Sunday, April 08, 2007

Grim visions?? - the world 30 years from now:

An interesting report worth a close read was released last week by England's Defense Ministry that talks about the world in about 30 years time from now...

Among the predictions:

-By 2035, an implantable "information chip" could be wired directly to the brain. A growing pervasiveness of communications technology will enable states, terrorists or criminals, to mobilize "flashmobs", with an ability to concentrate forces quickly in a small area.

-An electromagnetic pulse will probably become operational by 2035 able to destroy all communications systems in a selected area or be used against a "world city" such as an international business service hub

-The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx.
"The world's middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest". Marxism could also be revived, it says, because of global inequality. An increased trend towards moral relativism and pragmatic values will encourage people to seek the "sanctuary provided by more rigid belief systems, including religious orthodoxy and doctrinaire political ideologies, such as popularizm and Marxism".

-By 2010 more than 50% of the world's population will be living in urban rather than rural environments, leading to social deprivation and "new instability risks", and the growth of shanty towns. By 2035, that figure will rise to 60%.

-The global population is likely to grow to 8.5 billion in 2035, with less developed countries accounting for 98% of that.

-The massive population growth will mean the Middle East, and to a lesser extent north Africa, will remain highly unstable

-Tension between the Islamic world and the west will remain, and may increasingly be targeted at China "whose new-found materialism, economic vibrancy, and institutionalized atheism, will be an anathema to orthodox Islam".

-Iran will steadily grow in economic and demographic strength and its energy reserves and geographic location will give it substantial strategic leverage to turn "into a vibrant democracy".

-Acts of extreme violence, supported by elements within Islamist states, with media exploitation to maximize the impact of the "theatre of violence" will persist

-Climate change could lead to a reduction in north Atlantic salinity by increasing the freshwater runoff from the Arctic. "The drop in temperature might exceed that of the miniature ice age of the 17th and 18th centuries."

It also talks about the growing economic importance of India and China, the militarization of space, and even what it calls "declining news quality" with the rise of "internet-enabled, citizen-journalists" and pressure to release stories "at the expense of facts".
Yes, the Marxism and the Iran thing caught me a bit by surprise... Climate if not added is sacrilege, terrorist, population and violence related blurbs are fairly easily predicted. I liked the one about the chip in the brain bit...

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