Thankful for Modernity. Hopeful About the Future.

This is quite possibly the coolest site I’ve managed to stumble across in a while. Hours and hours of fascinating reading for the curious futurist in all of us. Out of all the periods in human history to have been alive, to be a part of a generation witness to this stage of modernity and all of its developments strikes me as a privilege.

http://www.futuretimeline.net/index.htm

The predictions in this mammoth compilation are based on present trends in medicine, physics, technology, and geopolitics, backed by emerging research, and produced by some of the greatest minds in these fields and in the field of future studies. Most of them are quite feasible from a turn of the 22nd century standpoint: from extension of life expectancy through bioprosthetic enhancements, to genetic engineering of humans, to mass colonization on the moon (including humans born on the moon to emigrant parents), to the construction of a transatlantic tunnel system, the unfortunate extinction of polar bears and many lizard species, the decline of religion in much of Europe, major advances in cancer treatment at the nano level, the terraforming of Mars, the obsolescence of many of the world’s languages, dangerously-rising sea levels, massive droughts, Chinese megacities in excess of 50 million in population, widespread development in West Antarctica, hypersonic trains.

We may likely have special magnetic levitation-equipped highways and roads for compatible vehicles by the 2080’s. Free-flying is too dangerous and unmanageable. Most will hover only a few feet above ground level, but will be able to achieve very fast speeds (250 mph+). Also, certain makes will be amphibious, with inflatable rafts built into the undercarriage for travel over water. Optogenetics, mind-reading headphones, and digital tattoos will also be a thing.

And that’s just the beginning.

We’ve already made a commitment to mapping the brain. Just imagine the revolutionary impact a convergence of brain mapping research and technologies will have on diseases like Alzheimer’s, addiction, depression, etc. The therapeutic implications alone are enough to get excited about.

Evolution begins with what may appear to be trivial or inconsequential advancements. The medical implications for the monumental success of genome mapping, for instance, have yet to be realized. We are on the threshold of singularity; the integration of supercomputing and nanocomputing technology will accelerate our development as a species and will inevitably lead to evolutionary offshoots that will straddle and even blur the lines between homo sapiens, genetically-engineered humanoids, and entities with artificial intelligence.

While there are tremendous social and political issues that will inevitably spring forth as a result of the proliferation of these evolutionary offshoots, we will have probably already figured out how to perfect and adapt many of the present sociopolitical strategies to achieve balance, unity and stability. The medical discoveries and revolutions in everything from rehabilitative medicine to surgery to routine clinical practices and procedures will parallel a substantial reduction and even elimination of many of the common ailments and conditions that afflict us today.

Dream big. The future is upon us.

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