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[Archived] Futurology- The World In 2020.

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Most of the prediction stuff I have seen this New Year has been desperately second rate.

To my astonishment, the Daily Telegraph has produced by far the best two contributions:

2020 vision

The New Silk Road

For my part, I will make three predictions:

Barack Obama will rank amongst the greatest American Presidents ever.

Britain's attitude and relationship with Europe will change for the better as the world becomes multi-polar and individual European states find they don't have a chance of influencing world events alone. In this respect, Copenhagen sidelining of European states when it mattered is but a foretaste of what is to come.

Attitudes towards Islam will change in the same way as attitudes to Catholicism changed throughout the Northern Ireland troubles. In other words people will come to separate the force for good from the morons who besmirch its name.

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"Surgeons will use “non-invasive” techniques, entering through the body’s natural orifices rather than using scalpels to enter.

Dr Max Pemberton, author and doctor"


...but seriously, I'll chuck in a few of my own for you:

By 2020:

- the computer mouse will go the way of the floppy disk as gestures, pinching and flailing arms become the norm for interacting in the digital world. A significant increase in sexual harassment cases and accidental workplace injuries will accompany this.

- the first truly artificially intelligent systems will appear. Helpdesk callers will be unable to distinguish between real and computer agents, despite the 'Punjab plugin' that will simulate an Indian accent.

- Cars will begin to introduce computerised decision making, taking over from the human. Obscene gestures, swearing and blaring horns will be replaced by a simple message projected at the offending car using easy to read text such as "Tw@! U n00b dr1va!"

- 50 will be the new 40, people will live longer but poorer quality of life as we get so fat we can barely move. Worlds fattest person to be 400kg+.

- Home schooling will become more popular as web based learning becomes the norm. Every kid will be top of the class and come first in everything.

- AT LEAST ONE of Branson's space ships (that don't really go into space) will crash, killing a score of multi-millionaires. Most of us won't shed a tear.

- NO PHIL! - Barrack Obama will be remembered as the most overrated, overhyped man of the 21st Century as people finally come to their senses and realise one man cannot change a system so deeply entrenched and staunchly defended by self-interested corporations and their political buddies. Loonies will still run around the streets crying "CHANGE!" whenever his name is mentioned.

- Rovers will still be in the top division of football, whatever it is called by then, and will have been bought out, by me, hopefully. Burnley will be sucked into a stray blackhole that escapes from the LHC.

And I'll be back to make more wacky predictions ;-)

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Obama as one of the greatest ever presidents? He's basically already cocked up his chances of that. Health care reform? Banking crisis? Guantanamo Bay?

What's going to be "his" thing? Is he going to make school buses blue instead of yellow?

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Conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan is pretty impressed with Obama's achievements to date.

My opinion is that Obama is playing a long game extremely effectively. Faced with an utterly nihilistic opposition who have no interest in governance and cynically attack their own proposals when they are incorporated in Obama-inspired legislation (Exhibit A- health care reform), Obama is smartly using their own idiocy to move forwards.

Case in point- the multiple agencies of domestic security in the USA bequeathed by Bucheney are a vast bloated bureaucracy which deliver mass buggeration but prescious little effective security. There are roughly 1.5 billion muslims in the world and 500,000 of them have now been gathered onto the Department of Homeland Security's non-no fly list. So roughly speaking, if you follow Muhammed you have a 1 in 3,000 chance of being on the list. In reality, if you a Moslim and might conceivably travel to the USA, there are considerably less than 1.5 billion of you and the likelihood of being on the Bucheney list is probably more like 1 in 300.

Unless of course your Dad goes to the trouble of actually finding the Head of Mission of the CIA in your country and tells him he thinks you are a terrorist currently in Yemen in which case you can fly without let or hindrance from Sanaa to Lagos to Amsterdam to Detroit on one way tickets bought with cash and only carrying hand luggage.

This episode combined with the devastating assessment of the utter failure of American so-called intelligence in Afghanistan is a damning indictment of the recently past US regime so utterly naive that it actually thought "evidence" obtained under torture is in some way reliable. Churchill didn't believe it which is why it was totally banned on the allied side in WW2- an event of rather more portent and danger to civilsation as we know it than anything the Bucheney cowboys could conceive of- and the Head of the British Security Forces for much of the last decade explained that the briefings given to the UK Cabinet always highlighted as unreliable any "intelligence" they believed to have been obtained by the Americans by torturing people. Sadly it appears the breach of international law and Geneva Convention perpetrated by the Americans was copied by some disgusting Brits as well.

What Obama is clearly doing now by telling the agencies they have completely failed with the undie bomber is potentially going to re-calibrate the whole charade he took over from Bucheney at a time and in a way that is least costly in terms of drawing opposition ire.

That is this guy's style and piece by piece he is being quietly remarkably effective.

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I'll be married to my current girlfriend and we will probably begin trying for a child.

There will be a Lib Dem revolution as Labour and the Tories, become ever more indistinguishable and intertwined.

The PS5 will be commissioned and maybe even on sale. It's main feature being a virtual reality world where you can physically move in your gaming world rather than the current buttoned pads of today.

Bruce Forsyth and Margaret Thatcher will still not have bloody died yet.

Prince Charles will die in his coronation and the throne immediately passed on to William, who will lead Britain into a new age, where we return to being England, rather than Britain, as Prince Harry takes on his Grandad's duties of insulting everybody.

The next global musical superstar will be some scruffy kids with harmonica's from the back of a rusty caravan in Sweden.

China as an entity will have collapsed under the weight of being far too over populated (with more people than the rest of the world put together.

Jedward vs Ant and Dec becomes World War 5

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Why do people think things will change? Not a lot happened in the last decade really. Infact it was very much like the phone book - a few interesting people, many uninteresting people, and at the end loads of Polish turned up.

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