Sunday, August 08, 2004

What will be the top 5 political issues 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years from now? Randall Parker (aka Futurepundit) makes the following guesses:
United States 2014:

1. Rising costs of medical spending for old folks.
2. Low salaries and low labor market participation rates for the bottom quarter of society.
3. Islamic terrorism.
4. United States debt to the rest of the world.
5. Funding for rejuvenation research.

United States 2024:

1. High costs of medical spending for old folks.
2. Funding for rejuvenation research.
3. The continuing decrease in the demand for the least skilled workers.
4. Genetic engineering choices for offspring personalities, cognitive abilities, and physical attributes.
5. Islamic terrorism.

United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada 2034:

1. Increased violence and other crime as all people become young, energetic, and motivated by youthful levels of desire once again. This will lead to a debate on whether governments should genetically reengineer the brains of criminals.
2. Debate over reproductive rights as death due to aging becomes rare. Should anyone be allowed to have as many kids as they would like?
3. Widening cognitive gap between the intellectually enhanced offspring and the older generations.
4. Political rights of artificial intelligences and allowable programming for their motives and values.
5. "Uplift" of other species with enhanced intelligence and allowable mental qualities of uplifted species. How smart are we going to allow our dogs to become? Even smarter than Border Collies?

World 2044:

1. Migration of cognitive elites to other planets.
2. Creation of new sovereign states by forced shifting of populations to separate cognitively incompatible groups. The sorting will be based not just on IQ (or even chiefly on IQ). Desires, values, religiosity, and other cognitive differences will become too great to allow harmonious existence of some groups with each other in the same society.
3. Religious escalating to armed conflicts will flow from genetically engineered causes of differences in religious beliefs and values.
4. Rivalry between large artificial intelligences.
5. Debates about cognitive qualities allowed in new biological life forms.

World 2054:

1. Humans controlled by artificial intelligences.
2. Cyborgs that are smarter than any human.
3. Wars between artificial intelligences.
4. Possible devastation by nanotech goo.
5. The high level of determinism achievable for the values and preferences of newly created intelligences.
Read more here.