What do you think the next technological age will be?
Thanks for A2A, and this is a tough question.
I think that before any new technological age dawns upon us, there will be a Money War. The general behavior of those who seek to rule over us since the start of the Industrial Revolution has been control through money. Our whole Fractional Reserve Banking system is about the private control of money and by restriction and "interest" control of the people. Bitcoin and other digital currencies which are finite cannot be subjected to interest or inflation because once the last digital coin is found, there is no more. Therefore, as the population keeps increasing, each piece of such currency will increase in value rather than suffer from inflation.
This will also be played out politically as "the age of information" has opened the way for people to realize that they are being hoodwinked by Corporations, hence the growing movement against lock-in Contracts like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this respect, I believe that many more countries will follow in the footsteps of Iceland and take back their national sovereignty.
Population will continue to grow and, once the financial caps have been removed, we will be able to feed the world. People are already trending toward "micro-homes" even in areas where it is not yet necessary. I think this is a mass consciousness change. As much as the internet has connected people globally but disconnected them locally, there will be a movement toward establishing "villages within cities" as those who can tear themselves away from the computer for more than five minutes at time seek to live more naturally rather than on manufactured food.
As for technology in general, I see two branches:
- Quantum Computing: Once the power of quantum computing reaches consumer hands it will transform computer gaming as we know it, and many of those who are addicted to existing computer games will be swallowed whole into Virtual Realities from which they won't want to be extracted.
- Genetic Mutilation: The war against GM is already underway but there are too many vegetable crops that have been contaminated. People are rebelling against this in a big way. The mega-rich will probably opt for designer babies despite our extremely limited knowledge of the human genome. These children will be shunned and outcast by the general population.
I may be painting a short-term grim picture, but I think the long-term result will be for the betterment of Mankind and the Earth in total.
I don't think we have ONE next. I think we have a half dozen or a dozen.
Previous "ages" (Space age, Industrial age, Steam age, Iron age, Bronze age)
Now we have (overlapping)
The Big Data Age (putting the spread of knowledge to use)
The Social Age (as we use this on a social system...putting social networks to use)
The Genetic/biotech age(as CRISPR and information age devices give us better and better feedback systems)
The Robotics age
The AI age
We've been living in an extension of the Industrial revolution for 150 years (steam power to petrol and diesel, to electricity) and now...in the same way that we saw steam/internal combustion/electricity alter what we could do with our bodies...we're at the transition point where we've begun doing the same thing with our minds. But because we're not as smart as we'll be in a few years...I can only make wild guesses.
The Age of Abundance. All of the means necessary to create sustainable abundance on a planetary scale now exist. Unless we screw up horribly-which we certainly could-it's almost inevitable that we will move in that direction. The question then becomes: how smooth and how fast is the path?
My proposal is to implement the necesary technologies and systems in one model city-state, first simulated to get the bugs out, and then physically built at one uninhabited location and further refined. With such a model city-state working well, and providing a far higher quality of life to people of all economic strata, the benefits of duplicating it will become obvious.
If we further design it to have an open source model and a "pay it forward" culture, duplication will be easy wherever there are people who are willing to share a basic set of values. I provide a suggested set of values in my book, but the actual values will be adopted by the initial residents. Those values should be comfortable for people who do not wish to force their own beliefs onto others.