Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Things to Come

The 'point' of SF isn't to make accurate predictions, but listening to a radio program about HG Wells, I was struck by the predictions he made at the dawn of the 20th century, about mass warfare and universal health care for instance. I wonder whether it is possible to make predictions at the start of this century.

This isn't what I think ought to happen, but what I think will.

I think our society will become less expansive, more structured and immobile, like mediaeval China or 16th century Japan did for instance. The emphasis will be on maintenance and containment. Paradoxically, compared to aggressively expansionist societies like the Victorians, there will be acceptable channels for sexual and intellectual 'transgression', but despite this (or because of this) the overall society will be quite static and formal.

My second prediction is about the nature of warfare. I think mega-budget technology will have a limited place in the warfare of the 21st century. It will continue to exist, but tactics to resist it - disappearing combatants into the background population, targeted small-technology hits on financial and political centres - will be so effective that they undermine it. This always happens in war - first a technology is perfected, then someone invents a new kind of warfare which makes it obsolete.

I'd be interested to hear your assessment of these predictions, or predictions of your own.
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