and die at a higher rate than the general population.
The nanotechnology wars were short and devastating, significantly decreasing population in some countries before nanotechnology was brought under control. It was limited by international law, and defensive nanotechnology is still distributed in ways conceptually similar to the computer anti-virus software of the early 2000’s.
The information age has matured, and almost everyone in the developed world has a communications and computing implant, protected from unauthorized access and spying by government-mandated security measures. The effectiveness of the implants approaches the concept of telepathy, and an anti-viral software distribution system is required by law. The numbers of those who refuse to use the implants (some by having the implant removed or disabled) is decreasing, with the hard-core religious right, “ultra-greens”, and similar groups covering the majority. The mentally impaired or ill are, in rare cases, restricted from having or using implants, depending on legal assessments of the risks that would present to themselves or others.
As population and ecological sustainability approach, some parts of the developed world are returning to more natural circumstances, as there are no longer sufficient people to occupy and maintain areas previously taken over by urban and suburban sprawl. Automation of industry has continued to increase, with the addition of more energy efficient technologies including nanotechnology. The effort to increase education levels worldwide was made a major priority once it was seen as essential to achieving sustainability and economic stability. The battles over privacy and self-determination under the law have been more intense due to the global communications infrastructure, and will likely continue, though it is clear that progress in this area to date has been a big help in stabilizing the world political and economic situation.
I realize that is a long post, but I spent some time thinking about the dream after I awoke, and believe this will be a good thought and discussion starter. I reserve the right to change my ideas and opinions as I learn, think, and dream more.
Best regards and luck to all – Tim Prosser