The World in 100 Years
The biggest changes we’ve experienced in the last 30 years have been techno-cultural. People communicate differently. They meet and date differently. I would look to address this in your book.
Lots of fertile ground here. Thanks, Macro.
Ideas to start you off:
Look at Japan. Not to get icky here, but if we add 100 years of immersive VR technology, how many real human “relationships” will people want to have? I’m not a religious guy, but unless faith groups have a resurgence (they very well may) we probably won’t need sex for procreation like we used to.
On this VR topic, how big of a house will people really want (or be able to afford)? Your virtual presence might be much more important to you. Especially if sex falls off the radar as what drives the vast majority of men.
With these thoughts in mind, women very well might see a massive overshoot in their fight for equality. Fundamentally changing the incentive structure/drive of men could have profound implications. How does that quote go? “Show me the incentives and I’ll show you the outcome.”
This concept essentially destroyed Kevin Kostner’s career…
First, I think what you are doing is great, even from just the stimulation it has given many of us on this site to consider your question. I haven’t read every post yet, so I run the risk of redundancy but even if it is repition is the foundation of learning.
I follow the work of Nafeez Ahmed, who has been intereviewed on this site before. His most recent post links to:
which discusses the non profit “Global Footprint Network”, and its work on globalovershootday.org.
By looking at the data on this site you could well project which countries will be viable in the future without fossil fuels. You could also get an idea of how much overshoot each society ‘enjoys’ today. For example the USA is 5x over the regenerative capacity of its geographic location. Only the desert countries of the Middle East surpass that overshoot.
One of the site’s features is a test to check out your own overshoot based on your personal lifestyle.
Working with that could give you an idea of what it would take to live in the USA, or UK or whereever in the future without fossil fuel energy input.
The catch is that collapse is not linear in any ecological examples and to think it would be so for humans is pure folly, so that is where your imagination must blossom. I wish you well in your work and look forward to reading your book.
Best to you.
This is based partly on conjecture and partly on dreams – yes, dreams I have at night. Snicker all you want but I have had more than one dream that has accurately predicted the future.
In 2118 the population of the world will be about 50 milllion people. The “great die off” started around 2040 after a world wide revolultion – which started in Brazil – spread throughout the entire planet. The revolution will be so savage that it will make the French Revolution look like kindergarten. Much of the world will be forced to live without even the semblance of modern amenities. Since they will not know how to “live off the land” the death toll will be phenomenal. Moreover, the combination of mass death, lack of santiation, lack of medical facilities and still high density of residual population will give rise to plagues. By 2100, the people left alive will begin rebuilding. There will be a shared belief throughout the world that “the horrors must stop.”
By 2118, the worst will be over. Settlements will be widely dispersed, they will be agriculturally-based but surprisingly modern – much having been saved from the remains of technical civilization and adapted to new conditions. But a philosophy will have developed that holds that high concentrations of people are inherently bad. Even in established settlements, streets willl often look deserted. Homes are widely separated and people tend to try avoid even being seen by neighbors. Much like in traditional Sicily, the pervasive distrust of non-family members will give rise to “family based” organizations rooted in kinship. Kinship based organizations will provides all family needs. Families will deal with other families only when necessary with the understanding that any wrongdoing against a family member will be met with severe reprisals. However, interfamily disputes will be rare. After the bloodshed of the 21st century all family based organizations will have complicated and elaborate protocols established to prevent the re-occurrence of violence.
Not one comment on the advances in biotech. Considering what’s happened in cellular research in the last decade I’m surprised that noone has mentioned the fact that we will probably double or triple or the human lifespan in the next 10-20 years. Humans will cure all cancers, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Gen X will have treatments that will restore their bodies back to their 30’s. Biological immortality is not out of the question at all.
Dealing with the ramifications of such “magic” will be the dominant theme of the last half of the 21st century. The idea that anyone can even imagine what things will look like 100 years from now is pure fantacy and mental masturbation.
Thank you for the link and the words of encouragement.
Thanks, Mike. I appreciate your perspective. 50 million people is an interesting number. I read somewhere that the carrying capacity of the earth in a healthy state is around 1 billion people. I’d have to do some research and factor in a mulititude of environmental, geopolitical, and socioeconomic events to arrive at some number less than that. Who knows, 50 million might be close. This book will require a TON of research.
The big question I suppose is, how do human beings move from dense, high net energy sources, to low net evergy sources? With a massive drop in their standard of living!
Let’s make a distinction, shall we, regarding standard of living: certainly, we will all be doing with less money and tech and creature comforts in the short to medium term (depending on when the cliff actually arrives). However, this will be an invitation (and a stern one, not to be ignored) to recall older ways of organizing our lives and our social structures. Very few people will own automobiles (if at all — wanna be a pillar of the community? learn how to rebuild/repair/etc. bicycles), and maybe the electricity will only be on 4 hours a day (if at all). So we lose the convenience and modernity and gain something older and IMO essential. There won’t be SSRIs (for the 99%) but most who currently take them won’t need them anymore.
So “standard of living” will tank but “quality of life” doesn’t necessarily have to…
We will become members of tightknit communities once again, woven into webs of interdependence and enjoying the deep fellowship that comes from shared effort and duress. We’ll tell our stories and sing our songs in person and quickly forget there was ever a thing called FB. Lives will be shorter but richer and we’ll live closer to privation and death and that will be hard but life will be richer for it. (Want to add depth and feeling to your living? Get into relationship with your death…)
It’s going to suck in so many ways. It’s going to brilliant in so many more. Assuming we don’t irradiate the planet (nuke war/nuke plant meltdowns galore).
In the meantime, take care of yourselves, outwardly, explicitly and incessantly express love to your people and find time to dance each day.*
VIVA — Sager
* in this regard, let’s say “dance” means to do any activity that is playful and eases your worry mind and gets you to breathe all the way down into your belly. A good sweat wouldn’t kill you, either. Just sayin’…
Born in Australia, it looks like his major professional career has been centered in Japan and China.
Cosmists vs. Terrans
A Bitter Controversy Concerning Whether Humanity Should Build Godlike Massively Intelligent Machines
Prof. Dr. Hugo de GARIS
Director of the “China-Brain Project”
Institute of Artificial Intelligence,
Department of Computer Science,
School of Information Science & Technology,
Xiamen University, Xiamen,
Fujian Province, China.
Background: “The estimated bit processing rate of the human brain is approximately 10^16 bit flips per second…. a hand held artilect could flip at 10^40 bits per second. An asteroid sized artilect could flip at 10^52 bits a second. Thus the raw bit processing rate of the artilect could be a trillion trillion trillion (10^36) times greater than the human brain. If the artilect can be made intelligent, using neuroscience principles, it could be made to be truly godlike, massively intelligent and immortal” ~Dr. Hugo de Garis
Abstract. This paper claims that the “species dominance” issue will dominate our global politics later this century. Humanity will be bitterly divided over the question whether to build godlike, massively intelligent machines, called “artilects” (artificial intellects) which with 21st century technologies will have mental capacities trillions of trillions of times above the human level.
Humanity will split into 3 major camps, the “Cosmists” (in favor of building artilects), the “Terrans” (opposed to building artilects), and the “Cyborgs” (who want to become artilects themselves by adding components to their own human brains). A major “artilect war” between the Cosmists and the Terrans, late in the 21st century will kill not millions but billions of people.