Fast forward 50 years: What the world will look like today – in 2064

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As a nod to the 1964 predictions of science fiction writers Isaac Asimov and Author C. Clark, El Defensor Chieftain would like to continue the tradition with some of our own predictions for the year 2064.

• Thanks to cryonics, Socorro Mayor Ravi Bhasker will defrost, run for reelection and win.

• A whole new operating system will have been developed by Boeing, a hundred times better than any of today’s system and both Apple and Microsoft will be out of the business.

• Computers will be implanted in our skulls, With a thought, we will be able to do searches and holographic images will float in front of our field of vision. We won’t have to wait in line anymore at Smith’s — as we enter, store computers will scan our household computers (in our refrigerator, cupboards and bathrooms) to discover what we need to buy and debit our credit cards as we exit. The downside: we won’t be able to read magazines for free anymore while we wait to check out. Shopping won’t take any less time, though, since we will still have to stop and talk to people as we shop. Windblown carts will still bang into cars in the parking lot.

• Skyscrapers will be obsolete as work places, Office buildings will be only one or two stories tall. The nation’s crops will be grown on top of them. Mini-commuter trains will run to take people directly to their office spaces.

• The tide has turned and toxic environmental influences around the earth have decimated birthrates. Skyscrapers will be renovated entirely as living spaces for a diminishing population. In living areas, holographic computer screens will float in the air in front of us. LED furniture, floors and walls will be common.

• Mag-lev (using magnets for propulsion) technology will have its heyday, and 85 percent of the world’s transportation will run by mag-lev principles.

• Government provided social services will be all but eliminated. All public access services — PBS, NPR — will be gone. Some private companies will provide similar educational shows, stations and networks but they will be financed by corporate charities rather than government entities, regional rather than national.

• Health care will still be a mess with privatization completely eliminated. Fewer people will want to be medical doctors, causing long waiting lists to make appointments, which have to be made more than six months.

• Influenza and colds will become more deadly as continuing obsession with cleanliness continues work against the building of natural immunities. The known antibiotics will be so over used as to be virtually useless to fight infections.

• Nanites, cell-sized machines injected into people and animals, will be in full use. In humans they will be able to monitor chemical imbalances in neurological and blood systems, sometimes repairing problems. Most mental illnesses will be managed this way, with automatic chemical injections to balance mood and attitude. All pets and livestock will be required to have nanites watching for diseases and tracking the critters by satellite.

• Structures, from space ships to bridges, will have self-monitoring systems embedded within them which will diagnose structural damage, provide warnings and sometimes repair problems. These systems will eliminate the need for periodic safety inspections. Bridge collapses, building failures and spacecraft accidents due to structural problems will be things of the past.

• Children will be educated together in schools, but by computers rather than by teachers. Adult monitors will be trained to answer questions and watch over students in the classroom, but the actual teachers will be writing programs for students and responding to on-line class work. No one will be writing anything in long hand. The 20th century QWERTY keyboard arrangement will be eliminated in favor of a more ergonomic keypad configuration. Children and adults will be able to type 100 words per minute or more easily.

• The concept of privacy will be completely obsolete, social media will be completely open and everybody will be plugged in. Elections will be held directly through individual computers and, in a snafu because the systems have not been completely worked out yet, (remember Obamacare?) thanks to cryonics, Grumpy Cat will win the 2064 presidential election.