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The Near Future

Siemens Pictures of the Future
Business of the future. Image by Siemens Pictures of the Future, from Future 2050 – the era of sustainability and smart machines


This and the following pages present scenarios, which become increasingly speculative and science-fiction-ish the further into the future one goes

This page covers only the next 50 years or so, hence the counter-reflection of Modern (contemporary) history

Ultimately, the future that eventuates will depend on the choices we make as a species, and the actions we take to address the challenges facing the world. Understanding our place in the universe, and the long-term implications of our actions, is critical to making informed decisions about our future.

Possible near term futures

There are any number of potential futures that could eventuate for humanity and the biosphere as a whole, given current trends and the state of the world. Some of these futures are optimistic, while others are more pessimistic. Here are a few possibilities, representing perhaps a fifty year time-scale, like Modern History, but going into the future:

Technological Utopia: In this future, humanity continues to make rapid technological advancements and solves many of the world's most pressing problems, such as climate change, poverty, and inequality. This leads to a world where people live longer, healthier lives, and have access to an abundance of resources and opportunities. If this trend can continue it can lead to the long decline

Technological Dystopia: In this future, technology is used to further concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a few, leading to a highly unequal society where a small elite has control over the masses. The development of artificial intelligence and robotics may also lead to widespread unemployment and economic hardship for many people.

Continued Globalization: In this future, globalization continues to accelerate, and the world becomes increasingly interconnected. This could lead to the creation of new markets, improved trade, and increased prosperity for many people, but also to increased competition and the need to manage the negative consequences of globalisation, such as the impacts on local cultures and the environment.

Return to Isolation: In this future, globalisation slows or even reverses, and the world becomes more fragmented and isolated. This could result from a variety of factors, such as economic downturns, conflict, or the rise of nationalist and protectionist movements.

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Page by M Alan Kazlev, 2023