A Conversation for Predicting the Future
Woodpigeon Started conversation Jul 10, 2002
Predictions depend, of course, on the assumptions you make regarding future events. Few of us, even 2 years ago, could have forecasted September 11th, or the massive corporate scandals that have badly shaken investor confidence in global corporations. Some events that could blow predictions apart would be a nuclear or biological war; the serendipitous discovery of new technology which is totally from left-field like semi-conductors or lasers were back in the '50's; a global pandemic; the emergence of a megalomaniac leader in a developing or developed society; a huge financial crash; the growth of a new religious movement; a huge volcano, tsunami or meteorite impact; or even extra-terrestrial contact from outer space. Any of these events would have the effect of lurching the world in new and completely unpredictable ways.
If I was to assume that none of these scenarios were to happen in the short to medium term, I would put a bet on nano-technology as being the next big thing. I think that materials science could be transformed in the near future, with walls made from pure diamond, clothing that dynamically adjusts itself to all sorts of environmental conditions, and materials that heal themselves when impacted or cut. Such materials would be eventually as cheap as plastic to produce. But, as I said, that all depends on events...
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