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The best thing about living in 2015 is that the horizon isn’t so difficult to imagine. Much of it is already in progress. Drone delivery, bionic reconstruction, restorative genetics, cryptocurrency, ubiquitous communication, rail and air travel shrinking the world as fast as the railroad shrank the Wild West. The years 2015-2050 are going to be momentous.

For most of the twentieth century, the year 2015 was muddy, nearly invisible — a mystery to most everybody. Looking back change was stagnant. The rock-your-world part of change that came from the Internet and cell phones in 2K took a century to happen. Who can wait that long?

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Change is accelerating. Medicine will open up. Traditional publishing is disappearing, banks and banking as we know it will crumble, and a new economy will replace it. Payments across borders will be thrashed out. In the next 15-30 years a transition is taking place that will look like the stagecoach-to-jet era. Society will upturn and we’ll hardly notice it.

Medicine is medieval, now. Law enforcement is tilted, off kilter. Our balance of power is sideways. Medicine is confining, medicine is time consuming, and bankrupting. Commercialized. It is not especially about healing. It’s more about a self-perpetuating industry that is vital to each of us, that we can’t avoid. Law enforcement and medical communities are similar. In each we have unquestioning and unquestionable priests who preside over our health and well being.

Where is medicine going? Will drones mean the watchers are watched, too? Very small drones made from self-assembling nanobots or maker machines will mean a ‘press’ in everyone’s hands. I see a shakeup of society, but only initially will it seem so. The future within the next 15-30 years ill amaze and confound the ones who live through it, but those afterward will look at us like the Pennsylvania farmers lugging their produce to market in a horse and buggy. Amish travelers.

Will the future’s children see us as naive or maybe stupid? Or in their eyes nostalgic, a beautiful civilization like ancient Egypt, but a bygone place, a Stranger in a Strange Land? Or will they grok the experience? Know us intimately because of all the bread crumbs we’ve left behind?

Nanotechnology with its self assemblage is set to rock the medical world and worlds we haven’t imagined, yet. Combine it with genetics, microfluidics, and we have instant diagnosis and maybe instant treatment. Cloud data? Will the cloud survive? I wonder. And maybe one other area will advance, linguistics and self definition. Perhaps if we had agreed upon usage for words like journalism, perhaps if that word were defined, we’d know how to define ourselves. We are cursed and blessed to live in interesting times.

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