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Gov't Report Predicts Cyborgs, Rise of China for 2030 219

colinneagle writes "Yesterday the National Intelligence Council (NIC), which is made up of 17 U.S. government intelligence agencies, released the 140-page report Global Trends 2030 Alternate Worlds. In all four of the alternative visions of the future, U.S. influence declines and it may be regarded more as a 'first among equals.' By 2030, the West will be in decline and Asia will wield more overall global power than the U.S. and Europe combined. 'China alone will probably have the largest economy, surpassing that of the United States a few years before 2030,' the report states. 'Megatrends' include an overall reduction of poverty and the 'growth of a global middle class.' NIC also sees a potential world of scarcities as the demand for food and water increase as the world's population swells from 7.1 billion to 8.3 billion people. Advances in health technologies will help people live longer, but 60% of the world's population is expected to live in an urban environment. The report also addresses technological augmentation: 'Successful prosthetics probably will be directly integrated with the user’s body. Brain-machine interfaces could provide “superhuman” abilities,enhancing strength and speed, as well as providing functions not previously available.'"
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Gov't Report Predicts Cyborgs, Rise of China for 2030

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  • I predict (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @07:52PM (#42255447)
    Chinese cyborgs farming gold on World of Warcraft's 23rd expansion pack. And South Korean cyborgs pwning Starcraft 7 world tournaments because of their mechanically-enhanced megaclicks-per-second micromanagement skills. ("Kekekekek!") And maybe Cyborg Olympics, competing in the Sports Entertainment Market Meta-Olympics with the Chemically Enhanced Olympics, the Robot Olympics, and the Blood Sport Olympics. (The traditional Olympics will have disbanded due to lack of athletes by 2020.)
  • by asmkm22 ( 1902712 ) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @09:42PM (#42256253)

    The problem is that people *can't* work for less. Inflation has been way ahead wage growth for decades now, and isn't going to change soon. China gets away with it because, as a nation, they seem to be rather accepting of having 98% of the population living in literal poverty. That won't fly here in the U.S. and a lot of the political unrest we've had in the last 10 years is one side effect.

    As for bond investors leaving the U.S. market, that's also not going to happen any time soon because, as bad off as we are, there are still no better alternatives for bond investments. It doesn't matter how economically powerful China gets, there's still way too much government corruption, lack of fiscal transparency, and a propensity to mess with their exchange rate to suite their needs. That's not an ideal alternative. The UK failed because the U.S. was right there ready to step in and take over, with an emerging democratic economy and a thriving industrial base.

    Simply put, America becoming a stronger economy was beneficial to the rest of the world, including China, partly because is created a strong consumer-driven economy. China becoming a stronger economy won't have that effect because they lack any sort of middle class; the super-rich can only consume so much. Like it or not, as the U.S. economy tanks, the rest of the worlds will follow (and is following) until either we right our ship, or another similar economy is ready to step up and be the dominate consumer-driven economy, or the world economies all start to fracture and become more isolated again, at least for a while.

  • by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @12:32AM (#42257171) Journal
    Last year National Geograhic posted a nice video [] on YouTube to talk up their theme for the year: there are 7 billion people on the planet. A few highlights:

    It would take 200 years to count from 1 to 7 billion.

    7 billion steps would take you around the globe 133 times.

    It took thousands of years to get to 1 billion, but just 130 years to double that, and just 44 years to double that. In the last 12 years, we've added a number of people equivalent to the entire global population in 1800.
    1800: 1 billion
    1930: 2 billion
    1960: 3 billion
    1974: 4 billion
    1987: 5 billion
    1999: 6 billion
    2011: 7 billion
    It's leveling off, but we may still hit 9 billion in 2045.

    Every second 5 people are born and 2 die. There are over 100 more people on the planet now than when you started reading this post.

    In 1960, the average person lived to be 53. In 2010, the average was 69.

    In 2008, for the first time ever, more people lived in cities than in rural areas.

    In 1975 there were three cities in the world with populations of over 10 million: Mexico City, New York, and Tokyo. Now there are 21 cities that size.

    By 2050, 70% of us will live in urban areas, but we don't take up as much space as you'd think. Standing shoulder to shoulder, all 7 billion of us would fill an area the size of Los Angeles.

    So it's not space we need. It's balance.

    5% of us consume 23% of the world's energy. 13% of us don't have clean drinking water. 38% of us lack adequate sanitation.

Love may laugh at locksmiths, but he has a profound respect for money bags. -- Sidney Paternoster, "The Folly of the Wise"