by J Bloggs
Transactional prediction on what I believe the future may or may not hold.
| What the future holds
The future. It’s perhaps the most terrifying, exciting, enticing, concerning and imminent concept available for discussion. Flying cars. Domed cities in some remote, deep Atlantic trench. Nuclear waste. Flooded cities. Poisonous gasses. But hang on. What exactly is the future? When is the future? Just why is the future so fascinating and so pressing, or for some, depressing. The future can be tomorrow, a decade, a lifetime of the next century. A whole lot can happen in that time, or nothing at all. Who knows what the future will bring. Who knows if the future will bring anything at all. The most we can do is imagine.
The first question to answer is ‘Do we control our future?’ The answer to this question can sometimes be quite frightening. Answering this is like answering ‘Do you believe in fate?’ or ‘Do we have a purpose?’ Perhaps we like to believe we control our future but in actual fact, we are merely another species on this planet, fighting to adapt to whatever the universe can throw at us. It is possible, indeed quite probable, that the universe already has its course mapped out for us. If this is true, the only thing we can do is wait. Fortunately for us, there are options available to us during that waiting period, and we have been taking them with increasing ambition.
If looking back to, say, one hundred thousand years ago, nay, one hundred years ago, the human race has now evolved into something that is generally considered to be bigger and better than what we were before. We continue to destroy and create at ever increasing rates. The cities we see outside our window, the televisions we turn on at night, are all things of yesterday, crested to be destroyed tomorrow and replaced by something that will be destroyed the day after that. The things that we create get increasingly bigger, smaller, more efficient, less efficient, more helpful, less helpful, so as you can see, we are ironically self defeating. Humanities one united goal is for a better tomorrow, or to be more accurate, a better something to have tomorrow. But what things shall we have tomorrow, or in fifty years, that we don't already have now.
In the 1950’s it was thought that by the end of the century, we would all have flying cars, under water cites, personal hand held communication devices and personal nuclear warheads. Perhaps in the 2050’s we might obtain and create all these things. Let us first look at the irremediably troublesome, ever evolving methods of transport. For one thing, I think it is safe to say that transport will get both bigger, smaller, and faster. Our cars will get larger and faster, our roads will get larger and longer, and prices will increase and decrease for old and new models. Trains shall become more popular and comfortable as they increase in numbers and ships will take on many advanced developments to make them more accessible. Unexplored methods of transport however, may yet be developed. Transport by air is without a doubt the most popular. For the best part of half a century, we have fixated on flying around in our own our own personalized air craft and happily cruising down an airborne highway. Unfortunately, though perhaps closer than ever before to developing the technology that will allow us to individually and effectively fly, these practices will be almost impossible to install upon society. The transition between cars and flying craft would be so momentous that it would take several lifetimes to entirely eradicate traditional cars. Society would not be able to support the strain of integrating flying craft and maintaing the usage of cars, and what exactly would power these things? Petroleum? I don't think so. Providing that we don't find a new energy source to power man’s need for the combustion engine, transport shall decrease as fuel decreases and petrol prices rise. The day petrol runs out shall be a sad day indeed for mankind.
This leads me on to communication and more specifically, the hand held communication device. What can I say about that. We already have a pretty much perfect version what we want, but humans being humans, we shall no doubt find another way (presumably with the aid of Steve Jobs) to revolutionize something we don't entirely need. My prediction is that hand held communication and entertainment devices will follow in the general direction of the iphone. E-mail and social address sites, while perhaps not evolving as fast, shall continue to grow and expand to a larger and larger audience.
Perhaps the most terrifying area for advancement in technology is warfare. Looking back one hundred years, if we take the warfare technology from then and now and applied that to warfare technology from now to one hundred years later, the result is terrifying. The tactics of warfare shall also change. Gone will be the ‘traditional’ wars. Instead, wars will consist mainly of political, seemingly ‘diplomatic’ men staring at a computer screen, firing missiles at one another. Gone will be the honor and justice of war, although, perhaps it never existed anyway.
As you can see, the future has allot in store for us. Wether for better or worse I do not know, however I personally hope for both. After all, equilibrium amongst ourselves and the world we live in is key to our survival. There are many pressing topics I have not touched upon such as global warming, natural disaster, population explosion, disease and much more. Some other topics, perhaps expendable in this text, such as fashion and commercial are also excluded from this brief hypothesis. I feel that sometimes we are forgetting one truly important aspect. Even if the future doesn't look so bright, we sill have the present don't we?. If we all just stoped pondering our perpetually doomed existence, at least for a while, we may find some small measure of peace in the life that we still have. That said, we all play a part in determining the future, not just our own but the global communities'. Sometimes we influence things in ways that are unexpected or unplanned. We all have only one life, one present and one future, so until doomsday arrives, enjoy.