If anyone has been around me, and listened for long enough, they must very well know of my opinion of the Dark Ages. It's because of those times, and idiots (namely, Europeans) running wild and fighting wars instead of innovating, that we don't have warp propulsion, instead, combustion engines (how weak is that?).
It seems we've hit another one of those times. 1980s, 1990s were freaking awesome, but now, nothing is changing. The Internet has come and changed, cell phones are ubiquitous, but what revolutionary innovation is poised to change our lives once again? Absolutely nothing teems on the horizon. That's lamentable, as I was expecting commercially viable fusion reactors by the early 2020s, and FTL propulsion by the early 2070s.
Of course, with my current lifestyle, I probably won't live to see 2070, but it would be nice to see things progress.
The great American empire is now slowing down; not only are blue collar factory jobs being outsourced, but advanced medical techniques as well, and with Bush yet again affirming his committment against increasing funding for stem cell research, and adherence to backward ways, the only thing this country has left is the infrastructure and military. Infrastructure only goes so far without proper academic funding, and a military is useless when competing against legitimate competitors. So what do the next two decades hold?
Energy. The relics of the past, clinging on to memories of Chernobyl are slowly dying off, and it seems that a peaceful nuclear age is about to start (but things have gone skew before as well), greatly helped by Asia's abundant Thorium deposits. In fact, as an extremely viable alternative, Thorium deposits in India will definitely enter world politics, although I would like to believe that this resource will be better managed than Middle Eastern oil. In 20 years, the Middle East will be one big hole, and either Israel (rightfully) or Iran (wrongfully, but still viable) will have created this. In 20 years, I see Europe and Asia controlling biotech, America(s) still retaining premier educational institutions (although at that time, I think education, more than a job, will be the driving factor for immigration), and Africa finally joining the picture, replacing Mexico's role as providing cheap labor. Somehow, this goes against instinct, but some African countries are finally showing signs of stability- elections in Congo, and increased legitimacy of Somalia's transitional government through Ethiopian peacekeepers. But I think ultimately, Europe (and the Americas, to a lesser extent), have provided means for their own demise. By introducing English as the foremost and lingua franca of modern times, they've forced the stubborn Chinese, the backward Vietnamese, the nationalist Japanese, and lethargic (but still mentally adept) Indians together to usher in the next phase in the World's development: efficiency, spearheaded by the Asian century.
I'm now going to read my book- The New Quantum Universe, and then study some for Japanese.