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December 16, 2010

Game Changers for the Next Five Years

Change is a fractal; its results are chaotic. Small effects can have huge consequences; a black swan may or may not matter. The rate of change – especially the propagation rate – has accelerated in a time of easy and cheap global travel and communication. Ten year planning is an academic exercise of almost no practical consequence; even five year planning is presumptuous. Nevertheless, here is a list of things which may or may not happen in the next five years; some are mutually exclusive. It's at least fun to think what'll happen to the best-laid plans and the most learned prophesies if they do.

  • A third party replaces the Democrat or Republican Party in the US
  • China splinters into several countries along ethnic lines
  • China annexes sub-Saharan Africa
  • The Saudi monarchy is kaput
  • Deflation rather than inflation becomes the current monetary norm
  • Hyper-inflation destroys the dollar
  • The price of energy resumes its historical downward trend (adjusted for inflation or deflation as the case may be)
  • Concern over global warming evaporates
  • Concern over global warming becomes immediate and compelling (UN-sponsored meetings don't count as evidence)
  • The Euro is abandoned
  • The Euro-zone becomes a single nation
  • The UN is kaput
  • At least marijuana is legalized in the US
  • A major natural or unnatural calamity strikes a heavily populated area
  • There is a pandemic with a high fatality rate
  • The Internet has to be abandoned because of…(pick your cyber-threat)
  • Widespread implantation of connectivity chips in human brains

Although each of the above is unlikely, it is likely IMHO that one or more of them will occur in the next five years. Almost certain is that some things not on the list will occur by 2016 and have more effect than any of the above.

If you suspect that this list is actually the work plan for my blogging, you're right. But all subject to change.

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