This is the penultimate night of the second decade of the 21st century… It’s been a wild ride. Ten years ago today, I was a warehouse temp, unsure about my future, employment, life goals, or anything much in particular. Things have changed… The temp gig became a permanent job. I’ve lived in six cities (well, eight, if you count the suburbs). Sixteen different addresses. Two countries. A fair number of adventures – and misadventures as well. One pranked billionaire. 🙂

I’m ending this decade free of debt, in perfect health, overall grateful for the life I’m enjoying, and armed with a lot of highly ambitious plans. Some are short-term, some span decades and are have already been initiated. Ten years ago, in the bad neighbourhood of Reno, I never would have imagined I’d end 2019 in Toronto (by way of Vegas, Dallas, Tampa, and Seattle). I can’t even begin to imagine where on earth (and/or other planet) I will be at the end of 2029.

In the spirit of sending my future self a message, and because everyone is equally bad at predicting what’s to come, here are some predictions for the next decade! Let’s all come back in 3,653 days to see just how far off I was.

And so, in no particular order:

  1. There’ll be an ironic resurgence of the 1920s fashion. Old-timey dances, live jazz, flapper dresses, etc.
  2. Artificial intelligence will remain a mirage. Just like communism, it’ll be only a decade away no matter when you ask them.
  3. Groundbreaking new technology we can’t quite imagine yet will come out and become commonplace. (Amazon Echo came out just four years ago, and now it’s taken for granted.) I think it might be the HUD (heads-up display) provided by an integrated (or removable) mini-computer.
  4. The US will elect a one-term president.
  5. The US will get a whole lot closer to the Handmaid’s Tale. (See congresscritter Matt Shea’s revealed plan to install a theocracy and kill all the men who disagree.)
  6. The no-fly zones over Phoenix will become extended. As of right now, they’re just a mildly funny one-day occurrences when the hot air’s density doesn’t allow planes to take off. They will become commonplace.
  7. The hologram technology will become available, then accessible, then commonplace. Watching holo-movies at home will become an amazing experience, though folks will quickly get used to them. (Remember when touchscreen phones were cool? Heh.)
  8. At least one large city (1,000,000 people or higher) will run out of water and will have to be either evacuated or placed on long-term life support with water convoys.
  9. Las Vegas will use up all the water in Lake Mead and will hijack the water from the Nevadan farmers up north. Feelings will be hurt but the big money will prevail.
  10. Age-reversing gene therapy will continue to make progress, though it won’t hit the market quite yet.
  11. CRISPR gene-editing will become more widespread. Most of the people experimenting on themselves will suffer horrific side effects (at least for the early adopters) but the successful ones will be fascinating.
  12. Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger will die of old age. Berkshire-Hathaway’s stock will tumble by over 10% before eventually recovering.
  13. Space tourism will take off but the prices will be astronomical. (Get it? Get it?)
  14. North Korea will remain a dictatorship.
  15. Russia will remain a de facto dictatorship. It’ll try to gobble up more of the ex-USSR territories like it did with Ukraine.
  16. Things will get very ugly in India with the anti-Muslim tensions and the rise of the militarism. The old “yay, they’re the biggest democracy – see how successful they are?” argument will quietly and awkwardly show itself out.
  17. Ebola will reach an African city and spread.
  18. Antibiotic-resistant infections will get scarier and more commonplace. The last marginally efficient antibiotics (or the brand spanking new ones) will be very, very expensive.
  19. A major city will burn as a result of surrounding wildfires. (California? Australia? Elsewhere?)
  20. Climate protesters (of which Greta Thunberg is only the first) will get tired of asking politely and will take direct action, bypassing the voting booths entirely. Eco-terrorism will become much more widespread. Recycling and abstaining from meat will become much more prevalent, but nothing will be done about the nitrogen runoff.
  21. Rolling food crises in Africa, Central America, South America, and parts of Asia. Starvation will be prevented, but the social unrest will topple at least a couple of governments. (The whole Russian mess in 1905 began due to bread shortages.)
  22. Self-driving cars still won’t be quite good enough to drive on their own. Self-driving trucks will make significant progress, displacing hundreds of thousands of truck drivers.
  23. At least two meteorites missed by NASA will zoom by dangerously close. The one we know about (in 2029) will come close but pass by as well. It’ll get a lot of people very concerned and/or excited – like the Y2K crisis but with a more tangible negative outcome.
  24. No progress between Palestine and Israel. Further deterioration is quite likely.
  25. 3D printers will become good enough to print crappy guns and, if sufficiently advanced, replacement skin and organs.
  26. Three attempted genocides.
  27. Water wars.
  28. Widespread gene-editing will make it easier to custom-order a pet to your exact specifications. There’ll be a lot of controversy about pets with augmented intelligence.
  29. The US Supreme Court will get a permanent conservative majority, resulting in a significant rollback of social reforms and programs. (The precursor to #5.)
  30. The European Union will legalize poly marriages. Mutually consensual BDSM contracts still won’t be honoured and recognized in the eyes of the law, though.
  31. Injectable nanobots will make an appearance. They’ll regulate blood levels, monitor (or alter) hormone levels as desired, identify first signs of potentially deadly diseases. They will not be widespread just yet.
  32. Nano-ink tattoos will move around and wiggle at you.
  33. Universal Basic Income will get several medium-scale trials (between 5,000-100,000 people) and will show promising results, but won’t be adopted by any government due to preexisting notions of propriety.
  34. Bees are out. Mushrooms and seaweed are in.
  35. Salmon will become almost – but not quite – extinct. It’ll become an almost unaffordable delicacy.
  36. Chelsea Clinton will attempt to run for office, likely for the House of Representatives, possibly straight for the Senate. The former will likely succeed; the latter will likely fail.
  37. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will turn 35 in October 2024 and will become eligible to run for president. She’ll do so in either 2024 or, more likely, 2028.
  38. Facebook will go the way of Friendster and MySpace when something bigger and shinier comes along.
  39. I will finish my damn novel.
  40. I will retire. 🙂