What the World will be like in 50 Years

April 21, 2008 at 9:25 am | Posted in Newsflash | Leave a comment
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Msnbc posted an article today called Deep Thinkers See How Things will be in 2058.  Basically it’s an article about what 60 essayists around the world imagine the world to be in 50 years by analyzing current problems and future prospects.  Some of the key points mentioned were as follows:

  • Diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder will be shown to be caused by infectious agents that take advantage of genetic predisposition, says psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey, president of the Treatment Advocacy Center. Researchers will be surprised to find that many of those infectious agents are being transmitted from animals to humans. As a result, it will be uncommon to keep cats, birds or hamsters as pets — but we’ll still have dogs around, because they’ve been “man’s best friend” for so long that we’ve already adjusted to their infectious agents.

 

  • International terrorism will be brought under control because governments will realize counterterrorism is primarily a police function rather than a job for the military, says Ronald Noble, the secretary-general of Interpol. Passports and IDs will be linked to a global monitoring system, much as credit cards are today. “People will no longer be able to travel and engage in transactions with anonymity,” thanks to surveillance and biometrics, he says. All this will pose “thorny issues” for a post-privacy era.

 

  • Several essayists said water will become as big a resource issue as petroleum is today. “We cannot go green without thinking blue,” former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta and former Energy Secretary James Watkins say. Norman Borlaug, father of the “Green Revolution” in agriculture, says there will have to be a “Blue Revolution” to provide enough water for the planet’s burgeoning population. Thus, cleaning up the oceans and providing fresh water should rank right up there with controlling greenhouse gases.

 

  • The outlook for longer life spans is a mixed bag: Kurzweil says the pace of life extension will outrun the passage of years, offering at least the possibility of an indeterminate life span 50 years from now. But trends also point to a decline in average life expectancy, due to the increased incidence of obesity among today’s young people, says Wanda Jones, director of the Office on Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For more expectations, check out the link above.

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