- The Chinese will have sent humans to the moon.
- A manned mission to Mars will be Real Soon Now.
- We'll have strong evidence for life on some number of extrasolar planets, but I doubt we could conclusively tell if that life was "intelligent" or not.
- We'll have some blotchy extrasolar planet surface images, once we build a Luciola-class hypertelescope.
- The kernel (name unknown) will be many gigabytes of C source, taking a whole minute to compile.
- C will still be a "dying language". Java who? Oh that's those old guys who work for insurance companies?
- Rich people will be able to live essentially forever, through pharmaceutical / surgical interventions.
- Most cancers will be manageable. You'll expect to die from something other than cancer even when diagnosed with it. Getting a cancer diagnosis will be a bit like getting an HIV diagnosis today if you're in the first world: totally bummed, but you know life will go on for a while, as long as you keep taking your pills.
- We'll have finally outgrown the x86 instruction set, except in some niche legacy-dependent contexts. A bit like the PDP-11's status now. I doubt that that means we'll be using amd64 instead, because I think we'll increasingly outgrow the need for instruction-level backwards compatibility. Most of your desktop apps will be implemented in an interpreted language, or perhaps in a JVM-style monitor.
- There will be one or two asteroids we know we'll have to deflect at some point in the next 1000 years.
- All of our deserts, and then some, will be covered in solar panels. Whether PV or solar thermal plant, I don't know - probably some equilibrium based on weather conditions.
- Commercial fusion power will become available Real Soon Now.
- We will, or will have, spent another order of magnitude of money on a moar biggerer particle accelerator.
- Space cadets will still be dreaming about space elevators, while decrying the inefficiencies of chemical rockets, which somehow still just get the job done, and mostly reliably so.
- Africa will be suffering a dozen or two civil wars, and most of its countries will be bad places to live: you'll be poor, exposed to crime, and basically every one of David Bullard's stereotypes will be proving themselves true.
- We'll still be driving cars, albeit fewer of us, and we'll still be moaning about the price of fuel, yet we'll still drive 500m to the shop.
Friday, January 21, 2011
In 2050 I'll be an old man. These are my expectations: