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In the future

June 8, 2008

Thank god for Sundays. I’m determined to stay home today to catch my breath and do some reading. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around two things – Hillary Clinton’s concession event (finally) and news of 50,000 job cuts in the US. I move regularly between two continents and as I witness these rapid changes first hand, its hard not to wonder what life will be like 10 years from now. If you are in business and looking to strike it rich in these uncertain times, I think you will find 3 areas worth a close watch.

Natural Resources
Our population growth and runaway consumerism will guarantee we’ll have stripped the planet bare of its natural resources in a hundred years. That’d be oil, minerals, trees and other organic resources. Speculative markets will continue to chase prices up to a point where nobody can afford anything. It will also unintentionally open up new markets, those related to renewable energy. I think the person who creates the first commercially viable car to run on water, creates super cheap electricity out of air or sunshine, or creates appliances that use little manufactured energy will be very rich.

Climate
I paid $20 for a burger last night with all the trimmings. When (not if) it reaches $40 apiece, it will hit us. The climate will not longer allow food to grow in abundance and the shortage is worsened by the same people playing with our oil supply – speculators. Either way, there isn’t much you and I can do. In the future, I’d put my money in artificial food production, one based not on plant or animal products but on edible chemicals. The first person who creates roughage that tastes like rice and an artificial substance that tastes like chicken, all grown in a lab, will be very rich.

The Internet
I think soon, there will be 100 reasons why you don’t want to go outside the house. Mercilessly hot weather, noxious gases, transportation costs, $30 cups of coffee and all that. Barring picking up supplies and seeing a doctor, it is now possible to live your entire life at home. We already have everything from banking to social networking online and that’s just the begining. In the future, I think the money is in creating technologies that will migrate human lives directly onto the internet. The first person who can remove the last physical intermediary between us and the internet – the PC – and fuse our minds and senses directly with avatars moving around cycbercities in the internet will be very rich.

I believe the era of carefree consumption has come to an end. The lifestyle of extreme individualism hallmarked by nice cars, nice gadgets and other costly objects of snobbery will go extinct. The land is also changing. White snowscaped lands are turning dull gray, green forests are turning brown, and the air has become unbreatheable in some places. Its depressing to think of it as leaving old earth behind but strangely, I also find it exciting as one would feel flying into a new uncharted galaxy, Everyone’s confused. We need new maps, new systems of survival. That spells opportunity to me and I know where there’s opportunity there’s rewards.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. LC Teh permalink
    June 10, 2008 4:52 pm

    I hope Someone already has an answer to all this over-population and depleting rescources thing. Left to humans it’s not going to get any better. One half of the world dies of over-indulgence, the other half, malnutrition. The rest are poisoned…

  2. Damien permalink*
    June 10, 2008 8:33 pm

    Someone once said humans are like a virus. We invade an area, strip it of everything until its dead and then move on to the next spot. I hate to say it but we sound like a disease.

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