The World Future Society (complete with a particularly egregious use of Helvetica) has some choice tidbits about our future.
Forecast #1: Generation Y will migrate heavily overseas.
This one’s the only one that’s truly new to me; and it’s also already evident in my friends.
Forecast #2: Dwindling supplies of water in China will impact the global economy.
This one has a typo. The word “China” appears to have been inserted randomly in the middle of the sentence. Dwindling supplies of water everywhere have been impacting the global economy for years. The situation in the middle east is partly about Israel’s control of water supplies, and the shrinking and polluted Aral sea is affecting Kazakh and Uzbek industry.
Forecast #3: Workers will increasingly choose more time over more money.
Duuuh. On the first day of my 10th grade English class, in 1992, our teacher said “Your generation is different because you care more about time than about money.” That was a prediction in 1992. It’s a fact in 2007.
Forecast #4: We’ll incorporate wireless technology into our thought processing by 2030.
This one’s a howler. “Wireless” technology? For those of you who don’t know what “wireless” means, it means “without wires.” I don’t know about you, but my brain already processes thoughts and interacts with the rest of the world in a purely wireless fashion. Seems like they threw in the word “wireless” because so many people are using “wireless” as a generic term for “hi-tech.” Wireless is a communication channel; methods of transmitting information are not the same as sheer computational power or breakthrough human-computer interfaces. The latter two may eventually improve our thought processing; “wireless” technology will not impact it any more than a national postal service did.
Forecast #5: Children’s “nature deficit disorder” will grow as a health threat.
I was unaware of this acronym-ready “nature deficit disorder” catch phrase. But, uh, being in nature is good for you? And people are exposed to nature less now that they live in big urban areas? NEWSFLASH!
Forecast #6: Outlook for Asia: China for the short term, India for the long term.
Forecast #7: The robotic workforce will change how bosses value employees.
Reminiscent of any familiar argument you’ve heard before? Oh, this is a real concern because big corporations value their employees so highly, right?
Forecast #8: The costs of global-warming-related disasters will reach $150 billion per year.
Guys, for everybody except the Republican Party, global warming was a prediction fifteen years ago. Today, it’s a fact, and the economic impacts are obvious.
Forecast #9: Companies will see the age range of their workers span four generations.
Wow, you read the US Census.
Forecast #10: A rise of disabled Americans will strain public transportation systems.
Wow, you read the US Census, and you’ve been driving to work so long you haven’t noticed that public transportation systems are already strained beyond the breaking point, not just for disabled people, but for everybody.
Predicting the future is hard. Your obvious and vacuous projections of current trends don’t impress me.