What do you expect to see within your lifetime?
What do you expect to see within your lifetime?
Also note that “Colonization of space” and “Space colonization” are two TOTALLY different things. Totally.
Or you could interpret the latter as “Space Elevator”, which is what I typed on my list of random things that the future might hold.
My life expectancy runs out around 2050 or so, and I don’t really expect to see any of those. Some are more likely than others, but I wouldn’t put even odds on anything on the list.
But hey, I could be wrong…
I thought fusion power was just 20 years away? Why isn’t it on the list?
A future where the vast majority of Americans are living a near Third-World existence, making the worst of the Great Depression look like a gawddam day at Disneyland in comparison.
With any luck, I will not be in America to see it first hand.
ETA—I really, REALLY hope I am wrong…
I’ve got a best-by date of about 2060, if I live to be as old as both my grandfathers. I fully expect to see a colony either in space or counter-orbiting earth. Alien contact is a binary question - they’re either out there or they’re not, but we certainly won’t aquire the technology to reach out to them within my lifetime. (And even if managed to invent lightspeed travel, it would still take a lot of generations to get a reply.)
I fully expect to see nanotech run amok, mostly because we haven’t the faintest idea what the consequences of releasing them into a system will be. And it’ll be one of those “This may or may not ignite all the oxygen in the atmosphere, but what the heck, amirite?” moments.
It’s impossible to vote for none of the above. So I’ll just post my opinion of each option.
Alien contact. Low possibility. If Alien contact was easy we’d have done it by now. I’m sure Aliens exist out there, but I doubt they’re close enough to contact in my lifetime.
Bioengineered pandemic. Low possibility. So far we’re struggling to match what nature can already come up with. Becomes more possible towards the end of my life, when “genetic engineering at home” becomes available.
Colonization of Space. Medium low possibility. Depends what you mean by colonisation really. A few permanent space stations and maybe a moon base I can see. But if you’re talking about settlers, then no. Just way too expensive for large numbers of people settling the solar system. Though space elevator could change this
Cure for all diseases. Virtually impossible. Diseases are just too diverse. I can see us curing a lot during the rest of my life, but not all.
Immortality. Very low possibility. There are so many aspects to aging, that I can’t see us beating all of them in my life time. Unfortunately =(
Mayan apocalypse. Impossible. I really have to explain this?
Nanotech run amok. Very low possibility. I struggle to see us out doing nature in creating tiny things that’ll kill us. Nature has had billions of years of trial and improvement.
Nuclear World War. Low possibility. Nuclear regional war I can see, but not a world war. Regional war could have global effects though. To have a world war, you’d need a substantial percentage of different nations deciding to fight each other, which I think is unlikely. And they’d have to decide it’s worth killing themselves when the enemy counter attacks.
One World Government. Very low possibility. One day hopefully. But not in my life time. People are too nationalistic, and there are too many dictatorships who won’t want to give up their little empire.
The Rapture. Impossible. I’m atheist.
Sentient AIs. Low possibility. Define sentience. Other than that I just don’t see it happening so soon. People have been predicting this for decades. Intelligence is harder than it looks.
Singularity. Impossible. The faster progress gets, the more drag we’ll experience. Progress will eventually slow down.
Skynet. Low possibility. Same as “Sentient AIs” above?
Space Colonization. Did I tell my Deja vu joke?
Soccer becoming big on American television.
America’s decline from first-rate world power status openly acknowledged.
5% possibility regional nuclear war.
0.5% possibility terrorist nuke somewhere in the world.
Full commercialization of space launch to LEO, leading to competition and (modest) lowering of cost per kilo. Manned flight to orbit available as an expensive charter service.
Orbital telescopes capable of finding oxygen-atmosphere planets in our galaxy (or proving that they are vanishingly rare).
Shift towards post-petroleum economy: combination of nuclear, low-grade hydrocarbons, renewable energy and electric/biofuel cars.
Data storage so cheap and plentiful that “Lifecams” recording one’s entire existence become possible.
Commercial shipping through largely ice-free Arctic Ocean. Increasing support for geoengineering as solution to global warming.
I too would have liked to have selected “none of the above,” but if I had to choose, I would go with “bio-engineered pandemic.” Pass the Purel, if you would please!
Yes, that’s within a decade of my predicted life expectancy (those silly calculators predict I’ll expire in 2059), and I forsee none of the above happening within my life. Some of you old people must have wildly optimistic views of our capabilities over the next few decades.
None of the above.
I could live another 25 years I’m afraid, but even if I lived twice that, the only thing I might see is the use of nuclear weapons somewhere. Fun times will be had by all.
None of the above, with the possible exception of nuclear war.
I voted for nuclear war. We might not want to use nukes but I don’t think it’s incredibly unlikely that some crackpot nation somewhere gets their hands on them (if they don’t already have them) and decides to use them on a neighbor. I don’t think it’ll result in global annihilation or anything.
None of the above, although I might consider a non-bioengineered pandemic. There are a lot of people living close together and widespread gloabl travel, so it’s plausible.
None of the above.
Assuming no further developments in technology and a normal lifespan, I’m toast around 2060 or so.
Alien contact. Possible, becoming more probable if we start exploring space in massive amounts.
Bioengineered pandemic. Possible. I don’t expect to see one though. My take is that by the time we are advanced enough to fiddle about with life so easily that there are enough “users” to bother with this we will also have the tech to deal with it promptly.
Colonization of Space. Likely if we get off our collective asses and pursue it. It’s nothing more than a matter of will and money at this point.
Cure for all diseases. Unlikely, but I see a vast reduction in them.
**Immortality. ** Probable, but I’m going to hedge a bit and state that *full *immortality is probably impossible. Vastly extending our lifespan though is likely, and I expect to see it. The functional end of death via loading one’s mind into a clone or computer is also quite likely.
Mayan apocalypse. No.
Nanotech run amok. Probably not.
Nuclear World War. Doubtful. As younger generations are taking hold we are seeing a lot less enthusiasm for such solutions.
**One World Government. ** Probable and I expect to see it within my lifetime. It is an inevitable consequence of globalization and communications technology.
The Rapture. Doesn’t exist.
**Sentient AIs. ** This will happen within the next 20 years.
Singularity. I expect this sooner than the AI’s.
**Skynet. ** unlikely. We would pull the plug before this occurs.
Space Colonization. meh.
I don’t expect to see any of them, but then I don’t expect to see 2020 either. But nuclear war is the only one that I think at all likely. But there is one I want to specially mention. Nanotech entities have been evolving for 4 billion years and not one of them has turned into gray goo. If it hasn’t happened in all that time, I don’t think it is possible.
Someone asked about nuclear fusion being 20 years off. It has always been twenty years away and is likely to remain that way for a long long time. Machine translation has similarly always been just 10 years away and, perhaps, now is, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
Of all of those, a pandemic is most likely. At one point, the Soviets had weaponized smallpox mounted in warheads and ready to go. The release of that sort of virus, particularly one that has been engineered to blow through any vaccine (and did you know that the smallpox vax is only good for five years?), would be devastating on a global scale. Read Demon in the Freezer for a good scare.