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How the World Will Change in Our Lifetime

Updated on August 19, 2016
Glenn Stok profile image

Due to his academic studies, Glenn Stok has a keen awareness of curious aspects of life, and writes about his research and experiences.

Technology is changing the way we live and communicate so rapidly that we can expect to witness a different world in our own lifetime.
Sunset from way out in the Atlantic Ocean.  I took this picture while on a cruise ship, knowing it would rise again with a new and different day. Our world is already very different due to new developments in technology and communications.
Sunset from way out in the Atlantic Ocean. I took this picture while on a cruise ship, knowing it would rise again with a new and different day. Our world is already very different due to new developments in technology and communications. | Source

How is the world changing? Do we have a bright future to look forward to? What can we expect?

The Sun becomes about 10% more luminous every 1 billion years. Eventually, in a few more billion years, the Earth may be too hot for water to remain in liquid form, and life on Earth will seize to exist.{1}

But let's look at changes that we can expect to see within our own lifetime:

  1. Changes with the way people think.
  2. Changes how people communicate.
  3. Experience with new technology.
  4. How people will reason with political issues.

Whatever the outcome, we all will share it together on this small planet we live on.

Spaceship Earth

The Earth still has a liquid molten core that we know very little about, except when its pressure causes enormous release of energy in the form of volcanoes.

Our continents are basically floating on this inner core.

The entire continent of North and South America is shifting west, away from Europe and Africa, at a speed of about two inches per year. This is known as continental drift.

The continents were still attached some 150 million years ago. Evidence of this continental drift has been discovered with studies of the ocean floor in the early 1940's. The continents will keep drifting, but in the time span of our own lives, we won't notice it. America is drifting away from Europe at a speed of about one inch per year.

Continental Drift From Jurassic Period to Present

Continental Drift From Jurassic Period to Present
Continental Drift From Jurassic Period to Present | Source

Political Power of Communication

There are many leaders of foreign countries who are in denial. They will eventually discover a power more resilient than their own capabilities -- the power of communication.

The world will never be the same as communication continues to develop as it has in recent years. The Internet and various social websites have given people the ability to share common knowledge, to spread information in a heartbeat, and to organize social changes that have previously eluded them.

We have already seen this take place when a single person, Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing manager, proposed a plan on Facebook for citizens of Egypt to come together to claim their freedom. It worked.

The same social networking began an attempt to remove unacceptable dictatorships from other countries. Some of this is still in flux. Unfortunately lives are being lost. But the desired outcome will prevail.

Dictators who have no concern for their own people will eventually be removed from power. But there is another problem. We have no idea what type of governing people will replace them.

People Are Living Longer

There were only about 370 million humans on Earth after the Great Famine and Bubonic Plague in 1350.

Today the estimate is close to seven billion people.

If you do your own online research you'll find misleading statements like "More people are alive today than have ever lived." - That's simply wrong!

Here's another misleading statement you'll find:

Of all the people in history that have reached 65
years of age, half of them are alive right now.

Some people have botched up the correct statement with their own interpretation. Be careful what you read on the Internet.

The correct interpretation:

If you add up all the people in history who lived past 65, but are no longer alive, you'll get about the same number as if you add up all those over 65 who are alive today.

So it's clear that people are living longer. And with further advances in medical technology, our age limits will continue to increase as time marches on.

Changes to Social Security


With people living longer, we will have more and more seniors alive at one time. What happens when they all collect their Social Security at the same time? Not only will they be drawing more than they ever paid into it, but there will be more people doing that.

Social Security may be forced into being replaced, privatized, or eliminated.

Based on the Social Security Trustees' Annual Report to Congress, "By 2037 the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted."

This is reality. Instead of complaining, instead of blaming politicians, we need to take the responsibility to save for our own retirement.

I'm not saying it's not the fault of politicians. It IS. But who voted for them. We did! Who's following up with them to be sure they don't continue to mess things up. No one is. But we the people should be. And we're not! Expect the finances of the United States, as well as other countries, to get worse before it gets better.


Accepting Nothing Less

Lower Manhattan. I took this picture as I was returning from a cruise in 2003. The obvious thing missing is World Trade Center.
Lower Manhattan. I took this picture as I was returning from a cruise in 2003. The obvious thing missing is World Trade Center. | Source

The future will bring a new order to the world, one where all citizens of all countries recognize the importance of their own freedom and will accept nothing less.

They will all have a complete understanding of what this freedom is all about. And they will have the knowledge to use it wisely.

This knowledge will be due to a worldwide communication system that has no censorship and no barriers to hinder the impact of intelligence or the flow of commerce.

This is the Internet and it will only become more available to more people in many lands.

Cyber Terrorism on the Rise

We need to be alert to potential hackers  when doing anything online.
We need to be alert to potential hackers when doing anything online. | Source

I'm afraid cyber terrorism will be the way of the future for enemies to attack one another.

The fact that the World Wide Web is all interconnected, allows terrorists to issue a denial-of-service attack by overloading a targeted site with too many data packets hitting all at once, creating server overload.

Another way to attack is to spread viruses via email. Unsuspecting people spread the virus by opening an attached file in an email.{2}

These viruses may be benign to the individual who opens it, but they are designed to spread to everyone who that individual knows once it's opened.

Eventually a copy of it reaches a preselected location were it does it's dirty work. For example, if it finds its way to a computer in the Defense Department of a country, it can send back all the data from files on that computer.

We'll All Drive Electric Cars

Electric cars will become more favorable  as new developments with battery technology emerge.
Electric cars will become more favorable as new developments with battery technology emerge. | Source

With the advancement of rechargeable battery technology, electric cars will become more the norm as we make efforts to reduce dependency on foreign oil.

We already have hybrids -- with both electric and gas engines. Soon we'll see more focus on totally electric cars.

Electric car charging stations will become readily available no matter where you drive. You'll find these next to parking spots at hotels, apartment garages, department stores, etc. You swipe your credit card and plug the end of a cord from the unit into your car.

Charging Stations in Parking Garages

There is already at least one company making charging stations for electric cars. Miami-based Car Charging Group Inc. is already signing agreements with various parking garages to install their Charging Stations.

Charging Lanes on Highways

You probably know about the charging platforms where you can place your cell phone without actually plugging it in. The phone charges via electromagnetic pulse.

The same wireless technology is presently being tested on highways in England using equipment installed beneath roads.{3}

More Focus On Green Energy

Solar Farm in Amstein, Germany
Solar Farm in Amstein, Germany | Source

Wind Farms and Solar Farms will be built on land that otherwise may have been wasted real estate.

Apple is building a cloud-computing center in North Carolina. And to be environmentally friendly they are building a 100-acre solar farm to provide electricity for the power-hungry computer servers.

A hundred acres may seem like a big waste of land. But if it’s barren land anyway, better to use it for green energy and save the environment from burning fossil fuels and cutting down trees to generate power.

Cloud Computing

We may be more familiar with saving our computer data on our own hard drive. But the changing environment is bringing about the ability to share the resources of a central computer server. This is known as Cloud Computing.

This is becoming the wave of the future. Cloud Computing is already being used by Apple, Google, and Amazon, among others.

What are the advantages? The cloud can be accessed from anywhere and from any device. Users can configure their cloud environments as needed. They can select different amounts of memory as needed and even different operating systems.

This is a far cry from purchasing your own equipment, only to have it become obsolete in a short time.

Pay with Cashback Bonus


Credit cards that offer cashback bonuses can be links with Amazon to allow you to apply your accumulated bonus to your order. Soon other merchants will do the same thing.

You'll no longer need to wait for the bonus to reach a minimum amount before you can request a payment. When linked, any available accumulated bonus can be applied to your online order.

Amazon is doing this with their own Amazon VISA, with Discover Card, and with the Citi ThankYou card.

Instruments of Intelligence

New devices will be developed that enhance our lives. Cell phones and computers have already become smartphones and tablets. And they will continue to be redesigned and reengineered into different and more powerful instruments of intelligence.

People will have ways to shape their lives and fulfill their dreams almost with the touch of a virtual button.

© 2011 Glenn Stok


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    • KoraleeP profile image

      Koralee Phillips 5 years ago from Vernon British Columbia Canada

      Interesting and voted up. Very interesting topics to think about. The scary one to me is the Cyber Terrorism. And I am also curious about what is going to happen with the removal of the dictators. I agree that we don't know whether they will be better or worse.

      Thanks for sharing your hub.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      KoraleeP ~ Yes I agree, Cyber Terrorism is the most frightening. Mainly because many people don't know how to protect themselves from scams that get them to open viruses. Thanks for stopping by and for the vote up.

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 5 years ago from USA

      Great Hub. I already had one virus in my computer, no more. I agree that dictators can no longer hide behind their news blackouts, the internet cannot be stopped. We know whatever happens in China, Cuba, Zimbabwe or whatever. They are fading away into oblivion as their people find out what's going on. Which will fall next?

    • BooksGalore profile image

      BooksGalore 5 years ago from Hawaii

      I strongly agree with what you said about Americans needing to pay strict attention to what the politicians they elect are doing. So many people don't really pay attention to what is really going on behind the scenes in this country--they just keep up with the headlines and think that's all they need to know about the news. We are too busy being entertained with electronics,movies, sports, etc. (nothing wrong with those things--we just neglect important things because of our preoccupation with entertainment) to think about what is really important. I was that way for many years but now I realize the importance of really getting an understanding of how economics works, for example, and not believing what politicans (and the media for that matter) say about it.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      FGual ~ You hit upon an important item, that dictators block the Internet. I'm hoping eventually this form of censorship gets overridden as more people learn how to seek out the truth in those countries.

      BooksGalore ~ Well said. We tend to believe too much in our politicians even when we see they are doing nothing to improve things. The main problem, I think, is that they focus on a selective group. But the majority has the power to vote them out. I just don't understand why the wrong politicians get to stay in office. Thanks for thoughts on this topic.

    • profile image

      SheriKeat 5 years ago

      I agree with a lot of what you had to say today but social security? No. Will it need to be adjusted? yes. Will it go away? No. There are several very easy fixes to the social security issues, none of which are Chicken Little - the sky is falling, social security is going to be dead and gone.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      SheriKeat ~ Let's hope you're right. An alternative needs to be found soon to replenish the funds. The note about the Social Security Trust Fund being exhausted by 2037 is printed in the account statement that all Americans get annually. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      A fascinating hub!

      I know that the social networking sites often get a bad press and I'm not an overly huge fan of them, but, as you say they do have a very good plus side. Not only in bringing people together for good causes. I also believe that as more and more people from across the world get together and talk with one another, we can see that there is very little differences between us all if any. This can only do good by helping to reduce ignorance and fear of people simply because they have a different language or culture.

      A very enjoyable and fascinating hub. Voted up!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Seeker7 ~ Glad you enjoyed this hub. You're right, today's technology make sit possible for people from across the world to get together and talk with one another. Skype is another useful tool for that, allowing people to talk for free worldwide. Thanks for the vote up and for following.

    • chefsref profile image

      Lee Raynor 5 years ago from Citra Florida

      Hey Glenn

      I guess it's my turn to be the gadfly.

      "a leader who will focus on a global solution to existing problems."

      Really? From which party? The Conservatives are still engaged in trying to deny climate change and evolution and the Dems are enthralled by Wall St. I haven't seen a global thinker since Nixon.

      Leasers in denial have been taught to cut off access to the internet to control people. That still works in China and will probably be used elsewhere. The democracy movement is laudable and should continue but we have to remember these new democracies have not been influenced by the Enlightenment so these democracies may turn into dictatorships by the proletariat. What I mean is that majorities may turn against their minorities. Our founders were rightly concerned about majority rule, that is why we have checks and balances. Will the new democracies employ checks and balances?

      Social Security is fixable but we need leaders with courage and we need to support those leaders. Means testing will come, whether we like it or not.

      Cyber-terrorism is inevitable but it won't affect me. You see some guy in Nigeria has promised me millions and all I need to do is give him my bank account numbers, ha, ha, ha. My point here is that our ignorance dooms us, other countries support education and teach hard science. We teach liberal arts and wonder about unemployment.

      Anyhow,,thanx for this article. Thought provoking and interesting! Voted up

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      chefsref ~ You brought up a lot of important points. We are in total agreement with not knowing what will come of it when dictators are replaced by democracy. As I mentioned in mu hub, "We have no idea what will replace them."

      Your idea of checks and balances is another important point. That is definitely a requirement and should be used in all cases. Unfortunately it's not going to be that easy to implement where it was never used before.

      I like your statement "our ignorance dooms us" as this is one of the biggest problems. I, as you, never fall for gimmicks too good to be true. But we both read stories in the news about people who believe these things.

      Thanks for all your comments, and for the vote up.

    • Jlbowden profile image

      James Bowden 5 years ago from Long Island, New York


      Really enjoyed your latest article and I do have to admit that you really put together a great summarization not only about the issues we face today, but things to think about in the future. In addition it is certainly a scary thought of what could happen to the future of our social security system. Thanks for sharing such an eye-opening article with all of us here in the community. I voted it up as well as awesome.


    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Jim ~ Your comment clarifies my intentions with writing this hub very well. Thanks for reading and voting up.

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      While I don't share it, I find the optimism you display here refreshing. I hope the future is as bright a one as you think. The one thing I really don't see happening is the increases in communication. I hope I am wrong but what I see is many countries, including our own, making concerted efforts to restrict what's on the internet and have the ability to shut down cell phones at a moments notice. Again, I hope you are right and I am wrong.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      poetvix, You are absolutely right. Three or four things I mentioned in this Hub were not optimistic at all. You just referred to the last item. It's not all going to be glory. Your comment is a very important addition to this list. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Great hub. As a grandma, I worry about what is in store for my young grand kids. I am teaching them to grow food and when they are older, to keep poultry so some of the basics will be covered. We need to Learn not to take things like cell phones and the Internet for granted as it makes us more reliant on the government . Until we get highly intelligent, inspired leaders not motivated by greed the future doesn't look too bright. It is a beautiful day today so I'm enjoying that for now!

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 4 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      Excellent hub, Glenn! I agree that this year, 2012, is a pivotal year in the way people think and communicate. With such a fast pace in technology improvements and the ability to communicate globally as well as locally, we are seeing more people expressing views on ethics and values and demanding more responsibility along with growth and sustainability.

      I see a greater desire in people everywhere to understand global issues and a greater desire to negotiate win-win solutions to problems.

      There is a brighter spotlight on leaders of countries, industries, and communications media (to name a few) forcing them to lead more effectively and according to the increasingly sophisticated demands of a knowledgeable consumer and constituent base.

      There will be many (new) problems ahead I am sure. But with increasing transparency in plans, programs and actions as well as much wider and deeper communications, we may be able to change the way we make decisions. We may even be able to develop global principles that when implemented work for all of us on this planet – not just a select few.

      What an extraordinary time to be alive!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Maralexa, Thanks for your intriguing response to my article. You expressed many important ideas that will be a result of advanced new developments in technology and communication.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 19 months ago from Long Island, NY

      The UK is now testing highways that wirelessly charge electric cars while driving in a special lane where the technology is embedded under the roadbed. I just updated this hub with this information.

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