Advanced search

To wonder how the world will look in 40 years

(90 Posts)
Figmentofmyimagination Mon 13-Jul-15 08:56:35

We killed time on a long car journey yesterday idly speculating about this. If you think back to how the world looked in 1980 - and how it looks now.
My DD (15) was very pessimistic - no antibiotics, species deaths etc. My DH was much more optimistic in some ways - eg better genetics to tackle diseases. I thought the trains might be a bit faster! Actually I'm pretty pessimistic politically, but more interesting to hear what others think. This feels like one of those "turning points".

LaurieFairyCake Mon 13-Jul-15 09:00:55

Hmm, I would say apart from hand held technology we're very similar to 1980.

I think most people will get their shopping delivered in 40 years. I live in a close of about 50 houses, only 4 of us get regular shopping deliveries (food).

TTWK Mon 13-Jul-15 09:02:17

In 40 years time, there will definitely be a sale on at DFS.

YAsoNBU Mon 13-Jul-15 09:06:55

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

DreamingOfTheBeach Mon 13-Jul-15 09:07:59

Haha so true TTWK and it will he their best sale yet! wink

I think the high street will look very different, we've already had a real shift to Internet shopping, so perhaps a lot of shops will dissappear, or be collection points for online shopping?

And the amount of new build housing will certainly have increased town size.
Maybe a lot of middle sized towns will have become a bit like London?

NewFlipFlops Mon 13-Jul-15 09:11:14

Like Bladerunner (the first one).

Gruach Mon 13-Jul-15 09:19:32

I remember 1980. If you needed information you went to the library. In 40 years time most people will have lost the skills and eneryg needed to acquire information from anything other than a screen.

The screen is likely to be attached to one's body. In 1980 administration and bureaucracy was awash with paper documents. 40 years hence lack of your personal subcutaneous chip will mean lack of citizenship rights.

There will be an utterly pointless physical, electronic, whatever, wall around Europe.angry

SometimesItRains Mon 13-Jul-15 09:23:14

Well the reports today are that we'll be in a mini ice age from about 2030, so very cold I would say.

Figmentofmyimagination Mon 13-Jul-15 09:32:50

Yes - I thought that - about the cold. Rivers could freeze - as they did at end of 19c - lots more sales of skating shoes, looking on bright side - although probs they won't freeze except in very rural areas coz of all the warmth we create.

I also thought there would be an epidemic of RSI through too much texting etc when still growing!

DreamingOfTheBeach Mon 13-Jul-15 09:38:28

Given the leaps in technology that we have experienced in the last 20 years, can you imagine how much further we will have advanced in the next 40 years?

Hologram communication instead of skype?

Tablets/phones could be internally implanted so they become a part of us, almost giving our brains instant on line access?

MissBattleaxe Mon 13-Jul-15 09:46:50

I think people in Developed countries will be ridiculously spoiled and cosseted and lazy and the Developing countries won't have progressed at all.

I think everything will be easier because of technology but school leavers will be semi literate and unable to write letters. I think more people will work from home and everyone will have to drive without exception whether they want to or not.

Gruach Mon 13-Jul-15 10:04:19

I think people in Developed countries will be ridiculously spoiled and cosseted and lazy and the Developing countries won't have progressed at all.

Interesting. We're imagining entirely opposite futures. I can't see how the inhabitants of formerly rich countries will ever be able to relax for long enough to become spoilt or cosseted. Not when they're fighting tooth and nail for access to education and health "services".

And any distinction between developed and developing states will surely be illusory if not purely historic. Europe cannot go on imagining it can keep out the hundreds of millions of people who wish to be let in. How expensive would it be to maintain a border? (Just look at the disruption to the Channel Tunnel ..) And how would the UK (for instance) look with 10 million more people and no NHS? Only massive amounts of financial and active investment in the countries people are fleeing (to make them look more like "here") would persuade them not to leave. That could not help but impact on the economy of developed nations.

I don't see an easy future.

Figmentofmyimagination Mon 13-Jul-15 10:08:47

I think every new-build house or apartment in say London, Cambridge or Oxford will routinely have a little room next to the kitchen, big enough for a single bed, with an adjoining cubicle shower and toilet, for the maid - following the Latin American model.

She will be childless and will be paid Osborne's new Servant Wage - the amount needed to live in a city if you have no accommodation and no children.

British parents will struggle with the idea of their children becoming childless servants again, but they will be able to console themselves as she may even have a qualification, say in childcare.

There will be no need for domestic workers visas, as all the live in domestics will be home grown, like in the good old days.

Routine live in servants will be not just desirable but essential, if you live in a house, as you won't dare leave your home unoccupied - and probably wouldn't be insured to do this.

Property prices in London and the South East will continue to rise, not because we are productive, but because of even more capital flight caused by unrest elsewhere in the world and our internationally recognised benign tax regime.

After at least 20 years of conservative government - (small c or big C - won't really matter), it will cease to matter who is in power, because we will have signed away all our democratic rights through trans-national trade agreements which allow corporations to sue governments who change the laws in ways that cost them.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 13-Jul-15 10:14:32

Shitting fuck wank shock

SaucyJack Mon 13-Jul-15 10:18:33

I remember the 80s. Life isn't that much difference save for computer technology and the demise of headache-inducing carpets.

And that weird thing of having two different (but co-ordinating) wallpapers on the top and bottom half of the wall. Maybe that'll be back in fashion in 40 years time?

MissBattleaxe Mon 13-Jul-15 10:18:56

Gruach, you make an interesting point and I agree. In my post I was actually referring to the progress of technology i.e everything is done online, kids have tablets and phones and Xboxes, our expectations are higher etc.

Compared to other countries we have so much and I think that few younger people realise just how lucky they are in comparison to dirt poor people in developing countries who don't even have water. There's just so little gratitude and acknowledgment. It makes me sad.

BobsBurglars Mon 13-Jul-15 11:27:18

I like to think that we'll have stopped willfully destroying our only inhabitable planet and started to take strong action against climate change by that point

In reality, what Figment said

thehumanjam Mon 13-Jul-15 11:37:32

I think the birth rate will have gone down and rather than governments trying to reduce immigration there will be a drive to encourage immigrants to move here.

I imagine that benefits will be massively reduced and we will be similar to the US. The NHS will be very different and won't be free at the point of access.

Education will have improved and we will have very high literacy levels. The government will be patting themselves on the bank telling the rest of the world that we have got it right. However the divide between rich and poor will have got bigger and there will be scores of families struggling and living in trailer parks like in the US.

Globally I don't know what will be going on. I foresee a period of instability and conflict.

LaChatte Mon 13-Jul-15 12:14:19

I would just like to point out that 1980 WAS NOT 40 YEARS AGO, it was 35. As you were.

DancingLadyEmoji Mon 13-Jul-15 12:24:07

It will be like Wall-E, or even more like an Orwell novel than it is now. Or both. We will have destroyed the planet, the first world will be peopled by the morbidly obese, while developing countries will be going to war over access to fresh water. The rich will be able to leave the planet on giant space craft serviced by robots & will be able to ignore the carnage. The UK will be mostly under water from the polar ice caps melting. Except for our house, up a hill in Scotland

Happy Monday, everyone!

Gruach Mon 13-Jul-15 12:24:25


I knew something didn't sound right!

TTWK Mon 13-Jul-15 12:24:45

I'm still waiting for the hover boards that in 1985, Back To The Future promised us we would all be using in 30 years time!

MrsSkywalker205 Mon 13-Jul-15 12:31:13

Well this was uplifting.

BobsBurglars Mon 13-Jul-15 12:31:30

Hover board -

Not quite up to BTTF standard yet though

yoyo1234 Mon 13-Jul-15 12:40:03

I think the NHS will be struggling beyond belief with an aged population. The birth rate will be low but the young will then be offered incentives to have children (as the government will have realised we need more young tax payers!). The children that are born will have substandard education, hugh classes, lack of resources, exhausted teachers (as much of the money will be needed for the NHS and pensions). NHS will be very specialised for quick through put (robots where possible etc). I like to think average housing/rent will be at an appropriate cost relative to wages (as so much will be taken in tax that there is not much left for exhorbitant housing prices). Social mobility will be next to nothing.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now