What is your ideal world, 200 years from now?

It struck me that when we debate, we often disagree even when we agree on the facts and even our interpretation of them. Sure, sometimes that’s not the problem, sometimes we believe our different sources and our opinions diverge before we even get to this point, but every once in a while someone on the other side of an issue has me nodding along right until the conclusion, which is the exact opposite of the one I arrived at. Not only do we disagree about the best way to reach our goals, we have profoundly different end goals.

So I have to ask-- if, for the next 200 years, politicians with your exact ideology, whatever it may be, are elected to every office, and if like-minded politicians are elected in free countries across the world, and you can get literally whatever you want done – what does your country look like 200 years from now?

What sort of economy does your country have? What sort of healthcare?

What is the role of women and minorities in society?

What about religion? What is its place in your ideal nation?

What does the world look like? Other countries, the environment?

I have my own idea, but I don’t want to prejudice this thread, so I’m still working on it, and I’ll post it soon. But I’m really interested to see what some of you think, especially those I don’t usually agree with.

Who knows? Maybe we want the same things, we just have different ideas of how to get them.

Cool concept for a thread. I’ll give it a go:

What sort of economy does my country have? Capitalist with social democracy. Like the US, but more mellow and less racy. What sort of healthcare? I hope this is an issue that will be long solved by then, but essentially a single payer system with some amazing integrated tech, so that we basically wear (or have nano-bots) the stuff and it tells us what the issues are and fixes most things. If it can’t, then we are directed to go see a doctor or robo-doc for more extensive work.

What about religion? Do I think there will still be religions in 200 years? Yeah. I don’t really care, one way or the other.

Role of women I expect to be about the same as today, but less gropy and less discrimination. I expect that, with half the population being women that we will have about the same percentage in government (unless the AI is in charge of course). I expect minorities to be, well, not minorities anymore, as I expect people will just be people. Perhaps we’ll all be able to hate on robots or something.

The environment…well, I expect that to be pretty bad. 100 or 500 year storms occurring ever decade. However, I think that in 200 years we’ll be seriously mitigating this, and perhaps even geo-engineering solutions to really control the weather and climate. Heck, on that time frame I really expect the first large space mega-cities and serious exploitation of solar system resources to be ramping up. Other countries? I expect there to be other countries, unless the AI is in charge, and perhaps the first space based nations.

I’m pretty positive about the future. I expect our technology to do what it’s done for hundreds of years…continue to improve our overall lives and increase our standards of living. I expect that many of our current issues today will look like issues 200 years ago look today, and many of the attitudes today to be equally frowned on or completely abandoned and censured.

Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m alive in 200 years to see how my predictions turn out. :stuck_out_tongue:

Since this is about what I would like the world to be in 200 years rather than what I expect, here is my wish list. Some of these are probably unlikely, but I’ll stick to things that are at least plausible.

  1. The big sticking point is energy, so in 2218 the vast majority of the world’s energy will be generated by a combination of solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and nuclear fission. We’ll have figured out how to be able to provide enough energy to the whole world with those sources, since I think nuclear fusion is out of the question, even 200 years from now. We’ll have also sequestered enough carbon to return us to the levels of CO2 found 200 years ago (since we’re dealing with 200 year time periods :D).

  2. Politics. I don’t see the need for a single nation, but ideally all the countries will get along well enough by 2218 that war is thought of as a thing of the past. There will still be economic competition, but no serious thought of military solutions. Since I’m a fan of Star Trek I see the UN evolving into something like Star Trek’s Federation, with every country as a member.

  3. The economy. Human nature being what it is, I think the best thing would be to have capitalism with regulations set up to protect the consumer and the environment. No leasing of public lands to private corporations for private benefit. No more privatization of profits with socialization of risk (the heads I win tails you lose rule that big banks currently play under). I believe in a meritocracy, and people with talent as well as those who put forth more effort will be rewarded for their hard work, but there will also be a minimum income for those just don’t or can’t participate in the workforce. The tax burden will fall largely on the rich who make their money via the work of others, however, and not on the upper middle class who make their money with their own hard work like it currently does.

  4. Religion. Again, as something fundamental to human nature (for some people), religion will still be around. Any religious groups, however, will have to follow laws that guarantee basic rights to all people regardless of things like gender, sexual orientation, etc.

  5. Gender relations. We will have reached a point where men and women have reached equality of opportunity. By then enough generations will have passed that the “boys will be boys” attitude will no longer be taught, which will significantly reduce sexual harassment and assaults.

  6. Medical care. By 2218 I think it’s likely a way to stop the aging process will have been developed if the 5 above things have occurred, but that would lead to such a radical departure from our current society that it would be a whole separate thread. Instead I’ll simply suggest that we have universal healthcare provided worldwide. Those who actually provide the care (doctors, nurses, therapists, basically everyone who actually does something that benefits the patient) are compensated appropriately. Middle management and the owners and upper management of big insurance companies and big pharma companies, however, are no longer needed, since those people don’t do anything to actually benefit patients, and are largely the reason our healthcare system costs way more than it should.

I had a vision. There was a massive effort to send a manned mission to Mars, but we went about it a little differently. Children were selected from a very early age and sent to institutes to train. There were some 20 of these places, where they would learn the human half of space travel – autonomous metabolism control, how to not kill all the rest of the crew after months of close quarters, technical skills, along with a general education. As part of the process, the children were rotated around the institutes every six months to broaden their learning experience.

Out of half a million, a dozen were selected for the trip, of which eight made through the three year expedition and back to Earth (along with, of course, a couple of Martians). In terms of discovery, there was a lot of great science, but nothing especially jaw-dropping.

What really happened, though, was that there were thousands of young adults that came out of institutes with an eye on changing the world. And they became, basically, impossible to contest.

They turned all of humanity into orderly groups of bedouins. Being accustomed to not staying in a place for more than six months, they imposed that way of life on everyone. There was obviously resistance and objection, but over time, most people came to accept it as the cultural norm and eventually began to view the old sessile manner as unappealing. Over time, the big cities were systematically dismantled by their temporary denizens, because who needs these absurd monstrosities anymore?

It was not a crudely spartan existence, as the means of communication over long distances could maintain a sense of global community. And all over the world, in common settling places, there were large structures (similar in shape to road salt huts) where people would ritually leave some thing behind, where others might find a useful thing or something to decorate their living space.

And the institutes continue to operate, bringing in children to train for managing society, and for some other reason that has, 200 years in the future, not become clear yet.

The world in 2218?

Humans have reverse engineered the brain so we can transfer our consciousness to bio-engineered bodies, machine bodies, or virtual reality.

Due to advances in machine intelligence and interstellar travel, GDP doubles every few months. It is a post scarcity economy where most things are abundant and free.

Humans are a multi-stellar society and have developed FTL travel (or if not, engines that can approach 80% the speed of light).

Religion is gone

Health care is different. Most people live in VR or in machine bodies which can be easily repaired. Human bodies are engineered to not age and to have very advanced self repair mechanisms.

Women and minorities are treated as equals, the same way Polish and Italians are treated as equals in today’s society.

Due to advances in machine intelligence, virtually any problem humanity faces are easily solvable including problems we currently consider near impossible to solve.

The rest of the world is on the same level technologically and culturally.

Political systems are based on a system of trillions of sensors gathering data, processing them and determining the best government policy from a utilitarian perspective. Democracy doesn’t exist, it is more of a bureaucratic system with wide scale feedback.

People devote most of their time to exploring and enjoying new subjective experiences. Due to understanding the brain, we have the ability to create infinite experiences with emotions, perspectives and thoughts we can’t currently fathom.

Well said Wesley Clark. Probably some will think it is too optimistic but personally I have no doubt we will get there…the only question is the timescale.

Of the tech you mention, the main questionable one for me is transfer of consciousness; it may never be feasible to scan a whole human brain, and personally I do think the question of whether it is the “same” consciousness is a significant and real one.

Post-scarcity. And I’m answering for my “country” although that term no longer applies.


Same as everyone else.

None. Or, at least, a quaint hobby for some small minority, with absolutely no public accommodation in law or civil society.

Better than now. Greener, less polluted.

What other countries?

The environment got a lot better once the global population dropped below 1 billion. A mandatory universal one-child policy will do that.

No government. You stand in my way at the sidewalk for too long, I’ll blast you with my 44 magnum.

Depends on our current direction. Obviously, the future is unpredictable, so instead, I’ll present two scenarios; one being the worst of all possible timelines, the other a more realistic one with tinges of optimism.

The Worst: Civil wars, regional conflicts, genocide, and terrorism divided and weakened the world in the first half of the 21st century, greatly dividing the world and leaving economies in shambles, along with hundreds of millions dead. Meanwhile, a nonchalant response to global warming open the floodgates (get it?) to a ravaged world, and economies plummeted as wealthy regions went asunder, and millions of climate refugees were left bereft in their own countries. Diseases and natural disasters greatly increased, and the wars that characterized earlier years continued.

The wealthy elites continued to push for their vision of global oligarchy, hijacking space travel and using all off world colonization as ways to exploit interplanetary resources. The concept of a job died by 2100 due to automation, as the poor got poorer and the rich got much, much better. Governments died and were replaced with loosely associated corporate conglomerates, treating their “citizens” as customers.

By 2217, hope is dead. Billions are dead due to corporate negligence, natural disasters, disease, and war. The super-wealthy have long since abandoned Earth, living in lavish off world colonies. Anyone on Earth lives in a sort of Anarchic limbo, fighting each other over the few resources remaining as robots attempt to quell the chaos. All of humanity will be extinct by 2500, and anyone left will be mostly automated.

A Better Tomorrow: The world stood united against climate change, and while they couldn’t stop it entirely, many steps were taken to reduce its impact, as many renewable energy sources replace those of old, almost completely negating the risk of a resource war. Automation was handled properly, as governments around the world provided a Universal Basic Income, which in turned increased the corporate drive for lower prices, further driving up quality of life for all. Genetic modification and human augmentation provide nigh-immortality for anyone who wants it, which in turn greatly diminishes the religions of the world, though cults rise up with ideologies for the new world.

The concept of a government will certainly see much change, though this change is so radical it’s completely unpredictable at this point. Off-world colonization provides plenty of new homes for people, with completely different “nations” arising on these planets. Many new resources enrich the Earth, and economies boom. Hell, by 2217 we may have even made first contact. At that point, Earth will mostly be made up of a few massive unions/superstates, and the off-world colonies will from their own unions.

Of course, this is all speculation. So many events could change the course of the future, and the real tomorrow will probably fall someone in between these scenarios.Ultimately, the future is fluid, like all things, and while it’s subject to change, we as a species can be that change, temper the unpredictable events of tomorrow, and use it to create ourselves that ideal world.

Spam reported. (swaragh)

A non-totalitarian government.
A half-way repaired environment.

At least one off world colony.

An excellent topic.

I see a society based on equality and rule of law. Sexism and the like will be firmly in the past. We will be much closer to a post-scarcity economy but not there (crops will still fail, there will still be droughts, etc). Nuclear power based on fission will be standard - the concerns of the 20th century dismissed. Fusion power will still be 50 years away. Socialised healthcare will be ubiquitous but have limits, probably palliative care only after age 80. The global population will be gradually declining, and peace will be spreading. Hatreds will fall to apathy; people will be largely content.

There will still be haves and have-nots, and the latter - and those who seek to take advantage of them - will still cause trouble, but to a much lesser extent.

Humanity will be exploring the solar system with outposts all over; there will be no colonies without artificial gravity. We will have found possibly-habitable planets in other solar systems. How to get there will still be unresolved and this will be what drives humanity forward.

Great topic. Plenty to envision, but I’ll start with these:

It will be a post-racial world. Everyone will be of mixed race (which really is already somewhat true). People will find it difficult to understand why race or ethnicity was ever important, and why certain trivial physical characteristics were considered so crucial, while others were ignored.

People will come to realize that Mama Nature really dislikes dichotomies; therefore gender will become more fluid. Many will live their entire lives as female or male, but more will identify at times as male, at times as female, at times as bi-gender, and at times as neither. Those with the proper anatomy may choose to become pregnant and deliver a baby, but artificial wombs will be available to all, and many will choose to use them. A household may be comprised of several adults, and they may elect to use everyone’s DNA for the child. The notion that people used to have a single mother who was always female and a father who was always male will seem quaint to many.

Since racial identification is no longer practiced, racism will be a thing of the past. Since gender identification is fluid, sexism will no longer exist.

Good grief. Why do people always think stuff like this work? Been keeping tabs on what a smashing success it’s been for the CCP?? And why do you think we would even need or want a mandatory one-child policy?? Demographic trends are already putting most wealthy countries below replacement levels, and are shifting even poorer countries towards that. You are trying to fix a problem that, even today, 200 years before the target, is already on the way to being fixed.

Hell, by 2218 we might need to encourage folks to have more kids.

Global climate change is the great challenge and emergency of our time. Children born now are going to be living in a world with (presumably) a still-surging population with resources that are going to be scarcer and unevenly distributed. I’m glad I probably won’t be alive to be witness to it.

Well, it’s never going to happen with conditions the way they are. So, after we hit a tipping point and 3/4 of the world’s population is wiped out because of conditions that HUMANS, and ONLY HUMANS made, the remaining people would embark on an entirely new path.

  1. No more nationalism. All of the new policies would be derived from GLOBAL THINKING and a consideration for what would be best for ALL people on a planet wide basis.

  2. The corporate fueled plutocracies that led us down the road to perdition would no longer exist, and governments would no longer be lobbied and owned by rich, corporate interests anymore.

  3. Because there are so few humans worldwide in comparison to the way things were, their health and welfare would be much more important, and things like education and health care would be provided by governments that could afford it because they weren’t giving away trillions to the military and industrial complex and the rich corporations.

I think that’s a good start.

The OP is asking for the ideal scenario. Personally, I don’t think the deaths of billions is ideal.

The Thanos Solution.
“…and therefore never send to know for whom the finger snaps; it snaps for thee.”

Some people think that a Mad Maxian or Fallout-esque scenario IS ‘ideal’. If 3/4 of humans died out we’d almost certainly be back to hunting and gathering, or, at best, 19th century technology and the survivors clawing to continue. That probably sounds good to some.

Peanuts fan, eh?

Because the obvious method of getting to my goal population goes against my pacifist nature. So I’m willing to settle for this.

They’re wimps who didn’t carry it out the way I would, with their piddly “exceptions” and “quitting”.

Who cares what “we” want?

It’s a hypothetical where people are willingly electing politicians who want to enact things* I *want done, for 200 years - so my assumption is everyone would want it. Or at least shut up about it and do it.

I’m well aware, I’m a huge Hans Rosling fan. Not fast enough to get to 1 billion in the timeframe given, though.

Naah. The projections are to have population stabilize (likely around 10 billion).

I’m afraid that’s just not good enough to qualify for being my “ideal world”

Not in my ideal world.