[FoRK] short-term predictions: 2014, 2017, 2022

Dr. Ernie Prabhakar drernie at radicalcentrism.org
Wed Jun 13 10:20:50 PDT 2012

I predict Kragen will lose many more bets to me over the next decade. :-)

We're currently in for a $50 Kiva card over whether Apple's market cap will hit a trillion before 4/23/2014.

-- Ernie P.

On Jun 12, 2012, at 4:09 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> ----- Forwarded message from Kragen Javier Sitaker <kragen at canonical.org> -----
> From: Kragen Javier Sitaker <kragen at canonical.org>
> Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 06:39:58 -0400
> To: kragen-tol at canonical.org
> Subject: short-term predictions: 2014, 2017, 2022
> User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)
> The release of Meteor in April reminded me about an abandoned project of my own
> called Kogluktualuk, which was basically Meteor, but never implemented to any
> significant extent. It was kind of obvious that something like Meteor needed to
> exist. So I thought I would record some other predictions about things that
> haven't happened yet, to see if my foresight is really as good as it seems in
> hindsight. After all, it's easy to fool yourself into thinking about only your
> correct predictions, forgetting the stupid ones. So this is, like debugging, a
> sort of exercise in therapeutically feeling stupid. 
> ---
> Two years from now, most iOS applications will be written in Cordova (formerly
> PhoneGap) or a successor, rather than in ObjC. This is both because JS is a much
> more productive language than ObjC and in order to target Android as well. 
> Within 5 years, P2P protocols will resurge in importance. This is despite the
> massive move from desktop and laptop computers to handheld computers running
> iOS and Android and using cellphone networks. The driver will be better
> connectivity and crackdowns on user-generated content on centrally-operated
> network services like YouTube and Megaupload. 
> When automated fabrication—the scenario where you get your next bicycle by
> downloading bicycle blueprints over the network and sending them to a machine
> that then produces a bicycle for you without human intervention—happens, it
> will not be by means of 3-D printers, which work by depositing layers of a
> small number of materials. Instead, it will take the form of automated assembly
> by robots of parts mostly made by other means, such as laser cutting, torch
> cutting, CNC machining, and planar printing processes. 
> More and more communication between people will be mediated by computers. 
> Within a few years, most of our lives will be recorded and permanently archived
> without our knowledge or consent. 
> Android will continue to grow over the next three years at the expense of iOS.
> Apple will release at most one groundbreaking new product (like the Apple ][,
> Macintosh, Newton, HyperCard, NeXTStep, iMac, iPad, Lisa, iPhone, iTunes Music
> Store, and Macbook Air, in the next ten years. 
> Nokia will collapse. Their Windows phones will be a failure. 
> Solar energy will provide nearly as much marketed energy as coal by 2022.
> Oil production will not exceed its 2008 peak by more than 30% by 2022.
> Traditional oil production has peaked. 
> Oil prices will exceed their 2008 peak at least once by 2017.
> US influence will wane; that is, it will be less significant in 2022 than
> today. 
> China's laissez-faire copyright enforcement will become more widespread by
> 2017, despite US protests. 
> Argentina will have another financial crisis by 2017, with a collapse of the
> peso, but not as severe as in 2001.
> Photovoltaic, rather than solar thermal, will still be the major form of
> marketed solar energy until 2022.
> In 2022, the rather stupid opinion that Chinese manufacturers are mere copycats
> will be much less widespread, held only by the occasional crank rather than, as
> today, garden-variety ignorant people. 
> By 2022, Brazil will be a bigger startup hub than New York, England, Russia,
> Australia, or Japan, but not Silicon Valley or China. 
> The murder rate in Argentina will be higher in 2013, 2014, and 2015 than in
> 2012. 
> A generic GPU programming language will arise to replace CUDA and enable
> competition with NVIDIA by 2020.
> Photographic and audio recording evidence will be easy to fake so that human
> eyes can't tell the difference by 2017. 
> Quantum computers will turn out to work, but building ones big enough to
> revolutionize anything will take longer than five more years. 
> Most performance-critical code will scale up to at least 16 cores by 2017,
> despite doing it with explicit concurrency, such as threads and locks or
> message passing like Erlang and Golang, rather than implicit forms like
> transactional memory or APL-like array operations.
> Cash payment will still be common throughout the poor countries in 2022.
> As computerized communication, planning, and manufacturing take over the
> economy, companies will continue to shrink while depending on ever more custom
> software. The consequence is that programming will partly displace management
> as a core competency of running a business. 
> China will largely shift to nuclear power generation for electricity by 2022.
> By 2017, desktop computers will be something like CRTs a couple of years back:
> used in special circumstances (gamers, say) and where money is tight, but not
> many places.  Instead people will use laptops, phones, cloud applications,
> microservers, and rackmount servers. As I explained in "people, places, things.
> and ideas" in 1999, I see this development as profoundly prejudicial to
> software freedom, but it is, if anything, accelerating. 
> Computer security will keep getting worse at least until 2017, with
> exponentially more software deployed on networks, almost all without the
> requisite knowledge to secure or audit it. This will drive OS-level sandboxing
> like PNaCl, but that will be only moderately effective, in large part because
> free operating systems will not be used much (although Linux is) so users will
> not be allowed to make their own computers secure, and absent that, software
> vendors don't have the right incentives.
> Self-driving cars will be a substantial minority of cars in rich countries by
> 2017. 
> Assassinations will rise dramatically by 2017 as their cost falls dramatically,
> due to the lack of computer security, to the pervasive gathering and
> warehousing of previously private information, and to lower-cost killer robots.
> Spam and viruses will remain major problems at least until 2017.
> No language will replace C as the language of nearly all serious software by
> 2022. C lost that position around 1992, to a combination of C and C++, and
> since then there's been a diversity of languages in use. That will remain true.
> Not Scala, not JS, not Python or Ruby, will shut out the other languages like
> CRTs did.
> Mining mineral resources such as copper from existing landfills will employ
> tens of thousands of people by 2022, mostly illegally and in very hazardous
> conditions. 
> Population growth will continue to slow until 2022. 
> The US GDP in 2022 will not be more than 22% bigger than in 2011, measured in
> oil, kilowatt hours, or wheat, or probably measured in gold, at their average
> prices over the year.  US GDP in 2011 is estimated at US$15.1 billion.
> Humans will not go beyond low Earth orbit, for example to geosynchronous orbit,
> to the moon, or to other planets, by 2022. 
> -- 
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> ----- End forwarded message -----
> -- 
> Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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