Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
3D TV. Toilet analysis. Driverless cars. Intelligent clothing. These are the easy predictions. From someone who has practically trademarked the phrase "in the future..." I want to see some hard predictions. Anybody can read Bruce Sterling or Neal Stephenson and come up with self-built hotels or do-it-yourself education. Or even Larry Niven to come up with flash mobs and organlegging. But where are the hard predictions? Here's a few:
- roads replaced with ribbons - with the rise of 'quantum locking' technology almost all energy-intensive travel (car, rail, air) will be replaced by the network of friction-free 'ribbons'. 'Ribbon sailing', though dangerous, will become a popular.
- no fixed address - people will carry what they own, and the most free will be the people with the fewest possessions; everything we need will be available for free at way-stations, so as a result, people will wander slowly from place to place.
- 'in-reading' - reading internally a stream of text (and/or images, etc) presented mentally (as a retinal projection, for example). In-reading will be touted as cognitively superior to the lazy and wasteful 'in-viewing' (which, as we all know, will never replace in-reading as a way to learn, and is just a cheap form of entertainment).

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Copyright 2021
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 12:20 p.m.