Saturday, March 4, 2017

Thoughts On Possible Futures

This is an interesting time to be alive. There are so many different things that are changing. Some of the changes are very positive and some are so negative that they literally give me nightmares. In the next ten to twenty-five years, these are some of the things that could very well happen.

1. All antibiotics could become completely useless against so-called "super" bugs. This is because antibiotics are currently being over used and abused. For a long time, the main problem was when doctors proscribed them for conditions not even requiring them, just to keep patients happy. That has become far less of a problem, but agricultural use is a very large problem. Factory farms raise thousands of animals at a time, in insanely crowded conditions and therefore, disease can spread very quickly.

I get it that if your corporation has sunk millions of dollars into such an operation, you want to protect that investment.  But the idea of widespread use of such drugs to keep animals healthy is a bad idea for humanity, because bacteria can and do evolve to resist the drugs.

2. The scientists and engineers who work in the field of space flight think they are fifteen to twenty-five years away from developing faster-than-light travel. Now, the existence of a drive system that would allow a space craft to exceed the speed of light is not, in and of itself, the only component needed for space travel. Someone will need to develop sensors, and shields, at the minimum.

But, the drive system is the key to it all.

3. The technology to transfer human consciousness to some kind of electronic system is very likely to exist within the time frame of these other potential developments. What will it mean to be human when your consciousness no longer resides in a physical body? If my consciousness is in a device of some kind, will that system be able to replicate emotions? Will it be able to give me the physical sensation, or equivalent thereof, of how I get a spine tingling chill when listening to the very best music?

4. Robotics is another field where huge advancements are coming, and coming quickly. The Japanese are on the frontier of all of this, as they work to develop robots that are self-aware and capable of learning. Some of the most intelligent people on Earth believe we will one day have a world in which such robots have control over civilization.

Such a world, these people believe, would have humanity reduced to the status of beloved pets, or worse yet, animals kept in zoos.

Do I personally believe this will happen?

No, not at this time. But I do believe that it's something that could happen.

5. Geopolitics have changed drastically in the 21st Century. Old alliances are being questioned while new ones are forming and evolving. Vladimir Putin is trying to form a new version of the Soviet Union. The United States of America has elected a president who is transforming the nation into a fascist state. The leaders in Japan want very much to be able to reconstitute an active duty military. China is starting to have economic problems but is also doing some great work in the area of solar technology and other alternative energy solutions.

And, that's just a small snapshot of everything taking place across the globe.

In closing, as I said, it's an interesting time to be alive in. I do find great enjoyment, security and comfort in living what is a late 1970s/early 1980s life style. But, I also do make a serious attempt to be as aware as I can be of how the world around me is changing.

As always, I thank you for reading what I've written.

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