Human beings have always been fascinated about predicting the future. It is the want to know the uncertain future that have given rise to astrology. These bipedal creatures have always been fascinated by Nostradamus and his Les Propheties. Scientists, philosophers and mystics have all tried their luck, but predicting the future is neither a black magic nor a solid science. It is a projection of past history into the future. KHOJ has so far tried to understand the past but have also promised to anticipate the future. This post is an attempt towards that.
There are however few things that is going to change. The biggest change will be the shift from oil to an alternate energy. The oil men need not to panic yet. As I said in my post World on Oil Part II, to displace oil you need another technology that can feed electricity, automobiles, electric appliance, and more importantly the war machines. And at the same time it has to be environment friendly, economic and efficient. Developing such a technology will take decades. And once it comes, it will take another decade to replace all the automobiles with new models, so my career is safe for now! However, the change has to come eventually and will be critical from the perspective of world power. Whichever country invents this breakthrough technology of alternate energy and has the resource will become the super-power of the future.
This brings us to two new things – technology and superpower. Grand Unified Theory and time travelling will continue to elude the physicists. However, science and technology will improve immensely making our lives better (or may be more complicated!). Our technologic progress over the past few decades have been exponential. Scientists have predicted that we are going to achieve technological singularity in the year 2045 when computers will become more intelligent than human beings. I personally do not agree with that. While technology has improved quite a lot, I do not really think that the machines have become intelligent. Intelligence is not only about rapidly solving problems; it is much more than that. Computers are not intelligent and they will never be. But they will definitely be more powerful and more efficient. There will also be more space exploration. Couples will probably have the chance to enjoy honeymoon in moon, and like Stephen Hawking thinks, we might actually start colonizing other planets. But that is few centuries away. Another change that we were talking about is the change of power. No empire has been dominant for eternity. Every great empire have reached a peak and then perished. The great western civilization has reached its peak and the power is slowly shifting towards China and India. China will soon start to colonize Africa which will be resisted by the natives. However that is an important move for China’s survival and if successful they will become the next super-power. But the power of the world will continue to shift – may be next time from Asia to Africa.
Medicine will continue to break new grounds and so will our technologies to protect us from natural disasters. Which means the population will continue to grow, and that growing population will require food. So, to feed the growing population, the agriculture has to grow as well. Agriculture has been the root cause of our civilization but has been neglected for centuries. Now it will once again take the centre stage. The increase in food price has triggered the unrest in the Middle East. Emerging Asia is also facing similar problems. If we continue to ignore agriculture we are looking at far greater problem than what is happening right now. Apart from feeding the hungry bellies there is one more problem we have to deal with - space. We cannot go on stripping the forests to accommodate the growing population. Either we colonize space or continue to build higher skyscrapers, and may be more underground residential complexes.
No matter how much advance we become in the next few centuries, science will not be able to guarantee pure happiness. Hopefully the world will learn from our previous mistakes and from the surviving “primitive” cultures how to build a sustainable world by maintaining the balance with nature. Only then we will have a future that we can be proud of.