Sunday, 15 January 2012
What will 2112 look like?
I was intrigued by the BBC News story about the 10 one hundred year predictions that came true. In summary, in1900, an American civil engineer called John Elfreth Watkins made a number of predictions about what the world would be like in 2000. I thought it would be fun to make a list of my own predictions about what I think the world might be like in 2112. These are just my personal musings and I don't have any scientific / technical know-how to back them up. So my top 10 (in no particular running order) are:
1) There will be no more roads and pavements on the surface of the earth. So apart from accommodation and other buildings, the land will go back to nature. All mainstream transport will be underground or in the air. I just love this 1950s style image of flying cars illustrated in Plan 59's artwork. I also like the concept of vertical farms reported in the National Geographic;
2) There will be no more 'physical' money - currency will only be electronic and accessible via finger / eye scans or through more sophisticated protective technology;
3) Work will be measured and paid based on outputs rather than the number of hours completed; so there will no longer be the standard working week or hours we are used to now. There will also be much more virtual work and working from home - eliminating the need for organisations to have office buildings. Due to the greater flexibility in working times, there will be increased work/life balance and people will have better opportunities to spend their time with those they really like and care about;
4) It will no longer be possible to inhabit countries or regions which can't support human life. These will be maintained as nature reserves / holiday destinations;
5) Another planet - 'Earth 2' will have been discovered and an initial group will be experimenting living there under strict eco/moral laws;
6) Animal welfare will be strictly respected and factory farming will be a thing of the past;
7) Border controls will be eliminated and people will be free to live where they choose, depending on the feasibility of the region to support them;
8) Major illnesses will be under control / eradicated due to sophisticated screening tests and improved medication;
9) Basic food and water will be available to all for free, due to replication devices (yes, I've been swayed by Star Trek on this one!). Rapid prototyping devices will also be available in each home for the replication of products, eliminating the need to physical shops and giving new meaning to the phrase 'online-shopping';
10) There will be no more tvs, computers, laptops etc. The technology will have moved on to images being projected into living spaces - just like the holographic environmental stimulator from (yep, you've guessed it) Star Trek.
So that's my ramblings. What do you think might be new in 2112?