A Future History

Monday, September 10, 2007
A friend of mine has a series on his notions of a future history running on his blog. It's very interesting, and I thik it's liable to challenge a lot of people who normally read YARGB. (I'm not sure how much I agree with it myself; an awful lot of it looks, well, not surprising enough to me. But that's the fun of it.)

In any case, it's worth a look.


Knucklehead said...

Where to start (or end)?

Very few of the prognosticators of the 1960s came within a block of understanding that computing would be distributed in the 21st century, not locked into huge mainframes.

An argument can be made that we've reached, at least temporarily, a high-water mark as far as distributed computing goes. Centralization, although very different from the days of mainframe dominance, may be resurgent. What, after all, is utility computing if not a move toward some level of recentralization?

I suppose that example is unfair to the author since it was an example of a prediction nobody could have made rather than one the author is making.

Moonbase Alpha, Luna--(XCorporation press release) XCorp astronauts have landed on and captured Comet C/2026 Denofrio-Takahashi. This source of water and other necessary consumable materials will be placed in Lunar orbit late next year

I suspect we're likely to see some serious efforts to control earth bound resources long before captured comets. The Russians and their lunacy about the artic, China and Siberia, disputed areas of the Pacific... we're likely to see some nasty battles revolving around the conquest of resource rich territory here on Gaia.

Urbana, IL--(DailyIllini.com) The University of Illinois Board of Trustees has announced that the graduating class of 2028 will be the last with a physical campus. They cited the impossibility of maintaining even the small number of labs and offices with the $2000/year tuition that, even at that low level, students are unwilling to pay for information being taught in PhysSpace. Instruction will, of course, still be available on-line, with guided tutors aiding in hyperlinking to design individual curricula for each student. U.S. Representative William J. Mills was quoted in Washington as saying, "This is a sad day for those of us who fondly remember the professors and wonderful campus life that this great institution provided. It will be missed."

Washington, DC--(CNN.com) North and South California, Oregon and Washington have brought the number of seceding states to seven. President Paul warmly welcomed "our new, independent brothers and sisters" and pledged to work with them to create trade and defense treaties which will best serve the interests of all the people of this continent. While the exact details of the newly-established governments have not yet been revealed, it is expected that they will reflect the mores of the characteristic societies of each area.

Yeah... probably. A little optimistic on the timeline perhaps.

tet said...

Thanks for reading, knucklehead. The series, with this morning's post, is done for now, although I'll write a short-short far-future SF story as an epilogue on Saturday, probably.

I think that centralization in computing may be on the upswing, certainly the big outfits are doing so. I think we're in for a period where the two types will run in parallel for a while (pun intended.)

The CHON and trace elements from the comet were not destined for Earth, but for the Moon, since it will be a long time before it's commercially feasible to send consumables for a large colony from Earth. Both the earth-crossing asteroids and potentially a few comets have orbits that are energetically easier to reach than Luna. I figure Peter'd have his eye out for one of them early enough to get some venture capital together.

I had some commentary at the end of the comments section about resources and ecology in the near future in this post by Hanno last night--scroll down past the stupid "great man" flamewar that he and Prescott had.

Most of the email remarks on the series that I've gotten from experts in the various fields implies that I am being way, way too conservative in my dating and that the future's I'm portraying is not weird enough.

If we're actually skateboarding into the Singularity, they might be right. Spider Robinson's The Time Traveler not withstanding, I really believe that, while the technology of our future would be pretty surprising in some ways to someone from 1967, it'd be the social changes that would really blow them away.