OK, this is it. You heard it here first. This is the future… or at least what I think the future will be like. What will the world be like in 2025?
1) My kid will be getting his driver’s license at the end of the year. Therefore, self-driving cars are a must. Indeed, having just watched him play Hydro Thunder Hurricane, I was stunned and little terrified by the casual disregard for solid objects in his path. Still, self-driving cars are, I think, coming into their own. If nothing else, simply for allowing a commuter to read e-mails while the car maintains 3 mph on the “expressway”.
2) Which brings me to my next prediction. A desktop quantum computer. I predict that this computer will have the rough computing power of Watson.
Watson is composed of a cluster of ninety IBM Power 750 servers, each of which uses a 3.5 GHz POWER7 eight core processor, with four threads per core. In total, the system has 2,880 POWER7 processor cores and has 16 terabytes of RAM.
Of course, 99.99% of that computing power will be taken up by the Microsoft Windows Quantum operating system (also known as “Windows to the Universe”). Actual available computing power will be about twice what an iPhone 6 has now. And the vast majority of users will still use it solely for Facebook, Netflix, and shopping at Amazon.
3) Which is a nice segue into the next prediction. Movies are doomed. There is no sense in going to see Sense and Sensibility on a 10k IMAX screen with 700 speakers and full haptic feedback seats. There will be only one reason that movie theaters still exist… Marvel. Yep, the corporate monster that is Disney and Marvel will take over the entire “going to the movies” experience. Future Marvel Universe films will never be released in any format. You can only go see them at your local Disney Theater. But that’s the ONLY thing you can see there (except for once a month when they play the classics, The Black Hole, The Black Cauldron, and The Cat From Outer Space).
4) Instead, even the slummiest of low rent homes will have a full entertainment deck. This system (made by any number of quality manufacturers who are not Apple) will be TV, theater, concert hall (those, surprisingly aren’t dead, but no one can ever afford to actually go to one), video games, work station, and school all in one. The display unit will be an entire wall in one room. The thing can be subdivided into different sections for when multiple people need to use it at once. Kids will do their homework, while dad drives his remote controlled forklift. Mom can prep dinner and talk to her sisters and grandma can watch Telemundo using her Bose InstaEnglish headphones(tm).
5) Schools are doomed too… as are non-service offices. With everyone able to work from home, why are we spending all that money for giant buildings that are empty 2/3rds of the time? Adults will work from home (even doctors) and kids will go to school at home. Various publishers will compete for your education dollars just like now (except skipping the schools part). Parents will want (as they do now) a very cheap system that prepares their gifted child for life as a senator. Kids (as they do now) want an easy system that they can complete with minimum effort. The result (as is now) is you get some kids who really learn, the vast majority do enough to get by, and a few cyberbully other kids into writing their papers for them. State departments of education still exist, mainly to ensure that all publishers meet the requirements for their state (or Texas or California since those are the two biggest education markets) and test kids to make sure that they have some minimum knowledge before going to college… which is now free, because anything less than a bachelor’s degree is considered as undesirable as a middle school dropout is today.
6) Government. Politics is difficult to predict. However, I feel safe in saying that the vast majority of people feel as disenfranchised as ever, but progressive policies will become more common. My big prediction is that the US will be a one party country by 2025. Sure, there will be four or five little minor parties (The Greens, Libertarians, Communists, Republicans, Tea Party), but except for a few local elections, the primaries will be the actual election.
7) I think that we will have function fusion power plants in 2025. But there’s so much solar power that only countries in the highest latitudes bother to build them. However, we (well Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos) will be testing a fusion torch ship that can provide a steady 1G of thrust all the way to Mars and back. This makes it a 5-6 day trip depending on where the planets are when they leave. Musk will already have designers working on an interstellar spaceship. It’d take roughly 3 years to get to Alpha Centauri.
8) Fossil fuels will already be an almost historic relic. There will still be refineries and a little drilling. Mainly for those people that are too paranoid of government and science to purchase electric cars. Automobile collectors will be hoarding gasoline and oil like squirrels gathering nuts in Westeros.
9) There will be, basically, two types of people in the world. ReligoFreaks ™ and normal people. There will always be people who reject evolution, cloning (organs, not people), climate change, women’s rights, medicine, you know… reality. However, the rest of the world (as it does now) will continue moving on without them. The children of these kinds of people will either become just like them or grow up and move on into the real world with the rest of us.
10) I mentioned cloning organs. This will still be fairly new and not covered under basic insurance (in the US, everyone else in the world will be able to do this). But we’ll be able to force grow a new organ in 3-8 weeks depending on complexity. Surgery, as mentioned, will be done remotely by whomever you can afford (hopefully not a guy who is sitting next to his kid watching Crank 33).
So, that’s it. My prediction for the future. While the content is humorous, the predictions are real!
What did I get wrong? What did I get right? What did I miss? Discuss!