Although the future is unpredictable and remains to be determined, four possible stylised outcomes are listed here for the longer term, representing a five hundred year time-scale, like Modernity, but going into the future. This is the time span of a loy of science fiction, especially of the “space opera” genre.
The scenarios are:
Star Trek:. Following the utopian vision of Gene Roddenberry, this scenario represents a post-scarcity high tech utopia and ecotopia, the best of all possible outcomes, given our present knowledge and capabilities. This could be a development from Technological Utopia, or it could be that the turn to a positive future may occur later. This scenario does not have to be Environmental Collapse or Technological Dystopia. This can also lead further down the path of the Long Decline, until the situation becomes inevitable.
Postapocalypse: out with a bang, equivalent or even worse than the P-T mass extinction. It could be caused by anything; nuclear war, nanotech, catastrophic environmental collapse… For imagery, google apocalyptic wallpaper
Singularity:. This would be the evolution of a new posthuman "kingdom", whether A.I., human-AI hybrid, or something else, transcending current humanity.
Page by M Alan Kazlev, 2023