I love sci-fi and so do the partners at JFDI.Asia; Meng had introduced me to many great design fiction books, and they shaped the way I thought about the future.
Two days ago, Hugh asked if I had thought about where humanity would be in 30 years’ time—the year, 2043. My imagination ran wild.
In 2043… #
Creating orbital habitat will be the new goal for Elon Musk & co. Google will be providing the analytics to monitor the efficiency of electricity consumption. One of the first prototypes of orbital habitat will have just launched by 2043.
Essentially, it is a concrete jungle with oxygen preserved only for human use—a mega-space-station. Gravity will be a tenth of the earth in the habitat, and a few dozen privileged Silicon Valley executives will have reserved properties on the station.
The biggest technology enabler for this is our increased mastery of
synthesized artificial photosynthesis; it will allow the orbital habitat to maintain an atmosphere. While the technology is still in early stage development, it holds the key to R&D in terraforming. Some of this research will be undergoing on the moon.
We will have started building a colony with the help of contour crafting, a 3D printing technology on the moon, using concrete & some steel. The mission will be strictly for research purpose. Terraforming will be an integral piece of the puzzle to revitalize organic food production and water purification at scale, as Earth struggles to keep pace with human demands in urban areas.
By 2043, we will be eying humanoid AI mission to Europa within the decade, to explore life, and carry out the terraforming technology if necessary.
Back on earth: Singapore, West Coast & North East Corridor USA, Germany, Japan, Korea, China, Brazil, the advanced internet metropoles in these borders will have driver-less electric vehicles operating in the inner city. These cars will interact with each other and keep the average traveling speed at 50 MPH. Tesla, Google, and Toyota will lead the pact in the sharing economies; most households will not have their own cars.
Fewer people will have the need to travel for work. Most workers telecommute through a virtual reality, which will be called the Third World.
Third World will be a virtual community held dear to most citizens. This new world will be organized by and oriented through skills—in tribal units. There will be no nationality or race in Third World. The main concern on the collective’s mind: data protection.
Our intellectual, productive lives, and entertainment will exist on server farms in the Antarctic. The mass consumers will not concern themselves with the meta layers that support the look and feel of the Third World. It will be duties of the hacker community to maintain balance within the open-sourced code base. Check and balances will be relying on crowd-sourced intelligence. Phishing activities will continue to reinvent itself, and this will be a constant worry for the Third World. Hacker ethic and AI will align interests to keep phishing pirates at bay. However, common Third World citizens will have their data stowed and recoverable with standard subroutine; including their wealth and life memories.
A lineal descent of Bitcoin currency will have been established for trade in the Third World. This currency is exchangeable to the real world, but very few people will have any need for US dollars or Yen—as the Fed and the national governments become less relevant to economic cycles.
Wired telephony infrastructure will be replaced by long-range WiFi technology with IPv6-legacy capability that protect individual identity. We can access the Third World with a blink of an eye, and the embedded chips under our ears will send us through the matrix. When we are not jacked in, we consume synthesized food, 3D printed with protein supplied by a common pool operated by private companies in each region. Organic and farmed food will no longer be cost efficient for day-to-day living in mega-cities.
Less fortunate rural areas will have no access to protein pipelines. However, two decades leading up to 2043 we will have observed inverse urbanization—with the wealthy opting to move out to open rural areas; these families will be able to afford AI powered, robotic farming, and sustain themselves with organic produce, free-range poultry, and grass-fed livestock.
The oil economy will see the beginning of its decline, and intercontinental travels will be prohibitively expensive temporarily within the decade after 2043. Electricity will be cheap as most economies will have adopted nuclear fission; operated by energy collectives from the Third World, which will have bought land from national governments for the establishments.
Renewable energy, however, will never live up to its promises. Hydrogen will be abundant from
synthesized artificial photosynthesis and new aerospace companies will be developing both nuclear propulsion and hydrogen combustion engines; for both intercontinental and space travel.
Artificial Intelligence will be kept at bay consciously by humans. We will be reliant but largely afraid to augment human intelligence with AI. This will be a main contention point and debates will spur around this important cross-road for humanity in 2043. Humans will need to decide if the height of pure-human humanity can sustain itself without being augmented by AI; or shall we relinquish control and allow human-AI-hybrids, and welcome singularity?
In 2043, I believe… #
We will largely rely on innovation by like-minded folks, organized by tribes within internet economies. Physical establishments will
seize cease to matter. Wealth inequality will be ever more apparent: cyberpunk inner cities contrasting upper echelon rural estates. We will be entering the beginning of space habitation and exploration. Energy source will be undergoing a transition, and we will face a choice in the next human evolution.
Wow, thanks for the support! There are some thought provoking comments on HackerNews. View original thread here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7203892
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