A British defense think tank predicts possible “key risks and shocks” for the future in a recently released report. The report predicts microchip brain implants, flash-bombs, Marxist middle-class revolutionaries, extreme globalization and more, all likely within 30 years.
The “source document for the development of UK Defense Policy” was created by the Development, Concepts and Doctrines Centre (DCDC), and will be used to “shape the UK’s future defense requirements” until 2036, according to the report.
The report lumps predictions into four categories: things that will happen (according to the report, more than 95 percent likely, or “near certainty”), things that are likely/probable (more than 60 percent likely), things that may/possibly happen (more than 10 percent likely) and things that are unlikely/improbable (less than 10 percent likely).
Water scarcity will be a major issue, U.S. economic crisis is likely, a pandemic may happen, and the global financial system may fail; these are just a few of the predictions of the report. Several predictions are more futuristic.
“Many commentators anchor themselves in the familiar present and, exploiting the latest fashion and a series of telling anecdotes, merely tell people what is already happening,” Admiral C. J. Parry said. “Much of what we have to say, with regard to both continuities and discontinuities, does not have a conclusion or ending, happy or otherwise, because, self evidently, the future has not happened yet.”
Much of the report sounds like science fiction, but according to the DCDC, science fiction that very possibly may become reality.
A “hot topic” in the report is the “scramble for space.” The report claims that space programs will continue to increase, with many smaller nations entering the fray.
The larger nations including Russia, the U.S. and China are the few that will send manned crafts deeper into space to search for resources. This “will raise jurisdictional, ownership and competitive rights issues.”
Artificial intelligence is referred to several times in the report, and is “likely to be employed to manage knowledge and support decision making across government and commercial sectors.”
Genetic modification, “nanobots” and stem-cell therapies are predicted to create an “increase in human life span” and an improvement in quality of life, though they could also lead to a range of threats including bio-warfare and human rights violations.
Electromagnetic pulse weapons will probably be created before 2035. These weapons might be able to wipe out all electronic devices in a given area without casualties.
Perhaps one of the strangest predictions in the report consists of microchips that could be connected to brains, allowing for “synthetic sensory perception beamed directly to the user’s senses.” This technology could be used to download any amount of information, and could be used for communication, allowing for a sort of computer-aided telepathy.
The dramatic increase in technology gives rise to several “doomsday scenarios,” though the likelihood of any given scenario is not commented on in the report. Genetic modification, disease and artificial intelligence are some of the possible causes of doomsday scenarios other than nuclear weapons. Doomsday scenarios are just a footnote to the many threats outlined in the report.
The increase of Islamic revolutionary groups, along with the rise of other militant groups from the disenfranchised younger generation, are two potentialities referred to several times in the report as high-level threats. The possibility of middle-class Marxist revolutions caused by growing gaps between the middle class and the super rich also could create a threat, as well as the increase of rigid belief systems as a backlash to the moral relativism prevalent in the world.
Population explosion in less developed countries and dramatic urbanization will “exacerbate” social tensions, creating threatening circumstances, especially in poorer regions around the world including Africa and Asia.
All of these threats are in addition to the common prediction that the atmosphere will continue to increase in temperature causing a cacophony of catastrophic problems from melting ice caps to destroyed ecosystems for fish.
With all these strange and possibly dire threats and predictions the report curiously concludes, “The world would be better or, at least, no worse in the future than it is today.”
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