Friday, 4 January 2013



In keeping with our title, Future Fact and Fiction, here are some glimpses into the near and medium term future. Note that we are at the beginning of The Electronic Revolution; more powerful than the Industrial Revolution – and that everything is changing very fast. We are evolving from identifying with and trusting people of our own families, tribes, settlements, villages, towns, shires, countries and latterly continents – to intelligent global cooperation. These old trusted groupings are “gangs” and gangster politics and economics have governed all human affairs for 10 thousand years, or more. That primate system is changing.

There is today enough extra heat in the Earth’s atmosphere to melt the Polar Ice Caps. As forecast by climate scientists for the past 20 years, all regions are now experiencing and will continue to experience extreme weather events.  By 2033 (20 years) the sea-level will rise by several metres, flooding coastal regions. Saturated highlands will flood from higher rainfall; deserts will get even drier. Migrate to higher ground, stay mobile, and learn to pray. There are sufficient hills, plateaux and mountains to accommodate us all; but the transition will be difficult. Holland is building floating homes – these will lead to large floating cities.

Transport systems will change rapidly. The Foodtubes Project will be adopted globally, saving up to 16% of today’s transport energy.

Eventually, even the most stupid of our leaders will recognise that further global-warming, runaway global heating, would wipe out the human race and most of today’s life-forms.  Clean, green, lean energy production will replace burning fossil fuels and other dirty stuff. This change has started and will accelerate.

We are just waking up to the inescapable fact that the World’s economy is interdependent; which is increasingly apparent due to our ever growing population. We are also learning that as presently defined one person’s profit is always another’s cost. The Internet is shining bright light into all the dark corners of our present day “gangster economy”, where mutually cooperative bands of whooping primates enclose themselves in “private” corporations to exploit and rob their neighbours. This primitive, warlike model will rapidly (within 20 years) change to “intelligent cooperation” – due to increasing Internet data, greater self-awareness, population growth and sea-level rise.

The existing, silly, government and private-banking system that licenses gangs of get-rich-kwik spivs and bent bookkeepers to print money, create credit, trade currencies, gamble with customers’ assets, corner commodities, periodically steal all the global liquidity, bury $21 trillion of our cash in their tax-havens and persistently sabotage the work and efforts of the entire global community – all by fiddling the paperwork or electronic debits and credits – will be globally nationalised within 5 years. Sanity will bring the end of the first, primitive ten-thousand years of (false) accounting; and of mega-theft of the products of the Real-Economy. Big-Blue, IBM, that supplies 80% of the world’s banking computers and systems, will be pressed into serving the whole world and creating a reliable, cheap, safe, global money-system. A single world currency will be the common tender, the new bookkeeping system, within 20 years.  

Democracy is often defined as the least bad system of social governance. In most regions it polarises, divides into two Parties, and declines into gangs of loyal, compliant “professional” career politicians, orbiting large, fixed nuclei of career civil servants, who in turn are bribed, beaten and bamboozled by the media, pressure groups and lobbyists. The career politicians are beaten into toeing the narrow and religious Party line, whatever their local voters want or need. Within 5 years, following hot on the heels of the now reliable technology that enables audiences to vote on TV Game Shows, in regions where such voting has been deployed, perverted, defrauded and then corrected and re-tested, voters will be asked to vote on Issues not Personalities. The politicians’ will gain free-vote independent status and become presenters and tutors of the Issues; voter testing will be created to ensure Votes-with-Knowledge, and the venerable gangster Party system will be replaced by Referendum Politics (REFER).  Refer initiatives will predominate in democratic regions currently threatened with chaos through the malfunction of democracy – such as in Greece. President Obama, having demonstrably mastered popular Internet communications and fund-raising, is in an ideal position to kick-start REFER.

E-voting will inevitably lead to globally agreed and applied laws; give it 50 years to get to the first version of The Global Constitution.

It probably is not apparent to those who trudge daily to their jobs in Burger Bars, Coffee Shops, Retail Outlets and Local Government Offices that they no longer are doing necessity work – compared to their great grandparents. Even the brave armed forces are wrapped in cotton wool compared to the thousands and millions who were slaughtered in past wars. In the Industrial Revolution, a typical 12 year old worked 6 days a week on 12 hour shifts, 52 weeks of the year – in dark satanic mills, coal mines, warships, fields, docks and building roads and railways. Their life expectancy was 34 years. Hard labour killed them. That was “necessity” work – which built our modern economy (which the evil 1% steal from us).

Now, in a world where even Inuit Eskimos have rifles, snowmobiles and I-Phones, what is regarded as work – say 30 hours a week (18% of our time) in a warm, dry shop selling clothes to pleasant, honest and healthy customers – is not what our forefathers and foremothers would think of as work. Within 20 years, most “work” will have been automated and the human race will be casting around for things to fill their time and ever lengthening lifetimes. The most likely occupation we will take up is Life-Time (life long) Learning. We will educate ourselves and engage in “hobbies” – many of which will prove to be useful research, innovative and world changing. Such lifelong learning is forecast to be the largest single “content” of the Internet; so get your fill of Disney and Spielberg  adventure movies before you cast off your anorak and are gripped by Physics, Philosophy, Mathematics, Engineering, Exploration or some other middle-class pursuit – for life.


Global Social Networking Sites will evaporate, starting in the next 5 years. About 2 billion of the 7 billion Earthlings have Internet Access today. When we are all on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Plaxo, etc, such “memberships” will be of no more personal use than loitering in Piccadilly Circus (London) and saying “Hi” to every passer-by. Networks will evolve into passive Directories of personal websites; most of which will only be updated every few years. Smaller, specialist interest E-groups will persist. Face-to-Face groups such as The Royal Society will continue as before.

The Consumer Society will get bored with marketing and endless trivial consumption. We 7 billion Earthlings are subjected to an ever increasing barrage of marketing messages, of ever greater sophistication and stimulation, for ever more useless trivia. This is already an irritant to people in developed nations and the developing nations will follow and be irritated. Within the next decade, sales of all consumer goods, including of foodstuffs, will decline. Jaded and saturated appetites will return to minimalist, necessary consumption. Within 5 years, people will cease to panic-buy floral design, scented, pink, super-soft lavatory rolls. Praise the Lord.

Suitable lunatic asylums will be built, like Safari Parks, where armed private citizens can enter voluntarily, roam freely and shoot each other without legal consequences. It will take about 10 years before they are all dead.

It is just about 100 years since the current Standard Model of atoms and particles was envisaged and defined. The Higgs Boson is one of the many missing pieces from this most complex of all jigsaw puzzles. Within 5 years, entirely different propositions and theories will be published, funded and explored to explain how the Universe works. The new models will offer to explain Gravity, Dark Matter, Dark Energy and the organising Lifeforce. I guess that electricity will be given a far greater and wider role in the story. It will take many minds many centuries to create a new Standard Model – and then science might have a reliable foundation from which to start afresh.  
Here is my contribution to new ideas:

So Far so Good – Happy New Year!

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