What the future holds

For some reason, I’ve been forced lately to look upon the future. In some cases the near future, as in where i’ll be living next year, next steps in my life, etc. In other cases, I’ve been forced to look at the world.

Now, I’ve always tried to be a forward thinker, as I wish to lead the revolutions instead of just being a part of them. Trends are useful in helping to see the small incremental changes. Its easy to predict that cell phone usage will increase, that soon everyone will have internet on their phone and use their phone for e-mail. One can predict that TV will become on-demand, and that the TV/Video Game System/Computer will become integrated. Those trends are incremental and will most likely happen.

What others cannot predict is what is the next big thing. I’ve speculated such things as virtual displays (3d/holograms), Sensory Interactions (in its simplist form, a computer that can release smells to help you experience a movie or game. In a more complex form, something that sends sensory signals to your brain).

We’re due for a huge change in the medical field. Nanotechnology promises great things, and it may be the key to minimally invasive surgery as well as a host of other changes, but these are all things we can predict, these are all the next logical steps. What we can’t see yet will most likely effect us greater is the greater understanding in brain activity. Imagine being able to send a feeling to someone else, or be able to have a doctor tap into your brain signals to find out EXACTLY where something hurts.

But, one of the biggest changes that I believe will shape the future is the decline of democracy as we know it. No longer does the world need war to spur innovation. In the past, innovation was spurred first by war (build a better weapon) then by overindulgence (I just pilfered all this gold, how can I spend it so that i’m remembered forever – invent me something grand!). The cycle continued as wars were localized, and, while many people died, did not have the lasting effects as nuclear or biological weapons.

In today’s world, war becomes dangerous and expensive. There is no winning a war as there is no loot to be stolen. A government can – at best – help to stabilize an economy and fund small research. It is the corporations of the world that drive the major changes.

The formation of the European Union (EU) and the eventual change to the Euro is a step in the direction that I’m predicting, but a very small one. It helps to illustrate the point, but it is a different dynamic.

There will come a time when governments will lose their powers over corporations. As mega-global companies such as walmart, nike, or mcdonalds invent thier own supply chain, their size grows bigger than any one country they reside in. Sooner or later, they ask: “What are you providing me for the millions in tax dollars I give you every year” and as that answer gets reduced to “umm… well… nothing” the governments lose their hold. Not to say that regulation goes out the window – because there will be an emergence of a greater EU that will provide rules and regulations. What will the governments do – act as branches to help enforce those rules and regulations. This radical change will be a free-market democracy. The market will decide what they want. Out with the days of 4-year terms and electoral colleges. Consumers decide if they want to purchase one good or the other based on the politics of that good and its cost.

But who will save the world from global warming and the likes? who will prevent exploitative labor? The answer is – the regulating body will try, but it will come down to the will of the people. Do they care enough to spend a few extra bucks supporting the “greener” product, or save money on the cheaper shoes made in a sweatshop? In essence, its democracy at its best. Every purchase is like a vote. Although, that does give more “power” to those with more money, but, in no way does it strip the voice of the masses.

Is this something I want? Not really. Is this something I see as a possible future – yes. But, we don’t really know what is coming next.

Goodnight all
-Nick

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