The world of the future

What does the future of the U.S. and world look like?

The present is, well, not all that encouraging, according to an essays today in The Motley Fool:

“Unemployment is stuck painfully high. GDP growth is painfully low. The American political system has been deadlocked in shutdowns, fiscal cliffs,

and partisan bickering. People are genuinely concerned about the future.


“But the present is constantly becoming the past. Every moment the future becomes the now. And every day, it’s the millennial generation that is defining that future. With help from a great infographic from Badgeville (see below for the full graphic), here are nine facts that paint a picture of the future, a future designed, defined, and directed by the next great generation of Americans.

“Millennials: The good, the bad, and the ugly

“1. Millennials have already witnessed three wars (including the longest in U.S. history), a presidential impeachment, a Great Recession, and the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. Oh, and there’s this Internet thing. Millennials see the world as a dynamic place. Their existence is both local and global. It’s connected. An infinite amount of information, knowledge, and content is available anytime, anywhere, and in the palm of your hand (and soon perhaps on the lens of your glasses). The future of America is not the suburban two-car garages and white picket fences of the baby boomer generation.

“2. Millennials are overeducated, underemployed, and in debt. But they still want to work hard and do a good job. Sixty-three percent of millennials have a bachelors degree, 48% of those with college degrees are in jobs that do not require a college degree, and the average millennial has $45,000 in debt. The promises of their youth have not proven themselves out. The mantra of “go to college, get a job, be successful” has proven to be a false promise. As a result, many millennials are even more distrustful of authority than their parent’s generation was. And yet, millennials still strive to succeed. Ninety-five percent of millennials work harder when they know where their work is going. Eighty percent prefer on the spot recognition instead of formal reviews. Ninety percent want their workplace to be fun and social. The disconnect is a contrast between the business culture of the baby boomer generation that — from a millennial perspective — has failed them, and the expectations a generation raised on the Internet, Facebook, and near constant smartphone notifications. Continue reading “The world of the future”

Better life for the kids? Who knows?

American polling is a funny business, especially at a time when that nation seems unable to make up its mind on just about anything.

Today the Gallup organization reported that Americans have no idea whether their children will be better off in the future or not. According to Gallup,

“Americans are evenly divided about whether it is likely (49%) or unlikely (50%) that the next generation of youth in the country will have a better life than their parents. That is a slightly more positive assessment than in early 2011, when the slight majority, 55%, thought it was unlikely the next generation would achieve this goal.imgres

“Still, views today remain depressed compared with 2008 Continue reading “Better life for the kids? Who knows?”

Intelligence community tries to predict what’s next

Spying is all about predictions: about knowing what someone else can or will do next, about thinking how to win.

At least that is how governments tend to think about spying. In this context it makes sense that the Obama administration would spend some time prognosticating. Turns out they spend billions to satisfy their curiosity, as the U.S. and many other countries have done for decades. Asia Times carries a story today about this curious and expensive enterprise, which begins with the paragraphs below:

“Think of it as a simple formula: if you’ve been hired (and paid handsomely) to protect what is, you’re going to be congenitally ill-equipped to imagine what might be.imgresAnd yet the urge not just to know the contours of the future but to plant the Stars and Stripes in that future has had the US Intelligence Community (IC) in its grip since the mid-1990s.

“That was the moment when it first occurred to some in Washington that US power might be capable of controlling just about everything worth the bother globally for, if not an eternity, then long enough to make the future American property. Continue reading “Intelligence community tries to predict what’s next”

A message from your future

We’re not sure how many people worry about this, but think for a minute about the future you.

That’s right, you, in maybe 10 years.

Apparently most people are incapable of doing this is any realistic sense. They can look back on their lives and see all of the various changes and


bumps in the road. But looking forward, people only see an eternal now. They see themselves unchanged.


Why does this matter? We at Worlding think it may say something about attitudes toward difference and newness. People who don’t expect to change could very well resist ideas they don’t understand. And let’s not even think about people who live in the past. Certainly the last year’s political confrontation have shown us the close-mindedness of Teapartiers and others who cling to memory at the expense of all else. So, as the New York Times reports:

“When we remember our past selves, they seem quite different. We know how much our personalities and tastes have changed over the years. But when we look ahead, somehow we expect ourselves to stay the same, a team of psychologists said Thursday, describing research they conducted of people’s self-perceptions. Continue reading “A message from your future”

The future of race in America

By the end of this decade no single racial or ethnic group will constitute a majority of children under 18–And in about three decades, no single group will constitute a majority of the country as a whole. Today’s New York Times says that:

“’The next half century marks key points in continuing trends — the U.S. will become a plurality nation, where the non-Hispanic white population remains the largest single group, but no group is in the majority,’ the bureau’s acting director, Thomas L. Mesenbourg, said in a statement.

“The new projections — the first set based on the 2010 Census — paint a Continue reading “The future of race in America”