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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Soldiers in 2099

One of the key historical events of that time was the American Civil War, fought from 1861 to 1865. It was fought with muskets, cannons and horses. The US military today uses nuclear weapons, GPS, drones and even brainwave technology.

“Take these two in battle: who will win? How long would the battle last? If you were a civil war soldier with a musket and you see this helicopter gunship coming at you, what is going through your mind? You may be dead before you see it. It will seem to you like Armageddon, judgement day. 

“In the same way, if soldiers from 2099 visit us today, it will seem like an alien invasion. You won’t recognise it. You will be gone before you even know. It will seem to be awesome, it will be alien, it will be godlike.

“That’s the baseline of technology that’s going to change. Its huge. You can’t see it happening but it will be drastic. I can tell you it’s going to be magic and it’s something you can’t predict.”

The reality is that much of the technology that will change the world of 2099 already exists in a basic form today. From health to energy to transport, we are already at the early stages of that future. However, some of what is being planned now is still inconceivable to most of us.

The futuristic Marina Bay Stands towers over Singapore

Health in 2099

“How long should humans live in 2099? In 1850 people were living to an average of less than 40. Now it is normal to live to over 90. Malaysia just elected a new prime minister who has turned 93. The World Health Organisation just categorised ‘youth’ as people from 18 to 65.

“How long do you think people will live? Based on these trends, by 2099 people will live to 160 years. You may not be 100 percent human, you may have a 3D-printed heart and lungs. You will be partly synthetic. But not altogether. We can 3D-print anything, but we can’t print the brain. We’re working on that. If we can print a brain, we will be immortal.”

The problem with health technology in the early 21st century, he says, is that people are still treated like cars. Instead, they should be treated like airplanes.

“Today, if you’re driving and your car breaks down, you’re stuck at the side of the road until someone fixes it. If you’re in an airplane and something goes wrong, you die, so they go to great lengths to prevent something from going wrong.

“Health technology is sick. When you’re sick, you go to a doctor, but there should actually be a pill at home that fixes you automatically. If you have a heart attack today, if I knew one minute before the event, I could save you, instead of you being a burden on the economy. We have to move from reactive health to proactive health. We have to move from being sick to increasing health spend. 

“We don’t die from flu, virus and bacteria. We die because we are killing ourselves, because we live the good life. If we increase health, we increase lifespan.”

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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