20 predictions for the next 25 years

Various authors, Jan 12, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Between the class of pundits who make safe and boring predictions based on current events ('tablets will be big', 'gesture-based interfaces will be big'), those who make predictions in line with their own self-interest ('the classroom will never go away'), and those who say that you can't predict the future (as though they've never expected the Sun to rise or waited for their monthly paycheque) is that small, achingly small, class of pundits who actually grapple with the future and wrest out of it meaningful and probably reliable predictions. This article is a case in point, where 20 very informed writers each make one interesting prediction. The last three predictions (numbers 18, 19 and 20) are pretty weak, but there are some very strong and challenging points in the list. For example: 'The popular revolt against bankers will become impossible to resist.' And: 'Returning to a world that relies on muscle power is not an option.' And: ''Russia will become a global food superpower.' What does a world in which just those three statements are true look like? Not like our world.
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