“The future ain’t what it used to be.”

— Yogi Berra

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

— Niels Bohr

“The future is no more uncertain than the present.”

— Walt Whitman

“The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

— Albert Einstein

“There’s no present. There’s only the immediate future and the recent past.”

—  George Carlin

“Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too.”

— Marcus Aurelius

“Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.”

— Peter Drucker

“This is the first age that’s ever paid much attention to the future, which is a little ironic since we may not have one.”

— Arthur C. Clarke

“The best prophet of the future is the past.”

— Lord Byron

“The future always comes too fast and in the wrong order.”

— Alvin Toffler, American writer, futurist

Humankind moved from tribal hunter-gathers to agriculture-husbandry about 10,000 years ago in the Neolithic Revolution. Nothing much happened, except civilization’s history, for the next 9,700 years. Around 1750, the Industrial Revolution began, lasting until roughly 1850. A Second Industrial Revolution took place between 1850 and 1930. Things seem to have been rather revolting ever since, but where are we headed?

So much has happened since the early 1900’s, and rapidly increasing in pace. Years happen in weeks these days, it seems. Surely this explosive rate cannot be sustained much longer. Are we headed for a global “collapse” of some kind, as many are predicting? Or maybe not. Maybe something very big and very different is getting ready to roll?

Kind of an important question, yes, but one that seems quite impossible to answer. Or maybe not.

Perhaps it is just the details that cannot be predicted, probably because so many of the details are randomly occurring. But what about broad trends that move like tides under all of the surface ripples and waves? Are not these likely to persist in some manner over an extended period ahead?

The future is being created within our present and recent past.

The big-picture future doesn’t just pop up randomly from nothing. It is tightly connected to what’s happening today and what happened not too long ago. And this genetic material of our future is largely visible. So, just what might our future-making materials be up to today, and where might this all be headed?

Excluding global catastrophes seems to be a good way to start

First step that I can see is excluding real game-changers. Such as? Well, how about asteroid hits like the one that greatly inconvenienced the dinosaurs and most else living on earth about 65 million years ago.

More recently, we have evidence of some kind of global catastrophe that seems to have occurred about 11,500 years ago. A highly-rated book by D. S. Allan (no relation) and  J. B. Delair: “Cataclysm!: Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B.C.”.

“Follow this multi-disciplinary, scientific study as it examines the evidence of a great global catastrophe that occurred only 11,500 years ago. Crustal shifting, the tilting of Earth’s axis, mass extinctions, up-thrusted mountain ranges, rising and shrinking land masses, and gigantic volcanic eruptions and earthquakes–all indicate that a fateful confrontation with a destructive cosmic visitor must have occurred. The abundant geological, biological, and climatological evidence from this dire event calls into question many geological theories and will awaken our memories to our true–and not-so-distant–past.”

Oddly enough, our history as somewhat modern humans seems to have begun not so long afterward – roughly 10,000 years ago.

Our current equivalent on a global scale is probably a full-scale nuclear world war. This is projected to be a true global catastrophe, albeit a manmade version.

So, our working hypothesis here excludes:

  1. Very large asteroid hits
  2. Cataclysms of unknown cause
  3. Full-scale nuclear world war
Global cataclysms and catastrophes are excluded from consideration here.
Global cataclysms and catastrophes are excluded from consideration here.

The future is being created within the present and recent past

What happens tomorrow is almost entirely what is happening today. Humans can greatly mess up a whole bunch of things, but this takes time and much luck to achieve. That said, we have quite a number of rulers and organizations hard at work on arranging their versions of the future. World domination is a common thread among most of these.

Another huge force at work today is technology. What is taking place seems to be a kind of Third Industrial Revolution, with the “industrial” definition extended to include the latest digital technologies. Conveniently, this revolution has recently been renamed as the Digital Revolution, which began in the late 1900’s and continues today.

And, if this isn’t revolting enough, we have – thanks to good buddy Klaus Schwab (WEF) – a Fourth Industrial Revolution, in which us increasingly-obsolete biologicals are being merged with various physical technologies. This extension makes it very different from the physical technology-based Third IR.

Today, it appears that we have both the Third IR and the Fourth IR in progress simultaneously. See Related Reading below for links on these.

Population growth tracks these revolutions

One of my favorite charts is the one below from Our World in Data. From an estimated population of around 190 million in year 0, humankind has pushed through 8 billion recently, and is still headed up. It is projected to peak at about 11 billion by year 2100. See my post on this for details.

Note that world population really took off around 1700, coinciding with the start of the First IR. There appears to be a strong causal relationship thereafter between population growth and technological progress.

World population growth over the past 12,000 years.
Source: Our World in Data.
World population growth over the past 12,000 years.
Source: Our World in Data.

Controlling population growth is a top priority for some

Although not addressed using this terminology, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the United Nations (UN) are hard at work on 17 sustainability goals that implicitly involve population reductions. See my recent post on progress here.

Virtually the entire world of about 200 countries has signed up for this ambitious agenda. Not all will succeed, of course, but the majors are likely to make some serious headway. Global population peaking therefore seems highly likely. Probably sooner than later.

We have as enabling situations the pandemic sequel, a global climate crisis, an economic and financial collapse, and the usual number of miscellaneous wars and skirmishes. Taken together, as they seem to be rolling out today, significant population reduction in the near-term seems inevitable.

COVID-related illnesses and serious aftereffects are also taking quite a toll. These could be heavily impacted in a much worse way by any or all of the above situations. We also have what appears to be growing civil unrest of various flavors to put further pressure on population growth.

World domination by one or more groups seems unlikely

The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the United Nations (UN), along with many supporting organizations and governments, are pushing extremely hard to achieve centralized control over much of the world. Unfortunately for these powers-that-be-and-wannabe, countries with as much as 70% of the global population appear to be going their own way – under an evolving multipolar (or polycentric) structure.

The BRICS+ nations, led by Russia, China, and India, seem likely to control things under this multipolar structure for the near future. Much to the distress of the once unipolar West – the U.S., along with U.K, EU, and a few other remaining friends. This means our near future will have at least two major power blocks, with others likely organizing within each of these. The world political and economic structure is almost certain to be a great mess for some period of years.

George Orwell in his dystopian 1984 novel foresaw a world mess involving three superstates – Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. From Wikipedia:

The Revolution.
Winston Smith’s memories and his reading of the proscribed book, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein, reveal that after the Second World War, a Third World War broke out in the early 1950s in which nuclear weapons destroyed hundreds of cities in Europe, western Russia and North America (though not stated, it is implied this was a nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union). Colchester was destroyed, and London also suffered widespread aerial raids, leading Winston’s family to take refuge in a London Underground station.”

“During the war, the Soviet Union invaded and absorbed all of Continental Europe, while the United States absorbed the British Commonwealth and later Latin America. This formed the basis of Eurasia and Oceania respectively. Due to the instability perpetuated by the nuclear war, these new nations fell into civil war, but who fought who is left unclear (there is a reference to the child Winston having seen rival militias in the streets, each one having a shirt of a distinct color for its members). Meanwhile, Eastasia, the last superstate established, emerged only after ‘a decade of confused fighting’. It includes the Asian lands conquered by China and Japan. Although Eastasia is prevented from matching Eurasia’s size, its larger populace compensates for that handicap.”

Orwell’s vision of the future seems to be fitting pretty well into current happenings, yes? If so, our “what next” response would include a world with three major superpowers, none world-dominating. Yet.

Was George Orwell a prophet? 1984 is happening.
Was George Orwell a prophet? 1984 is happening.

Technology will drive our future

While our rulers-and-wannabes are fighting over who will dominate the world, technology continues to advance at breakneck speed. AI, via ChatGPT and its growing progeny, is hugely changing our information landscape. Biotechnology, meanwhile, is busily rearranging our human landscape in unpredictable ways.

Where might all this be headed?

The correct answer so far as I can see is “who knows?”. A slightly less pessimistic view is that technology included in the Third IR and the Fourth IR will continue to advance whether we like it or not. Our working scenario eliminates catastrophic happenings, so we seem likely to suffer from technological advances more or less indefinitely.

So much of technology today is beneficial, despite rulers-and-wannabes’ efforts to redirect it toward nefarious and nasty ends. Technology is neither good nor bad. It just is – a part of our dynamic life environment. It will surely be used for both good and bad ends, a consequence of good and bad people everywhere.

World dominators are pushing aggressively for global surveillance and its ability for controlling large masses of people. At the moment, this effort seems to be succeeding. They keys here are full digital IDs for almost everyone, and digital money that can be used to control what us digitally-ID’d critters may do. As much as I detest this situation, I can’t see it being stopped at this late stage. Digital IDs and digital money seem almost certainly to be our immediate future.

Both are fully dependent on technology for success. A major weakness.

All of this depends upon electricity. Flip the switch and technology in many respects ceases to function. World domination aspirations kaput.

Kind of a shaky basis for world domination, yes?

A world heavily dependent on electricity and communications technology is very fragile.
A world heavily dependent on electricity and communications technology is very fragile.

World rulers-and-wannabes are mostly intelligent, not insane

What might happen if one of these inconvenient folks intentionally (or accidentally) flipped the power switch? All of their grandiose plans would go up in smoke. So to speak, if not in reality.

More likely is their continued great efforts to threaten the masses, but not to execute anything too severe. They do not want to rule a world that is kaput, or even irreparably damaged. They will try their best to scare and intimidate, but they will stop at the line of insanity. Well, most will do so anyway. They want to survive as a top priority.

This situation seems fundamentally hopeful.

Diversity among the evolving group of major powers and rulers seems also to be beneficial. One or two leaders can behave badly or even insanely, but they will hopefully be restrained adequately by the rest who want to survive and rule over a mostly intact world. With far fewer unmanageable people, of course.

A multipolar world seems both likely and favorable over the near-term.

Politically, the world is a major mess

While news about the U.S. political, economic, and social disaster situations dominate that of the various minor wars and political disruptions elsewhere, it seems that much, and probably most, of the world is not in any better shape. Crisis and chaos are clearly contagious and evident nearly everywhere.

Has not the world been pretty much this way since people were invented?

As Carl von Clausewitz, Prussian general and military theorist, stated:
”War is nothing but a continuation of politics with the admixture of other means.

Leo Hohmann via the Gateway Pundit has a rather disturbing view of what’s ahead for us: “Leo Hohmann: Enjoy this Christmas Season — It May Be the Last One We Have to Celebrate in ‘Normal’ Times — WEF Warns 2024 Likely to Bring ‘Cataclysmic’ Changes”:

“World War III, cyber-attacks, and economic meltdowns could change life forever; all three scenarios are simmering and ready to explode. Chanukah is underway and Christmas is just a couple of weeks off. Another year will go by the wayside.

“As we approach December 31, you will hear people chirping on social media that they are glad such a bad year is fading into the rearview mirror and how much they are looking forward to brighter times in 2024. These people are not awake. Don’t get lulled into their fantasyland.”

“It’s more likely that we will look back on 2023 as perhaps the last year in which we enjoyed a somewhat normal life here in America, still perched atop the global order and enjoying all the benefits of that status. Our dollars still buy food for our Christmas table and energy to heat our homes, even if it’s more expensive than in previous years.”

“With the world’s superpowers remaining at loggerheads as to how we move forward into a new era marked by artificial intelligence and digital currencies, we can count on being moved closer to World War III next year, if not fully embroiled in it. And living through war and economic upheaval is never easy.”

“Jeremy Jurgens, the managing director of the World Economic Forum, stated at the WEF’s annual summit in January 2023 that a major cyber-attack would likely take place before 2025. Well, 2023 has come and gone and we have not seen any debilitating cyber event. If Jurgens indeed has access to insider globalist information and knew what he was talking about when he made that comment at the outset of 2023, then that would leave 2024 as the year for this horrific event to go down, because it would have to happen before 2025.”

“Klaus Schwab himself, the top dog at the WEF, warned in 2020 of a coming major cyber-attack that will make the Covid pandemic look like ‘a small disturbance’. The Luciferian globalist elites have done their best to lay hints of what they plan to hit us with next in their list of conjured-up crises. They talk a lot about cyber-attacks.”

Is this something real, or just more fear-mongering by the usual fear-mongers?

My approach in trying to figure out situations like these is to use views from both extremes to help define the likely realm of possibilities. This means, if reality cooperates, that the most likely outcome is somewhere between the extremes.

I outlined how this approach might work in a recent post.

Without getting into the rather large amount of information that I have looked at, here is where I have come out on the question of “What’s next?”.

Highly-focused cyber-attacks seem likeliest – to avoid shutting down systems critical to the attackers’ operations and general happiness.
Highly-focused cyber-attacks seem likeliest – to avoid shutting down systems critical to the attackers’ operations and general happiness.

My sense of “What’s Next

Future in detail Is not predictable. Future in broad outlines probably is. Here is what I see ahead:

#1. No catastrophes.
The bad guys do not want to rule over a world of rubble. Rubble can’t supply whatever it is that they need to rule and enjoy. This means that the various bad guys will be working rather hard to keep outcomes from becoming extreme. Since they control the world, or nearly so, they are likely to have their way with us.

What does this mean? No catastrophic world war III. Lots of low-level nastiness, everywhere, by almost everybody. WW III, in catastrophic mode, will not occur unless it is accidentally triggered. Odds of this? Low, I think. And AI will act to help keep things happy so that AI can exist (and be happy).

No WW III of any serious nature, but much in the way of “false flags” or real flags to move things in the ruler-defined directions. This is for population control. Our survival is needed to supply whatever it is that they want. We, or at least some fraction of us, are needed.

Kind of a warm fuzzy feeling yes? Assuming that there is no accidental nuclear inconvenience, “we” seem likely to survive whatever may be going on out there in reality. Well, at least the “we” that is deemed essential for one reason or another. The COVID-19 pilot run made a good effort to operationalize this definition.

#2. A global lockdown.
The bad guys and even the not-so-bad-guys are rapidly losing control. This must have them terrified, since the fate of such folks once the populace gets fully aroused is not a happy one. Think Benito Mussolini in the final days of WW II.

Absent a war catastrophe or global collapse, the more practical way to gain absolute control is a set of events that result in a global lockdown or martial law. The set of events that seem to be taking shape include:

  • Pandemic 2.0 – worse than COVID-19
  • Widespread financial and economic collapse or severe disruption
  • Climate crisis that requires severe controls on food, fuel, travel, …
  • Digital IDs and digital money forced into use almost everywhere
  • Wars and rumors of wars almost everywhere
  • Social breakdowns and extreme civil strife
  • Nations dissolving into small diverse groups, all under military control

Pretty much all of these are well underway at this moment. Timeframe for the lockdowns looks like the first half of 2024. The U.S. in particular cannot have a 2024 election since it will mess up so many of the bad guys’ plans. In addition, so many people are waking from a deep sleep, and waking up very angry. Globally. Heads of rulers-and-wannabes are going to roll soon unless they get things under tight lockdown control very quickly.

I repeat: The bad guys do not want to rule over a world of rubble.

Their primary goal is complete control, enabled by complete surveillance. This cannot be finessed into place any longer. It is too late for anything but brute force. Once they have essentially full control, they can adjust populations to their liking.

#3. A multipolar world.
The globalist One World Everything will not happen. There are too many strong, relatively independent players out there today. The globalist West – U.S., U.K., EU, and a few remaining friends – is a minority of the world’s population and geography. The fast-emerging Global Majority – led by the BRICS nations of Russia, China, India, and many friends – hold the majority population, land area, and number of nations.

Multipolar means that great power is held by three or more major nations or nation groups. Unipolar until recently referred to the U.S. as an uncontested global hegemon or dominant power.

We now seem to have a competing group of very large, powerful, but relatively independent nations in the Global Majority. Russia, China, India, and several others are in an evolving alliance to counteract the former hegemon. While operationally allied to some extent, these major powers still function quite independently in many respects.

This situation is good, at least so far, in that it represents a diversity of interests, power, resources, and intentions. Diversity means a stability of sorts. It also means reduced world fragility, as I addressed in a recent post.

Bottom line:

The Industrial Revolution that began in the mid-1700s has evolved into at least four sequential revolutions, the latest being the Digital Revolution and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. All of this great progress seems to be on the verge of disintegration – and chaotic, diverse, reassembly. Into what is still unclear. What is clear is that huge changes globally are underway.

The new world order that is emerging appears to consist of no catastrophes (despite incessant fear-mongering), a global lockdown of some kind (as powers-that-be frantically grasp at their dreams of world domination, now slipping rapidly away) and a multipolar, diverse world organization around several major world powers (with hegemon fading fast).

No catastrophes – the rulers-and-wannabes do not want to rule over of world of rubble.

  • From Wikipedia:

First Industrial Revolution
The First Industrial Revolution was marked by a transition from hand production methods to machines through the use of steam power and water power. The implementation of new technologies took a long time, so the period which this refers to was between 1760 and 1820, or 1840 in Europe and the United States. Its effects had consequences on textile manufacturing, which was first to adopt such changes, as well as iron industry, agriculture, and mining although it also had societal effects with an ever stronger middle class.”

Second Industrial Revolution
The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, is the period between 1871 and 1914 that resulted from installations of extensive railroad and telegraph networks, which allowed for faster transfer of people and ideas, as well as electricity. Increasing electrification allowed for factories to develop the modern production line. It was a period of great economic growth, with an increase in productivity, which also caused a surge in unemployment since many factory workers were replaced by machines.”

Third Industrial Revolution
The Third Industrial Revolution, also known as the Digital Revolution, occurred in the late 20th century, after the end of the two world wars, resulting from a slowdown of industrialization and technological advancement compared to previous periods. The production of the Z1 computer, which used binary floating-point numbers and Boolean logic, a decade later, was the beginning of more advanced digital developments. The next significant development in communication technologies was the supercomputer, with extensive use of computer and communication technologies in the production process; machinery began to abrogate the need for human power.”

Fourth Industrial Revolution
In essence, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the trend towards automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies and processes which include cyber-physical systems (CPS), IoT, industrial internet of things, cloud computing, cognitive computing, and artificial intelligence. … The Fourth Industrial Revolution marks the beginning of the imagination age.”

“… so far in history, only two really important things have happened: the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. Everything else is just a footnote.”

“… Just as the agricultural revolution put an end to tribalism and the industrial revolution killed the kingdom, I think we’re heading for another multipronged revolution that’s going to make the nation-state an anachronism.”

“My view is that the institution of the state itself is a bad thing. It’s not a question of getting the right people into the government; the institution itself is hopelessly flawed and necessarily corrupts the people that compose it, as well as the people it rules. This statement invariably shocks people, who believe that government is both a necessary and permanent part of the cosmic firmament.”

“The problem is that government is based on coercion, and it is, at a minimum, suboptimal to base a social structure on institutionalized coercion. …”

“One of the huge changes brought by the printing press and advanced exponentially by the Internet is that people are able to readily pursue different interests and points of view. As a result, they have less and less in common: living within the same political borders is no longer enough to make them countrymen. That’s a big change from pre-agricultural times when members of the same tribe had quite a bit—almost everything—in common. But this has been increasingly diluted in the times of the kingdom and the nation-state. If you’re honest, you may find you have very little in common with most of your countrymen besides superficialities and trivialities.”

“… What’s actually important in relationships is shared values, principles, interests, and philosophy. Geographical proximity, and a common nationality, is meaningless—no more than an accident of birth.”

“Award-winning journalist, Alex Newman: Recent polling suggests the general public have finally awoken to the climate scam.”

“’They’re really beating a dead horse now, and so they’re actually coming back with another approach… They’re now trying to say climate change is actually a health emergency… Maybe we’ll do what we did with Covid for climate.’”

“’They’ve kind of backed themselves into a corner now with this climate hoax. I think they’re desperately searching for a new boogeyman that might be more frightening… I don’t think public health and I don’t think climate change is going to do it, in terms of convincing people to surrender more freedom and more money.’”

WEF’s Klaus Schwab announcing his intention to Greatly Reset our world – one way or another.
WEF’s Klaus Schwab announcing his intention to Greatly Reset our world – one way or another.