The most radical prediction for America’s future

What is the most somewhat plausible but radical and unexpected future
that you cam imagine for American society in the next 2 generations?
Not the usual ones about tech changes or dreams of dooms.

My nominee: that we redefine “radical.”
Today’s radicals want to seize control of the means of production & distribution.
Future radicals will seize the more important means of reproduction & evolution.

Let’s look ahead to see strange futures.

Pretty professional woman with a crystal ball
ID 144753038 © Scott Griessel | Dreamstime.

I have written thousands of posts about our problems and possible solutions (the former are much more popular than the latter, which is part of our problem). But the Millennials I know, mostly Scouts I led (now in 24-30), say that my solutions are inadequate to the problems I described. Far too small. They are right. I believe we have passed the exits leading to easy or pleasant solutions.

So what lies ahead? We might get horrific outcomes, the dystopian or collapsitarian solutions Americans love so much (“everything is doomed, so my passivity is AOK”). Or we might stumble into stable but dark solutions (in the jargon, “non-optimal”). Or we might make harsh choices and take difficult actions to build a better America. So I have accepted their challenge to abandon consensus thinking behind and try to imagine what radical futures might lie ahead.

The point of this exercise is not to make predictions (like those listed on my Forecasts page) but to help people open their imaginations to the possibility of strange futures for America. All we know that in ClownWorld the unexpected is tomorrow’s news.

The high grounds of society

With humans, as with every life form, reproduction is the key to the future. Mating controls biological evolution. Birth controls the number of people and who raises them. Education of the young molds society like clay on the potter’s wheel.

In the past, these decisions were made by families. They helped women choose mates. As in the traditional wedding ceremony where the woman’s father handed her off to her husband.

Now these decisions are made by each woman independently. They choose guys based on tingles, often picking guys that knock them up and leave – or they dump him after birth to search for a better guy. They often select mates under the influence of birth control hormones (simulated pregnancy), which drastically changes their preferences. Children of single mothers on average have worse outcomes than from married parents at home, but their needs are secondary to those of their mothers.

Nothing can change this today. Feminists are a core part of the Left’s coalition, as dominant in American society as the King plus the First and Second Estates (Clergy and Nobels) of France in June 1789. Those rulers of Franch responded to the demands of the rabble (e.g., they should pay at least some taxes) on June 19 by locking out the Third Estate (the 99%) from the Salle des États. After this masterstroke, the people’s representatives swore the Tennis Court Oath – and began the French Revolution.

But social change is never linear. As the feminists push their gender revolution ever farther, they might take one step too far and provoke a new kind of change: people seizing control of the means of reproduction and child-rearing. This might happen by the State for the Left. Or by the Right using other powerful entities in society.

The State moves to “help” women

Oldster Leftists dream of the State dominating the economy.
Future radical Leftists will dream of the State’s power controlling the sources of life.

Single mothers require more support from the State than do families. Welfare, subsidized daycare, longer school hours (a form of daycare), and instruction of children in matters traditionally handled by the family.

The increased support by the State provides a window for State expansion into the one remaining power outside state control: reproduction. The Left will applaud. They once loved eugenics (here and here) and might again. Other motives (justifications) could be found. Perhaps to interbreed the races or finally liberate women from the tiresome business of getting men to “manually” fertilize their eggs – and striking a crippling blow at marriage.

Increased State involvement in rearing children just accelerates a two-century-long trend, allowing the State a stronger hand in producing model citizens.

These are just shallow guesses. Only a big imagination can foresee the limits of this process.

The Right moves to control women

Islamic fundamentalists have proven that the clock can be turned back.
They stripped women of their miniskirts and put them in hijab or burqa.
In the West, conservatives might dream of turning back the clock to 1950. Or 1910.

The Right has shown little interest in resisting the Left’s gender revolution. The institutions on the Right are either supporters or disinterested. As a Boy Scout leader, I worked with parents for 15 years. Even conservatives were feminists or radical feminists when raising their daughters. Mothers and fathers told their daughters that being a tomboy is great, participating in “masculine” sports and activities is great, career is far more important than marriage, etc. Oddly, they are usually surprised when their daughters put their lessons into practice after four radicalizing years at college.

Hence the lack of opposition to increasingly radical feminists (even for the trans agenda and Drag Queen Story Hour at libraries).

What might change this balance of power? My guess: it would require a new religion (or revival of an old one, options which often blur together) – or a new ideology. Either path might result in America going back to a future where women face severe constraints on their reproduction. Perhaps church, State, family, or public opinion will force women to marry only in marriage or some other formal bond with a man. Contraceptives and abortion might be rigorously regulated. Perhaps even fertility will be regulated, limited to those deemed worthy of producing the next generation.

Again, who can say what might happen?

Conclusions

Our society would be considered almost impossible to people of 1950. Imagine similarly large and unexpected changes in our society. Considering radical scenarios like those given here can help us – because breaking free of our destructive trends will require equally large changes. We have to not only expect the unexpected but make the unexpected.

Update: about responses to this challenge

ALL of the responses so far here and on social media have been about changes in tech or doomster stories (eg, climate apocalypse, economic collapse) – none of which explain why it happens (these dooms just happen). I tweaked the challenge at the, but that made no difference.

It appears that Americans can no longer even imagine social change – a world with rules and morals different than our own.  Perhaps this results from watching all those costumed historical dramas in which the people are just like us – instead of the aliens they were. My favorite example: A Knight’s Tale. It has audiences at tournaments doing “the wave”, and a young woman who is a genius inventor blacksmith.

We’ve lost sight of the past, which limits our vision of possible futures.

For More information

Ideas! For holiday shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a story about our future: “Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about women and gender issuesabout marriage, about fourth-wave feminism, about steps to political reform, and especially these…

  1. We have forgotten who we are. Let’s remember, and win.
  2. Can we organize the political reform of America? Our past shows how.
  3. Men standing together can end the gender wars.
  4. Speculation: A surprise end to the gender wars: men stand together.
  5. Will African-American men break open the gender wars?

About two men who helped us change to better paths

John Adams by David McCullough.

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham.

John Adams by David McCullough
Available at Amazon.
An American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
Available at Amazon

34 thoughts on “The most radical prediction for America’s future”

  1. I’m expecting some form of divine intervention that will radically change our current corrupt and anti-human trends which are insane and descending into chaos.

    1. TheAmericanMuse

      Look I’m a believer in Christianity and what was promised when He ascended, but how many times has His return been prophesied? Too many to count! It is like the parable of the bridegroom: “Watch, therefore, for you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming”. We may watch, we may have faith and hope for divine intervention, but in the meantime we live and work here on earth, and that means dealing with earthly problems in a Christ-Like way! That means working and living with our fellow men, that means dealing with the world on His terms, not the world’s. To me, that means making choices about what we can keep and what should be thrown away or shunned, like what the Amish do. It means learning game, and becoming more attractive in order to land a woman to build a family. It means trying to join and build a community of believers. Not sitting around waiting for divine intervention. Or foolishly letting the idiotic and corrupt institutions of our time take control of our lives for their own selfish ends. Fuck ’em. Let us go forth and build our own institutions, and revive the ones we already have. For Christ’s ends, not the world’s.

      1. I agree 100%. Expecting divine intervention and waiting for divine intervention are two different thing. I expect divine intervention but actively resist our world’s enfolding chaos.

      2. The quickest way to go back to 1910 and the most fair way regarding the randomness of chaos would be to eliminate electricity, nothing is a greater equalizer that removing electricity from civilization, poor – rich – liberal – conservative – all religions, all will reset to reality which is a ruthless taskmaster and probably the most fair, and this is also easily accomplished compared to any other alternatives. In this new world, the Amish and other similar factions will reign supreme

      3. Anony,

        “would be to eliminate electricity”

        (1) I added “Not the usual ones about tech or dreams of dooms.” All the initial responses here and on T/FB were about tech.

        (2) The point of a story (or scenario) is not just to state the ending – but to say how it happens. Without that, these become wild fantasies untethered to reality – and so of little use.

    2. Michael,

      “I’m expecting some form of divine intervention”

      That sorta meets the criteria of the challenge. But it’s like expecting an asteroid to hit the Earth. It is an external event, egogenous – so there is little basis to discuss it.

      Look at the people and institutions around you. Think of how they might evolve in unexpected ways over the next few generations. The process is the key, rather than just imagining some wildly different end state.

  2. Today’s nitpicks in “The State moves to “help” women”: They once loveD and Perhaps to interbreEd.

    My addition:

    “The Low Grounds of Society”

    Women will start a counter revolution and their own biological 4G war by becoming breeders at earlier ages. This will ensure future generations will out reproduce exponentially the one child/one woman State encouraged syndrome. Men and women will gain status by the number of successful children first. As subsequent shortening of the generational cycle occurs, status is gained by successful grandchildren.

    Attrition of the State Supported will be by small numbers and long generational times and will be ignored by the powerful as 4G tactics are always ignored. Lack of concern and imagination by the State to reverse this trend will only reinforce cultural stability of the breeders by trying to control birth control. Catholics and Muslims, many from the elites pursuit of immigration, will begin a reproductive war for control of the population. Other religions will copy or tend to perish by attrition.

    1. John,

      Thanks for catching the typos, as always!

      You bring up an interesting aspect of population forecasts that is seldom made. Today’s forecasts of a world with 10 – 12 billion assume massive population growth in the less developed nations – esp sub-Saharan Africa – with population flat or shrinking in the “white nations” – themselves becoming no-longer white. The racial picture of the 21st C world will look little like ours.

      Consider it a test of European and East Asian cultures vs. those of other regions – a test of the Bell Curve findings (which are well-proved, but suppressed as violations of PC) – and experiment showing the relation of environment to IQ. It is too dangerous to discuss such things – risking “deplatforming” by the Thought Police – but the results might be radical beyond any of the usual dreams about the future.

  3. Larry: “As a Boy Scout leader, I worked with parents for 15 years. Even conservatives were feminists or radical feminists when raising their daughters.”

    I was a Boy Scout leader for 11 years roughly during the same time you were a Scout leader but in a different part of the country. Most of the boys in my troops were lower middle class or lower class because the upper class parents mostly didn’t want their sons to associate with the Boy Scouts.

    My experience with the parents (most of whom were conservative to one degree or another) and their daughters was considerably different from yours. The girls frequently wanted to participate in Boy Scouts because we had more interesting activities in the girls opinion but the parents were totally against it and wanted the girls to fill in more traditional roles. Explorer posts (combined boys and girls over the age of 15) were nearly non-existent in my Council (I think there was one Explorer post in the Council part of the time I was in Scouts vs 95+ traditional Boy Scout troops).

    The sole difference between the parental expectations of the 1990’s for their daughters and the expectations of the 1950’s was that the 1990’s parents expected their daughters to join the work force because the parents believed that the daughter’s families would need the extra income to stay in the same lower class and lower middle class bracket as their parents. Very few of the daughters I saw (7-9 year olds mostly) argued against these expectations for obvious reasons.

    1. Pluto,

      “My experience with the parents (most of whom were conservative to one degree or another) and their daughters was considerably different from yours. ”

      Perhaps. I’m skeptical. Which of the specifics that I mentioned were not true in your group? The point I made was that the assumptions of 3rd wave feminism have become standard across America, including among conservatives. What was conservative parenting – such as keeping daughters on a short string (eg, approving boys before dates), encouraging feminine behavior – has become rare even among self-designated conservatives.

      I saw this in my Troop (which was also mostly blue-collar families). The proudest moments of Fathers was not regaling us about their son’s or daughter’s accomplishments, but describing how their daughter was acting like a tomboy (now, of course, an obsolete expression since such behavior is normalized). That is, when their daughter was doing (or excelling) in a traditionally masculine activity. Their eyes glowed with pride. This was in a Boy Scout Troop.

      “Explorer posts (combined boys and girls over the age of 15) were nearly non-existent in my Council”

      When were you a Scout leader? Since 1998 Venturing has been the primary co-ed Scouting program – BSA’s most heavily financed and promoted campaign. They’re everywhere. The Exploring program was split into two parts. The career-oriented posts were moved to Learning for Life (renamed “Exploring” from “Explorer”). The outdoor-oriented posts became Venturing. Sea Exploring was renamed Sea Scouting and placed under the Venturing program.

      1. Larry: “The proudest moments of Fathers was not regaling us about their son’s or daughter’s accomplishments, but describing how their daughter was acting like a tomboy”

        I NEVER heard or saw anything like that in my entire time as a Scout leader. The parents never mentioned their daughters except when they were trying to avoid assisting the troop leadership with a campout or other activity.

        Larry: “Since 1998 Venturing has been the primary co-ed Scouting program”

        In answer to your question, I was a Scout leader in a number of different roles between 1992 and 2003. You are correct, when I started they called the program Explorers and changed it to Venturing later in my tenure as a Scout leader.

        That does not change the validity of the information I provided. The BSA leaders desperately tried to spark the program in my council but it just wouldn’t go.

        As for the general success of the Venturing program, here’s a note from Scouting magazine in 2013. I cannot find ANY other statistics about Venturing. Hoping you do better if you try.

        https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2013/05/28/venturing/

      2. Pluto,

        “between 1992 and 2003.”

        That was a long time ago, 17 to 28 years ago. Geological eons in terms of our fantastically rapid rate of social change.

        “The parents never mentioned their daughters …”

        That’s the other reason why. I just heard more. We had about 44 outings per year – plus the Troop meetings. I was on about two-thirds of them. Either I or the Scoutmaster were on every activity (except for some of the 1 or 2 week high adventures, but we had several great HA leaders) – the secret to keeping things running well. Plus our social gatherings. So I probably had a lot more contact with parents than most troop leaders, and got to know many of them very well.

        “As for the general success of the Venturing program”

        As a VP and Director of my local Council, I had high-level access to BSA data (at both the Council and National levels). Venturing was the test-bed for the intended co-ed BSA (now “Scouting”). It provided the essential guidance needed for the current transition. As such, it was a giant success. In terms of numbers, it immediately dwarfed Explorers.

      3. Larry: “That’s the other reason why. I just heard more. We had about 44 outings per year – plus the Troop meetings. I was on about two-thirds of them.”

        My primary duty for most of the years I spent as a Scout leader was talking to the parents to better understand what motivated them to help the troop. I attended every Troop meeting for 8 solid years and most of the Council meetings where I chatted with other Scout leaders about this same topic.

        Our big innovation was to ask the parents to contribute 4 hours per year per boy. I talked with every parent (fathers and mothers) repeatedly for that year but we sold it and it became the defacto way the troops in our Council got the assistance they needed. Parents actually started arguing with each other over preferred weeks and weekends.

        I’m willing to concede quite a lot to you, Larry, because you earn it. But not this one.

  4. You talk about other Americans passivity but all you do is run a blog that hardly anyone reads so really you’re no different.

    1. Hillside,

      “a blog that hardly anyone reads”

      The habit of guessing is destructive to your mind.

      See the WordPress counter on the bottom of the right side menu bar: almost ten million hits so far (I don’t recall the start date for it). We got 1.5 million pageviews last year (I didn’t write much in the first three months of 2019; I was doing a rebuild of my house). In August we set a new daily record high traffic for a single day: 31,155.

      That does not include the pageviews from the many websites that repost our content.

  5. I’d predict the rise of some institutions analogous to monasteries to support and provide community for people not coupled.

      1. LK there are some historical parallels: Self financed old folks homes; some partially funded by religions. It was a method of pooling resources, and sharing house chores. My great aunt, 104 at the time, was in one. It was in Barbados which lost most of the young of that branch of my family when it went too socialist. The were not monasteries as much as single sex dwellings. They were more for middle income of the island. Typical story: rich didn’t need it, poor couldn’t afford it. The poor built to scale chattel houses. They looked good until you realized that the roof was about 8′ -10″ off the ground. The occupants had to duck to avoid banging head on roof going through door. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chattel_house

      2. Sure. Though I am actually going to correct myself after doing some thinking and some historical research.

        I do not think that you would get monastic-style living (with a formal rule and autonomous non-housing economic activities) — what I had been imagining is essentially the revival and resurgence of the co-op model of housing ownership in reaction to both stagnant wages and high housing costs, especially in and around the cities with high wages. (If either or both of these change, so too does the forecast.)

        This would probably be rediscovered by groups of long-term housemates and aging singles making commitments around life in a collectively-purchased house, etc. — it’s possible this is already going on to some extent and it is just not well-advertised, nor might it be, as it would affect a portion of society without a lot of status.

      3. @John: That’s a cool piece of history. It reminds me a little of the “tiny houses” people are putting together even if that has seemed to be something of a boutique operation. Thus far.

        If the trend I predict comes to pass, I imagine it will either be single men in mid-tier tech jobs growing old — in which case it will probably be a curiosity, perhaps scorned — or will involve the LGBT community and will get associated with them, even if it would be fundamentally rooted in economic circumstances.

      4. SF: One similarity is that both my example and yours is that they are portable. This is an important point for a small area like an island or an expensive area like NYC. There was a TV plot where it revolved around houses on leased land that the owner could increase lease fees because the houses were not economically moveable. The Tiny house and chattel houses are economical solutions to these types of problems. They may come back in the future for the same reason, economical.

  6. Not enough emphasis on our financial woes. If the system breaks down and credit stops or is impossible to obtain, all these other scenarios take second place in the misery department.

    1. ibonobos,

      This is why I asked people to look at social changes, not just tech changes and doomster dreams.

      Every day since we came down from the trees, we have faced a large number of threats. We can spend all day listing them, and have accomplished nothing. It’s become just entertainment. That’s not the point of this exercise.

      “Not enough emphasis on our financial woes. ”

      That’s mostly nonsense. I’ve heard these bold claims for 30 years, and my children will hear them for the next 30 years.

      1. My point exactly. The social changes necessarily following a financial crack-up which we skidded past in 2008-11 would upset all scenarios drastically. The MSM are doing a disservice by keeping us ill informed about current US reality.

      2. ibonobos,

        “The social changes necessarily following a financial crack-up which we skidded past in 2008-11 would upset all scenarios”

        Absurd. Recessions (like 2008) and depression are normal events in free-market economies, and as such have frequently occurred for centuries. Doomsters ignorant of history have fantasies about these.

        Purely economic catastrophes are extraordinarily rate (I can’t think of any, off-hand). Economies are often collateral damage of larger events, such as lost wars, civil wars, or monstrous natural disasters (eg, the eruption of Thera).

  7. Wow I just was nearly done posting two scenarios but managed to erase them with a flick of the tablet. May be for the best as the both involved technological change, but I parsed out how this led existing ideologies to use the new tech to reshape themselves, leading to vey different societal organization, both building on Stand on Zanzibar.

    Scenario one: the masses respond to Libertarian elites seaching to genetically optimize their offspring in nations that allow them to do so by demanding such optimization for all, and the ensuing discussion leads to a reworked “Christ-like society” achieved by “remaking humanity in image of Christ” proposed under the aegis of a radically utopian New Christianity that emphasizes the “peaceful” element in humanity and an elimination of “toxic” masculine traits that keep us from “Eden.”

    Two: man-machine interface allows for easy re- patterning of synapses, and traditional learning is the job of an elite cadre whose patterns are replicated for jobs, acquisition of language, etc. Constant indentity is seen as passe as radical serial changes are changes are necessary to stay employable. Familes and the nation-state falll futher out of fashion as shared “affinity patterns” are seen as far deeper connections than any of the outmoded “surface affinities” that were only weak harbingers of “true connection.” Infancy and neoteny are seen as outmoded and unecessary, replaced by decanted, imprinted offspring that need very little parental investment of time.

    Probably too techy. They seemed better, first draft.

    1. This strikes me more as an essay assignment than a shprt answer question; could we have a more extended deadline than usual, and maybe an opportunity for you to comment on a rough draft before you are gravely disappointed by our final drafts, Mr. Kummer?

  8. What is the most somewhat plausible but radical and unexpected future
    that you cam imagine for American society in the next 2 generations?

    Turning this over for a day or so now and only gradually now getting some ideas. Very difficult, I am not good at forecasting.

    Maybe a counter-revolution against the long cultural revolution that started in the mid-sixties. Revolutions typically linger for 50-100 years. Think about the Russian, the French, the Chinese. Perhaps it takes the form of a simple back wave on gender and race issues. Perhaps its more radical than that, perhaps a generation which has no understanding of the values of the constitution simply condones wholesale departure from it.

    The late 19c and early 20c waves of immigration, though they were populations with no background in constitutional democracy, did not have this effect, because of the commitment of the immigrants to integration, and because of the determination of the establishment to integrate them through the public schools. The sense of legitimacy which drove this has vanished.

    These changes might coincide with a radical change in America’s approach to foreign affairs and military interventions. The continuing economic and military rise of China, and probably India also, means that the relative power of America continues to decline, and at some point it becomes impossible to continue behaving like the world’s only superpower, when this is no longer reality.

    The change could happen owing to some dramatic event – the loss of a carrier, for instance. Or it could happen because the financial burden of military spending was too great and debt financing simply failed in some way.

    Perhaps the consequences of continued money printing lead to an unsustainable situation – the combination of asset price inflation raising housing costs, cost inflation of necessities like medical services and static wages and increasing job insecurity finally lead to a 1929 type crash.

    We then might see an authoritarian regime supported by the mass of the working population embark on measures far more radical than the New Deal, including wealth seizure, high tariffs and protectionism, isolationism in foreign affairs, and a sort of nativist social agenda, with reversal of equal rights legislation, feminist gains and a root and branch reform of universities and the ending of left dominance of the liberal arts.

    I find it hard to see real socialism, the nationalization of large sections of the economy. But I can see wealth seizure through other means, and I can see in all this a return to discipline and focus, perhaps a renewed optimism, but at a cost in personal freedom. And I would not rule out episodes like the Japanese internment along the way.

    What do you think?

  9. My apologies for the length. I always know I shouldn’t begin writing well after midnight. Please don’t feel obligated to even glance at what’s below. You might feel compelled to begin poking your eyes out with the nearest pointy objects. Cheers…

    There’s so much to unpack. An argument can be made that the U.S. didn’t start to radically change until WWII. The number of men in the military at that time opened a door like never before for women in the workplace. It was desperately needed for the war effort. That left children to be cared for by grandparents at best, or a babysitter or by siblings. The 50’s were grand and people were living the American dream. Many women were able to stay home. The Korean War wasn’t WWII, but it left its own scars behind. Now we begin the last 2 generations. By the 60’s, inflation had taken it’s toll and even more women were joining the workforce, once again leaving children to be cared for by proxy parents. We had the music revolution and then the drug revolution, and Vietnam kicking off in the spring of 65. Music and drugs continued progressing. People were really starting to finally see the moral fabric of America begin to fray. The 70’s saw the end of the Vietnam War, with over 58,000 Americans perishing in action, not to mention the well over 3 million North and South Vietnamese combatants and civilians. The average age for our troops was 21 and many of our young men came back broken. That certainly had a societal impact on the traditional nuclear family just as each war had before Vietnam. Divorce rates for ages 18-34 skyrocketed from 1950 to the early 90, where it slowly began to decline. The problem is that 18-34 is the prime age for having children and they were divorcing, with the losers being children. The black community has certainly been hit hard by this trend. The 90’s starts the 2nd generation since the end of WWII. Frankly, the last 30 years have been a blur. The one thing I can say is that virtually everything is better now than it was 30 years ago and an exhaustive list could be made of every single metric showing poverty is decreasing, mortality rates are decreasing, and frankly, it’s a bloody miracle. The other truism is that while things are getting better, there’s a vast perception that things are getting worse. This certainly didn’t start with Paul Ehrlich predicting global starvation with a Sagan emphasis on billions, but he absolutely popularized doom and gloom predictions, and it seems to only be getting worse with shrill climate alarmists telling us a new story every day that we only have 10 years left before the tipping point of the end of the world and they know how to correct the problem. Snake oil salesman have always existed. The societal pendulum has been swinging toward this disaster narrative at least since Ehrlich as well as the slow unraveling of social mores.

    One thing we know about a pendulum is that always swings back the other way. As we enter the 3rd generation since WWII, the millennials seem to be moving back toward something more conservative. The question now is, how far will that pendulum swing back the other direction, and how long will this trend last until it reverses course yet again. You mentioned how many people mentioned that many people spoke about doomster stories and changes in tech and that it doesn’t explain why our society changes. I would respectfully disagree. It has a huge impact on our society and I remember very specifically my sociology professor in college laying it all out before us. It starts with people and back-breaking labor. Then, machines are invented, creating a clear mechanical advantage. Those machines evolve over time providing even more mechanical advantage, freeing up people to do other jobs. Look at census data from prior to WWII and you’ll find an overwhelming number of people listing farming as their occupation. It took a lot of people to work a farm. I grew up on a smallish cattle farm and it took my whole family, including grandparents, to run it properly. Crop farmers have it even easier now as much of their work can be done with huge machines run by computers and guided by extremely accurate GPS. The end result is that all those people we used to need for farming have been replaced with machines and other jobs have been created with our burgeoning technology. People were always afraid that machines would eliminate jobs. It did. What they didn’t account for is that new types of jobs are always being created. Could you imagine something like Uber Eats existing 20 years ago? Inexpensive fossil fuels and increasing technology allow us to move from small rural towns to cities where we often spend a good deal of time commuting to a workplace. Then, add in the internet and cell phones for a globally connected world in real time. In the 70’s and 80’s, it would take 6 months or more for popular trends to reach the midwest and by that time, there was already a something new on the coasts. Now, a trend can go “viral” around the world in minutes. Ice bucket challenge? Memes? All spreading at the speed of light. When I was a kid in the 80’s, I loved science fiction and one of my favorite books was Across a Billion Years, by Robert Silverberg. In this book, Silverberg paints a picture of a billion year old race of people who had spread across the galaxy and then vanished. He paints a very good picture of technology far in advance of what we had when he wrote the book. Read that book today and it hasn’t aged well. No one then would ever believe that by 2020, even school children would be walking around with a virtual supercomputer in their pockets with nearly the entirety of human knowledge quite literally at our fingertips. Forget the fact that this awesome technology is so often used for the ubiquitous selfie rather than educating oneself. How do you account for the known unknowns? Then, how do you account for the unknown unknowns? We have no idea what major Transformative technology is hiding just around the corner. I believe even someone like Ray Kurzweil would echo this sentiment. You asked about the changes we might see in the next 2 generations, or by what I would consider as around 2080. You would have a better chance correctly guessing who wins the Superbowl and the World Series in 2080. There’s simply no mechanism by which we might correctly guess all the unknown unknowns. All we can hope for the human race is that the pendulum continues swinging in perpetuity.

    ** I did not mention immigration. Open borders as called for by leftists would likely have a deep impact on society as overwhelming numbers of people might destabilize American culture by their failure to assimilate. Who knows the long term impact this would have on American society.

    1. Despite being written after midnight, an excellent treatise. For one thing, the soldiers returning after the end made a huge pool of trained people, both men and women. It also started the baby boom, naturally.

      People seem to forget that the primary job for most men and women has been the procreate and raise their children and above all inculcate at least the basics of the ethos they lived in. That may change with technology, but it might not. The urges are inherent in our gene pool and the major way humanity grew and prospered. The disadvantages of not properly raising children is all too evident in our prisons and the poverty in many areas of many cities.

      The other salient point is that we have no way of predicting the outcomes of newly discovered technologies or social constructs. Since the world is now only a few decades away from a universal middle class life women will have more freedom to choose. While some already have started choosing no or only one child human nature will still be pushing for that 2.12 children/woman maintainence level for society. Cultures that choose much less will either make up the difference through immigration, possibly war, or other means.

      Even thoughtful conceptions of the future are 99.9% mistaken. Not wrong, but no one can really understand the complex relations between billions of people and imagine truly how they will behave.

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  11. Pingback: Beaten by science, climate change deniers turn to science fiction | Red, Green, and Blue

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