[FoRK] 10 Trends for the '10s

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Sat Mar 20 18:48:25 PDT 2010

I've had a blank message with this title in my "Drafts" box since the beginning of the year.  The intent was to make some predictions at a sufficiently detailed level to make them quantifiable / testable.  Clearly I'm not going to get there, so this simple list will suffice.  No particular order, and quite a bit of overlap / positive feedback loops.  Perhaps "trends" is a misnomer.  Also, these are the more prosaic ones.  The more interesting / exciting / terrifying / uncertain ones, well, we'll leave those to some other time.  Note that these focus on technology and technology-driven trends etc.


(1)  tagging / chronological filing / search edges out hierarchical filing as the primary consumer information management metaphor

(2)  pipe and content disaggregate;  the bundled "pipe + content" model mostly a thing of the past by end of decade

(3)  > 3 orders-of-magnitude increase in number of internet- connected and addressable devices by end of decade

(4)  augmented reality goes mainstream (i.e. consumer;  HUD glasses as mainstream consumer artifact)

(5)  private currencies become increasingly acceptable for most transactions 

(6)  deep consumer penetration of narrow-AI (but surprisingly general) virtual personal assistants

(7)  structured wiring / 10 GigE backbones and automation systems in most mid-range and higher new residential starts

(8)  consumer-priced "thought recognition" functionality at the level of e.g. voice recognition today by end of decade

(9) at least one new, sovereign, artificial nation goes live (i.e. charter city, seastead, etc.)

(10)  Google the most-valuable (in terms of market cap) company on the planet on Dec. 31, 2019.  The top 10 companies in this ranking will include at least one company that does not exist today.


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