Civilization 2400: A glimpse at life 400 years into the future
By Dick Pelletier
What might life be like in 400
years? Those who ponder such things, futurists and other
forward-thinkers suggest exciting and sometimes fantastic
At a recent Stanford
conference, acclaimed futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted that
information technologies will double 30 times in the next 25
years, increasing knowledge a billion-fold from that of today.
By mid-century, other experts claim, humans could begin merging
with their machines in hopes of living life in a forever-young
non-biological body without fear of unwanted death.
If we extend Kurzweil's formula
from 25 to 400 years, the following sci-fi-like future could
– Cutting-edge biotech and nanotech were credited with
decreasing death rates from 50 million in 2008 to 35 million by
2020, 5 million by 2030; and zero deaths were recorded in 2050.
Birthrates quickly diminished
during the 21st century. Bringing babies into the world to
"continue family lines" didn't make sense when parents realized
that indefinite lifespans were becoming reality. But
space-dwellers are still encouraged to have children to populate
Earth population reached 6.7
billion in 2008; by 2050 this figure increased to 9 billion.
Humanity's first off-world baby was born on Mars in the 2030s
during construction of the red planet’s first colony,
Only 3 billion people remain on
Earth in 2400. More than 8 billion have migrated from the planet
to create a better life for themselves in space colonies
scattered throughout the galaxy.
By mid-21st century,
non-biological bodies were accepted by most people as a much
better way to live. People felt more secure in a body that
automatically repaired itself when damaged. And changing body
size and adding new physical enhancements was especially helpful
to those living on other worlds with different gravity and
– By 2100, scientists harnessed 100% of the Earth's energy,
giving researchers the power to control weather and develop
near-light-speed spaceships. By 2200, we utilized all of our
sun's energy, enabling explorers to build colonies on planets
outside our solar system. By 2300, we began mining energy from
other stars, acquiring the huge power necessary to format
By mid-24th century,
technicians launched the first information probe backwards in
time through a wormhole. Scientists can now send nanobots back
in time to retrieve minds from lost loved ones just before they
died, allowing them to continue living in our time. Immortality
has been achieved.
– SETI Director Seth Shostak believes other beings exist in
space and some day we will find them. Though it’s impossible to
predict when contact might happen and what aliens will look
like, for this article we will imagine the following scenario:
In 2350, explorers discovered
intelligent life on the planet Garth, 2,000 light-years from
Earth. Teleporting through wormholes, the first Earth/Garth
meeting convened on Mars in 2400. Garthlings were peaceful,
friendly, and like us, could change their body's appearance. For
this meeting, everyone assumed the "human look". Plans were laid
for future joint explorations.
these events happen? In the 21st century,
advances in technologies promise to end sickness, aging and
death, and usher in greater-than-human intelligence.
Forward-thinkers believe these breakthroughs will carry humanity
into this amazing "magical future" time.
This article appeared in various print publications and
on-line blogs. Comments always welcome.