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Ask HN: A New Decade. Any Predictions?
815 points by napsterbr 18 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 1094 comments
2020's version of https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1025681



Here are mine:

1. Still no level 4/5 autonomous cars anywhere in sight. The promise of being "just around the corner" fizzles down and people just forget the hype.

2. Same with AI. The panacea hype dies down. No AGI at all. No major job losses due to AI automation.

3. Facebook (the SN) still exists but ages along with it's current user base. i.e it's the "old people's" SN. Facebook (the company) is still going strong, with either Instagram or one of it's acquisitions being the current "hip" SN.

4. Google still dominates search and email but losses value and "glory" compared to today.

5. Majority of people still don't care about privacy.

6. But a small yet growing culture of "offliners" becomes mainstream. Being offline is the new "Yoga" and allows bragging rights.

7. Increase in adoption of non-scientific beliefs such as astrology/anti-vaxx/religion/flat-earth as a counterbalance to the increased complexity of everyday life.

8. Web development matures and a "standard" stack is accepted, all in JS.

9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

10. Still no hoverboards.


I think these predictions are way too safe, to the point that they aren't predictions at all. These are all very widely accepted views already (in the tech community / HN atleast) which explains why this comment is top currently.


This comment from the recent thread reflecting on HNers’ predictions from 2010 made me realize how little can change in a decade:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21942143

IMO, OP’s predictions may be safe, but that says more about reality than OP’s lack of imagination.


But note that looking for predictions that worked out leads you to “safe” predictions. I would like to see a list of things that were big that no one predicted. (Uber?)


You shouldn’t make outrageous predictions if you don’t sincerely believe they will become true though.

Otherwise you will get what we see in TV everyday. a bunch of people making outrageous predictions just to sound exciting. Then when the prediction comes true, they will claim all the credit. when it doesn’t, they will say “haha I was just kidding of course”


People should state predictions where their view of the probabilities differs from conventional wisdom. EG, if most people think there's a ~20% chance that level 5 SDCs will be available in 2030 and you think it's a 1% chance then that's a valid prediction, even though it's not that exciting to predict something won't happen. If people think there's a 0% chance of hoverboards and you think it's 10% then that's an interesting prediction, even though you still expect it not to happen.

Any serious prediction should include a probability estimate that differs from conventional probability estimates. Almost not one actually does this, because everyone is doing it wrong.


Thanks for the link, interesting read. Almost all predictions were spectacularly wrong.


>they aren't predictions at all

Sure they are, it's a nice counterpoint to the people who think in 10 years we'll have flying cars and a fully immersive VR matrix and nobody will have a real job since AI and robots will do everything for us.


Hardly a "nice counterpoint", it's the polar opposite and is merely stating that innovation will be near zero and the status quo will continue. It's possible to have an outcome between TOTAL innovation and ZERO innovation.


Innovation is a set of lumpy perturbations on a mostly-smooth status quo. That’s the counterpoint to these outlandish predictions seen in other comments.


The first two, autonomous cars and AI hype are pretty much the opposite of most of HN's opinion.


Innovations like that need 15-20 years from a working prototype to mass adoption, so I agree with the prediction that we won't see it in the 20's yet.


Vast majority of people here think self driving is over hyped.

The AI not leading to job displacement prediction is just silly, given that it's already leading to job loss.


> The AI not leading to job displacement prediction is just silly, given that it's already leading to job loss.

The prediction was about job loss, not displacement, and you are incorrect about the current state. Job displacement and job loss are two very different things. AI is leading to job displacement (less jobs in certain industries, but not necessarily overall reduction in jobs), it does not seem to be leading, so far, to job loss (less jobs overall). It's harder to tell if it is leading to a greater share of jobs with lower wages, which has similar economic and policy implications to it causing net job loss, because there are lots of confounding factors when looking at the dynamics of wage distribution.

A lot of AI fear is based around net job loss (which has not generally historically been associated with technological advancements), not mere job displacement (which is a common effect of technological advancements).


The fear is that jobs left to humans are those low level ones. Technology divide up the society into elites who control machines and labors who is controlled by machines. And gradually, the elites become less and less until the day we humans are all batteries.


It is like the persitence method for weather prediction - you can predict tomorrow's weather is same as today and you would be right a good number of times :P


But they are predictions. The commenter is saying these things will happen by 2030. Just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’re not predictions or that there’s something wrong with them. If you want to write some crazy predictions you can do that yourself


A good part of them would have been great predictions to the past decade :)


I agree, the prediction is basically; "the status quo will continue"...


Generally a good prior.


> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

Per-capita CO emissions [1]:

    United States  17.5
    Australia      16.75
    Canada         14.67
    Russian Fed.   12.18
    South Korea    11.78
    Norway         11.71
    Finland        11.53
    Greenland      11.07
    Netherlands    10.96
    ...
    China          6.18
    Mexico         3.91
    Brazil         2.15
    India          1.64
If lack of initiative is to blame we need to point the right culprits.

[1] https://cotap.org/per-capita-carbon-co2-emissions-by-country...


How did you cherry pick that list? The actual top countries per capita from your source are:

  Qatar 40.1
  Trinidad & Tobago 37.78
  Kuwait 34.24
  Netherlands Antilles 23.55
  Brunei Darussalam 22.96
  United Arab Emirates 22.31
  Aruba 21.59
  Luxembourg 21.34
  ...
But looking at the total, rather than per-capita, carbon emissions makes more sense if we want to actually cut total carbon emissions.

Here is the list of top CO2 emitting countries:

  China 10,877.2
  United States 5,107.4
  India 2,454.8
  Russia 1,764.9
  Japan 1,320.8
  Germany 796.5
  South Korea 673.3
  Iran 671.5
  ...
from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_di... , which cites the source https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/fossil-co2-emissions...


But then why look at total per year. Calculate the cumulative total since the start of the industrial revolution. That number is relevant for the situation we're in today.


It's somewhat useful to know how much we did in the us but you can't go back in time and change what the us did from 1900-2000. I don't get the point. We can all only change what we emit now and into the future.


It would be fair if the ones who did all the pollution (and also got the benefits from it) would clean the mess up now.


I think the idea is that even if all the current top emitters do take initiative, China and India's emissions are expected to grow quickly. The losses will win over the gains.


The way one frames it inevitably biases the resulting opinion.

If you think in terms of net change relative to a given level of emissions at some year... eu bad, US badder, China & India Terrible.

If you think in terms of "every person is entitled to X emissions per year," where X is current or desired average emissions (inc 0-emissions) then... China & India are best, EU & US are bad.

The more nationalistically we think of these things, the more nationalistic they seem and become.


It’ll only grow as fast as the “1st world” keeps consuming and off-shoring to avoid regulation. So where’s their initiative?


> It’ll only grow as fast as the “1st world” keeps consuming and off-shoring to avoid regulation

That's quite outdated; there's a huge internal market in China, India, etc, and plenty of trade between the non-"1st world" countries. In fact, the US did have an initiative to reduce consumption from there (in the form of tariffs) and it didn't impact their economy much.

Just as an example, China now has about as many cars as the US. And the market there keeps growing, whereas the US has mostly plateaued.


If they still manage less CO per capita w/ their exports plus internal market, that weakens the argument that emissions control is primarily a 3rd world responsibility.


That little table is the only place where China looks good with regards to CO2 emissions. If the US had 4x the population, ceteris paribus, we'd have even lower CO2 "per capita" than China. Doesn't change one bit the fact that China emits 40% more CO2 than the next biggest polluter.


China is also the world's factory floor, producing most of what's bought by people in the US and Australia, and in effect taking big part of their responsibility. Considering that, the fact it's only 1.4x of US emissions is a miracle.

If "1st world" were truly worried, they would stop buying or stop off-shoring. Saying "3rd world lacks initiative" as if it's a national issue is a joke.


> Saying "3rd world lacks initiative" as if it's a national issue is a joke.

Yeah, I definitely said that. Continue being mad at me and America.


You had me up until here: 'Web development matures and a "standard" stack is accepted, all in JS.'

The Node ecosystem is a mess and it starts with core being a hodgepodge of deprecated mush. I think it's more likely that wasm picks up steam.

Rails, PHP, Django, etc aren't going anywhere.


I almost feel like there are 2 parallel industries in web development. One based on solving problems and using the right tool for the job, and one based on bullshit, overengineering and including more and more complexity & tooling to make up for huge downsides in the language and to justify their entire careers (can you really advocate against using a tool when your entire career depends on using that tool?)

The former will keep going and keep solving problems, but it'll be relatively quiet in the grand scheme of things just like it is now. The JS ecosystem will continue to thrive in the latter world where there's more VC money, hype & RAM than common sense, so we'll keep hearing about it. As long as there's enough VC money to fuel the fire this situation will keep going (along with NPM's storage expenses growing alarmingly) but the second the VC money dries up and hype-driven startups die off, companies will mostly come back to the first approach and the majority of "React developers" will be out of a job.


This. Currently looking for job and it seems that every single company out there is just looking for someone who knows angular, react, node, etc. I always emphasize that I can learn the tools required by the job, but no, they just want someone with n years of experience in just a specific tool, instead of someone who can learn and adapt. Not a whine, just a concerned observation on the industry.


I found that some companies were willing to let you learn tech on the job. Talk to some recruiters. If you're confident, like me, make it clear to a recruiter or company that you have every confidence that you will learn the tech quickly and it won't be a problem.


There's a lot of people in web development who are full of shit. You can tell who they are when they claim that JS or the DOM is slow unless you use X framework. What they either don't understand or ignore is that frameworks are for the developer, not the computer. If you are a fool, a framework isn't going to stop you from making really bad choices and over-engineering something into oblivion. Years from now, there will be people claiming that React is "too slow" or "too bloated" or "too complicated", and it will be abandoned for the next greatest thing. Some of this also has to do with the fact that there are lots of wild-eyed entrepreneurial types who either want to work for FAANG or have a startup that they believe will compete with FAANG. Thus, they only believe in the latest and greatest thing.

The secret, or perhaps not-so-secret, is that the vast majority of web applications are still CRUD, and the average person doesn't understand the difference between a SPA and a server-rendered app. Most of the engineering effort that goes beyond that is probably a waste of time unless you really plan on doing things beyond CRUD. So the best thing is to actually understand the fundamentals, learn to do a good job at those, and use the tools that make sense for said job. That means that maybe, just maybe, your WebGL game doesn't need to use React.


Right on. Most of my efforts now include fighting complexity, while everyone else around me seems hell-bent on adding more of it.


Hear, hear. We should start some kind of movement. Or at least write a manifesto.


Lets do it this way: The product should be so sinple the customer understands how it works and must do all maintanace on it without help. If they do need help you've failed.


It's no mistake that 7 and 8 and next to each other


But Rails and Django are for midsized websites only. Node is used in big companies for Microservices and serverless. Its impossible to scale Django to say 3000 developers.


Github, Shopify, Airbnb, Hulu and more are built in Rails, so clearly it does scale. You can do microservices with Ruby/Python as well. Ditto serverless. And my own company does this.

But comparing Rails (a framework for complete web dev functionality) to entirely different paradigms and use cases seems kind of silly. These frameworks don’t solve everything, but they make it far easier and cheaper to develop a website with under, say, 500 million users. Once you get that large you can start exploring paying more devs for better efficiency.


Uh... Instagram is a Django app...

> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

Ya let's blame it all on other people.


Indeed. Which one country just left the Paris Agreement? Hint: Not China or 3rd world countries.


The big difference between the American attitude and the Chinese attitude towards ecology is this :

The Americans loudly refuse to do anything, loudly deny that there's a problem, and loudly proclaim their hatred of ecology.

The Chinese say yes to everything but they have absolutely no intention of actually doing anything, they just lie.

Check this out : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/05/23/china-factories-...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/04/china-underrep...


According to Climate Action Tracker, https://climateactiontracker.org/countries/china/current-pol...

> This means that according to our assessment, China will meet its 2020 pledge and its NDC targets, but still be above current emissions levels. China’s chief climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, has expressed the opinion that China could meet its 2030 peaking targets early, reflecting the conclusions of other studies (Green and Stern, 2017; Xu, Stanway and Daly, 2018; Gallagher et al., 2019b; Wang et al., 2019). CAT analysis confirms that, based on current GDP projections, China is indeed likely to meet the carbon intensity target of its 2030 pledge early.

So the TL;DR is China is likely to meet its pledges but the pledges themselves are pretty weak — rated “highly insufficient” and only consistent with a 4 degrees warming limit.

That’s inconsistent with your “say yes to everything but ... just lie” assessment. It appears they don’t say yes to everything (hence the weak pledge) but will hit the promised target.

Your links don’t support your point either. The first link doesn’t pinpoint the cause (could be a lapse in enforcement) and the second link is about a revision in official figures; Guardian’s reporting is based on a NYT article with a more neutral tone, but even the Guardian article with its loaded title (surprise surprise) didn’t call it lying.


The leaders of america do that, at least half the people in the country want to do something. And the leader of the us will eventually change and we'll get a new goal. Then we'll be like china though because the republicans/oil industry will sue to block changes.


From result standpoint, it's small difference, not a big one.


The Paris Agreement is just a piece of paper. If we go by the "initiative" measure of GGP, the leadership of most countries doesn't display a sufficient amount of it.


He said "mostly" because of, not totally due to. Furthermore, look at US emissions...they are flat or declining over time, and will continue to slowly decline. So, we're closer to hitting our future Paris goals than China, whose emissions are going to continue to rise quickly due to increased oil use, LNG, and a LOT of coal use for at least 20 years to come.


Also lack of initiative by many 1st world countries, hopefully there will be plenty of new technologies developed in the coming years that reduce or capture carbon.

But with current developments this will be far too little too late and it will be a rough ride forward.


A technology that helps reduce and capture carbon? You mean trees? Because we already have them for a few million years.


> let's blame it all on other people

Unfortunately we can't blame it on ourselves as our carbon emissions, assuming it's even relevant, have decreased massively compared to predictions.


You've got to be kidding...

United States per-capita CO2 emmisions are 17.5 tons per year vs China's 6.18, and that's not even taking into account the fact that China emits a lot of CO2 producing cheap products to sell to the US.

https://cotap.org/per-capita-carbon-co2-emissions-by-country...


I think a relevant point may also be the rate of increase. The numbers I saw show that the US per capita emissions actually trending down and China was still increasing.

I’m not trying to absolve the US here just noting that rate of increase/decrease matters in addition to per capita and absolute values

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EN.ATM.CO2E.PC

https://www.theguardian.com/environment


I’m not arguing against US CO2, but the likelihood of those numbers for China being anywhere near accurate is small.


I don't think the numbers don't come from China, they're measured by satelites.

https://www.livescience.com/49196-nasa-satellite-oco2-carbon...

China shows up very red, but they have 5x the people living in a much smaller area.


Likewise for the US.


Why? They are supported by pretty much every source out there. See e.g. EDGAR ( https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/9d0... ), or this slightly older data set from the World Bank: https://databank.worldbank.org/reports.aspx?source=2&series=... .

I'm not sure why you'd expect it to be otherwise. This is a per-capita figure, and carbon emissions are strongly correlated with income and purchasing power. CO2 emissions aren't driven by consumer goods production alone.

There's an adjusted metric that puts things into an even better perspective: https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emis... .


So that last link has numbers drastically different from the GP’s data, and it says that it comes simply from fossil fuel combustion and cement — not population. Population is also not a great metric; the types of power plants, typical personal transportation usages, and transport of everyday items like food will vary greatly. These are also all very dynamic.

The reality is all these data sources will he estimates. Estimates can be severely wrong — they can be produced by local governments with incentives to lie, or estimated by outside observers with poor actual knowledge. China has had a long history of empirical lying in their economic data locally due to internal party targets, for example. I see no reason for them to give accurate numbers to the UN/external world, where as with the US there’s enough decentralization and public data that there’s a better chance of being more accurate (but still probably quite off).


Of course they're estimates, you can't exactly plug a meter on every exhaust pipe in the country and take a reading every couple of days. And of course the methodology varies from one study to another. But modern estimates do account for things like types of power plants, typical personal (and public, and business/industrial) transportation usages etc.. It's not like the whole scientific world waited for us to discuss this on HN before figuring out that maybe 10 people who go to work by bike isn't quite the same as 10 people who drive a jeep to work.

There is less data available for China and therefore the estimates are likely wrong by a higher margin than the estimates for the US. But the figures do very much fit the demographics, economy and geography of China so I doubt that the margin is that high.


If only there were some kind of device we could launch into space, fly over China and see for ourselves.

Wait... https://co2.jpl.nasa.gov/


And what does it show? I just see giant data sets.


Why?

When azinman2 claimed the reported COTAP numbers for China are probably wrong I was saying the same is true for the US for exactly the same reasons - measuring emissions on a national scale is hard, there are good reasons not to believe any self-reported data that business relies on, and frankly America has worse climate emissions policies than China at the moment.

I'm not suggesting that other agencies that independently measure emissions are wrong. It is possible to measure emissions remotely (eg the satellite that SmellyGeekBoy linked to), and that provides proper unbiased data.


> United States per-capita CO2 emmisions are 17.5 tons per year vs China's 6.18

Does this mean we need to multiply China's values by 4.2 (1386 mln Chinese vs 327 mln Americans) to account for all those capitas? ;-)


Per capita is the only metric that makes sense for carbon emissions since the effects are not going to be confined to artificial nation boundaries. So no, no need to multiply anything.


Companies in developed countries have been exporting emissions to developing countries. Those companies are profiting while people like you and I point fingers at each other. Pretty funny. Anyway if you look at the emission metrics per capita it's still developed countries at the top.


... but if developed countries are asking developing countries to reduce their emissions it means they are implicitly asking for a price raise too, no? So, why not do that?


Not everyone can afford the price raise. Firms in developed countries would be hurt if consumption decreases due to the price raise so who’s going to support this policy?


So could this really lead to a global depression? I doubt it.


Not saying it could. I'm just discussing the incentives involved.


I disagree strongly on number 6. Offliners would be as popular as people who still carry flip phones and lecture you about it. You can’t become mainstream without some kind of media. Vegans talk about veganism all the time on social media. That’s why everyone knows about it.


I can easily imagine influencers Instagram-ing about their awesome "offline" lives. You're assuming the offliners are going to be honest about it.

[Edit] Also, I could see being offline becoming a kind of cultural prestige or aspiration, like something only rich people could do by delegating their online presence to hired guns, etc.


> I could see being offline becoming a kind of cultural prestige or aspiration

This reminds me of the 1970s, when being 'ex-directory' - paying to not have your phone number included in the telephone directory - was seen as cultural prestige.


> You can’t become mainstream without some kind of media.

All it takes is a series of stories about offliners from a couple of major news outlets.


There’s power in negative space. People will maintain meatspace connections that won’t be mirrored online, which will create a sense of mystique and intrigue. People who aren’t immediately connected to off lines IRL will seek them out in a kind of pilgrimage.


I have most reason to doubt 8. I think it'll mature, but I doubt a fully "standard" stack will come about.

I suspect WASM will lead to a lot less stuff being done in JS.


I'd rather bet that react/the react ecosystem will be have a >60% share than WASM being extremely common.


There's a bit of a push to get everything that isn't rendering out of the render thread, and if you're going to do a bunch of logic in a web worker I guess it isn't a big jump to do it in Go/Rust/whatever.

I agree with your intuition, though -- I don't think it'll become too widespread. Projects will start in all-js in the front-end, and no language will provide sufficient benefit to motivate rewriting half of the client.

I'm less sure about back-end development trends but I think "less standardised than the front-end" is a gimme. Maybe Node/Express or similar will pick up, but I feel like they've been waning the last few years. Go servers seem trendier.


I’m optimistic about Elm or something like Elm that represents a minimal core of today’s emerging best practices (virtual DOM, static types, functional core & imperative shell) while cutting off the fat (mutability, type coercion) and providing valuable affordances and guarantees (educational compiler messages, no runtime exceptions.)


Why?


WASM does not fix DOM manipulation, so…


You can render using WebGL so you don't need DOM manipulation, any UI library in any language will do. The advantage to this method is that you are no longer limited by browsers slow and inconsistent DOM implementation, you can just make your own.


And create an accessibility nightmare.


Everything is an accessibility nightmare until somebody creates accessibility tools for it


That has yet to hinder web developers.


Like Flash with even less consistency? I hope not.


  > 6. But a small yet growing culture of "offliners" becomes
  > mainstream. Being offline is the new "Yoga" and allows
  > bragging rights.
I also think this. However, where do you brag if you are offline…

  > 8. Web development matures and a "standard" stack is accepted,
  > all in JS.
I kind of hoping for "going back to basics" in regards to the web. Like content sites rediscover they can work with HTML only and it must not necessarily be rendered with JS.


I agree: For my Web site, I wrote no JS at all. Microsoft's ASP.NET wrote a little for me, but it's optional. My largest page sends for just 400,000 bits. The page is exactly 700 pixels wide and has both horizontal and vertical scroll bars and is usable in a window as narrow as 300 pixels. I intend the page to look good on anything with a Web browser up to date as of, say, 10 years ago.


> 8. Web development matures and a "standard" stack is accepted, all in JS.

I'd walk into traffic.


I can see the web being driven into the ground in the next few decades, ever increasing complexity, more extreme hardware requirements for a bit of text on a page, it's already in a silly state, after another decade of this something needs to snap.


It doesn't have to be that way.

HN for example gets by just fine with minimal JS. JS is not even required for functional websites.


Do you know what site works extremely well without js?

Amazon, unironically. I did an entire transaction the other day with noscript on before I realized it. I'd never want to work for them but their tech is impressive.

Only thing that didn't work was the logout button.


I'm reminded of the old adage that "we don't know what the scientific programming language of the future will look like but it will be called FORTRAN."

JavaScript today is much more usable than what came out in 1995. You still can't use the Set type to usefully contain anything but primitives, but there's a Set type!


Right, but because the traffic will all be autonomous vehicles, that will be totally safe.


1 and 2:

Based on something like the Gartner Hype Cycle I will guess that we might be nearing something in 10 year. Or it might be that these things work in a 30-40 year cycle (based on observations of the last time AI was hot).

8:

For better (we can use languages that doesn't have more built in footguns than PHP) and for worse (openness of frontend will disappear) WASM will make Javascript unnecessary in the long run.

I'm kind of seasoned with JS - and a number of other languages - and the only real strength that JS has compared to TypeScript, C# and Java, language wise, is that it is ubiquitous.

Besides: if you get developers tp agree on a single stack in 10 years then you are dangerously good at negotiations and should spend your time in embassies not on HN;-)


Doesn't typescript complile to std js?


It does. But the language is nice enough to be stand alone and in my opinion, in the long run I think there's no reason to involve legacy js and hopefully we could get a wasm compile target :-)


> Being offline is the new "Yoga"

This! But my take is it will be out of sheer necessity.

Killing all my social media presence for the last 3 years or so has been more cathartic than anything else I tried in order to acquire perfect peace. That, plus completely cutting out alcohol. I have near zero anxiety since embarking on this and I highly recommend it.


I think being off social media is very healthy. It's sad that people don't interact in person as much anymore, but maybe we'll get more social media that encourages meeting offline (e.g. meetup.com). Anyone want to make an app? It would be nice of there was an app that would help you identify locals and neighbors with common interests. auto-matching maybe? I can see an app getting really invasive (like checking your search-engine queries), but it doesn't need to be this intense... or maybe that depends on how badly you want to meet people.

... Then again, you could just go knock on your neighbor's door and say hello, but that's too easy, too natural. ;)


> identify locals and neighbors with common interests. auto-matching maybe?

Tinder for friendly neighbors /s

Jokes aside, it does sound good though. I wouldn't mind getting my hands dirty for a few hours on the weekend. As far as mobile apps go, my only competence is in react native. If interested let me know how I can get in touch.


> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_China


China is building more new coal power output than currently exists in the entire EU combined. There's no indication they plan to stop there and that doesn't count the coal plants their companies are building in the rest of Asia.

Adding renewables or nuclear while you massively increase your world-leading emissions output, won't actually improve anything.

"China Is Still Building an Insane Number of New Coal Plants"

https://www.wired.com/story/china-is-still-building-an-insan...

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/29/716347646/why-is-china-placin...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/years-afte...


You should have pasted the one of renewable energy in China, they are investing far more than any other country on the planet, as they know first hand the damage it causes from not doing so (pollution, acid rain, etc)


This doesn't look positive:

> However, few plants have commenced construction since 2015, and it is now unlikely that this target will be met.


Probably just a typical short-term hiccup in construction planning. China has much bigger plans for 2030, as the article says.

Also, take a look at the bar-charts on the Wikipedia page.


China just built and started operating their longest coal transporting train 2 months ago:

https://twitter.com/globaltimesnews/status/11535899795340738...

Meanwhile also claiming "China says it has already hit 2020 carbon reduction goal".

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/472224-china-s...

I don't think they can be trusted with anything they say.


> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

Per capita, it's not the "3rd" world countries that are polluting, but the "1st" worlds (https://cotap.org/per-capita-carbon-co2-emissions-by-country...). I'm sad to see someone still referring to countries as "1st" and "3rd" world, as that's an incredibly outdated term. Also to refer to China as a "3rd world country" is astonishing. I recommend you read the book Factfulness (https://www.gapminder.org/factfulness-book/) to get a better sense in how the world works.


> Also to refer to China as a "3rd world country" is astonishing

> by China and 3rd world countries

By Mary and the guys (indicating that Mary is not a guy).

> Per capita, it's not the "3rd" world countries that are polluting, but the "1st" worlds

From your own source, the top polluters per capita are Qatar, Trinidad & Tobago and Kuwait. Qatar is wealthy, but probably not "1st world".

> I'm sad to see someone still referring to countries as "1st" and "3rd" world, as that's an incredibly outdated term

The AP standard was updated in 2015. The terms "1st", "2nd" and "3rd" world are still in common parlance even though the AP prefers "Developed" and "Developing".


Show me the AP standard, please, because other sources seem to vehemently disagree with your statement. Unless you are still in the cold war, that is.

I reiterate what I said before, please read Factfulness, and then get back to me.

Also, funnily enough, China was never considered a third-world country, but a second-world one, you know, in Cold war terms.


> Also, funnily enough, China was never considered a third-world country, but a second-world one, you know, in Cold war terms.

Again you're really struggling with the grammar here.

"Mary and the boys".

Is Mary a boy? No, Mary is not a boy. We are indicating Mary is in fact, not part of "the boys". Likewise, "China and 3rd world" indicates China is not 3rd world.

> Show me the AP standard

https://twitter.com/apstylebook/status/631085111220547584?la...

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/01/04/3726844...

> I reiterate what I said before, please read Factfulness, and then get back to me.

Wonderful book, not related to our current disagreement. If we're throwing out recommendations though, then I'd recommend Strunk and White.


China is 2x the emitter that the US is and it's going to get worse. China has more than doubled their per capita emissions in the last 20 years. Many other countries will follow suit.

The US and other more developed economies are plateauing in terms of emissions per capita. While there's ample opportunity to begin to claw back those numbers, it is not where the problem lies moving forward.


China: 6.4 metric tons of CO2 per capita

United States: 16.5 metric tons of CO2 per capita

--

Other developed countries:

Germany: 8.9 metric tons of CO2 per capita

France: 4.6 metric tons of CO2 per capita

UK: 6.5 metric tons of CO2 per capita

Spain: 5 metric tons of CO2 per capita

--

This is 2014 data (for comparability), but in 2018 China still had half (7.95 metric tons per capita) the CO2 per capita than the US


Care to enter into a bet on #1? (Particularly with your phrasing, it seems like Waymo in Phoenix already counts)


I posted something similar and I would bet money on it, if there's a good mechanism to do so.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21942100

I've invested in rideshare companies with the assumption that humans will still largely be behind the wheel in 10 years.

(Because nobody's going back to taxis; rideshare is more backward compatible than public transit buildout; it's harder than you think to start a new rideshare company, etc. Also once something becomes popular, people underestimate how long it sticks. Similar to somebody predicting on the 2010 thread that Facebook would be gone by now.)

Side note: I've made bearish predictions about self-driving on HN for at least 2-3 years if you check my comment history. I'm don't want to be negative, just realistic. I'm bullish on the software industry in general and video in particular.


> if there's a good mechanism to do so.

Have you ever seen longbets.org?

My favorites:

http://longbets.org/362/ http://longbets.org/382/


Yours (that autonomous vehicles won’t have an impact on the average person) is way more likely to hold than “there will be no L4/L5 autonomous vehicles anywhere”. I wanted the free money :).

Would you still do your bet with your “average” restricted to the US? What about major US cities? (By the end of your comment, it seemed you were at “average person in the whole world”, including developing, such that nobody should take your bet within a 10-year timeframe).

I think the biggest risks are regulatory and weather conditions. For the first: will NYC really allow AVs in time for 2030 to have any serious adoption? That looks questionable currently. As for weather conditions, you didn’t explicitly state it, but an autonomous system that only works 50% of the year means people need their current mobility and the AV option, leading to high cost.

The Bay Area and Los Angeles only have rain though, so it’s not too hard to imagine a world where AVs can operate in big California cities successfully, most of the year. I’d make that bet: Californians will have driverless cars with material impact (but perhaps not car replacement for the masses) for the median person in the major metro areas by Jan 1, 2030.

Edit: updated with my own bet and phrasing.


It doesn't sound like our opinions are that far off. Even in the last year it seems like the media and public have adjusted their expectations.

I live in SF and worked at Google so I've been hearing all about self-driving since 2009 (and I remember when co-workers went to the DARPA competitions in 2006).

Look at the top comment on this article from February 2018:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16352467

It’s great to explore this topic. You can have a lot of fun in picking a random industry and imagining the effect that self driving will have

A lot of that is true IF we get to level 5 soon -- but it seems like most people don't believe that anymore (for good reason).

https://a16z.com/2018/02/03/autonomy-ecosystem-frank-chen-su...

One thing’s for sure: We’re at a critical inflection point with this technology, so the shift is going to happen a lot faster than we think

Here's my comment which I think should have been totally uncontroversial since I simply quoted three people who are very close to the problem: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16353541

However I got pushback on that comment, and also when I said similar things in person to people even further away from the problem than I am. I remember a summer 2018 conversation where an engineer was poking fun at the tech-unsophisticated for doubting that self-driving is possible.

----

Take a look at this 2013 nytimes article, which might have been the height of it:

http://archive.is/7ARB6

That city of the future could have narrower streets because parking spots would no longer be necessary. And the air would be cleaner because people would drive less.

I would definitely take a bet against changes in city layout or the the air being cleaner in 2030 because of self-driving. (Both of them will improve in many places for other reasons though.)

I would also take a bet against self-driving impacting your average senior citizen or disabled person, which has been in the marketing of at least a few self-driving companies.

“I could sleep in my driverless car, or have an exercise bike in the back of the car to work out on the way to work,” he said. “My time spent in my car will essentially be very different.”

note: the article does present both sides: I'm picking a few people's opinions. But I heard a lot of that in person over the last 10 years.

-----

So really I'm not predicting anything controversial... it looks like the hype has already died down. I'm more interested in my other predictions on this thread.

But I also won't rule out the possibility of a "black swan": if there's a big innovation in self-driving, it probably won't come from Waymo, Tesla, or any incumbent.


Aren't autonomous vehicles supposed to be a huge boon to rideshare companies?


Yes they would be a huge boon, but I don't think it will happen. And I'm still bullish on rideshare anyway.

That was the story that Uber/Lyft sold to their investors prior to their IPOs. Here's a fantastic (and long) article by Tim O'Reilly that:

https://qz.com/1540608/the-problem-with-silicon-valleys-obse...

Despite that I still think rideshare is valuable and there's no going back. I think Uber and Lyft will raise their prices significantly and people will take them anyway.


True L5 have zero chance of becoming a reality universally in the next several years. I drive a Tesla and continually see edge cases that I have no idea how autopilot should handle. For example, going to ski today at Squaw, they create these temporary lanes with cones, but ask you to ignore the actual lane markings. Further, there is a roundabout in SF that has a mix of Muni, cars, bikes, scooters, pedestrians, regulated by a stop sign. I find it impossible to navigate as a human driver. Not sure how and AI can ever navigate this


Actually I really do. I'm wondering how I could, in terms of investment, without risk of pivoting of specific companies etc.


You'd have to be careful with your definition of level 4. https://www.synopsys.com/automotive/autonomous-driving-level... has Waymo as already being there.


"5. Majority of people still don't care about privacy."

"The majority of people don't draw the privacy line where I draw it, therefore they don't value privacy at all."


> 6. But a small yet growing culture of "offliners" becomes mainstream. Being offline is the new "Yoga" and allows bragging rights.

Huh, I never thought of this before but you are right, seems like rejecting technology is becoming more acceptable in the mainstream with the 5G conspiracy.


It's not just conspiracy theories. The focus of much of tech has focused from providing value to its users to extracting maximum value via behavioral manipulation. (Sorry, "engagement" and "stickiness")

People who can afford to reject the services provided, or can afford to buy them non-sticky elsewhere, will. Same as it ever was - money buys freedom.


> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

Wealthy nations have produced massive emissions during their industrialization, and continue to do so on a per-capita basis. The global north has the responsibility to cut back to a greater extent so poorer countries can develop.


> 4. Google still dominates search and email but losses value and "glory" compared to today.

Isn't that already the case and not a prediction per se?

> 6. But a small yet growing culture of "offliners" becomes mainstream. Being offline is the new "Yoga" and allows bragging rights.

Meh, not going to happen. On the contrary being connected will be more than ever the "new utility" to do just about anything in life.

> 7. Increase in adoption of non-scientific beliefs such as astrology/anti-vaxx/religion/flat-earth as a counterbalance to the increased complexity of everyday life.

That's already the case with most people have a very poor understanding of scientific principles or even basic stats.

> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

China is building more nuclear power plants than any other country on Earth.


I disagree with number 2, but you might quibble about what 'job losses due to automation' really means, what is 'ai automation' vs regular automation. There aren't any travel agents hardly, it didn't take AGI to remove them, it just took making looking through flights and buying them with the web easy.

Similarly, it looks like wall street already has job losses from automating trading. Is that an ai automation? The problem is you could label any job losses due to automating things as not ai, even though actual jobs will continue to be replaced more and more by computers. Have you seen the mcdonald's where you order it yourself instead of using a panel, there must have been fewer people hired to take orders there.


Not to be glib but these predictions are just: nothing changes. In this regard I'm conflicted, on the one hand I agree with many of your points. But on the other hand I could not have conceived of Uber and AirbnB being as influential as they were in 2010, and they already existed!


> 10. Still no hoverboards

Man! You really know how to drop a bummer for your last one :(


They are testing this right now at CERN. If that antimatter floats UP, there shall be hoverboards for all.

Spoiler: it will float down.


> Facebook (the SN) still exists but ages along with it's current user base. i.e it's the "old people's" SN. Facebook (the company) is still going strong, with either Instagram or one of it's acquisitions being the current "hip" SN.

Which year do you live in?

This happened already, so long ago in fact that even Instagram is already on the way out as the mid-30s social network, and TikTok is taking over with it’s real-life softporn focus.


> Still no level 4/5 autonomous cars anywhere in sight.

> No major job losses due to AI automation

First off, #2 is really 2 predictions. 1) No AGI 2) No major job loss due to AI automation. There can be job loss due to automation without AGI (which I'm EXTREMELY bearish on AGI, bearish for the century actually).

Second, here's a scenario I think we could see job loss due to autonomous vehicles. Trucking. If we get level 3. We're defining level 3 as

> In the right conditions, the car can manage most aspects of driving, including monitoring the environment. The system prompts the driver to intervene when it encounters a scenario it can’t navigate. Driver involvement: The driver must be available to take over at any time.

I see this as near tech and could cause disruption. We already have level 2. If regulations change, then I could see job loss.

Or another scenario. Let's say that trucks are level 4 on highways in clear conditions, level 2 in cities, and level 1 in bad conditions. Regulations could change so that a driver could "drive" for longer hours and even sleep given that trucks are driving in clear conditions, automatically pulling over to the side of the road/sounding an alarm/slowing down when conditions are deemed unsuitable (with a low threshold). Such a situation seems near possible with current tech and have the potential to disrupt the market. Knowing if that's going to create more drivers or less drivers is harder to say.

I'm also bearish on level 4/5 vehicles in the next decade, but I'm not bearish on driving staying the same within the next decade. Especially as we see more cars becoming level 2. I am bullish on disruption here, including regulation. Though I'm not going to try to define what the disruption is, other than increased safety (which is pretty huge).

I'm not bullish on AI causing major job loss, but I am bullish on automation (not necessarily %s/AI/ML/g) creating disruption. In fact, I think we're already seeing this. And I want to be clear, I don't think we need ML to automate things. We've done a lot of automation already without it. I think COTs electronics becoming cheaper is the bigger driving force to that along with consumer preferences of using digital systems (Amazon vs store, self checkout vs cashier, movie ticket touch screens vs box office, etc).


> 10. Still no hoverboards

But they exist right now! Just not for the average consumer. https://m.youtube.com/results?search_query=flying+hoverboard...

Same with jetpacks (Gravity Industries will sell you a jet engine based jetpack for ~400k)


For #8, what does "accepted" and "standard" mean? Do you mean front and back end, or just front end? If you just mean front end, maybe. But if you're including back end for web properties, there's lots of enterprises out there that this will never come close to becoming true.


Interesting predictions. I don't think I'll be surprised if I come back to this thread in 10 years ;)


Feels more like 5 years away to me as many of those points are already progressing/are close to success. If you compare to the last decade (for exampet the rise of Bitcoin, Quantum Computing), we can expect many more unexpected discoveries that will change the way we live.


I couldn't agree more with all of those, despite the fact that 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9 are incredibly frustrating and depressing. 10 is also bumming me out to a certain degree...


#6 is spot on.


6 is an interesting one.

How do you see a culture of offliners developing when they can't organise by social media?


Maybe they're already here...


I find it rather depressing that 5. (privacy) is the point with most consensus so far.


I agree with most of what you said but I'm bullish on AI and hoverboards


7. any explanation why it would be caused by complexity of everyday life?


I like your number 7. It looks like this kind of beliefs come in waves.


2. Wrong, I'm nearly done!


Amazingly, I'm pretty aligned with most of these!


I love #6


All great thoughts, here are my takes: > 1. Still no level 4/5 autonomous cars anywhere in sight. The promise of being "just around the corner" fizzles down and people just forget the hype.

I think this is about 50/50, but will take infrastructure changes to really bring about level 4 -- think smart roads and moving pedestrian walkways above/below street level, or possibly every car as a mag-lev/car hybrid. Leaving mag-lev turns into manual.

> 2. Same with AI. The panacea hype dies down. No AGI at all. No major job losses due to AI automation.

I disagree AI will not die or have a nuclear winter, it'll have tremendous leaps/bounds, but nobody claimed AGI would happen in next 10 years, most estimates put it at 2060 or greater

> 3. Facebook (the SN) still exists but ages along with it's current user base. i.e it's the "old people's" SN. Facebook (the company) is still going strong, with either Instagram or one of it's acquisitions being the current "hip" SN.

This is definitely how I see it playing out, FB will monopolize any social media sphere that looks like it's going to 'explode' and be the next thing through acquisitions until they get a monopoly ruling by the gov't and get split up (if/when I'd say 40% likelihood).

> 4. Google still dominates search and email but losses value and "glory" compared to today.

I think google won't lose too much value, assuming they go all in on cloud. I think GCP is where they'll make the most money. Possibly also Google Business accounts for email/etc.

> 5. Majority of people still don't care about privacy.

Not until the country enacts a social credit system like china, which I'd say is a 60% likelihood but it'll be 'privatized' not state ran, so that makes it better right?

> 6. But a small yet growing culture of "offliners" becomes mainstream. Being offline is the new "Yoga" and allows bragging rights.

I don't think this will happen, except either among extreme hippies (and I'm a progressive) but I mean the live in a van off the grid types or the other side live off the grid but right-wing survivalist types. But there's already folks like this.

> 7. Increase in adoption of non-scientific beliefs such as astrology/anti-vaxx/religion/flat-earth as a counterbalance to the increased complexity of everyday life.

God save us from this future. I hope we can educate the dumb out of people, with some free college and better public school systems. Maybe end home-schooling unless we can make sure this doesn't propagate as a result.

> 8. Web development matures and a "standard" stack is accepted, all in JS. HAHAHAHA HAHAAHA HAHAHA. Wait, are you serious? If anything it'd be probably rust/web assembly for it's speed/benchmarks but I don't see anything in web ever becoming one solid framework or stack. If anything it just keeps splintering. The problem is devs are WAY too opinionated about the 'right' way or 'better' way or 'familiar' way of doing things.

> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

This depends on 2020's election. If we see Bernie or Warren win, I think we could lead the world in curbing emissions. We won't win

> 10. Still no hoverboards. Never will be. Nor hover cars (except maybe mag-lev).


> 8. Web development matures and a "standard" stack is accepted, all in JS.

I laughed!

> 9. Global carbon emissions are not reduced, mostly because of lack of initiative by China and 3rd world countries.

I cried.

> 10. Still no hoverboards.

:( I wanted to believe.


#2 : I agree on still no AGI - from even 2 decades from now however job looses I disagree with, just like Industrial Age job losses will happen with more and more automation but at the same time new types of jobs will be created (not as many as the ones lost).


I found it odd that the OP included AGI and job loss in a single point. COTs electronics becoming cheaper is a big driver to automation. ML not required.


OP specifically said 'no job losses from AI automation' - the point was, not only no AGI in some singularity sense, but in general, no AI 'general enough' to take over significant human jobs.


- Automation replaces the need to have a human workforce. North Korea murders 99% of its population and replaces them with robots. Kim still goes around factories pointing at things.

- It becomes possible to literally program humans to do whatever you want them to do. Python is the chosen language but a lack of type safety results in an error that wipes out half of humanity.

- We colonize mars but by choosing only the best and brightest to go, we accidentally create a eugenics program that results in the inevitable conquest of earth by the martians.

- SpaceX is bought by Pornhub as it's discovered that the most effective way to blanket the world in pornography is to do it from space.

- Incels are prescribed virtual girlfriend therapy to provide them company and acclimate them to interactions with the opposite gender. Black market hacks transform them into anime waifus.

- AGI happens and is immediately outlawed as its attempts to solve world peace are inconvenient to the military industrial complex

- Illegal genetic engineering results in actual furries.

- Assassination by drone becomes so effective that no world leaders are seen in the outside from 2025. A vitamin D deficiency kills at least one of them.

- Potemkin jobs abound in a world that doesn't require humans to work to produce anything but needs to keep them busy to stop them complaining about stuff.

- In a last ditch attempt to save the earth from catastrophic climate change, the governments of the world finally join forces to build huge geo-engineering structures to capture carbon from the atmosphere. They're nuked from orbit by the newly formed Garden Kingdom of Siberia.


I know some of these are obviously backed by winks, but I got a smile from this because they're only a hair away from being rather plausible. You should be writing sci-fi!

> Potemkin jobs abound in a world that doesn't require humans to work to produce anything but needs to keep them busy to stop them complaining about stuff.

"There is another theory which states that this has already happened." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs


> You should be writing sci-fi!

Thanks! A few of these are the premise for sci-fi stories I never got around to writing. I'll send you a link to Amazon if I ever do put pen to digital paper.

> "There is another theory which states that this has already happened." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs

Haha, true. Also vaguely like the justification for the Matrix being like it is i.e. office jobs rather than utopia.


The recent video game Death Stranding touched on this theme, but regrettably didn’t go too deep into it. I would be really interested in fiction revolving around giving people work for work’s sake.


Mike Judge, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker are jealous of this list.


Mike Judge, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker are furiously taking notes.


Several of these would be great satire films. :)


The whole list reminded me of the film Idiocracy. Any/all of these would fit perfectly into that movie.


> - Incels are prescribed virtual girlfriend therapy to provide them company and acclimate them to interactions with the opposite gender. Black market hacks transform them into anime waifus.

hahaha this is a good one #startupideas


These sound more like predictions for the century than predictions for the decade.


This legit sounds like a proposal for a Gundam plot


Bold predictions


well that sounds reasonable. where should i invest my money?


I have a plot of land in the soon to be Garden Kingdom of Siberia to sell...


Do you accept bitcoin credit from the Bank of Pirates of Pluto?


- Ads are no longer presented or indicated as such. All advertisement besides public space billboards are paid product placements, advertorials, and sponsored dialogue in TV shows.

- The trend toward "authenticity" still ramping up in 2020 hits full swing, and commercial entities follow suit. Any announced commercial speech is viewed with distrust, while meme tweets are celebrated as "real." Corporate messaging becomes indistinguishable from random chatter on social networks.

- Advances in ML/text bots automate this process, and the random chatter on social sites like Reddit and Tumblr becomes a wasteland of pretty-good bots trying to steer conversations in a sponsored direction.

- Platforms are created for managing brand campaigns across even larger numbers of ever-smaller influencers. Anyone with more than 1k followers on Insta or Snap can sign up to be micro-compensated for brand mentions both online and in person at parties and such. Smartphones are used to track who is where with who and who is saying what, in order to measure these mentions.

- Influencing becomes an accepted career path, and classes appear in higher education on managing your personal brand, identifying which major brands fit with your personal brand, and building a portfolio of commercial brands that identify you like a unique fingerprint. This is blended with graphic design study to create your personal visual fingerprint/brand identity including logo, color scheme, and accessory items like a particular type of flower. It will be called "Personal Marketing" or something and hundreds of thousands of students will flock to the courses. Every public space, whether park, footpath, flower garden, or grocery store, will be filled with hundreds, possibly thousands of young people simultaneously recording selfie videos for their followers or class projects.

- The line between commercially sponsored speech and original speech becomes almost fully blurred.

- The line between brand preference and personal identity disappears. By 2030 the average consumer's daily life is centered around brand experience.


This all ties in rather nicely with the other predictions of "offlining" becoming a thing. In fact it seems mighty tempting based on your predictions.


Influencers: I think we'll start to see fully AI-generated "influencer" profiles start to overtake actual human beings soon - assuming there aren't some already out there.

It will become increasingly hard for actual people to compete with these profiles for attention.



Though this reads like a dystopian science fiction, this may very well be path we are set on right now. If not in 10 years, then surely in 15-20 years.


This is horrifying.


This is the worst timeline.

Some of this is, most assuredly, going to happen - at least to some extent.


I think the educated elites predilection for 'high' culture will stop this. There'll be a sort of Waldenesque rebellion against it.

Agreed that it's horrifying though!


Targeting ads by tracking users will be banned in the EU, but micro-targeting will be possible (just pick the right influencer(s)) or might even become unnecessary.


Black Mirror writers: please turn this into an episode.


number 3 may already be happening


1.) As quantum computing advances, there will be at least one successful 51% attack on a major cryptocurrency.

2.) Tesla/SpaceX StarLink will become a major competitor in the ISP space. Most transmitted data throughout the world will touch a StarLink satellite.

3.) Financial downturn/semi-recession in mid-late decade primarily caused by excessive corporate stock buybacks artificially inflating stock prices. (Stock buybacks will be driven by executive compensation/bonuses continually being linked to earnings per share)

4.) Drone deliveries will become more common as drone automation tech improves. Airspace will become more regulated to facilitate this.

5.) It will be considered stylish and/or a power move to not own a cell phone.

6.) Solar/wind/hydro electricity generation will become much more commonplace on personal properties. As electricity prices turn negative and not enough cost effective battery capacity to efficiently store it, power plants will be built/redesigned to turn electricity into hydrogen fuel. This will lead to auto companies creating electric/hydrogen cell hybrid cars.

7.) In January 2030, people will comment on this post with their predictions for the following decade, not realizing this post is 10 years old.


It sounds like you're saying a good quantum computer would enable a 51% attack. Instead, you could glean one wallet at a time, but not use it to somehow "over-power" the rest of the network: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Quantum_computing_and_Bitcoin


Besides, if a cryptocurrency was vulnerable to quantum computing its value would drop as everyone watched QC get closer and closer to viability. Unless someone advances QC technology in secret the market cap of a coin will never be large enough to pay for cracking it.


Bitcoin could change it’s algo to a QC resistant one in advance.


I would happily take the other side of the bet on EVERY item here! But I do appreciate your boldness in predictions.


#3 seems possible - normally there is a recession every decade or so.


Care to elaborate why?


Not GP, but...

1) Practical quantum computing seems to have made little practical progress this decade. This is mostly a gut feeling on my part since I have no professional experience in the field.

2) Starlink will be a major competitor in the rural ISP space. The extremely low maximum density of ground stations means that they can't possibly be a major competitor in a dense urban core or even a dense suburban community.

3) I don't see any particular reason to believe this will happen anymore than that it won't.

4) In the sense that 1 is "more common" than 0, this one is probably true, but I have a suspicion that the economics don't work out nearly as well as we hope. The second half is already true (I work on research that supports making those new regulations)

5) ~~Not much of a prediction. It's already true in some circles.~~

Edit: I should say that it's already stylish in some circles to not own a smartphone. So far everyone I've met in that category still caries some kind of cellular device capable of making emergency calls at the very least. With a near-ubiquitous cellular network available, it's very hard to articulate a reason why you wouldn't use it in an emergency situation. Furthermore, with the rise of the cell network, payphones have fallen out of fashion, meaning that there's even less infrastructure today that there once was for those who wish to eschew cell phones entirely for whatever reason.

6) Again, not my area of professional expertise, but I don't think solar on every roof in the US would actually be enough affect this change. Wind is likely to meet push-back from neighbors, and I don't even know why hydro is listed. The grid will change radically over the coming century, but the next decade is going to see continued incremental change to draw down coal generation and increase storage capacity.


7) Posts lock after a couple weeks, so good luck with that one.


5 has been true for years, especially among arts/music communities.


> 1.) As quantum computing advances, there will be at least one successful 51% attack on a major cryptocurrency.

Is there a quantum solution for one of the popular proof-of-work algorithms?



No, but there is a quantum computer algorithm for classic asymmetric cryptography, which would affect some major proof-of-stake coins if quantum computers ever become practical.


but that wouldn't be a 51% attack, that would just be stealing a wallet


> Tesla/SpaceX StarLink will become a major competitor in the ISP space. Most transmitted data throughout the world will touch a StarLink satellite.

What makes you think this? It’s hard to see anyone ever using satellite as backhaul except where strictly necessary; fibre will always win there.


Speed of light in fibre is 40% slower than in a vacuum. SpaceX is planning on funding expansion by selling lower latency connections to London-NYSE traders.


Sure; that's a premium product using some of the _extremely_ limited bandwidth offered by such a solution, tho. Hard to see how it competes with the ~infinite bandwidth offered by fibre for normal usage, tho.


I'm not sure the bandwidth will be as limited as you think. If the premium product catches on, further investments will be made to improve the premium product, and those benefits will eventually trickle down to the average user.

> Hard to see how it competes with the ~infinite bandwidth offered by fibre for normal usage, tho

1.) Wouldn't be surprised to see ISP's cap bandwidth per individual user and create additional "bandwidth" and "data usage" pricing tiers. Thanks to net neutrality being wiped out, it's now permissible to charge via "fast lanes" and "slow lanes" what makes you think this behavior will stop on the commercial side of things?

2.) You will have secure internet access basically everywhere you go, rather than jumping around different untrustworthy wifi networks. Also, won't need to deal with annoyances of being just outside your wifi network. (e.g. when you're doing yard-work or something)

3.) I could see StarLink encrypting data transmissions out of the box, so you wouldn't need to worry about getting a VPN, or ISP's selling your browsing history, etc


> If the premium product catches on, further investments will be made to improve the premium product, and those benefits will eventually trickle down to the average user.

The low-latency customers would generally not actually care very much about bandwidth, tho. And it's in practice hard to increase bandwidth beyond a certain point with something like this. The LEO satellite essentially acts like a large cell tower; everyone in its range has to share a limited amount of physical bandwidth. Actually, worse; the cell tower generally has dedicated backhaul, whereas backhaul for the LEO satellites is shared to some degree. Whereas fibre is point-to-point (modulo some loop-based last-mile systems, but those tend to have lots of capacity).

1) Net neutrality being wiped out _in one country_. Perhaps temporarily. I really don't buy a future scenario where the US has a bunch of LEO satellites, and the rest of the developed world has fibre everywhere. And if StarLink et al were actually competitive, conventional ISPs would just cut prices and improve service (which they can in many cases do almost for free due to overprovisioning; my ISP has increased my bandwidth from 120Mbit/sec to 500 over the past four years by essentially adjusting some config in their DOCSIS system), such that it was no longer competitive.

2) LTE is a thing (and don't these LEO satellite internet things require fixed antennae?)

3) I would certainly _hope_ they'd encrypt data transmission out of the box! All wireless and shared wire (eg DOCSIS) systems have done so for decades. And you'd still absolutely have to worry about your ISP (StarLink, or similar LEO sat company) selling your browsing history.

LEO satellite broadband may have a place, but its place will largely be in places where there is no fibre infrastructure, and where there's no LTE/5G tower in range. In the developed world, that's getting to be a rare condition. Plus the weird ultra-low-latency edge case (which I would maintain is largely not relevant to consumers, and will be beaten by edge computing in many cases anyway). Whether that will be enough to sustain it commercially remains to be seen.


Point 6 would be such an amazing achievement to hit, even if adoption isn't widespread immediately.


It may be the decade of commodities, like it was in the 70s. In which case the ROI for asteroid mining becomes acceptable to many.


3 will start immediately after the election results are in.


1. Electric cars become the norm. All cars are fully autonomous on highways. A driverless highway transport service will go mainstream in some states. (California)

2. China will undergo a major recession, as manufacturing moves to Africa and US maintains its trade war with China across Govts.

3. The best performing stock will be a meat substitute company

4. VR will take off big time. Concerns about VR porn being too realistic will be raised in serious circles.

5. Intel will continue its downfall, and a new Chinese SOC company will rise to prominence

6. Water desalination will become a major industry

7. Towards the end of the decade, Nuclear power will begin picking up again

8. Canadian economy will start flourishing with improvement in weather, massive skilled immigration and the establishment of new Arctic ports. Also, Toronto/Montreal will become the Silicon valley of Canada, as skilled immigrants move to the Canada knowing they will never get greencards in the US.

9. Messi will move to the MLS at 36, and usher in an era of Soccer to the US, slowly eating into college football's popularity.

10. Cargo pants will become popular again.


> Also, Toronto/Montreal will become the Silicon valley of Canada, as skilled immigrants move to the Canada knowing they will never get greencards in the US.

As a (US citizen) programmer living in Toronto, I have seen this first hand: people moving from the bay, or moving directly to Canada because of a) the US having enormous lines for green cards and b) Canada aggressively courting skilled workers (you can get an invitation to apply for permanent residency online, before even coming to Canada[0]). In particular, you see many people coming from places experiencing political unrest (I'm no exception), especially Brazil in the last couple years.

I would question whether Montreal should be included in this hypothetical "canadian silicon valley," only because of Quebec's cultural protectionism, which borders on hostility to outsiders[1]. That said, rent is astronomically higher in Toronto and Montreal has massive cultural capital as a sort of old-world city in North America, so I could be wrong!

In any event Canada is definitely coming up (though to see it as "rivaling" the US would be misguided).

0: https://movnorth.com/process/

1: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/frontburner/quebec-begins-controver... I'm not saying this exact measure is necessarily "hostile" but stuff like this definitely contributes to the perception that newcomers may not be as welcome in Quebec.


Maybe Montreal for french and spanish speakers


> Electric cars become the norm. All cars are fully autonomous on highways.

I don't believe this (not to pick on you specifically). A lot of people forget about the rest of the USA, in towns with a population of <20k people. I hadn't seen a Tesla on the road in my town until this year. I have never seen a self-driving car. We didn't have a consistent stream of Uber drivers until maybe last year.

I think that your prediction is certainly applicable to major urban centers. But for the rest of the USA, it will probably be longer than a decade before that stuff starts becoming the norm.


10 is by far the most implausible. Cargo pants will continue to be awful. But pocket-less pants will take off


I don't see electric cars becoming the norm on the roads, but definitely for new cars, yes.

It will take some time though to replace the majority of existing cars working with fuel.


> and US maintains its trade war with China across Govts.

Bzzzt! This prediction won't even make it until November of this year. Trade war will wrap up just in time for elections...

Magic!

> VR will take off big time.

Is this a prediction from 1999?


> Is this a prediction from 1999?

The VR prediction is the one I believe most strongly. I am absolutely confident VR will take off big time.

It is a shame Valve is a private company and Oculus is a fraction of FB's stock portfolio (doesn't help that it is already overvalued at 2 billion). I would have invested in Valve eyes closed.

Hope a competent new VR studio or VR only public company shows up. I want to invest.

______________

The way I see it, technical advances in 2D gaming have maxxed out. The only way to out do your competitor on graphics will be to move to VR, AR or legitimate gesture controls. The way I see it any of these picking up will inadvertently lead to the others gaining popularity too.


I'm going to agree with this. After playing with an Oculus Quest this holiday, I'm confident it's taking off. Pretending to be Neo in SuperHot, Beat Saber being the new Guitar Hero, the lack of cables... VR is here. And with the 2.0+ versions it's only going to get clearer, more powerful, and even more fun.


> Concerns about VR porn being too realistic will be raised in serious circles.

Too realistic? Probably quite the opposite?


Oof.

Yeah, that is going to be a weird one.


I agree with the last part about 9. But I think Messi will move back to Argentina. He is too much of a family man.


Part of it is wishful thinking. But, how wild would that be ?


You had me till cargo pants...


Y'never know.


1. Deep learning will enter its next wave with increased biomimicry end efficiency. Ai will continue to evolve linearly. AGI will still be decades off.

2. Psychidelics will again enter the public sphere and we will see phychidelic therapy in the UK/US. They will also lead the development of a new theory of the mind and consiousness that enter the mainstream.

3. Plant/fungus based food will continue to expand while meat consumption drops. Lab grown meat will prove possible.

4. Ai in healthcare will allow for decentralised expertise. The role and power of nurses will expand.

5. Analog computing with neuromorphic chips along with reinforcement learning will be used in robotic control.

6. Drones will be a common site in city airspace.

7. Apple will enter healthcare in a big way. Medical functionality will enter consumer electronics and continue to push data driven preventative heathcare foreward.

8. Antibiotic resistance will be a huge problem. We will continue to see the return of illnesses we thought we would never see again.

9. Robots will allow smaller plots of land to be productive and agriculture will move away from mega farms. Local farmers markets will become more popular and accessable.

10. Ai agents will continue to compete against and dominate humans but will inhabit a physical shell to even the input playing ground.

11. Cannabis will be legalised federally in the US and UK. Most medical benefits will prove to be hype.

12. Joe Rogan will host a presidential debate.


> 7. Apple will enter healthcare in a big way. Medical functionality will enter consumer electronics and continue to push data driven preventative heathcare foreward.

This one I believe most. Will be very surprised if it does not turn out to be true.

> 12. Joe Rogan will host a presidential debate.

Make This Happen !


"12. Joe Rogan will host a presidential debate."

Won't be surprised if he ends up securing an official interview with Trump.


This could happen in the next year.


or a presidential candidacy


> 4. Ai in healthcare will allow for decentralised expertise. The role and power of nurses will expand.

Can you expand on this?


Tele-medicine could be a part of this - I have seen a rise in online services where patients can receive a diagnosis and some prescriptions by text/video chat with a doctor or nurse. I think this will likely continue expanding, perhaps even including decentralized, robotic surgery (see Intuitive Surgical), though I doubt this will ever be fully automated.


not op, but i think nurses will be able to subsitute doctors in many cases where the diagnosis comes from a fully-automated AI system. E.g. a CT scanner or blood test that prints out full diagnosis, prescription and procedure etc at the press of a button.


One rationale (well before/without AI) is that medicine operates at 2 levels of hierarchy (doctor, nurse) whereas most fields operate at 3 levels (say exec, mgmt/expert, worker/employee), typically mapped to 2-3, 4-5, and 7+ years degrees in most countries.

It's been argued in many countries that medicine could get cheaper if only 10% of doctors-only gestures and decisions could be delegated to some 4-5 years intermediary medical degree, above nurse and below doctor. In reality it's more like 50% of doctors' work could be offloaded. Which also has the benefit of mechanically addressing the general lack of medical doctors in rich countries with aging populations.


> Cannabis will be legalised federally in the [...] UK

Are you implying that the UK will rejoin the EU, which by then has become a superstate, or that it will have become a territory of the US?


Interestingly, while the UK is not a federal state, it has some features of one. It’s credible that cannabis could be legalised in NI or Scotland without being legalised in EnglandWales, say.


1. At least one major US city will be substantially destroyed due to climate change. Probably Miami, Galveston, or New Orleans. It will not be fully rebuilt. (Much like Puerto Rico and Key West).

2. Self-driving cars will arrive, but as a niche product for senior communities. (Like Google's slow bubble car.)

3. Amazon will finally get robotic picking working, and their warehouse employment will start to drop.

4. Somebody will build a 3nm fab, but it won't be a mainstream technology due to cost.

5. Big recession in US. House prices drop. San Francisco empties out again, like 2001 and 2008.

6. No major breakthrough in battery technology, but battery cost drops at least 50% due to volume increases.

7. New space probes to Luna and Mars, maybe Venus and Europa, but no manned activity beyond low earth orbit.

8. Artificial meat takes off in a big way, especially in China.

9. Parts of India become too hot to be inhabitable. Deaths in the hundreds of thousands. Fires in Australasia become a huge problem. California spends enough money to deal with its fires.

10. VC funds as a class lose money over the decade.


> 3. Amazon will finally get robotic picking working, and their warehouse employment will start to drop.

And we will see articles from the same tech journalists currently complaining about terrible working conditions in Amazon warehouses, complaining about Amazon firing warehouse staff.


Do you mean to imply that would be hypocrisy in some sense?


Yeah, seen a story that rising sea levels are threatening Miami but they are going on like normal and still building new condos and skyscrapers. Looks like a nice city though to visit or move too, I'd love to not have to wear my jacket and wear shorts more.


They just need to rebrand the city as "New Venice" and people will think it's quaint to live there.


Accurate considering Venice has been experiencing the worst flooding in recorded history.

Not sure how many Americans are aware of this.


It was a fairly big headline, similar to the australian fires although that coverage has been more as of late. Anyone who follows news at all would be aware of this, Americans or otherwise.


>4. Somebody will build a 3nm fab, but it won't be a mainstream technology due to cost.

We will find out soon enough. That is 2024. And I am betting it will be very much mainstream.


I agree with all but 4, 7, and 9. I expect at least another moon landing by someone and I do think Starship will fly, though maybe only to LEO or translunar flyby by 2030. 3nm will be successful but may be the last conventional node. India etc. will get hotter but they will build nuclear reactors and air conditioners, though the poor will suffer more. Overall the poor and failed states will suffer the most from climate change.


I think you're already wrong about battery tech.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2228681-a-new-battery-c...

I think we will see much more crazy developments in that area.


>no manned activity beyond low earth orbit

We may actually see humans on the Moon in the next decade.


> 9. [...] Fires in Australasia become a huge problem. [...]

Well, Australia maybe. I think it's unlikely we'll see the same level of problem in New Zealand (or New Guinea or Pacific islands, which are sometimes counted as in Australasia).


Seems that any new fires in Australia couldn't be much of a problem, if they've cleared-out most-to-all of their flammable brushland this year :|


Which parts of India will become too hot?

I think flooding is going to be a bigger problem in the near term, especially since the state isn't really capable of dealing with heavy rain or floods.


Flooding and drought are both problems in India. Water table below the reach of submersible pumps is likely to become a huge issue as millions who depend on farming will lose their livelihoods (on top of the debt that many are already under).


In the spirit of the future is here just not evenly distributed:

1. Electric cars will go from niche for the rich to something for everyone.

2. Genetic testing will become even more commonplace and even more useful.

3. ipv6 will become dominant, but there may be holdouts.

4. Freezing your sperm / eggs / stem cells will become something everyone does.

5. Using a non-memory-safe language for servers will be seen as building SQL queries with string concatenation.

6. Self driving cars are currently only very narrowly available: I think it's like 1-3 cities with good climate (https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/9/21000085/waymo-fully-driv...) They will be more available than they are now, and it will have effects on the economy.

7. Containerization is adopted by companies that are a bit behind the curve.

8. Parallelism will keep becoming more important.

Other predictions, less certain:

1. Political polarization increases in the west.

2. There will be startups taking a crack at the real estate market. They will attack cost of construction by using robots and standardized components. They will attack land cost by artificially engineering the network effects that gives land value.

3. Use of force in the form of sanctions against countries that release too much CO2

4. A significant minority skewing intelligent leave facestagram and twitter for decentralized platforms, but the majority of users stay on centralized platforms.


>Use of force in the form of sanctions against countries that release too much CO2

Don't know about this one since the countries with the clout to impose sanctions are also by far the biggest CO2 emitters


Since when have the Powers That Be allowed trifles like hypocrisy or illogical hyperbole nullify plans for armed conflict and initiation of violence?


I'm really interested in what's considered "a bit behind the curve" as I'm pretty skeptical that slow monoliths like traditional banking, education, healthcare, and hard engineering (civil, electrical, mechanical, etc) spaces will move towards containerization ever.

If we're looking at laggards in the software delivery space around small to midsized, bootstrapped companies I would agree; but in general the spaces where serverless or containerization make sense are already doing it or are moving in that direction.

Unless you count IoT devises as a 'container' approach to hardware/firmware, then I guess some hard engineering spaces may adopt a version of it.

#2 in less certain predictions is just odd; but if it happens it would also lead to a destabilization of the housing market, essentially through attempts at price fixing on land value.

#4 in less certain predictions just seems like self-agrandizing drivel... "The smart people will leave major SNs, but most people are dumb; I'm not dumb because I am are predicting this." Reminds me of the old cartoon "I am Weasel."


'7. Containerization is adopted by companies that are a bit behind the curve.'

I think there will be plenty of legacy stacks to look after, but I wonder if 'Serverless' products won't just kill off containerisation by 2025.


> Genetic testing will become even more commonplace and even more useful.

Heh. There's a history of a pretty horrific genetic disease in my family, in fact it recently claimed a close family member. I'd dearly love to be tested for it myself but I just don't trust any of the genetic testing companies with the data.

Will have the explore getting it done through the NHS, but I'd like to test for a wide range of things as well as this specific condition and I'm not sure that's an option.


Have you looked into Nebula Genomics? I already bit the bullet and went with 23andme before I heard of it so I haven't done crazy amounts of research, but the guy running it is generally seen as high-minded by the biohacking community.


> Political polarization increases in the west

...But only because it's already about as polarized as you can get everywhere else


5. This is already true and was one of the motivations behind languages like Go and Rust.


It's really not. Just to give a simple example, nginx is written in C.


This is about predictions not personal dreams.


Even today Cost of construction is not a big factor in real estate price. Proximity to Central business district is one of the major components. Transport might have a impact.

Agree on colonial mindset on CO2 emissions.


but automated manufacturing techniques are not widely used except for mobile homes....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular_building


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