Falcone's Crossroads

Where This Meets That

2020 Vision: The Changing World – Introduction

A year ago, I posted “The Future Today”, a discussion about our ever-increasing rate of technological advancement. I mentioned then that our computing power is increasing exponentially, doubling roughly every 18 months, according to Moore’s law.

Theoretical physicist and author Michio Kaku notes that, because of this consistent rate of advance, we can roughly predict not only what capabilities we will gain but also when, according to the laws of physics, we will exhaust the limits of our current silicon microchip. In his 1997 book Visions, he estimates that we must shift to a different computer medium around the year 2,020.

Our candidates to replace silicon are numerous and fascinating enough in their own right (including optical, holographic, genetic, and even quantum computers) but are beyond the scope of this new series of posts. What I’m interested in here are the possibilities that lie within our reach before Kaku’s projected silicon horizon.

2020 Vision

Emerging technologies are fascinating to me, so I thought it would be fun to kick off a series of posts that visualize our world in the year 2,020. What technologies will we use in all areas of life, from our homes and schools to our military and media to our transportation and recreation just a few short but profoundly revolutionary years from now?

Over the coming weeks, I will peek through the portal of the next eight years.  While I do so, I ask you to remember that our world is changing faster than ever before, due to the exponential rate of technological advance. Imagine this: at present rate, according to Moore’s law, by 2,020, our computing power will be over forty times what it is today, and what we have today is greater than in all of history combined. Therefore, some of what I suggest may seem pretty far out or at least aggressively forecast.  However, I will say in advance that many ideas I will present already exist in some form in labs, others in writings of credible “futurists”, and yet others will come from my own musings (which, in all likelihood, also fall into the first two categories).

It should be an eye- and mind-opening exercise, so I hope you’ll follow along and add your thoughts as we go . . . to 2020!


2 comments on “2020 Vision: The Changing World – Introduction

  1. Shan
    October 15, 2011

    I’ve heard so many predictions including – contacts>computer monitor – (yes, eye contacts) Boring meeting? Go ahead and browse the web-clean out your inbox, or surf the web for information needed in the meeting – be the great idea guru or problem solver by ‘googling’ the info etc. – Timeline – within 20 years.
    Most of us have never seen, in person, anything to approach this. However when you see in NCIS where they ‘throw’ the computer display onto the wall with just a wave of the hand, it certainly causes one to think.
    Growing up when NASA had the computers which used rooms full of databanks, it was hard for me to believe when, in 1995 the predictions were 25% of all homes would have computers. I thought the numbers must’ve been skewed to include scientific calculators.
    Now I look at my Iphone which is a ‘universe’ of technology beyond my 1st 456 computer, and it all fits in my pocket – Yes, it will certainly be hard to keep up with technology over the next 20 years and beyond.

  2. Shirley Whiteside McCormack
    October 15, 2011

    Blows my mind.

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This entry was posted on October 15, 2011 by in Crossing Guard, Philosophers' Row and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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