09 March 2012

Charles Stross: “World building 301: some projections”

What do I predict for 2032?

Space: Is a red herring in the short term. China will have a space station and maybe a flag on the moon. The USA will continue to send out increasingly sophisticated robot probes and might still be operating a space station. They might even have planted a flag on the moon (again) and have plans to go to Mars. (On the down side: a major political or fiscal crisis might be enough to do unto NASA what the collapse of the USSR did to the Soviet space infrastructure.) There will probably be continued commercial development in low earth orbit, including an orbiting hotel (for the plutocrats to play bunga-bunga games). And Elon Musk might still be in business and going balls-out for Mars. But by 2032 I don't expect there to be any major breakthroughs.

Let's look further ahead. What about 2092?

I agree with Bruce Sterling: it's going to be a world of old people living in big cities who are afraid of the sky.

Charles Stross

A (long) series of predictions about our world 20 and 80 years from now, respectively, from science-fiction author Charles Stross. While I don’t necessarily enjoy his sci-fi novels, the predictions laid out here for 2032 are mostly common sense and with a high chance of becoming reality in my opinion, even the ones that are undesirable. The future for 2092 is even bleaker, but also more uncertain, like the author himself acknowledges in a follow-up post. Definitely an article to be saved and revisited in a decade or so.

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