14 Trends to be Thankful For

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”―Willie Nelson

Eric Martin
Nov 23, 2017 · 6 min read
Photo by Benjamin Hung.

Each positive trend listed below has a section on why the trend is good for us right now, and why it offers hope for our future. The future sections contain portions that might not happen: they’re predictions.

When you focus on the positive, you free your mind to look at a brighter future. When you see a brighter future, you create that brighter future for yourself and everyone you touch.

1. More Lending

“Kiva is a simple concept that can change a person’s life.”―Oprah Winfrey

Now: Kiva.org lets you lend as little as $25 to help a struggling entrepreneur or individual in another region of the world.

Future: Your excess money will be lent to those without enough. The poor will enjoy clean water, nutritious food, and affordable healthcare.

2. More Giving

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”―Jesus, Acts 20:35

Now: You can give cash directly to the poor through GiveDirectly.org. Your giving empowers the poor to buy what they need, rather than getting what others think they need.

Future: Digital currencies will allow you to send money to people overseas without having to worry about exchange rates and fees.

3. More Water

“There’s a real freedom that comes with service, but so many people are enslaved in the service of themselves.”―Scott Harrison, founder of charity: water

Now: According to charitywater.org, “1 in 10 people lack access to clean water”, and 7,347,032 people have gotten clean water through charity: water.

Future: Abundant energy through fusion, solar, or other sources will enable your moisture farms and other water purification technologies.

4. More Food

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”―Mother Teresa

Now: Ready-to-cook meals from the likes of Blue Apron allow you to enjoy fresh, healthy, home-cooked meals without needing to individually purchase or prepare the ingredients.

Future: You’ll enjoy drone delivery of those Blue Apron meals that are ready-to-cook or already cooked and the perfect temperature based on your preferences.

5. More Internet

“We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.”―Stephen Hawking

Now: A smartphone to someone in Africa is like a car was to an American teenager in the 1960’s. Once they get it they never want to part with it.

Future: Artificial intelligence will make it easier for you to find the good stuff in the massive flow of content. You’ll have life-like virtual reality, instant fee-free cash transfers, and every great university course at your fingertips, for free.

6. More Shelter

“Much of India that we dream of still lies ahead of us: housing, power, water and sanitation for all; bank accounts and insurance for every citizen; connected and prosperous villages; and, smart and sustainable cities.”―Narendra Modi

Now: A 3D printed house took just 24 hours to print.

Future: Prolific 3D printed housing gives you practical, affordable homes and apartments. Structural materials will be transformed through 3D printing to make them stronger, lighter, cheaper, and more beautiful than conventional materials.

7. Better 3D Printing

“I’m interested in businesses that take digital bits and turn them into interfaces for physical atoms. I’m also interested in drones, Bitcoin, and 3D printing.”―Balaji Srinivasan

Now: 3D printing enables you to create cool replicas of objects in your home, but it also allows GE to 3D print ultra-efficient turboprop engines.

Future: You’ll see advances from 3D printing in gasoline cars, electric cars, trains, ships, smartphones, computers, data centers, robots, space stations, moon bases, homes, synthetic human organs, underwater living areas, and underground living areas.

8. Less Garbage

“Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. But I’d like to add a third certainty: trash. And while some in this room might want to discuss reducing taxes, I want to talk about reducing trash.”―Ann Minner

Now: Companies are providing you with more efficient packaging and shipping things with less of the cardboard box material.

Future: Drones will ship unpackaged goods to your home in reusable containers. Or you’ll create the products in your own home with a 3D printer, getting rid of the need for the container or the drone.

9. More Digital Currency Adoption

“I think the internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government. The one thing that’s missing but that will soon be developed, is a reliable e-cash.”―Milton Friedman around 1999

Now: Bitcoin has grown from $963.66 on January 1st of 2017 to $8,165.80 today: that’s an eight-fold increase in just under eleven months. The distributed, trustless blockchain technology that undergirds Bitcoin is just starting to be exploited in dozens of areas.

Future: Any app can be “tokenized” by issuing its own digital coin. As an app’s user base grows, so does the value of your coin. Digital currencies will be better than central bank dollars that constantly lose value, so you will successfully demand your wages in Bitcoin or another digital currency.

10. Cheaper Energy

“If you think that by giving cold fusion to the world and giving up unimaginable wealth you’ll make us happy, you’re right.”―Simon Templar in the movie The Saint

Now: Portable solar panels and stationary bicycle generators are making electricity available in remote regions of Africa.

Future: A future technology (solar roofing tiles, tokamaks, polywells, etc.) will make electricity so plentiful that it will replace other forms of energy. This will enable you to use large-scale artificial intelligence, massive water desalinization plants, and abundant electric transportation.

11. Better Healthcare

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”―Mahatma Gandhi

Now: Genome sequencing lets you know your health risks and your body’s compatibility with various drugs.

Future: You will have health records on the blockchain, 3D printed organs, artificial intelligence-discovered drugs, and supplements that let you live to 120 years old.

12. Better Robots

“Robots will harvest, cook, and serve our food. They will work in our factories, drive our cars, and walk our dogs. Like it or not, the age of work is coming to an end.”―Gray Scott

Now: Robots are making your car and assembling many of the goods that you purchase every day.

Future: Robots will start doing any physical action that you do now.

Humanoid robots will help you take care of your elderly relatives so that they can live in their own home instead of a nursing home.

Your robots will metal detect the surface of the Earth and find gold, explore the ocean and find new life, and explore the far reaches of space to capture glimpses of worlds too distant for you to visit in person.

13. Better Artificial Intelligence

“Artificial intelligence will reach human levels by around 2029.”―Ray Kurzweil

Now: Self-driving cars. Self-flying cars. Character and image recognition.

Future: Most of what office workers now do will be done faster and more accurately by artificial intelligence (AI). And AI is getting faster because the chips that power it keep getting faster.

AI will take the top 100 classical music pieces as ranked by a team of experts, and think through them to give you even better compositions.

A similar process will be used to give you a better version of a novel, a bicycle, a drug, an invention, a building, a car, an engine, an electric motor, almost any creative work, virtually any technological work, an idea, a geometric proof, a math proof, a PhD thesis, a DNA sequence, an animal, a law, a government’s constitution, a government’s structure, a function in a computer program, an entire computer program, a graphics card, a processor, an AI processor, and an AI program.

The precision, insight, and randomness of AI will come alongside your creativity, wisdom, and gut instinct to get your problems solved faster, your hopes realized quicker, and your dreams brought to life more frequently.

14. Better Government

“Seasteaders bring a Silicon Valley sensibility to the problem of governments not innovating sufficiently. Innovators are held back and stymied by existing regulations, and we want to give them 21st century regulations on start-up governments.”―Joe Quirk, President of The Seasteading Institute

Now: The seasteading movement is progressing and should, by 2020, provide for you a town entirely floating on the ocean with an ultra-limited government.

Future: When digital currencies such as Bitcoin take over, the governments of the world will find it harder to print money to spend as they please.

The trend toward greater freedom and better government will culminate in a universe where you are simply free to exist. Your ability to innovate and create will accelerate because the chains of regulation and taxation will be broken and you’ll be liberated to do as you please.

Thank you to my brother, Elliot Martin, for healthcare and other ideas.


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