Fast-forward to 2030 — the world's getting warmer, once-lagging economies are growing, and people are living longer than ever. Here are a few headlines that might be fed into your wireless contact chip or brain implant 45 years from now, in 2050.
First Successful Brain Download Completed
After downloading the cognitive function of a dolphin and a monkey, a team of Stanford neurospecialists successfully transform the whole of human consciousness to an artificial substrate for the first time. For ethical reasons, they've kept the identity of the subject anonymous — but among California's tech elite, there's already a waiting list to have the procedure performed.
Mexican Students Flood French Riviera for Spring Break
As Bill Gates predicted, there are no more poor countries in the world. But some are still doing better than others — and Mexico, where the economy has been growing at a steady clip, now has an economy larger than France's or England's. College students in the newly moneyed upper-middle class adopt the tradition of traveling abroad for spring break — and since their money goes far in Europe, the Riviera's become a major destination.
China Leads the World's Wine Industry in Sales
Bordeaux and Tuscany can no longer grow good wine grapes, and wine production in France has plummeted. But, with better yields and diverse weather conditions, China's been able to step in as the world's new destination for viticulture.
Aging America: Census Counts More Than 600,000 Centenarians
It's become common to live well past the age of 100 — women's average lifespan is now 89 to 94 years — but reaching 600,000 is still a landmark for the "old-olds," who've become one of the country's most powerful political interest groups. Because of the Southwest's ongoing drought, more than ever before they have concentrated in New York, and naturally the country's official 600,000th centenarian turned 100 there.
New York Finally Understands Barbecue
Summer in the South has become an unbearable, sweltering mess, and since summer in New York feels like the Birmingham, Alabama, of their youth, a generation of barbecue specialists has migrated north, and the city finally learns to distinguish between different regional styles of ribs.