Book: 50 Ideas from the future!

They say that the brain is a muscle, and you have to exercise it before it loses its dexterity.

So today, in my Five Minutes with Skye column, Imma share with you some interesting ideas from this book, The Future: 50 ideas you really need to know by Richard Watson.

There are 50 ideas in the book, but I'll just highlight three.

User-generated medicine
Shifting power to the patient or end-user

Online medical support communities have been around for years. Not only is solidarity formed within these groups, but medical information is distributed as well.

Most of us defer to hospitals and doctors because of our lack of medical knowledge and expertise. But what happens when the knowledge and know-how is completely open, understandable and accessible to everyone? What happens when knowledge is shared more freely, jargon free?

Some may doubt the reliability of user-generated/prescribed medicine, of course. But will hospitals work better when they are rated and reviewed online, just like what we do with restaurants, movies and every other consumer product now? The power shift is an exciting idea, but I'm not sure if it is necessarily good. Everything in moderation of course. Food for thought!

Single Living
As people start to live beyond traditional ideas of the nuclear family, what kind of impact and new trends will we have?

Possibly: more co-sharing of workspaces, houses, household objects. Already, we are sharing cars, homes (airbnb) and more etc.

As our lifespan increases, there may also be new marriage or child-caring contracts where people live together for pre-agreed periods, before reverting back to singlehood. Marriage could be a whole new different concept from what we know now. Wow!

I find this really interesting. How many of us think about life outside the usual  'BTO-rear your child' model?  It's fascinating that in the future there will be more options and types of family planning options, and even social contracts that challenge the idea of 'marrying for life'. (Probably already existing now, but maybe not by law?)

Single living may also tax our Earth more. So we should share resources whenever possible (splitting a large pack of food etc) also because it is more cost efficient this way. More thoughts of going green next time.

Manipulating matter to our desire

Basically, what happens when we all have our personal 3D printers? Can you imagine melting down an object you don't want now, to create something else? No waste anymore, because you converted it into something useful instead. What an idea!  And not too far off in the future imo. It's like recycling for infinity. (Exaggerating here)

Currently I feel that I am 'powerless' and at the mercy of big companies and how they price their items when I do not know how or have the means to make my own product (for example, how can I make my own fan, a shirt, or my own cup?) Rather than buy these things, perhaps next time I'll just have to type a code into the machine and print my own desired item.

Then again, people would probably be selling blueprints if this technology takes off. But think about it. Everything will be more streamlined. No more extra wasted stock because everything is truly demand-supply, made as you wish. The possibilities are endless, only limited by your imagination.

We may be plagued by choice paralysis by then, but it's still nice to have the power to make something (at a low cost?), previously inaccessible to you because of the FOPs involved.

I'm probably doing a pretty bad job explaining these ideas to you, but if you want to read more, do check out the book! :) I won't say I understand these concepts fully on how they work, but I do relish the idea that I am now aware of them!

Other cool ideas:
Quantum computers, brain to computer technology (imagine EVERYTHING being powered by literally your thoughts), new energy harvest methods, the future of AI - will robots demand rights and equality? etc. A really eye-opening coffee table book that will not daunt you with crazy jargon and all. A lot of speculation and possibilities, because who knows what the future truly offers? Opened up my mind at the very least! The future can be terrifying, but it is undoubtedly exciting as well.

Meanwhile, in the chapter of Smart Cities...