NOTE: This discussion was revised about 20 minutes after I posted it (but someone had already commented, so that's why I'm posting this notice. The changes are below.)

One of my recent discussions had many comments that made me want to ask this question:

What are your predictions for the future of mankind?

-100 years from now?

-500 years from now?

-1000 years from now?

I would encourage everyone to give thoughtful, realistic answers, and not flippant and highly improbable ones. As for what I think—I’ll have to mull that over for a while.

UPDATE: I would like for you to answer either or both catagories: What do you want to see happen, and what do you expect to see happen (even if it is not what you want).

Tags: fate of man, future, humanity, life on earth, mankind, predictions

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Mayokitty, see my discussion update above.
No need to apologize. I added it after you posted. Just letting you know.
You've got that right. Very pessimistic.
Based on the last several thousand years of human history I'd not paint a rosy picture for humanity at ANY time in the future. Right now we are on the verge of a population calamity and the amazing thing about that is that almost NOBODY is talking about it! It'd be nice to put our faith in scientific and technical developments but we know from experience those are as often used for neferous purposes as for good. We are in the process of poisoning the oceons and when that happens our world oxygen supply (35% of which is supplied by diatoms in the oceons) will become seriously threatened. Perhaps then the world's population will be reduced by FORCE and eventually lead to a stable situation. Maybe si, maybe no.
- 100 years from now.

We're going to hit some kind of dead end in the consumer-producer relationship in the world.
What we use for resources is changing, and where we get them is changing with it, this will likely have a huge impact on who produces what... the world will have a new "china" to produce cheap items en masse... no idea who that might be.

North America and Russia stand to make HUGE profits by sitting on much of the worlds remaining resources. Expect Russia to become a bigger trading partner in the world.

I think with the rate that technology is advancing, we're going to find a huge niche in consumers... people who want yesterdays technology rather than tomorrows, mostly because the average person doesn't like having to learn every time they buy, nor do they like change. I think this trend will hinder the progress of consumer technology.

- 100 - 1000 years.

The defining line between human and machine will be a blurry one if none existent.
What began with simple augmentations for medical reasons, turned into a method of competition. Those who could lift more, stay awake longer, see farther, hear better, go longer between meals, etc, stand a better chance in the working world than their non-augmented rivals.

Augmentations became the socially acceptable norm, to the point that un-augmented people are looked down upon as if they were homeless.

Eventually, public willingness to augment the brain grew. Adaptations that permitted expanded memory, accurate memory, ability to focus better, longer, and on board assistive computers (like a PDA in your head) became common in the work force. Some companies requiring modern augmentations to be installed prior to hiring the individual.

It is at this point that we begin having trouble defining "human". At this point we have taken evolution into our own hands and have altered our race into something completely different.

Unlike television and movies which predict man being replaced by machine in some horrible transitional war... we will in fact replace ourselves willingly, voluntarily, simply through the desire to be more than we are, or better, faster, and smarter than the guy next to us.

We will begin buying who we are.
When I look at people I see a lot of good and a lot of bad—and feel both admiration and disappointment. When I think about what I want for the future of mankind, it tends to inspire my optimism. But when I guess at what the future might actually be, it tends to inspire my pessimism.

WHAT I WANT FOR THE FUTURE

-100 YEARS

I’d like to see a lot less suffering for people—less loneliness, less uncertainty, less despair, and less hunger, misfortune, and illness. Less war, genocide, suicide, etc. I’d also like to see less divisiveness, more intelligence and competence in people, and less apathy, superstition, and the end of religion, of course.

I suspect that technology will be really, really advanced by then, so I’d love to see the end of privatized energy and food and water markets. Those seem like such basic necessities that it would be wonderful if we could find a way to make those things abundant, clean, inexpensive, and available for all. Then people could spend their time and income on other things and other services that would be kept privatized, such as traveling, entertainment, or self-improvement services/lessons, etc. Or spend their time helping others, or taking an interest in other people and other cultures, or creating inventions, great works of art, etc. If we no longer had to worry about food and energy, and had to invest so much labor in them, there is no telling what we could achieve.

-500 YEARS
What we don’t accomplish in 100 years, I’d like to see us achieve them by 500 years. I’d also like for people to be much less materialistic, and place much less emphasis on trying to achieve value and worth through what they purchase, wear, or drive.

As far as technology goes, there is no telling what it would be like in 500 years. Obviously, I’d like technology to go toward benefiting people, and not dominating them. If we can improve our inner nature by then, and were less combative with one another, I think it would be cool if we colonized other planets.

-1000 YEARS
Dunno!


WHAT I EXPECT FOR THE FUTURE

-100 YEARS

I suspect that my hopes for the future are too ambitious and too optimistic. I strongly suspect that in 100 years people will be extraordinarily shallow, impatient, hollow inside—nothing more than mindless consumers who, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

I also suspect that genetics will have advanced far enough so that people will be creating designer babies—taller, faster, more beautiful, etc, than we’ve ever been before. But instead of using those advances to benefit the whole of mankind, I suspect it will be used to widen the gap between the classes—between the haves and the have nots. The technology will not be used to create equality and peace, but rather domination and servitude, because as only the wealthiest would be able to create designer babies, the differences between the classes would grow ever greater.

I’m also inclined to think that we’ll have a lot more technology in our bodies to improve the quality of life, or monitor us, or something like that. I think we’ll have a lot less privacy too, and I suspect people will always be posing for the ubiquitous camera. Everyone will believe that they deserve to be a celebrity.

We won’t type any longer either, as everything will be voice, or movement, or thought, or microchip activated.

I think we will not have lost our sense of tribalism, so wars and national conflicts will still occur.

Well no longer have fashion seasons, but rather fashion weeks, or even days.

Well divide more along lines of consumer and producer, i.e., there will be really smart people who build the technology, and really stupid people who can’t brush their teeth without it.

-500 YEARS & 1000 YEARS
I just don’t even know what to say. That is so far away.
Suffering from the historical myopia that seems to plague all of humanity, the people of the future will look back on our time as a simpler, almost idyllic, world. They'll mostly ignore the progress they've made and gloss over our troubles, so as not to disturb their romanticized notion of "the good old days".
That's the way it always is, isn't it?

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