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( Thirty five minute read)

We all want to know the future.New Scientist Default Image

Unfortunately, the future isn’t talking. It’s just coming, like it or not being able to see the future might not play to our advantage.

Let’s not kid ourselves: Everything we think we know now is just an approximation to something we haven’t yet found out.

To imagine and think about the future, is a risky task that frequently ends up in an incomplete, subjective, sometimes vacuous exercise that, normally, faces a number of heated discussions.

Thinking about the future requires imagination and also rigour so we must guard against the temptation to choose a favourite future and prepare for it alone.

In a world where shocks like pandemics and extreme weather events owing to climate change, social unrest and political polarization are expected to be more frequent, we cannot afford to be caught off guard again.

Let’s look at some of the areas that are and will cause everything from wars to radical changes.


Every day, we use a wide variety of automated systems that collect and process data. Such “algorithmic processing” is ubiquitous and often beneficial, underpinning many of the products and services we use in everyday life.

This is why we now need to thoroughly understand what’s at stake and what we can (and cannot) do … today.

Otherwise it is an ill wind for the next 60/100 years.

But what does the future hold for ordinary mortals, and how will we adapt to it?

We have been searching the universe for signs that we are not alone. So far, we have found nothing.

Given our genome and the physiological, anatomical and mental landscapes it conjures, what could Homo sapiens really become – and what is forever beyond our reach?

It’s hard to know what to fear the most.

Even our own existence is no longer certain.

Threats loom from many possible directions: a giant asteroid strike, global warming, a new plague, or nanomachines going rogue and turning everything into grey goo or the dreaded self inflicted nuclear wipe out.   However we look at it, the future appears bleak.

Where is all of this leading us?

What we do now set the foundations for a future.

The chaos theory taught us that the future behaviour of any physical system is extraordinarily sensitive to small changes – the flap of a butterfly’s wings can set off a hurricane, as the saying goes.

Computers simulations of future reality of a world are already producing ever more accurate predictions of what is to come, showing us that we are under immense stress, environmentally, economically and politically instabilities.

There is no God that’s is going to change the direction we on or save humanity from self destruction, its in our hands



We already live in a world powered by nuclear fusion. Unfortunately the reactor is 150 million kilometres away and we haven’t worked out an efficient way to tap it directly. So we burn its fossilised energy – coal, oil and gas – which is slowly boiling the planet alive, like a frog in a pan of water.

Fusion would largely free us from fossil fuels, delivering clean and extremely cheap energy in almost unlimited quantities.

Or would it? Fusion power would certainly be cleaner than burning fossil fuels, but it …Fusion works on the principle that energy can be released by forcing together atomic nuclei rather than by splitting them, as in the case of the fission reactions that drive existing nuclear power stations.

Sadly it won’t help in our battle to lessen the effects of climate change.


Because there’s huge uncertainty about when fusion power will be ready for commercialisation. One estimate suggests maybe 20 years. Then fusion would need to scale up, which would mean a delay of perhaps another few decades. Fusion is not a solution to get us to 2050 net zero. This is a solution to power society in the second half of this century.



Billions of dollars continue to be funnelled into AI research. And stunning advances are being made but at what future cost.

Are we at the point in time at which machine intelligence starts to take off, and a new more intelligent species starts to inhabit Earth?

Synthetic life would make the point in a way the wider world could not ignore. Moreover, creating it in the lab would prove that the origin of life is a relatively low hurdle, increasing the odds that we might find life.


Neither physical strength nor access to capital are sufficient for economic success. Power now resides with those best able to organize knowledge. The internet has eliminated “middlemen” in most industries, removing a great deal of corruption but replacing it with profit seeking Algorithms that are widely used increasing the inequality gaps.



Personnel with the 175th Cyberspace Operations Group conduct cyber operations at Warfield Air National Guard Base, Middle River, Maryland, US, 2017

What does future warfare look like?

It’s here already.

Up goes digital technology, artificial intelligence and cyber. Down goes the money for more traditional hardware and troop numbers.

The present war in the Ukraine is the laboratory for machine learning decision killing, with autonomy in weapons systems –  precision guided munitions. (Autonomous weapon system: A weapon system that, once activated, can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human operator.) This includes human-supervised autonomous weapon systems that are designed to allow human operators to override operation of the weapon system, but can select and engage targets without further human input after activation.

(AI)-enabled lethal autonomous weapons in Ukraine, might make new types of autonomous weapons desirable.

There is still no internationally agreed upon definition of autonomous weapons or lethal autonomous weapons.

‘Fire and forget’ 

Many of the aspects of a major conflict between the West and say, Russia or China, have already been developed, rehearsed and deployed.


A triptych image showing from left to right: a firefighter in front of a fire; dry, cracked ground; and a hurricane near Florida, U.S.


Global climate change is not a future problem with some of the changes now irreversible over the next hundreds to thousands of years.

The severity of effects caused by climate change will depend on the path of future human activities.

Climate models predict that Earth’s global average temperature will rise an additional 4° C (7.2° F) during the 21st Century if greenhouse gas levels continue to rise at present levels. A warmer average global temperature will cause the water cycle to “speed up” due to a higher rate of evaporation. Which means we are looking at a future with much more rain and snow, and a higher risk of flooding to some regions. Changes in precipitation will not be evenly distributed.

Over the past 100 years, mountain glaciers in all areas of the world have decreased in size and so has the amount of permafrost in the Arctic. Greenland’s ice sheet is melting faster, too. The amount of sea ice (frozen seawater) floating in the Arctic Ocean and around Antarctica is expected to decrease. Already the summer thickness of sea ice in the Arctic is about half of what it was in 1950. Arctic sea ice is melting more rapidly than the Antarctic sea ice. Melting ice may lead to changes in ocean circulation, too. Although there is some uncertainty about the amount of melt, summer in the Arctic Ocean will likely be ice-free by the end of the century.

Abrupt changes are also possible as the climate warms.

Earth Will Continue to Warm and the Effects Will Be Profound.

The consequences of any of them are so severe, and the fact that we cannot retreat from them once they’ve been set in motion is so problematic, that we must keep them in mind when evaluating the overall risks associated with climate change.



History—particularly migration history—has shown time and again, that large population movements are often a result of single, hard-to-predict events such as large economic or political shocks.

Imagining migration’s future is urgent, especially now, when we are witnessing the highest movement of people in modern history, which is presented in a political context with strong populist and nationalist overtones, peppered with growing inequality in and between countries; in addition to an environmental crisis and a growing interconnection and proliferation of information that is usually deliberately distorted.

In today’s acts rests the seed of what we will harvest tomorrow. What we do today with and for the migrants will define not only their future but also ours.

We will always struggle to anticipate key changes in migration flows but that it’s more important to set up systems that can deal with different alternative outcomes and adjust flexibly. Most Western countries no longer openly support or defend the universality of human rights. Most countries apply “multilateralism à la carte”, that is, they participate only in multilateral agreements that strictly benefit their national interest.

Migration control systems collapsed because the international community failed to develop multilateral migration governance regimes. The international protection system has ended up being irrelevant. Many people are moving, the number of displaced people has increased dramatically as well as the number of refugees – The Trojan horses.

Immigration isn’t a new phenomenon, but with the effects of the future climate the scale and variety of countries from which people are moving will be greater than ever.

The idea that you have to learn a foreign language to make yourself understood in your own country is no longer a probability.

We now have immigration from everywhere in the world.

Very few people have issues with genuinely high skilled migrants coming over to work as doctors or scientists. The anxieties are always around mass immigration of low skilled labour (and in particularly about those from diametrically opposed cultures with completely different norms and values). As for the ageing populations thing, replacing your population with younger migrants from different cultures does technically solve the ageing population problem but then you end up with a completely different culture and country…

What ever you think, it’s becoming more difficult to do the old-style identity politics where you found a particular group and did what they wanted.  Effectively assimilating people from the Muslim world looks to be a particular difficult.

Nearly all nations are mongrels



By imagining alternative futures for education we can better think through the outcomes, develop agile and responsive systems
and plan for future shocks .We have already integrated much of our life into our smartphones, watches and digital personal
assistants in a way that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago.
The underlying question is: to what extent are our current spaces, people, time and technology in schooling helping or hindering
our vision?
It would involve re-envisioning the spaces where learning takes place. Schools could disappear altogether.

Brute force algorithm: This is the most common type in which we devise a solution by exploring all the possible scenarios.

Greedy algorithm: In this, we make a decision by considering the local (immediate) best option and assume it as a global optimal.

Divide and conquer algorithm: This type of algorithm will divide the main problem into sub-problems and then would solve them individually.

Backtracking algorithm: This is a modified form of Brute Force in which we backtrack to the previous decision to obtain the desired goal.

Randomized algorithm: As the name suggests, in this algorithm, we make random choices or select randomly generated numbers.

Dynamic programming algorithm: This is an advanced algorithm in which we remember the choices we made in the past and apply them in future scenarios.

Recursive algorithm: This follows a loop, in which we follow a pattern of the possible cases to obtain a solution.

90.72% of people in the world cell phone owners. Algorithms are everywhere.
Algorithmic systems, particularly modern Machine Learning (ML) approaches, pose significant risks if deployed and managed
without due care. They can amplify harmful biases that lead to discriminatory decisions or unfair outcomes that reinforce
They can be used to mislead consumers and distort competition. Further, the opaque and complex nature by which
they collect and process large volumes of personal data can put people’s privacy rights in jeopardy. 
Now more than ever it is vital that we understand and articulate the nature and severity of these risks.
Those procuring and/or using algorithms often know little about their origins and limitations
There is a lack of visibility and transparency in algorithmic processing, which can undermine accountability.
They are already being woven into many digital products and services.
Algorithmic processing is already leading to society-wide harms making automated decisions that can potentially vary the cost of,
or even deny an individual’s access to, a product, service, opportunity or benefit.  
For example, using live facial recognition at a stadium on matchday could impact rights relating to
freedom of assembly, or track an individual’s behaviour online, which may infringe their right to privacy.
At the moment there is very little transparently in providing information about how and where algorithmic processing takes place
or how they are deployed, such as the protocols and procedures that govern there use, whether they are overseen by a human
operator, and whether there are any mechanisms through which people can seek redress. The number of players involved in
algorithmic supply chains is leading to confusion over who is accountable for their proper development and use.
As the number of use cases for algorithmic processing grows, so too will the number of questions concerning the impact of
algorithmic processing on society.
Already there are many gaps in our knowledge of this technology, with myths and misconceptions commonplace.
They are the TikTok erosion of human values for profit, that will become the full individual personalization of content and
pedagogy (enabled by cutting-edge technology, using body information, facial expressions or neural signals) for commercial
platforms to rival Government’s.  
In a world of mounting inequalities, the question of who benefits and misses out from bioengineering advances looms large. 
Unfortunately, we don’t have space here to talk about all the effects in the future concerning Bioengineering. 
Artificial organs or limbs, the genetic synthesis of new organisms, gene editing, the computerized simulation of surgery, medical imaging technology and tissue/organ regeneration.
Like any other technology, bioengineering has damaging potential, whether it be through misuse, weaponization or accidents.
This risk can create significant threats with large potential consequences to public health, privacy or to environmental safety.
Foreseeing the impacts of bioengineering technologies is urgently needed.
All these issues have implications for academics, policymakers and the general public and range from neuronal probes for human enhancement to carbon sequestration.
These issues will not unfold in isolation:
Biotechnological discoveries are increasingly facilitated by automated and roboticides, private ‘cloud labs’.
The effects on biodiversity and ecosystems have not been fully studied.
Protein engineering and machine learning, leading to the creation of novel compounds within the industry (e.g. new catalysts for un-natural reactions) and medical applications (e.g. selectively destroying damaged tissue which is key for some diseases).
These newly created proteins have the potential to be used as weapons due to their high lethality.
Healthcare is facing a tug of war between democratization and elite therapies.
Plant strains which sequester carbon more effectively, rapidly and can even aid solar photovoltaics (the production of electricity from light) and light-sustained biomanufacturing.
Due to political unrest and the spread of fake news, citizens are scared about this approach and protest against it.
These issues will shape the future of bioengineering and must shape modern discussions about its political, societal and economic impact. This is now a very complicated question with no foreseeable answer.

To answer we have to think about how we got here in the first place. Of course “The herd” might not want to think about something like this.

DEMOCRACY.                                                                  ———–

Our democracy is in crisis. Many institutions of our government are dysfunctional and getting worse.

Our politics have become alarmingly acrimonious;

Technology is enriching some and leaving the vast majority behind.

Democracy, has never been without profound flaws, cannot be taken for granted. Trust in political institutions – including the electoral process itself – are at an all-time low. Societies the world over are experiencing a strong backlash to a system of government that has largely been the hallmark of developed nations for generations

We don’t know where it’s heading as politicians are now basically middlemen to Social media which is changing the way people viewed their political leaders as under constant pressure promoted by populist as a result all decomacies are now “flawed” and exposed to the vulnerability of pure democracy to the tyranny of the majority

We don’t know how serious it is.  So, what’s going on?

What’s behind the erosion of a political system that’s guided the world’s most developed economies for decades?


As a result government’s are becoming more and more soulless, in failing to talk about the things that mattered to people.

With political parties running away from talking about the issues that matter to people.

When people feel threatened, either physically – by terrorism, say – or economically, they tend to be more receptive to authoritarian populist appeals and more willing to give up certain freedoms. When people are saying they can’t stomach any more immigration, when they don’t know if they’re going to be able to retire or what kind of jobs their kids are going to get, the political elite needs to listen and adapt or things are going to unravel.

Some may argue that this is because governments no longer feel like they are “of the people, by the people, for the people.

Maybe we are going to have some shocking lessons about the durability of democracy.

Non-democratic states have many forms, like China’s meritocratic system – in which government officials are not elected by the public, but appointed and promoted according to their competence and performance – should not be dismissed outright.

A democratic system can live with corruption because corrupt leaders can be voted out of power, at least in theory. But in a meritocratic system, corruption is an existential threat. Elections are a safety valve that isn’t available in China so the government is not subject to the electoral cycle and can focus on its policies while the West has tried to export democracy not only at the point of a gun, but also by imposing legislation. The whole idea is wrong in principle because democracy is not ours to dispense.

The US and Western Europe have we hope  abandoned most of their ambitions for regime change around the world.

So looking inwards may be no bad thing. If the West wants to promote democracy then they should do it by example.

How do we reconcile that with democracy millions of citizens?

Hence, the knowledge revolution should bring a shift to direct democracy, but those who benefit from the current structure are fighting this transition. This is the source of much angst around the world, including the current wave of popular protests.

Smaller political entities should find the evolution toward direct democracy easier to achieve than big, sprawling governments.
Today’s great powers have little choice but to spend their way to political stability, which is unsustainable, and/or try to control knowledge, which is difficult.

Each individual’s share of sovereignty, and therefore their freedom, diminishes as the social contract includes more people.

So, other things being equal, smaller countries would be freer and more democratic than larger ones.

I’m not sure we can. It worked pretty well for a long time but maybe, as population grows.

Rising seas could affect three times more people by 2050 than previously thought, some 150 million people are now living on land
that will be below the high-tide line by mid-century. Defensive measures can go only so far. We know that it’s coming.

The math is catching up to us – the amount of Co2 – the number of refugees / immigrants, the inequality gap, the numbers dying in wars~ natural disasters, the erosion of democracy, trust.

We need to know in plain English and without hype or hysteria of  technologies ,social media, or selective algorithms news, only then will we begin to understand what’s coming and how to begin preparing yourself.

impossible to know everything about a quantum system such as an atom.

President Vladimir Putin cast the confrontation with the West over the Ukraine war as an existential battle for the survival of Russia and the Russian people – and said he was forced to take into account NATO’s nuclear capabilities.

Putin is increasingly presenting the war as a make-or-break moment in Russian history – and saying that he believes the very future of Russia and its people is in peril. “In today’s conditions, when all the leading NATO countries have declared their main goal as inflicting a strategic defeat on us, so that our people suffer as they say, how can we ignore their nuclear capabilities in these conditions?” Putin said.

completely unaware of the relentless pressure that’s building right now.

wasn’t always the United States. Nothing requires it to remain so. At some point, it will develop into something else.


Globalization vs. Regionalization, US-centric vs China-centric.

Modern Western economies have become knowledge based.

Technology and political trends are aligning against mega-powers like the US and China.

The West is beset with widening wealth gaps, shrinking middle classes and fractured societies.

There is only one country that has got it right Norway.

This small Scandinavian country of 5 million people does things differently.

It has the lowest income inequality in the world, helped by a mix of policies that support education and innovation. It also channels the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, which manages its oil and gas revenues, into long-term economic planning.

Norway does not have a statutory minimum wage, but 70% of its workers are covered by collective agreements which specify wage floors. Furthermore, 54% of paid workers are members of unions. The government has prioritised education as a means to diversify its economy and foster higher and more inclusive growth.

The Norwegian state heavily subsidies childcare, capping fees and using means-testing so that places are affordable, although some parents report difficulty in finding an available place. Norway has provided for 49 weeks of parental leave at full pay (or 59 weeks at 80% of earnings). Additionally, mothers and fathers must take at least 14 weeks off each after the birth of a child.

Currently some 98% of its energy comes from renewable sources, mainly hydropower.

While Norway is more fortunate than most, it does offer some valuable lessons to policy-makers from other parts of the world.

A Roman Catholic priest officiates mass on the first day of trading at the Philippine Stock Exchange in Manila (Credit: Getty Images)


Religions never do really die.

We take it for granted that religions are born, grow and die – but we are also oddly blind to that reality.

When we recognise a faith, we treat its teachings and traditions as timeless and sacrosanct. And when a religion dies, it becomes a myth, and its claim to sacred truth expires. If you believe your faith has arrived at ultimate truth, you might reject the idea that it will change at all. But if history is any guide, no matter how deeply held our beliefs may be today, they are likely in time to be transformed or transferred as they pass to our descendants – or simply to fade away.

As our civilisation and its technologies become increasingly complex, could entirely new forms of worship emerge?

We might expect the form that religion takes to follow the function it plays in a particular society –  that different societies will invent the particular gods they need.

The future of religion is that it has no future.

Perhaps with the march of science it  is leading to the “disenchantment” of society so supernatural answers to the big questions will be no longer felt to be needed. We also need to be careful when interpreting what people mean by “no religion”. “Nones” may be disinterested in organised religion, but that doesn’t mean they are militantly atheist. Accordingly, there are very many ways of being an unbeliever. The acid test, as true for neopagans as for transhumanists, is whether people make significant changes to their lives consistent with their stated faith.

People have started constructing faiths of their own. Consider the “Witnesses of Climatology”, a fledgling “religion” invented to foster greater commitment to action on climate change.

In fact, recognition is a complex issue worldwide, particularly since there is no widely accepted definition of religion even in academic circles.

A supercomputer is turned on and asked: is there a God? Now there is, comes the reply.

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