It is impossible to predict the future. This is obvious when you look back & then see how the World has developed. In my lifetime I have seen the rise of communism in East & Central Europe; I have seen the collapse of Apartheid.
As a result of the said collapse of communism in East & Central Europe, there are many, possibly millions of people, living in the UK & other West Europe countries.
Nobody, say 3 decades ago, foresaw the internet. Indeed in 1950 when computers were invented, it was confidently asserted that 2 computers would be enough for the entire United Kingdom.
It used to be asserted that as society developed, automation would render it unnecessary for people to work more than they wanted. People might, for example, work 2 days in a factory making something useful. They might spend the rest of the week in art or education. People would be happy. It was as though human nature was due to be changed for the better.
This hasn’t happened. Unemployment is regarded as a scourge. But people do not ask to be born. People are born & then find themselves in a cruel & unrelenting world, interspersed by moments of novelty & happiness. Often that happiness is nothing more than shadenfreude. Spectator sports provide an opportunity to enjoy the suffering of others. The Romans used to provide games for the populace which involved thousands of fellow human beings being executed. Children are conditioned into thinking that to fail to get a job, fail to work, fail to acquire the accoutrements of wealth is to waste their lives which should be what is called fulfilling their potential. When I was young, people used to refer to people keeping up with Jones’. In fact it was a disparaging phrase. These days people are encouraged to consume ad nauseam.
Wars have continued; I don’t think many people thought that war would end. I don’t think the collapse of communism in East & Central Europe nor the rise of fundamental Islam was foreseen. I don’t think anyone foresaw the rise of woman trafficking.
The future doesn’t look good. What with climate change, economic meltdown, the rise of organised crime, overpopulation, the diminution of other species, soil erosion, weapons of mass destruction. It all seems to be moving towards cataclysm.
In fact there were many predicting that man was badly damaging the environment. Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring predicted that the human race would damage the planet irrevocably.
I would say that the proliferation of television channels was predicted. Indeed, the march of technology has been even greater than predicted. When I was growing up, such gadgets as answering machines – nearly always Panasonic & colour television were seen almost unattainable heaven.
People didn’t seem to perceive the obvious truth, at least it seems obvious in the cold light of day, that clever technology doesn’t make anybody happier, except for a short period when gizmos & gadgets are a novelty.
These days we live in a high crime society, where we are watched most of the time by CCTV, where prisons are full to bursting & so are the mental hospitals. Who would have predicted that Phil Spector, a man who had given pleasure to billions, would end the last few decades of his life in an American prison? Who would predicted the emergence of new diseases such as AIDS. Nye Bevan who was the minister in charge of creating the National Health Service thought that the need for medical treatment would diminish as people became more healthy. In fact the opposite has happened with a far higher incidence, for example, of cancer & Alzheimer’s, due in part to people living longer. But amongst other things, because of poor diet & because people lead more sedentary lives.
I have some predictions. I predict that within 20 years, the USA will cease to exist as a nation, mainly, though not entirely because of climate change. I predict that the United Kingdom will survive but that it will become a much less pleasant place in which to live, with crime, especially organised crime & environmental disasters on the increase. I predict that the general health of people will diminish even more & that generally people will be less & less happy & that suicide rate will increase. I predict that the present interest in spectator sports will diminish, possibly to almost nothing. I predict that before long people will be reading more books & be reading better books at that. I predict that as popular music continues to become more trivial & more & more superficial, classical music, especially baroque & renaissance music will become more popular. I predict that more & more people will write poetry & read it out friends & self publish it.
Apart from that…. I know what I would like? I would like for example the gap between rich & poor to diminish, for people to have more control over the means of production. I cannot see that happening because big corporations do seem to be becoming more & more powerful. I would like to see people having more money than they need but only buying what they need. I would like the human heart to become more pure & for people to aspire to a more simple life.