December 1999 Archives

A conservative century

Interesting look at how the 21st century could be extremely conservative compared to the largely liberal 20th. Mostly UK-centred. "One could imagine a next century that is dominated by self-righteous puritans, unprepared to pay general taxes to lift the rest of the population out of poverty, picky and suspicious of government action; where national governments are weaker economically but are required to be tougher in fighting crime and limiting migration; and where macro-economic management has moved so far up to the global level that it is hardly connected to national democracies at all." Also suggests conspicuous consumption could become unacceptable; people become less geographically mobile; scientific advances "could produce a reactive, traditionalist politics."

How much longer do we have?

A look past the next 50 years to what our world could be like in hundreds of years time, and how little we currently understand about the world and ourselves. A ramble including robotics, disasters and how much longer homo sapiens will be around for.

Realistic nanotech

Lengthy article about people working on nanotech projects which are producing results. (via EurekAlert)

Monsanto's future water business

A description of Monsanto's plans to expand its business providing water in a world where safe water is becoming increasingly scarce. Looks ahead to 2025 "when the supply of water in India will be 700 cubic kilometres per year while the demand is expected to rise to 1050 units." (via EurekAlert)

Shirt monitors vital signs

Lifeshirt plan on selling a shirt in September 2000 which monitors the wearer's vital signs and sends the data to a secure website. This can then be sent to the wearer's doctor. $250 for the shirt, $30 per day for monitoring costs. (via Slashdot)