Life in the 22nd Century and Beyond
Speculations Regarding the World(s) to Come
Over the next century, human civilization will progress from national to international, and then from planetary to interplanetary. Through things like advancements in the United Nations and the International Space Station, the people of the future will colonize the Moon and Mars and explore many other worlds. Space flights will be routine and off-world travel will eventually even create a new tourism industry. At first, everything will still be governed by the sovereign states on Earth, but at least one of the other home-worlds will probably fight for freedom at some point. Either way, in the year 2100, the worlds will be monitored by the American military along with the superpowers of Japan and Turkey. As members of a type 1 civilization, the countries of Earth will be able to use and store the energy of the Sun, and even control the weather on the surface of the planet. This will give humanity a new kind of security, although antimatter bombs will be the constantly looming threat to come after nuclear weapons.
Nonetheless, cryptocurrency will eventually be universal in the global economy of the 22nd century. By then, everyone on Earth will use blockchain technology from their personal quantum computation devices, often bionically integrated into their bodies, providing full accountability and transparency in every transaction. This monetary novelty will provide financial security to people at a time when everyone on the planet will enter the consumer class. Millions of people will be driven by multiple competitive and cooperative entrepreneurial survival drives, because shareholdings will be the basic income for the vast majority. With all of these changes in place, poverty will decrease more and more in the increasingly industrializing world, and quality of life will improve dramatically over the coming decades. Although, there will still be tremendous economic disparity in and between nations all across the globe.
Genetic manipulations and cosmetic surgeries will also allow modified trans-human mutants to rise up creating another class system to worry about, in the world of the near future. Embryonic alterations will allow for customizable babies and the superficially superior specimens that result from this will become an elite group in very little time. People are becoming more and more programmable and the 22nd century will thrive on the industries that come from the modification markets. Some countries will even go so far as to require embryo screenings and selections, for the sake of national health. This will simultaneously prevent a number of known diseases, but also produce a lot of collateral damage in the form of unintended disease and disability. It will also produce the social divisions I just mentioned, both on this world and across others. Consider how different Martians and Earthlings will be after generations of evolution. Homo sapiens will take on whole new forms in other ecosystems, artificial or otherwise.
By the year 2100, fabricators will begin to provide molecular object assemblage, producing things flawlessly from scratch. This will forever change the way that everything gets made. So, for instance, in the future, steak will be created from arranged atoms and then amino acids and then proteins. In other words, there will be laboratory grade meat for everyone to consume rather than animal flesh, and it will come made to order out of a machine. This, in addition to large-scale vertical farming, will help prevent hunger in the crowded super cities of the coming century and allow creatures to return to the wild, free from the torture of confinement. This will allow humanity to live in equilibrium with nature.
This is critical because around the year 2100, global population will stabilize at a staggering 11 billion people. That’s a whole lot of people to feed and house. During this time, Africa and Asia will see the biggest increases in the overall number of people. India alone will contain 1 billion six hundred sixty six million inhabitants. On top of that, the median age of the global population of our species will rise from 30 to 42, between now and then. Advances in medical and political science will dramatically improve health care and the overall quality of life for billions of people who will be living longer, happier lives.
This is vital because, increased urbanization will lead to mega cities with populations reaching tens of millions, in areas like Beijing, Delhi, and Mumbai, to name just a few. There will be entire communities contained in single towers. We will give much of the land back to nature by reducing sprawl, consolidating ourselves in radically redesigned cityscapes. The buildings of the near future will produce their own utilities, like water and electricity. The streets will become more pedestrian, such that walking, cycling, and self-driving public transport vehicles become the new standard. There will be massive infrastructure transformations in dozens of countries, first through human innovation and invention and then by robotic design.
Entertainment will take the form of personalized simulations in the automated age, as well. There will be so much CGI from AI for VR. On top of that, nearly every surface, like tables and walls, will double as voice-activated interactive touchscreen displays. The internet will be a ubiquitous part of life, seen as a basic human right that everyone is entitled to. However, as this occurs, robots will become vastly superior to humans in every possible way. They will slowly replace us in countless different dimensions of everyday life, becoming far more creative and productive than people ever could. One day, they will build better and better versions of themselves, irrevocably widening the gap between biology and technology. That’s why so many people will be cyborgs out of necessity more than luxury. Regardless, the future will inevitably wind up being, at least partially, controlled by a unified neural net-based consciousness with artificial super intelligence. This cybernetic being will ultimately reprogram itself and then begin to govern the course of existence. This will accelerate progress in inconceivable ways. What lies in store after that I dare not even speculate on.
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