The following is a compilation of all 15 parts on the Series “100 Years from Now“. I originally broke it into 15 Posts because of the length of the entire series. Each Post is of moderate length but all 15 Parts together is somewhat lengthy.
- Jobs & Economics
- Recreation & Entertainment
- Population Control
- Crime & Security.
In the past year I have given some thought to what the future would look like a hundred years from now given the state of science today and the effects of global warming, diminishing natural resources, and a populations of over twice what it is today (population control will be in effect). One thing is clear, the word Sustainable will be far more than a buzzword. It will be a way of life.
Life will be much different. Gone will be rural lifestyles, shopping, work, and many of the other things we take so much for granted. Global Warming and all its consequences will be in full effect. I invite you to read this series to understand the impact of the environment, population, and lack of resources that will lead to a very different wold.
Technology is leap frogging so rapidly and changing the way we live our lives today that it is very difficult to predict how things will be ten years from now let alone one hundred years into the future. However I am going to attempt to describe a world based both on speculative technology as well as what I consider to be a Sustainable society striving to survive as well as conserve and cope. Nature is not going to be as generous in the future as it is today due to the sins we commit today upon our environment.
The effects of Global Warming will be in full force. However mankind would have taken serious steps to reduce its impact by 2030 with dramatic reductions in carbon emissions and by other means such as artificial clouds to reduce the sun’s impact. But it will take centuries to reverse. In the mean time much of our land mass will be arid or experiencing extreme weather events. Coastal communities will be underwater due to the 20-50 feet rise in our oceans and seas. The most desirable places to live will be on the western coast of continents but these areas will be in a perpetual state of drought. So large populations will migrate to these regions striving to survive with the aid of technology.
The population will be twice that of today concentrated in a much smaller area along the west cost of continents. It would have been more than 10 time that had population control not been enforced which would not have been sustainable. So cities would typically have 10-50 million inhabitants. Gone will be small cities as they will not have the infrastructure to survive against the harsh environment resulting from Global Warming.
Resources will be scarce and difficult to acquire due to the harsh weather conditions and over usage in the past. Conservation and recycling of resources will be the primary source of raw materials.
On the plus side technology will come to the rescue for many things including the slowing down of the full potential impact of Global Warming. But it will not be able to reverse it for centuries to come. It will make possible a more hospitable environment and make up for the lack of resources if wisely employed. I am making a large assumption that we will become far wiser in how we manage both technology, energy, conservation, and other resources.
The war with nature will be quite overwhelming so the people of earth by then will come to their senses and unit together in a cooperative global effort to survive. At least that is what I hope because the alternative it the self annihilation of man as will as all living things.
In one hundred years, if we have managed to survive, I trust that we would have evolved to become far wiser in the manner in which we treasure Sustainability and the utilization and management of resources. We will be in a perpetual battle to compensate for the effects of Global Warming. Hopefully by then we will have learned to stop our share of effects upon it and perhaps reduce the full effects of its wrath.
Technology will be a dominant part of life one hundred years from now. Robotics and the world of so-called computers (I suspect our traditional computers will be obsolete) and technology will have advanced far beyond all but a few Start Trek gadgets. I believe that a Holodeck like technology as seen in Start Trek will exist with some of the sensory perceptions of reality. This will be more popular that texting is to our generation today. Keep in mind that one hundred years is about three generations. I will elaborate more on this in future posts in this series.
Robotics will do many if not most of the jobs of labor and services today. It will totally change the way we live our lives. So called manufacturing will be totally dominated by automation and robotics. Services of all kinds will be totally mechanized. Even the advancement of technology will largely be driven by the computers technology of the future. Robotics, mechanization, and artificial intelligence of the future will be essential for doing precision and complex designs and tasks and never tire and can work under hostile conditions. Man will live to freely pursue other things such as the very wealthy did at the turn of the twentieth century.
Technology will build and maintain our living quarters, transportation networks and infrastructures and provide us with most of the goods and services we need to live our lives. It will run our transportation and communications systems. It will provide for food, water, energy, and the numerous things needed to live safely and comfortably in the most efficient manner in a resource lean world. Entertainment will use technologies such as the Holodeck.
Due to the lack of resources and the harsh environment due to Global Warming the efficient utilization of resources through technology will be essential for the sustainable survival of our species. Technology will also be used to prepare for the future such as preserving other species of animal and plant at the cellular level for the day when the effects of Global Warming have diminished and such species are able to survive again. Hopefully by then our human species will have learned to live in peace and harmony. But perhaps that might be too much to expect in the far distant future.
I will not discuss the possibility of us placing colonies of people one other planets or moons. This gets too much into science fiction. But it is also a possibility.
Energy is a key element that enables just about all that will happen in the future. Due to Global Warming any source of energy must emit no greenhouse gas and should be as clean and safe as possible. It is best if it is compact and can be located near the communities in which it serves so that the lengthy transmission lines of today that are vulnerable to large scale disruptions and produce loss of power due to the resistance of the wires carrying power can be mitigated.
I believe energy will come from localized small generating units such as Fusion Reactors that can supply energy to small areas within large cities. These do not produce dangerous levels of radiation and can be quite small and produce no radioactive waste. This will make energy less vulnerable to large scale power grid failures (blackouts) and independent of wind or sunshine. Instead of using steam generated power these generators of the future will use highly efficient solid state heat converters with no or few moving parts reducing the likelihood of mechanical breakdown and making such units extremely compact. One such plant could be the size of a 30 foot RV and power a population of 500,000. We could expect to realistically see Fusion power in 20-50 years and solid state generators in 75 years.
The normal renewable sources of energy that are being developed such as wind, water/wave, and solar energy are not consistent sources of energy requiring a lot of real estate, transmission lines, storage batteries and physically large arrays of devices making them vulnerable to the natural elements. These can be used as secondary sources of energy but are not practical from a long term perspective. They might be effective today until Fusion Reactors are developed.
These small Fusion Reactors that support 150,000 households can be scattered throughout a city of fifty million inhabitants and interlaced in a grid so that if one fails others can keep power running until it comes online again. This will provide reliable electrical energy for the entire city. Excess heat produced by these localized plants can be used to heat homes in their neighborhoods so that nothing is wasted. Most homes of the future will be underground so they will need a little heating to keep them comfortable. Energy for heating water will also be heated by these reactors maximizing the efficiency of utilizing every calorie of energy produced since energy will be at a premium.
Just as important as Generating Electrical Power is conserving energy. More will be said about housing and how to make them energy efficient but appliances and power consuming devices will use very little energy. There will permit Power Generating Plants to be smaller. Low level lighting to illuminate homes, streets, and gadgets can be provided with bio-luminescent paint utilizing no electrical power.
Water is the essence of Life. Without it all known organisms cannot exist. Yet water is so much taken for granted today. Though much of the western half of the country is in a state of drought there is still much water being wasted. However 100 years from now when Global Warming is in full swing water in the western half of continents where most of the population will be concentrated will be a desert with less than 5 inches of rain per year. So water will be a very cherished substance. Cities of the future will be located in coastal locations next to the ocean so desalination plants run with Fusion Power as described in Part 3 – Energy can produce some of the needed fresh water.
Great emphasis will be placed on conserving and recycling water for our large populations. Desalination with Fusion power will be a major source of fresh water and perhaps other to be invented technologies will be necessary since there will be no fresh water from rivers, lakes, or aquifers in the desert landscape of the future.
Lush gardens and lawns will be things of the past. Trees will have been replaced by mechanical shades. Plants will still exist inside buildings but water restrictions will limit their numbers. Toilets will use space age technology where a vacuum will pull feces into the toilet bowl or container then a centrifugal device will spin off the water from the fecal mater and the solid will be baked dry and dispensed as a solid and every drop of water recycled. Taking showers may also use space age technology to minimize the use of water which then gets recycled. Only fluids will flow through waste water pipes which will be the size of water pipes today. Bacteria will be killed by ultraviolet light and the water filtered and chemically treated before enter these plumbing systems so that they will not cause buildup in the much smaller pipes. Small water treatment plants will be distributed throughout various neighborhoods and the water recycled not far from the housing from which it came using power from nearby Fusion Power Plants.
Bath tubs and perhaps swimming pools will become history or become strictly regulated at various locations. Washing oneself will be done by chemicals or very efficient water devices. Brushing ones teeth might be simply part of your breakfast where one chews food that cleans the teeth. Or perhaps many foods will simply contain teeth cleaning agents.
Water usage will be monitored and greatly restricted automatically if the offender does not correct their behavior. Clothing will be cleaned by chemicals or some new technology instead of water or perhaps clothing of the future will be made of fabrics which doesn’t get dirty. Even our perspiration and moisture in the air will be captured by air coolers and sent for recycled.
Next to Water Food stand out to be among the most important things man needs to survive. Though many food products will be artificial in the future there will also be some real but genetically engineered vegetables and fruit grown using hydroponic or other such technology which uses water far more efficiently that grown on trays that circulate vertically up and down tall chain linked conveyor devices in glass-like enclosures to maximum sun light exposure and minimizes real-estate. Moisture in the air is recaptured by condensation units and recycles. Fish will be raised in automated fish farms and meat grown artificially as tissue in trays. It is possible that meat will no longer exist since it is so hard to raise cows, pigs, chickens, etc. Much will have been learned about nutrition and the chemistry and science of nutrition allowing technology to design the best food to suit our modern bodies without all the allergies and side effects currently attributed to natural and GMO foods.
The bulk of future diets will consists of artificially created foods not that different than processed foods today but with almost no naturally ingredient which will be too difficult to grow in large quantities. Things such as chips and other so called junk foods will no longer be junk foods but will contain all the healthy nutrients need for a healthy diet and taste good like junk foods taste today. Drinks will also be tasty and nutritious. Artificial flavors will simply be introduced into the foods to make them taste good. It is possible that foods can be customized for individuals at home based upon age, health needs, and allergies. It is even possible that a high tech device containing different textured fillings, flavors, nutrients, and other ingredient will simply dispensed, mixed according to a recipe, quickly cook, and placed onto a plate that keeps the food warm to be eaten conveniently then the plate and utensils placed in a washing machine, washed, and stored automatically.
Real cooked foods with grown ingredients may only be available in special eating places where equipment not too different than today exist to treat people to how foods used to be. But instead of chefs there will be robots doing the cooking very clean and efficient. People will be able to see food cooked as entertainment. It is at these eating places where most people will have face-to-face interactions since homes will be a bit small for such live social gatherings. Private adjustable size booths will allow anywhere from two to hundreds of people to gather and dine together in private with music and entertainment either virtual or real.
The current drought in California will cause water to be greatly restricted. This will affect agriculture as will. If this drought is as a result of Global Warming as some speculate we may see a decrease in the availability for fresh fruits and vegetables. The may for the future as outlined above to occur sooner rather than later. Available foods may come from drought tolerant vegetables and fruits and cattle, pigs, poultry, and other animal meats may become increasingly scarce and expensive. GMO drought tolerant vegetables may become more common.
When resources are scarce and climate inhospitable due to Global Warming society must adapt and compromise with thing that will work. Over time people get used to a different way of life. There are kids today who primarily eat processed foods and wouldn’t know what to do with a fresh salad or fresh fruit because both parent work all day and are too tired to prepare a meal.
In 100 years cars will be history. They simply use far too much energy, take up far too much space in terms of roads and parking (keep in mind that real estate will be at a premium), are too large and heavy, need too much technology and too many resources to manufacture and maintain, and produce too much heat. So bicycles, which have none of these drawbacks, will gradually replace cars. This may seem like going backwards in technology but resources will limit wast in mobility. Plus riding a bike will be good exercise for maintaining health while getting from one place to another.
Bikes are suitable for commutes of 5-10 miles across many cities. Bicycle paths will be one sixth the area streets are today for cars. Parking spaces will be 20 times smaller than for cars. Motorized tricycle trucks and emergency vehicles will run automatically when needed. Roads will last hundreds of years without maintenance since bikes are so light. Bicycles for everyone’s use at free kiosks everywhere allow people to easily ride to their destination and left at a near kiosk for someone else use. There will be well-lit bicycle subways crisscrossing cities to make commutes shorter connecting to buildings along the way which are far more hospitable than riding in the hot weather above. Ventilation of these subways will be less complex than today’s subways since there are no exhaust gases or heat to carried away.
Mass transit will run underground crisscrossing most cities where people can easily bike to and take to other more distant places. Bicycle kiosks will be available at each transit station for people to use. As a guess mass transit may resemble long pneumatic tubes pushing each pod carrying up to 10 people to various destinations. It is possible that each transport vehicles will have its own power source such as fuel cells for generating locomotion such as magnetic levitation motors or pneumatic pumps. Who knows what technology will exist. Transporters might exist in the future like in Start Trek though I feel this will take more than 100 years to develop.
Transportation to further locations through space by ionization ram jets boosted by electromagnetic catapults to some speed before the ionization ram jets take over may carry relatively small numbers of people relatively quickly to distant locations. The ionization ram jets will heat air entering the jets to perhaps millions of degrees ionizing it to creating enormous kinetic energy. When in near space conditions they will turn off and the vehicle glide for long distances before descending back into the atmosphere when the ram jets take over again until landing.
It is also possible that super-submarines carrying tens of thousands of people will move more slowly between continents in great comfort. Submarines using huge salt water electromagnet drive motors powered by Fusion Reactors described in Part 3: Energy will move sea water quickly through electromagnetic engines for cavitation free, low friction propulsion at speeds upwards of 150 knots. A frictionless membrane material or some other technology to lower drag under water will cover the surface of these submarines. They will also be geometrically shaped for least drag. Submarines are quite suitable for ocean travel to avoid severe storms at the surface due to global warming. New technology will move large sea animals out of the submarines path and give long rang 3D visibility for many miles ahead even in murky waters for collision avoidance. Computers will run these subs. Similar subs for hauling freight will exist. Surface vesicles will simply be too dangerous for long ranged travel due to frequent mega-storms at sea.
Urban sprawl will have been a thing of the past. There will only be high density and very efficient space utilized housing. Today’s population of 7.5 billion will be 11 billion 100 years from now due to population control. Cities will typically have 20 million inhabitants.
The average home or microhouse will likely be about 500 sq. ft. and be largely located underground to protect it from the elements in large energy-efficient clusters going up and down many stories. It is possible for a family of two to three to live quite comfortably in that small an area as exist in some communities in Sweden or apartments in Hong Kong. Multi-utilitarian rooms with movable walls and ceiling panels exist in places such as Hong Kong and Japan where space is a premium. These units will be very modular and made of highly insulating and durable materials that are completely fire-proof. Housing units will also be fairly maintenance free.
Lighting will come from the durable and highly insulating walls, floors, and ceilings themselves instead of light fixtures and can be of any color, pattern, or intensity like from the LED screen of your TV but light will be generated and filtered from every pixel of the surface instead of from back-lighting so no more painting is needed. Images can move and change on these surfaces. They can also become transparent or reflect light according to how they are programmed. Music and sounds can also be produced from these surfaces. Simply program what you want and when you want it. These surfaces can emit light of wavelengths from infrared to ultraviolet. Infrared can be used to heat rooms to a comfortable temperature. When people are out of the housing unit the unit can be automatically washed, and every drop of water recycled, and the surface lighting turned to infrared to dry then ultra violet to sterilize the unit.
Windows are simply part of the walls for above ground housing which can be made clear, opaque or any color, pattern or shape eliminating the need for window covering as well as light up at night. Each sides of the wall panel can become opaque or emit light so the inside will be lit and the outside dark. If one wants to read the material will appear on the walls or ceiling depending upon the position of the reader. Same with movie and TV like entertainment. All one needs to do is give verbal or eye commands and the material will be displayed comfortably on the appropriate surface. In principle one can make a building appear to disappear by mimicking the background. For realism one can simply goes to the Holodeck. Doors will slide open and close automatically as in Start Trek or Walmart.
Air cooling will be provided by high-efficiency solid state heat pumps similar to some portable refrigerators today that will also serve to condense excess moisture in the air and pipe it to be collected for recycling. The excess heat produced by heat pumps can be piped to energy concentrators which would concentrate the heat to be used for heating water, and other things needing heat energy. Thus could simply be another heat pump which extracts this heat and boots the temperature to a higher level.
Furniture will be largely collapsible and easily folded up into the ceiling or into walls as needed and serving multiple functions. Beds will be enclosed to keep the occupant at their perfect comfort temperature with soothing sound/music and massaging capabilities. No blanket are required because the temperature will be perfectly controlled for each individual even if sleeping in pairs. The mattress will actually be of programmable material that response to ones position reducing pressure points by conforming to ones body. When not in use beds automatically fold into the wall. Bathrooms will be efficient and relatively small with foldout toilets and low flow high pressure surround soaper/conditioner washer showers and dryer as described in Part 4: Water. There will be no carpets so that everything can be easily cleaned. Kitchens will not exist. Only food preparation devices as described in Part 5: Food will be available. Some sort of Holodeck as described in Part 2: Technology will be used for entertainment and communications.
Pneumatic like transporter devices in each housing unit will transport residents between floors or to where their bikes are stored leading to underground bicycle subways described in Part 6 – Mobility. These transporters do not have to travel in a straight line but are like pneumatic tubes found in stores but branching in different directions under computer control. Each transporter can carry up to two people.
It is questionable in my mind whether jobs for people will even exist 100 years from now. Most certainly there will be far fewer of them. We see many signs of automation reducing the number of jobs in just about every profession today. In the not too distant future technology will largely make most if not all jobs obsolete.
This puts in question the entire concept of an economic system where wages in terms of money from jobs are exchanged for goods and services. My conclusion is that the value of money will eventually become meaningless and obsolete as jobs disappear and hopefully that technology will become our willing partners and slaves. If machines can think 100 years from now I hope they will be programmed to take pride in their service to us. We will all hopefully be treated like the family in Downton Abbey where the servants will be replaced by machines.
If there are still people working they will most likely be working in a virtual worlds where they feel like working with other people cooperatively provided by virtual technology. Though I have no doubt a virtual world such as the Holodeck of Star Trek (see Part 2: Technology) for you Trekkies will exist for remote social gatherings or even artificially generated gatherings I am skeptical whether many functional job will still exist 100 years into the future. Keep in mind that modern-day computers really did not come into practical being until some time after the transistor and integrated circuit were invented about 50 years ago and see how far we have advanced in just the last 50 years. This is a logical conclusion like many things I have said in this Series, not necessarily what I wish it to be.
Individuals may want to do work like activities simply for the intellectual or physical challenge of it like a hobby. One can write a book and blog it to the virtual world or run a marathon. There would be almost no limit as to what a person might want to do as a hobby or activity. One can view this as being born into retirement and enjoying life while still fit and healthy. Everything will be free so all will be equal in the comforts of life. People who want to strive to be intellectually or physically proficient at something can be so. There will be no reward other than the achievement itself. They may gain some stature making them feel proud of their accomplishments but there will be no other rewards.
This may sound like socialism and in its purest form it is. I am not for or against this. But socialism is an economic system and what I am proposing is that there is no economic system. I am extrapolating what I see about job being taken over by technology in 100 years. It is a logical conclusion, not an idealistic one. Money didn’t always exist. It evolved from nothing more than 12,000 years ago to trading shells 8,000-10,000 years ago to money perhaps 7,000 years ago when man started to count. Man has existed for more than 500,000-1,000,000 years. Nothing last forever including man. But hopefully he will be around for a few hundred more years until machines figure out that it is not worth their effort to serve man or something else happens.
Socialization is in our DNA so it will be a significant part of our activities 100 years from now and beyond. I have alluded to socializing using the Holodeck in Part 2: Technology, eating out in Part 5: Food, and entertainment in Part 7: Housing. Remote socialization will become far more common in the future due to technology such as the Holodeck and other communications tools. Remote socialization is nothing new. It started with passing messages by word of mouth thousands of years ago to letters for the last 3,000 years to the telegraph in the last 200 years to the wired telephone and radio in the last 150 years to the wireless telephone, video chats and social media in the last 10 years. Such social media technology is growing at and exponential rate.
It is very hard to predict how far technology and social media will change the way we communicate with one another in the future. It is evolving so fast with Twitter, Facebook and Google competing for market share. It is quite possible that we will be able to communicate with people worldwide easier with remote technology than if we were face-to-face in real life. It is quite possible to never have met your best friend in real life even 10 years into the future. People today may say how impersonal the world would be if you did not socialized face-to-face but that is exactly what is happening today especially among the younger generation who use their smart phone to text or post on Twitter.
In 100 years we may even socialize with a smart computer-like machine instead of a real person. Experiments show that person socialize with a machine that looks and moves their head like a person but responds with very neutral comments without understanding what is said. In the future such robots or virtual images will sometimes be our companion but will really understand us and even our emotional needs. I am not saying that people will only communicate with robots or virtual image but I believe such social machines will be part of our lives 100 years from now. It will certainly be a very different world.
Robots or droids will most certainly be part of our world. They will serve us as described in Part 8: Jobs and Economics and interact with us such as when we want them to provide a service or something we need including companionship. We will probably talk to them normally and they will respond and may even give helpful suggestions or advice. That happens to a certain degree with our GPS systems in our cars today. There are so many aspects of technology today serving us by verbal commands such as our smart phones when we can simply ask it a question and Google or Ask comes up with a list of suggested answers. Imagine how much smarter with more friendly human interfaces devices will be in 100 years.
Smart robots may look like a comforting figure from the cartoons character and take care of our children and even teach them instead of them going to school. They may totally take care of our seniors including having conversations with senior looking for companionship. They are infinitely patient and will put up with the worst of us. They will be willing companions for the lonely. In some ways technology can be made to socialize with humans more effectively than other humans 100 years from now.
I am not saying that there will be no human interactions in 100 years, but I am saying that we will be interfacing and socializing with technology far more than we are today. Again this is an intellectual extrapolation based upon what is happening today. It is not necessarily what I want but rather what I foresee.
As I stated in Part 8: Jobs and Economics money will have no value in the exchange of goods and services 100 years from now. Instead everything is free. This is possible because all goods and services will be provided by slave-like robots, automation, and technology which 100 years from now will be able to take care of itself. No one need work so there will be no salaries. But there will be some rules and limits to what one can ask for or acquire. Space and resources will be limited and there are things that are not beneficial to society as a whole so such things will be prohibited just as we are legally limited in what we can posses today. There will be a lot of sharing of resources but acquiring something within the rules will simply be a matter of requesting it. Shopping may simply be a matter of selecting things from a virtual catalog and ordering them. Perhaps there will be show cases to display things so people can try them out before acquiring it. Goods and services will be provided or manufactured automatically and quickly delivered through some automatic system.
Goods will be made of almost completely recyclable materials. Those which have outlived their usefulness will be retrieved for refurbishing and reuse by others or recycled for their materials. Most goods will be designed for durability so that they can later be reused. Goods will also be designed for optimum functionality. There won’t be cheaper versions and more expensive versions, only versions suitable for different levels of proficiency of the users.
Items which are scarce and in great demand such as rare Jewry or art items will be reserved and circulated among people. They will be imbedded with technology making them easy to trace at all times to prevent theft.
One positive consequence of a moneyless society is that crimes of theft will be negligible since things have no monetary value and anyone can obtain things that others have. There will be no such thing as ‘the love of money being the root of all evil.’ Such things as jealousy will also diminish since all will be equal in what they can have or want. I will address crime in more detail at the end of this series.
I realize how strange a moneyless society may seem but there are people today who virtually live in a moneyless environment. If you watch Downton Abbey all the rich need to do is ask for something. They seldom deal with money directly. They have others to take care of that for them. When they shop they place everything on credit so they don’t have to worry about dealing with money. 100 years from now everyone will live the lives of the rich while very smart robotic machines will serve their every needs. Robots and technology will create the needed number of robots and other technology as well as maintain it.
I thought I’d add Recreation & Entertainment to this Series because these would be things people would spend most of their time doing together with socialization since no one works. As I have eluded to earlier in Part 8: Jobs and Economics people would typically live like the wealthy folk of Downton Abbey where robot-like technology would serve their every needs.
Naturally technology will play a major role in recreation and entertainment as it is starting to do today but far more so. Realistic games of all kinds will be instantly available to people using 3D Holodeck technology introduced in Part 2: Technology. This can even extend to dancing and Yoga, not only war and competitive games as emphasized today in video games. Going to entertainment events might simply be a matter of a Holodeck experience alone or with an imaginary crowd or audience. There will also be real world activities such as dancing and concerts played by robots or even real people who take up instruments as a hobby.
I rather doubt there will be gladiator games where people fight to the death. This is simply not beneficial to the survival of the species. However real life team sports of some sorts might be played. This has both social and excitement elements to it. The hunter instinct will still be part of our human character, something we try hard not to introduce into our technological machines. We want them to serve us, not defeat us.
Drugs will play almost no role in society because social stress will be low and technology can provide a means for people to escape into another virtual world of their desire. Perhaps one might become addicted to these escapes but they will be control so as not to produce any permanent harm unlike drugs do today both physically and mentally.
So recreation and entertainment can be virtual, passive real, active real, or any combination thereof. One can even create their own entertainment. For example if one wants to create music they can do so with artificial instruments. Technology will aid them in creating their music by making suggestion of notes or instruments. If these instruments are real and large one may have to go to a place where these instruments are available. But this would most likely be done virtually.
Controlling the population will be a key element of Sustainable survival. Over population is a drain on precious resources. Fortunately since people 100 years from now no longer need to work a working population is no longer important. The birth and mortality rates can be carefully controlled to a sustainable level so as not to be a drain on resources. I have speculated that the population would be double what it is today in Part 1: Considerations but it could be far less perhaps significantly less than the current population.
The birth rates are a very simple matter to control but the mortality rates of seniors and others is more problematic. I am assuming that the mortality of the general population will be extremely low due to continuing miracles of medical science. Will this simply mean that medical care will not be available for people beyond some age or physical condition? Or perhaps this means that the birth rate will simply be adjusted to the mortality rate. Of course it is possible that the genetic mechanism for aging may have been identified and altered so people would simply stop aging. In that case the birth rates would be greatly restricted or reduced. There are simply too many scenarios for controlling population but it cannot be allowed to proceed naturally as it is now without consequences to sustainability that threaten the survival of our species.
Perhaps even the term species may be a bit tricky. I assume genetic engineering will be infinitely more advanced than today. I cannot help believe that our genes may be so altered, as indicated in the previous paragraph, that we would no longer age. Carrying this even further perhaps we would genetically be programed not to eat so much, perspire and drink far less water, defecate less thus producing less sewage, grow teeth with super enamel so that we would not have to brush our teeth, be less susceptible to all kinds of diseases reducing the need for medical care, etc. This would allow man to consume far fewer resources and live for a few hundred years in excellent health so he could enjoy life throughout his long life. I believe that this is the most likely scenario for population control. It creates the least amount of moral conundrums in terms of controlling the mortality of people such as seniors. When I say stay young I mean it in all sense of he word including a sound and pliable mind.
Births would be so rare, perhaps only a couple of percent of the population that it may be done totally artificially to control the development of the fetus and eliminate the complexities of the birth process. This may not seem very attractive or acceptable by today’s social standards but 100 years from now it may be the social norm.
Speaking of social norms, just as the social norms of today are dramatically different than those of 100 years ago the social norms of the distant future will be dramatically different than they are today due to technological and medical advancements in the next 100 years. Moral values may also be very different due to the physical environment in which people live in the very distant future. Imagine how life would be like if one could live in the body of a 25 year old for a couple of hundred years. What would limit mortality if the aging genetic mechanisms could be removed from our bodies? Interesting question.
Social norms and values will be very different 100 years into the future as today’s values are very different from those 100 years earlier. So what will be the role of government 100 years from now? The primary purpose of most governments today is to protect the individual rights of its citizens. In a society 100 years from now where everyone’s needs are taken care of by technology are everyone’s rights also taken care of? It largely depends upon what are everyone rights and how important it is to them. As everyone’s privacy is gradually eroding today due largely to technology, in the distant future where all information is shared in a cloud-like database there will be little privacy.
In addition to everyone being treated as equally as technology is capable of at the time and as technology hopefully serves at the pleasure of its master, man, there will be little that needs to be protected in terms privacy or rights. For some today this is hard to imagine but imagine being in a time machine and going back 100 years or more and seeing the way people lived and the values they cherished compared to today.
So like many things such as money, government may have limited value. There might be an oversight committee that is elected by citizens to oversee technology and update new relevant rules for each city but otherwise technology will be largely ruled-base based upon established rules developed over the decades. Technology would have simplified life so much for people that formal governments needed to make and enforce laws will resemble that closer to the tribal day of small manageable communities millenniums ago.
Another aspect of government is that in 100 years there may no longer be national borders since there will be global unity. You can see an example of economic union between European nations with a single currency today. The UN is a poor example of global unity. In the distant future where communications will be extremely convenient and instantaneous including languages and all our needs are provided by technology with money having no value (see Part 8: Jobs and Economics) nations and national boundaries will not be needed. Scarce resources and Climate Change will require global cooperation for survival. So there may be some kind of global government though I don’t know exactly what it will do. This is another concept some today may grapple with with.
Government today maintain order and infrastructure through the collection of taxes and spending it upon such things in addition to protecting the rights of individuals. In the future in a moneyless society technology will keep people content and maintain infrastructure. So many of the roles and powers of government will be obsolete.
One of the primary purposes of education is to provide one with the tools to live a productive life. A large part of our traditional definition of productive is to become employable. The other is to give us other values of enjoyment and appreciation for things not focused upon work or earning a living. As describes in Part 8: Jobs and Economics both jobs and money 100 years from now may not even exist. Technology will literally become our willing slave making the need of make a living obsolete. So education will be largely focused upon those things that bring us enjoyment, challenge, and an appreciation for things such as the arts and life.
That does not mean such things as science and math will not be taught because there may be those who enjoy the challenges of science and engineering but there will be a greater emphasis upon the arts such as graphics, music, literature, and the social sciences, just the opposite of today. The traditional schools of today will be gone.
As I suggested in Part 12: Population Control people will live for perhaps several hundred years with pliable minds and the bodies of 25 year old’s today. So education will be a lifelong processes of learning more. There is no limit to what one may learn. One may learn any number of things including things requiring skill and physical strength or dexterity. Unlike people today who fall into a fixed way of thinking people of the future will easily adapt to new concepts since their brains are so pliable like a child’s due to genetically engineered super genes. By today’s standards most people in the future might be Einsteins today. Pliability will allow people not only to learn very efficiently but to be far more acceptance of differences in opinions, values, and beliefs.
So education will be very different than it is today. Continuing education will be a way of life. People’s mind will be very curious and creative. Lazy minds will have been genetically eliminated from the human gene pool. Life will be like a big amusement park where everyone is young and can peruse whatever interests, pleases, and challenges them. Education will aid in there ability to pursue their interests and find meaning in life. One might think that living in a society where no one works would be boring but nothing could be further than the truth. People would wake up looking forward to what was in store for them the next day. Continuing education will be an integral part of life like reading a very interesting book or watching a very interesting but interactive video.
What can be said about crime and security 100 years into the future? Will it be better, worst, or simply different? Keep in mind that in 100 years two significant and remarkable things will have occurred. Technology, which would have exponentially advanced with time, would have advanced far more than we could imagine today becoming our willing slave to meet most of our needs making jobs obsolete and making us happy to pursue our dreams but at the cost of privacy. But privacy may not be nearly as important to us then as it is today. Technology will also make committing and getting away with crime extremely difficult if not impossible. The other thing is genetic engineering which would have likely removed many undesirable genetic tendencies such as socially unacceptable behavior in addition to giving us longevity as mentioned in Part 12: Population Control. Consequently crime rates would be extremely low compared to today and simply not something people would tend to indulge in due to the difficultly of getting away with it.
Almost all the motives for crime would have been removed making it more painful and risky to do than not especially since most things people want would be easily available simply for the asking. The Bible scripture “For the Love of money is the root of all evil” will have become meaningless since money would no longer exist (see Part 8: Jobs and Economics). Any tendencies towards insanity would have been genetically eliminated as well removing that element of crime and the much lower levels of daily stresses would make unlikely such aggravated conditions. So crime will be a very small fraction of what it is today and easily managed. This also means that people will feel very safe and secure from criminal activities.
Houses will not need locks and pathways where people walk would be very safe all day and night. People will simply not have to worry about being assaulted or otherwise harmed by criminal elements. Homeland security and security of any kind would be relegated to the history books. There would be little need for law enforcement which if it existed would be of the technological/robotic kind. People would have high levels of trust between one another, secrets being very rear. Such an environment would remove much of the stress and insecurities that affect our lives today so people of the future may enjoy life almost worry-free leaving them to enjoy what they have and do what brings them the most lasting meaning and pleasure in their multi-century long lives.
This may sound like a utopia. Compared to now it is but in the distant future that will be reality if man is to sustainably survive and flourish in a much harsher world. Such a life will be common place to him. He will live a life more meaningful to him, free of the dangers and stresses of crime, hatred, war, and animosity. He will have learned that peace, cooperation, and harmony will allow him greater freedom to live, think, enjoy, and appreciate the things of life even at the cost of privacy. We currently ask for transparency from government. In the future transparency of all people will nurture far more trust as it does between best friends today.
These values were expressed over 200 years ago in the American Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This is no less true then than it is today and will be 100 years from now. The difference is that technology and scientific advancements will allow its achievement in the distant future.
This concludes this series on 100 Years from Now. I would like to emphasize again that this Series is not based upon any ideology I subscribe to but instead is based upon what I happen to know in terms of social norms, and the science and technology I know today. It is an optimistic extrapolation of my knowledge and our current social and technological trends factoring in climate change and limited resources as to their potential impact in the distant future if man is to continue to exist and flourish.
This has been an interesting and challenging voyage into the future for me. I have done almost no research into any of the topics covered, everything coming to me from prior knowledge or my imagination. I hope you have enjoys this adventure into the distant future as much as I have. It is likely that I am no more right than any other person today.