Some of my thoughts on the future (the next 100 years).

Notes on Globalization

  • outsourcing work is efficient, and efficiency always wins
  • however, people are growing more aware of the ‘globalization game’ and the unfair strategies employed by the players
  • therefore, the pendulum will swing from trade everything with everyone to trade what I need with who I like
  • local manufacturing will become popular again
    • ‘made in <your country>’ will become a brand
    • people will become more fond of goods produced in their own country, even if these goods may not be as shiny and extravagant as imported goods
  • countries will (and currently do) ‘pick sides’
    • traveling anywhere or trading with anymore won’t be so easy anymore

Notes on Sustainability

  • sustainability will (obviously) become more important
  • local manufacturing (see Notes on Globalization) will grow in popularity
  • fixing things will become more popular
    • you can see this already as a fashion trend in 2024, featuring worn out clothes
    • things like swewing pants or stuffing holes in clothes won’t be done out of lack of money anymore

Notes on Global Governance

  • fragmentation of authority will result in power being distributed across various entities
    • various entities meaning countries, unions but also companies, local groups and individuals
    • religious groups, sects and other groups, that are united by a strong shared belief or even ideology, will gain power
    • i.e. some sort of Neo-medievalism

Notes on War

  • everyone is gearing up right now (2024)
  • there will be a ‘Big Bang’ war anytime between 2030 and 2050
    • East (China, Russia, North Korea…) Vs. West (USA, France, England, Germany…)
      • i.e. the same parties you can currently see forming during the Ukrain and Palestine conflicts
  • it will be ugly, and the unimaginable will happen
  • a lack of shared ‘ideology’ or identity will be the main weakness of the West
  • noone will care about sustainability & climate changes when the war rages

Notes on AI

  • we are currently near the peak of the AI hype cycle (May 2024)
    • there’s great innovation but also a lot of crap out there
  • the bubble will burst in ~1 year
    • the crap will get sorted out
    • the term ‘AI’ will get burned similar to ‘Crypto’
      • this will result in less usage of the term
      • instead, many (trivial) things that are currently advertised as ‘AI’ will be seen as normal, dropping the buzzword
      • more specific words will be used for specific categories of AI
  • as the cost of intelligence continues to drop, demand for other essential resources like e.g. energy will rise
    • this may be offset by innovations in the energy sector, like nuclear fusion, but I have no particular opinion on them
  • ‘white collar jobs’ will experience significant automation and job loss
    • this won’t be immediate since the technology still needs to be developed further and then adapted and integrated
    • this adoption process will be longer than people are currently willing to admit
    • however, efficiency always wins
  • programming will become more abstracted
    • the cost of producing code will drop significantly
    • as a result the stereotypical programmer, who pulls Jira tickets and writes code, won’t be in such high demand anymore
    • however, as automation increases in all sectors, demand for engineers (in whatever shape or form) will also rise
  • spam will pollute the internet
    • a new way of validating the authenticity of content will be necessary
      • this (among other factors such as lagal adaptation) could start a second crypto wave
      • i.e. Dark Forest Theory
  • authenticity will become more important than ever
    • people will want to consume content and goods produced by humans, for humans, even if they may be more expensive and / or lower quality
    • on a more abstract level, this also plays into the Notes on Globalization (locally made goods) and Notes on Sustainability (repairing goods)

Notes on Loneliness

  • loneliness will continue to rise
    • better forms of solo entertainment (e.g. AI chatbots), bad outlook on the future, high level of individualism, lack of shared identity etc. fuel this
    • effects of this can already be observed as Hikikomori in Japan or Tang Ping in China
  • loneliness will become one of the moving forces behind global trends
    • birth rates continue to drop
    • communities will be under pressure
      • in particular, communities that have a low level of shared identity (e.g. an office department)
      • conversely, communities that provide a strong sense of identity and / or meaning will grow (e.g. religious groups, sects, see Notes on Global Governance)
  • services such as “rent a boyfriend/girlfriend” (as already seen in Japan) will become popular

Notes on Democracy

  • discourses are the arteries of a democracy
  • when discourse gets hindered, it’s akin to clogging arteries of a body
  • in the future, the arteries will (continue to get) clogged by
    • (AI) spam
    • and by people not speaking the same language anymore
      • when everyone lives a highly individualistic, isolated live (Notes on Loneliness), dialogue becomes harder
      • you can already observe this right now:
        • imagine you entered a bar and talked to a stranger in 1980 vs now
        • in 1980 you would always have some shared topics to talk about, since you can assume a shared common core
          • e.g. talk about the local soccer club, news or a popstar
        • now, however you can barely make this assumption anymore
          • peoples lives are too individualized
          • you can’t even assume a persons gender anymore without potentially getting into conflict