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Our take is that the growth of science and technology has several more multiples to run before new discoveries get beyond economic reach or encounter their natural limits, if such exists.

Biochemistry is today about where solid-state electronics was in 1970. The 21st Century will be all about the human genome, the cosmic origins of life itself, and how to modify organisms at all scales for better or worse. How all this is financed will become a behind-the-scenes issue that may become contentious if it is too opaque.

Climate-change has already created a solar-power imperative that will change the energy- and population- landscapes.

We are indeed not at all near the end of the road to discovery. But the tolls for the pioneering travelers will get commensurately higher, a process already well along.

Socially, the strains among and within cultures will continue for at least some time, and they might well alter the course of history along lines unforeseeable. Meanwhile, cultural strains will hog the headlines and blog topics. It will take a global mass movement to bring about a workable peace.

Globalization will continue to bring surprises in disguise, but cannot be stopped given the interconnectedness of world economies. Political power will continue to devolve to the "Big Four" (and their future incarnation) of economic power brokers. They are the real pilots of the global financial system. The 2008 leverage each commands is estimated below:

  • $4 trillion: Energy Exporting Nations--Oil and gas now, but due to atrophy with time because of their non-renewable nature.
  • $3+ trillion: Asian central banks and their sovereign wealth funds, that already hold big sticks that can speed or slow the flow of capital.
  • $2-$3 trillion: Hedge funds.
  • $1-2$ Private equity firms.

Each of these numbers will double by 2012-2015. Our resource for these numbers is David Smick: The world is Curved."

A third world war is impossible in the WWII sense. The 21st Century could, however, host the escalation of class warfare, the root of both war and terrorism. The end of this century will not be peaceful unless wealth distribution becomes more equitable.

What seems certain from the march of history, is that the 22nd Century will dawn in a landscape barely recognizable by those of us alive today--if that is, there are Homo sapiens left to observe that dawn


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