If you could travel back in time five centuries, you'd
encounter a thriving Aztec empire in Central Mexico, a
freshly painted "Mona Lisa" in Renaissance Europe and
cooler temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere.
This was a world in the midst of the Little Ice Age
(A.D. 1300 to 1850) and a period of vast European
exploration now known as the Age of Discovery.
But what if we could look 500 years into the future
and glimpse the Earth of the 26th century? Would the
world seem as different to us as the 21st century
would have seemed to residents of the 16th century?
Human technology has advanced significantly over the past
5,000 years, and the Earth bears the scars to prove it.
We've altered the landscape, the climate and the biological
diversity. We've erected skyscrapers for the living and
colossal tombs for the dead. Perhaps most important, we've
learned to harness a portion of the planet's energy, but
we still thirst for so much more power.
Technology has improved exponentially since the 1500s,
and this pace will likely continue in the centuries to come. Physicist Stephen Hawking proposes that by the year
2600, this growth would see 10 new theoretical physics
papers published every 10 seconds. If Moore's Law holds
true and both computer speed and complexity double every
18 months, then some of these studies may be the work of
highly intelligent machines.
What other technologies will shape the world of the 26th
century? Futurist and author Adrian Berry believes the
human life span will reach 140 years and that the digital
storage of human personalities will enable a kind of
computerized immortality. Humans will farm the oceans,
in starships and reside in both lunar and Martian
colonies while robots explore the outer cosmos.
nobody can say anything for certain about life on earth 5000 years after.everyone has its own view.
Regardless, a lot can happen in...