Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pinto Prognostications – Next Decades

My avocation is that of a futurist: the systematic exploration of predictions and possibilities about future human society and how it will emerge from the present. I am a founding member of the US-based Association of Professional Futurists (APF).

Over the past several years, in January of each year I have presented my Pinto Prognostications. In 2015 and 2016, my prognostications were published in my JimPintoBlog and quoted widely elsewhere. (1) (2)

In this blog, I’m extending my prognostications to events that may be forecasted to happen in the next several decades. You should understand that future forecasts are guesses based on trends.

My grandchildren will be in their 40’s and 50’s, and some or all of them may live to see the birth of a new century. What will the world be like for them?


Today (2016) world population is 7.4 billion. In 10 years it is projected to be 8.1 billion, 50 years projection 10 billion, and over 11.2 billion by the end of the century.

Until around 1800 world population was below one billion. The big changes came with the Industrial Revolution – the second billion was achieved in only 130 years (1930). During the 20th century, population has grown from 1.65 billion to 6 billion. Because of declining growth rates, it will take more than a century to double again. (3)


In the next decades, the world will be more complicated, divided between a broad American sphere of influence, Europe, the Middle East and south Asia, and a Chinese sphere in East Asia and Africa. India will have the largest population within the next decade, and will become a technology and trade powerhouse. Russia will continue its revival. The large, educated populations of Poland, Turkey, Brazil and their neighbors will come into their own. (4)

The European Union might survive in some sense, but European economic, political, and military relations will be governed primarily by limited multilateral relationships. There will be four parts of Europe: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and Britain. They will still have to share the same neighborhood, but they won't be as closely connected as they are now.

The most serious threats will be in the area of instability that stretches from Africa to central Asia. Here, most of the world's poorest people live; climate change is wreaking its worst damage; and nuclear weapons are proliferating fast.

GDP Growth

Economic growth will be critical to preserving America's power and influence in the world. By deepening partnerships in manufacturing and energy with neighbors on its northern and southern borders, America can compete with growth in Europe, Asia and Africa.

The 20th century was known as The American Century; it will be The Asia century in the 21st. Forecasters predict that within two decades, China will overtake the U.S. to boast the world's largest economic output. However, America's GDP-per- person will remain at least 2 or 3 times that of China.  


Energy is critical for the growth, social stability and security of all nations. It is linked to all vital services such as health, food, transportation and commerce and is a key driver of future global business. (5)

Oil reserves are in decline. Although it continues to play an important role in transportation in the 21st century, oil is politically and economically unsustainable as a reliable source of fuel for the future.

Within the next 25 years, global energy demand will outpace supply unless new sources are developed. Clean, renewable energy sources such as solar power, hydrogen and wind will be essential for future productivity.

Energy security will be one of the primary fears in the 21st century, leading to global competition, conflict and the collaboration of nations.

Living Spaces

The majority of people will live in cities, which will increasingly become more integrated with nature. It’ll be standard procedure for skyscrapers to have parks and sky gardens, and buildings will be covered with vegetation designed to filter out pollutants and retain air quality. (6)

Housing will become increasingly expensive to the point where buying a house will not be an option for most people. Vehicles will be habitable and function as homes. Parks will cater to this trend by offering washing facilities, catering, supermarkets and entertainment.


All vehicles will use clean energy that will be cheap or even free. Most will be self-self-driven and very reliable with recording of status and diagnostics, and made with everlasting materials.

Personal flying drones will replace cars for travel through skyways. Some drones may even be big enough to carry entire homes around the world for holidays.

Interestingly, there will be less need to move people to go places. People will use virtual reality to create synthesized 3D spaces to conduct business, provide education, and for visits with friends and family.

Medical Advances

Doctor visits will no longer be necessary. Nanotechnology will be embedded in people and body scanner results will be forwarded to a health network.

Nanoparticles will make chemotherapy far more effective. By delivering tiny doses right to cancerous cells, the mini messengers will significantly reduce the pain and side effects of today's treatments. People will all be nodes in a network. Health will be constantly monitored via built-in sensors, wearable devices and clothes. (7)

DNA will be recorded at birth and defects will be remedied, altered or adjusted. Physical and mental attributes will be assessed and compared with parents and grandparents, with predictions of likely physical and mental abilities.

There are more than 300,000 centenarians on the globe already – and one has reached the age of 122. I’m sure that at least one of my grandchildren will celebrate a 150th birthday. 


Already, in today’s advanced world, it takes only about 8% of the working population to provide all essential needs – food, energy, transport, housing, and basic utilities.  With automation, robots, and Artificial Intelligence, the human work force will be reduced to less than 1%, with a large proportion of work related to entertainment, sports and studies related to creative or academic interests.

Robots will be common, deployed for mundane chores as well as dangerous tasks normally undertaken by humans. Houses, cars, furniture, utensils, pets, and possessions will be networked. Every individual will each be the center of a personal mini-universe that operates as part of a system.

Religion & Marriage

With regard to those who actively attend churches, religion is already on the decline. Churches will have online services for followers, with changes to accommodate those who have religious beliefs as well as those who are active with helping people in need. There will also be more religious tolerance as people become more globalized.

Marriage is on the decline and cohabitation is already quite common. Marriage is likely to be a matter of choice for the sake of the ceremonial rather than legal status. Laws will be changed to accommodate cohabiting couples, and even allow legal status for bigamous relationships. Women will have more choices to conceive without the direct help from men, and the law will have resolved the various moral issues relating to stored eggs and sperm.

Wars & Conflict

In the future, wars will involve not only land and sea, but space. Because the moon is essentially a massive plot of undeveloped land over which nobody has legal ownership, moon bases will play a crucial role in future global conflicts. Moon bases will serve both to defend against attacks from other nations and to launch offensives. (8)

The military will increasingly be involved in aspects of Space Travel, Search & Rescue, Terrorism, and Weapons development, with associated peaceful applications, such as drones and cyber security. It will be seen as a government resource that trains and tests people and develops systems that can be applied to a range of social requirements.

Law & Government

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ideally suited for Law. Most contracts will be written and checked by computers, with evidence presented in courts based on forensic details. Lie detectors will analyze body changes, facial expressions, brain activity, speech variations, and the like to distinguish between lies and truth. This will be improved to the point where courts will not be required in the majority of cases. Today’s type of Courts will become obsolete.

Petty crime will almost disappear because houses will be very secure with automatic locks and visual coverage. Anything that can be digitally marked will be traceable. Items that now have a value (watches, computer equipment, etc.) will be cheap, disposable items in the future.

Criminals with psychological problems are likely to be detected before that take up crime.  Everyone’s behavior, social contacts, medical condition, intellectual pursuits, etc. will be interlinked and correlated. Social patterns will show up early. There will be legal alternatives to drugs that are readily available.


Traditional banks will be obsolete when cyber currency eliminates the need for actual money to be exchanged. Bartering is essentially based on matching needs at agreed values.  Eye scanning and other non-contact identity checking will be common. Electronic transaction processing will automatically adjust net worth.


Towering mega structures will be built with carbon nanotubes and diamond nano threads, dwarfing today's skyscrapers. Just as we build up, we will also dig down – huge structures will tunnel 25 stories deep, or more. Underwater cities with use water itself to create breathable atmospheres and generate hydrogen fuel in the process. (9)
Bridges will repair themselves with self-healing concrete and new composites laced with microfibers that bend without breaking. Hairline fractures will mend themselves within days when calcium ions in the mix react with rainwater and carbon dioxide to create a calcium carbonate patch.

3D Printing

3D printing will enable the building of houses and other structures from recyclable materials, with flexible walls. For entertaining visitors, gourmet food tailored to personal needs will be downloaded for 3D printing in minutes. Most objects will be sculpted inside a 3D printer. 

AI Consciousness

The last few years have already brought widespread recognition that sophisticated Artificial Intelligence will soon be able to outthink the smartest humans in every domain, including common sense reasoning and social skills. Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking and others warn of the rise of super intelligent machines. Disagreeing with that viewpoint, Ray Kurzweil depicts a technological utopia bringing about the end of disease, poverty and resource scarcity.


Power will be in the knowledge and the ability to integrate and exploit the new capabilities provided by technology and adapt to new environments and opportunities. The human adventure will continue as the remaining frontiers and limits of human thought are explored. But will people be happy?


  1. JimPinto Blog Future Prognostications 2016:
  2. JimPinto Blog Future Prognostications 2015:
  3. World Population Trends:
  4. The Next 100 Years – George Friedman Book:
  5. Six Key Trends Shaping the Energy Future:
  6. 110 Predictions For the Next 110 Years:
  7. 20 predictions for the next 25 years:
  8. What will the world look like 50 years from now?
  9. What Will The World Be Like in 50 Years?
  10. The Problem of AI Consciousness:
 Jim Pinto
Carlsbad, California

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Political Brainwashing

Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder 
respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
                                                                                                                            George Orwell

Do people think for themselves? Are you yourself completely logical and sensible in the way you select from available choices? When you vote, do you have a firm mindset that directs your choice?

Big money is being spent to manipulate and control how people think and vote in the ongoing American elections. Let’s examine how bias can be influenced.


Bias is a predisposition to hold a limited perspective, with refusal to consider the merits of alternative points of view. People develop biases towards or against individuals, ethnic groups, religions, social classes, and political parties. Everyone’s mind is controlled since birth, when biases are developed. (1)

It’s almost impossible for anyone to be immune to bias. Intelligent, rational, patriotic, reasonable people can disagree strongly, sometimes even violently, each insisting that the other side is unreasonable, unpatriotic, misguided – and even stupid.

Being raised in a specific country, as part of a particular family and home and in a certain time period means being biased in favor of accepted and familiar thinking.

Political psychology researchers study voters' biases to understand how they can be influenced. Factors such as gender, race, culture or religions are considered, to allow adaptation of the candidates’ political message for the best results. Some parts of the message may be changed to maximize their voting results.

In a country like America, with a huge diversity of class, religion and ethnicity in different states and regions, what the politicians actually say they believe is often irrelevant – they adjust their messages to generate the most votes.


Prejudice is prejudgment – forming an opinion before becoming aware of all relevant facts. The word is often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavorable, judgments toward people because of gender, political opinion, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, language, nationality, or other personal characteristics. In most developed countries today, it is not socially or politically acceptable to be prejudiced.

In the seven years since the United States elected the country’s first black president, a majority of Americans still feel prejudiced against blacks. According to a 2012 Associated Press survey, 51% percent of Americans explicitly express anti-black prejudice, up from 48 % in 2008.  And yet, not a single politician admits to being prejudiced – that would amount to political suicide. (2)

Most prejudice cannot easily be over-ridden. One intelligent and sincere friend told me, "I was born and brought up to believe that Blacks were like vermin. Now I have to consciously over-ride my own instinctive prejudice." It’s hard to imagine how any deeply prejudiced individual feels about having a black President? (3)


More than 60 years ago, in his non-fiction bestseller The Hidden Persuaders (1957) Vance Packard described real-life influence that was rapidly emerging, that was perhaps more threatening. US businesses and politicians were using subtle ways to change people’s thinking, emotions and behavior based on insights from psychiatry and the social sciences. (4)

The forces that Packard described have become more pervasive over the decades. Soothing music in shopping malls causes people to relax, walk more slowly and buy more things, whether they need it or not. Highly skilled marketing professionals orchestrate the vacuous thoughts and feelings that teenagers experience via their handheld smartphones.

Most people are unaware of the deceptive subliminal advertising that is widely used today. Subliminal messages can be found in every major advertisement and magazine cover. Advertisers tap into vulnerabilities to manipulate and control. Fake news and propaganda are in wide use throughout the world by politicians, businesses and even governments.  

Mind Control & Brainwashing

Brainwashing means using overt obvious means to control how victims think and behave, which (5) might involve loud noise, sleep deprivation and similar tactics. It may also mean controlling environments with music, demanding voice tones, rituals and repeated phrases, peer pressure in the form of disapproval, public humiliation, harsh rebukes, warnings, and elements of fear and guilt.

Mind control is subtler. It usually involves positive social reinforcement like fellowshipping, smiling, compliments, treats, pats on the back, an unspoken feeling of community, and appreciation. (6)

The concept of mind control is a major premise in the criticism of modern corporate culture and politics. Many politicians use repetitive advertising, with exaggerated claims that sometimes are outright lies; when repeated often they are accepted as the truth. There is very little that the opposing candidate can do other than protest, and the falsehood is buried in the cacophony of debate. (7)

Social Media in Politics

The ability to publish content and broadcast it to millions of people instantly allows political campaigns to manage their candidates’ images based on rich sets of analytics in real time and at almost no cost. At the same time, social media has made elected officials and candidates more accountable and accessible to voters.

Twitter and Facebook have become instrumental in organizing campaigns. They allow like-minded voters and activists to easily share news and information such as campaign events with each other. They can simply Share on Facebook and retweet on Twitter.

Political campaigns can tap into a wealth of information or analytics about the people who are following them on social media, and customize their messages based on selected demographics. Campaigns may send different messages to differing sets of voters to maximize effectiveness. (8)

Some campaigns raise large amounts of cash in short period of time using social media such as Twitter and Facebook to get the word out. In the current election, Bernie Sanders is raising more money from small donors via email and Twitter messages to growing groups of followers. Indeed, he makes significant gains among young people through his e-campaigns, with renewed calls to donate again every time he wins.

In the new political environment, social media has helped raise more money than the traditional Super-PAC. TV advertising is still the largest line item in political campaigns, and will remain so through 2016 and beyond. But this is being changed by access to new data about viewership, and spending on digital formats is growing rapidly.

Tech Control

Today there are a small number of high-tech companies which have the ability to monitor much of our activity, and invisibly control more and more of what we think, feel, do and say. The technology that now surrounds us has made possible undetectable and untraceable manipulations of entire populations – exploitations that have no precedent in human history and that are currently well beyond the scope of existing regulations and laws. The new hidden persuaders are better, bigger and bolder than anything Vance Packard ever envisioned.

The Google search engine is so popular that the name is now a commonly used verb in many languages. The ordered list of Google search results is so good that about 50% of clicks go to the top two items, and more than 90% go to the 10 items listed on the first page of results. The point is that Google decides which of the billions of web pages will be included in search results and how they will be ranked. The algorithms that decide are one of the best-kept secrets in the world (like the formula for Coca-Cola). (9)

If Google wished to fix an election, it could dip into its massive database of personal information to identify undecided voters. Then it could publish regular customized rankings favoring one candidate. Who would know?

Apple has total control over what users can touch and view in billions of cellphones. The algorithms of access and control have features that they refuse to adapt or modify, even when demanded by governments. The same freedoms apply to any technology company that controls millions, or even billions, of worldwide users.

Future Possibilities

Where is mind-control heading next? In his 1932 novel, Brave New World Aldous Huxley pictured a society in which unhappiness and aggression had been engineered out through a combination of genetic engineering and psychological conditioning.

George Orwell’s 1984 (published in 1949) described a society in which thought itself was controlled – children were taught to use the language Newspeak to assure that they could never express ideas that were dangerous to society.

Some think that in a future global democracy, or cyberocracy, governments will rule by the effective use of information. (10)

Let’s Engage

Please provide your own feedback, comments and suggestions. Share our discussion by responding to these questions directly via the blog. If you prefer, send me an email and I’ll insert your comments.

  1. Are you engaged with the latest political campaigns and debates?
  2. Are you satisfied with how political campaigns are operating?
  3. Do you think politicians lie? Does that offend you?
  4. What is your view of campaign funding? Is Super-PAC funding acceptable?
  5. Have you contributed to any politician online?
  6. Do you watch political advertising on TV? How does it affect your opinions?
  7. Are you engaged with social media for politics? How does it affect your view?
  8. Do you think Google search is completely neutral? Could it be biased?


  1. Outsmart Your Own Biases:
  2. AP poll: U.S. majority have prejudice against blacks:
  3. Jim Pinto blog - Logic vs. Prejudice:
  4. Vance Packard’s Hidden Persuaders:
  5. Brainwashing? Mind Control? Which?
  6. Ten Popular Mind Control Techniques Used Today:
  7. Robert Epstein Essay - The new mind control:
  8. How Social Media Has Changed Politics:
  9. How Google Could Rig the 2016 Election:
  10. Futuristic Forms of Government That Could Rule the World:

Jim Pinto
Carlsbad, CA.
9 March 2016