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Monday, October 01, 2007

Man's Obsession With Predictions

We live a society constantly trying to predict, in one way or another, what exactly is going to happen in the future--near or far. We've all heard of Nostradamus--well most of us, look him up if you haven't. So, what exactly is our curiosity with the future? The interesting thing is that, from the perspective of reality, there's no sure way to even know what the future holds. But that doesn't seem to stop us from trying to figure it out. Perhaps in the future some technology will come along that changes this, or maybe we'll get smart enough to know the patterns of life. It's very unlikely, but still.
Even I am not immune to this obsession. In my first finished novel, WISB (the World in the Satin Bag, found on the right there), the main villain happens to be capable of viewing the future, and altering its course in the process by knowing what decisions he needs to make to correct what might come true.
What predictions do you have?
I recently found a site called Long Bets which takes things even further.
Predictions of Interest:
  • By 2050 we will receive intelligent signals from outside our solar system. Here.
  • By 2050 no synthetic computer nor machine intelligence will have become truly self-aware (ie. will become conscious). Here.
  • That by 2020 a wearable device will be available that will use voice recognition capability and high-volume storage to monitor and index conversations you have or conversations which occur in your vicinity for later searching as supplemental memory. Here.
  • By the year 2020, the tickets to space travel - at the least to Moon, will be available over the counter. Here.
  • That by 2024 "artificial" life emerging somewhere out of the soup of human technology will be given a Latin taxonomic name by biologists and others and declared viable for study. Here.
  • By 2020, in real or artificial life, sustainable evolutionary progress in a genetically closed system will not have been demonstrated. Here.
  • By the year 2040, AI will appear on computer viruses that will communicate with each other using a universal Internet language and will be programmed to fuse together and mutate into Computer Organs that will later be controlled by powerful search engines (Systems) diffused through out the Internet. Here.
  • By the year 2020 solar electricity will be as cheap or cheaper than that produced by fossil fuels. Here.
  • Evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence within the solar system will be confirmed before evidence from several light-years away. Here.
  • By 2020 a completely propellantless (no material particles expelled for propulsion) or "field propulsion-type" aerospace vehicle will land on the Moon. Here.
  • By 2025 at least 50% of all U.S. citizens residing within the United States will have some form of technology embedded in their bodies for the purpose of tracking and identification. Here.
  • By the year 2020 the technology will exist that will allow for the "faxing" (teleportation- sending/receiving) of actual inanimate objects, such as text books, clothing, jewelery and the like. Here.
  • By 2150 faster than light propulsion theory will become realized, but not implemented, either through black holes, worm holes or space time warping. Here.
And some for the sake of humor!
  • Within 100 years the citizens and companies of a large and prosperous country in excess of 100 million people will no longer pay taxes of any kind. Here.
  • By 2007, the U.S. Government will intervene to prevent at least one of the Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs)/Regional Bell Operating Companines (RBOCs) (e.g. Verizon, SBC, Bell South, and EXCEPTING Qwest) from filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Here.
  • An all-new Star Wars film will be released to theatres this century. Here. (Ignoring the ones that already came out of course).
So, apparently we're making all sorts of interesting predictions these days.

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1 comment:

  1. Ok, before I even read this, I have to say: should be "man's", Shaun. Tut tut. Call yourself a writer?! :p

    >Here.By 2020, in real or artificial life, sustainable evolutionary progress in a genetically closed system will not have been demonstrated.

    This was written by Creationists, right? :s

    >By the year 2020 the technology will exist that will allow for the "faxing" (teleportation- sending/receiving) of actual inanimate objects, such as text books, clothing, jewelery and the like.

    CHOCOLATE!!!!!!

    And you laughed at me! Pfft.

    I predict there will be a sudden upsurge in interest towards the fantasy novel market, when a new generation of awesome writers, who all know and help each other, release their books into the world. ;)

    ReplyDelete