In the context of this, let’s talk about some other technologies that are on the horizon:
– 3D Printing. 3D Printing will do to consumer goods what the internet did to music. Toys, tools and furniture will be pirated, downloaded and printed, cutting the need for distribution of anything but colored plastic.
Additionally, one thing that’s already being done with 3D printing is applying the technology to cooking. By taking the building blocks of nutrition at a chemical level, 3D printers can print basic foodstuffs. It’s not gourmet — though, who knows what the future holds — but it’s no worse than the other chemically engineered junk food people eat. So, not only will you not need to visit a toystore for your kids, you won’t need to go to the local convenience store for chips or hot pockets. Supply of these products will skyrocket, cutting the cost of food worldwide and making a dent in world hunger. It may not be perfect to be sustaining populations on nutrient-poor hot pockets, but starvation and childhood mortality, arguably the worst problems, will be replaced by nutrition issues later in life that could be treated with supplemental food sources.
– Space travel. It won’t be you or me, but space travel is coming. Specifically, low Earth orbit flight in a space ship will be the first consumer level application of space travel. Essentially what this means is you board a spacecraft that goes up much higher than a traditional plane, and, as a result of that altitude, flight times are drastically reduced. Some people predict that flights from the USA to China will decrease to under 3 hours.
In addition to this, the technology being perfected by SpaceX today — reusable rockets, makes colonization of other planets that much more feasible. Combined with space engines being worked on like the VASIMR engine, we’ll see a big step forward in the potential for space travel in our lifetimes. The VASIMR engine, to keep it simple, uses magnets and gas to expel plasma and generate thrust efficiently and smoothly which, in the vacuum of space, compounds upon itself to reach massive top speeds without having to burn tons of expensive fuel.
Pretty exciting right? Maybe the future won’t be the bleak dystopian hellscape everyone would have you believe.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!