|Posted by straw prophet on September 5, 2011 at 8:05 PM|
What’s going to happen in the future.
There are four basic trends which are going to own the future over the next 20 years.
1> Power is about to become as cheap as information.
Nanosolar, Konarka, and the dozens of other solar power outfits who are pushing the price of solar down, down, down below the price of coal power, and towards the a few cents a watt for the panel, meaning your daylight power comes down below 1 cent per kilowatt hour, or maybe 20% of the cheapest current grid power.
The whole world is going to get electricity. In many areas, this will immediately lead to vast improvements in lifestyle and economic productivity as electric tractors, pumps, daytime-factories and many other applications are found for the newfound power.
2> Computers and cellphones are going to finish their global spread.
E-paper, cheap processors, gigantic solid state drives etc. rapidly push the informational revolution the rest of the way. And in the daytime you plug them into the panels.
3> Poor people are going to start getting angry.
With liberal access to information, they are going to become very, very politicized, en-masse, shortly after the arrival of the network. Totalitarian regimes that wish to impede the free flow of information will be faced with a stark choice: cripple the network, and retard their economic and social progress, or leave it open, and be exposed to the full brunt of network politics.
4> The entire system we currently call “government” is going to be challenged at every level.
Let me tell you why. Government is slow. Change is fast, government is slow, and the gap between the two fills with lost opportunity. Soon this gap is going to be larger than the positive functions of government, as things like spectrum regulation and inane copyright and patent law strangle progress in increasingly vital areas. Vested interests co-opt the collective power of the people and use it to line their own pockets at the expense of all, and as the network documents what is wrong, but the polling booths offer no remedy, cracks will begin to show.
In America you can see it around medical marijuana. In Sweden, it’s around copyright. In China, it’s about free speech and free access to information. In all cases, the problem is that governments are failing to adapt to the current conditions. People flow like water, but the governments stand like stones.
How long can this go on?