Dusk til Dawn
The history of the world of dusk til dawn
The 21st century
The 21st century began with the United States as the sole superpower in the absence of the Soviet Union, with China becoming a potential superpower. The debate over what should be done about global warming, fossil fuel pollution and alternative energy raged in the new century after most of the 20th century was marked by industrial expansion. As the Cold War was over and Islamic fundamentalist-related terrorism on the rise, the United States and its allies turned their attention to the Middle East. Digital technology – in its early stages of mainstream use in the 1980s and 1990s – became widely accepted by most of the world, though concerns about stress and antisociality from the overuse of mobile phones, the Internet and related technologies remained controversial. By the end of the first decade, over 1.5 billion people worldwide used the Internet, and over 4 billion (more than half the world’s population) used cell phones. A major financial downturn gripped the world from 2007 until well into the following decade – caused by the excesses of capitalism, a sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US, and soaring debt levels. This led to a wrenching restructuring of many social, political and economic systems. For the majority of nations, recovery was driven by a combination of Keynesian policies, better regulation of financial institutions, and long term investments in building, infrastructure, energy and environmental programmes. A new set of crises would emerge from the 2020s onwards. As oil demand began to greatly exceed supply, full-scale conflict errupted in the Middle East. At the same time, the effects of climate change were beginning to have a devastating impact on worldwide food and water supplies. Growing instability led to a number of “resource wars”, and this, in combination with extreme nationalism, culminated in the first nuclear weapons attack since 1945. Frantic diplomatic efforts halted any further escalation, though considerable long term damage was done to Middle East relations. The 2030s and 2040s were marked by a massive shift towards renewable energy sources – helped along by startling breakthroughs in nanotechnology. Widespread adoption of sustainable development practices, along with vastly improved education and availability of information, also greatly aided this transition. This was followed by the birth of fusion power. Despite all this, conflict was still brewing around much of the world. Africa, Asia, and even countries in Europe were suffering mightily due to food shortages and a growing influx of refugees affected by resource wars.
2007 thru 2009 – Collapse of world financial systems; many of the largest banks and corporations are nationalised or bailed out; personal debt levels have soared.
- Internet continues to boom; Scientists extract images directly from the brain; Artificial DNA; Breakthrough in wireless energy transfer; Major advances in CGI; Video adverts on London’s tube
- Mouse genome is fully sequenced; A shift towards portable (and ultra-portable) PCs; Mind control headsets available for gamers; The tallest man-made structure in history is completed; Kepler mission; 3D scanning becomes affordable.
2010 thru 2030s – Worldwide shift towards more liberal social values
2010 – China overtakes the US to become the largest energy consumer in the world; Localised renewable energy sources are becoming widely available for consumers; Organic LEDs becoming mainstream; USB 3.0 available for consumer devices; Breakthrough in treatment of macular degeneration; World’s first 100% compostable chip bags; Increased automation in retail environments; Augmented reality becoming commercially available; Space Shuttle fleet is retired
2011 – Internet has a greater reach than television; Multi-touch surface computing is available to the mass market; Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD) replaces Blu-Ray; Speech-to-speech translation available in mobile phones; Batteries that charge in seconds; Sales of professional and personal service robots are booming; Completion of the ISS; World’s first commercial spaceport
2011 – A devastating earthquake hits the west coast of the USA
2012 – Economic growth remains sluggish in many markets; World’s first 1-gigawatt offshore wind farm; London hosts the Olympic Games; Mars Science Laboratory explores the Red Planet; Barack Obama is re-elected
2013 – Iran carries out its first nuclear test; 4G wireless communications are becoming widely available; James Webb telescope is launched
2014 – Personalised DNA sequencing for less than $100; Lifecasting enters the mainstream; Brazil hosts the FIFA World Cup; Maven probe arrives at Mars; Most telephone calls are made via the Internet now; Virtual Mirrors
2015 thru 2019 – Virtual Reality makes a comeback
2015 – Worldwide PC use reaches 2 billion; Artificial heart implants; New Horizons probe arrives at Pluto
2016 – Orbital solar power; 5G wireless communications; A new generation of ultra-powerful telescopes; Bio-cameras matching human eye resolution; EU bans incandescent lightbulbs; Rio de Janeiro hosts the Olympic Games
2017 – Electronic paper; Portable laser devices that seal wounds
2018 – Ubiquitous Internet nodes connect appliances, vehicles, etc.; USB 4.0 available for consumer devices; Anti-fat drug
2019 – Computers break the exaflop barrier; Automated freight transport; The Aral Sea disappears from the map; Global oil demand exceeds 100 million barrels per day. Texas enacts laws lifting federal limits on production in order for Texas based oil companies to take profits.
2020 thru 2035 – World energy crisis
2020 – Complete organ replacements from stem cells; Holographic TV going mainstream; Sweden becomes the first oil-free country; Glacier National Park and other regions are becoming glacier-free; Completion of the Square Kilometre Array; Wholly lifelike CGI; Us Government reacts an imposes increased taxes to take advantage is Texas’ increased revenue, Texas federal legislators protest and threaten increased isolationism.
2021 – A typical workplace of the early 2020s; Traditional microchips are reaching the limits of miniaturisation; Water crisis in southwest USA; US President pressures congress to nationalize all oil reseverves in the US. Texas state legislature responds in kind.
2022 – USA returns to the Moon; Nanotech clothes becoming mainstream; Piezoelectric nanowires. Texas drafts a declaration of independence and moves to secede from the union.
2023 – Borneo’s rainforests have been wiped from the map; Turkey becomes self-sufficient in energy production. US Federal government activates forces located at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss. Texas National Guard is alerted as well.
2024 – The biggest refugee crisis in world history. Mining Colony established, Luna Base. Texas begins its war for independence.
2025 – Medical nanobots are in widespread use; Booming China; Superfast maglev trains connect Japanese cities. Hostilities end and Texas is recognized as a soveriegn nation. Several other states declare their independence on the heels of Texas’ success.
2025 thru 2029 – Vertical farms appearing in many cities; Progress with longevity extension; Stress and anxiety is reaching crisis levels
2026 – The United States of Africa is established
2027 – Carbon sequestration is underway in many nations
2028 – UK population reaches 70m; Manned fighter planes are being phased out and replaced with UCAVs
2029 – Human brain simulations are now possible; Automation of supermarkets and retail environments; Intelligent advertising; Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM)
2030 – Global trends and population; USA declining as a world power; India becomes the most populous country in the world; Emerging career opportunities in science and technology
2031 – Web 4.0 is transforming the Internet landscape; Married couples are a minority; Thames Barrier in London is replaced; Water meters in all UK homes
2032 – Manned mission to Mars; 4th generation nuclear power
2033 – Holographic wall screens; 15% of America’s GDP is based on IT now; Lung disease may have killed 80m in China by this time
2034 – Resource wars are killing millions in East Asia
2035 – Holographic recreations of dead individuals
2035 thru 2039 – Self-driving vehicles are widespread; Quantum computers are becoming available; Robots are dominating the battlefield; Artificially-grown meat
2036 – The near-Earth asteroid 99942 Apophis makes a close pass
2039 – Full immersion virtual reality; Universal translators are widespread; US population reaches 400 million
2040 – Direct brain-computer links for consumer PCs