50 Years from Now

What is life going to be like 50 years from now?

I assume I'm still going to be alive. Although my current life expectancy is 76 years, however people are living longer, so I expect to outlive 76. In 50 years, I'll be 87.

Looking back 50 years ago, nobody could have predicted what was coming, so I'm not going to try to predict what life will be like in 50 years. That's a job for Science Fiction authors.

But some basic things I wonder...

Will I still be alive? I'm assuming I will be. And I'll assume my wife will be with me as well, since women generally live longer than men.

We're expecting a baby. That baby will be 49 in 50 years. What will our family dynamic be like? Will our kids like us? Will they live in the same city as us? I hope so. Or maybe in 50 years, travel time won't be an issue.

What will the world look like? It seems like so many things today will have to change in the next 50 years. Defecit spending is going to lead major economies into trouble. Will there be a major depression? Something more drastic? How about a war?

Will Walt Disney World still be open? I hope they'll have some new theme parks. But I hope the Pirates of the Carribean ride is still there.

Computing has gone from basically zero 20 years or so ago to an integral part of the daily life of most North Americans today. It hurts my head to think where technology will go. I expect that some of the visions of technology that we've dreamed about since before computers existed, like voice recognition that works and computers that understand you, will be part of our every day lives. I sure hope so anyway. When I'm 87, I doubt I'll be able to type as well as I do today.

The past is opaque. The digital era is going to change that.

We have low quality photographs of people and events from 100 years ago; we have only descriptions and drawings and paintings of things that happened 200 years ago. But 50 years from now, barring some major catastrophe, all of my digital photographs should look the same as they do today. I do have to ensure that the digital copies survive that long - I have backups, and I have offsite backups that I update occasionally. I hope that's good enough.

It was important to me to preserve my old blog posts, since that's a part of my personal history. Letting them die in old an SQL Server database on a machine that I'm going to give away or throw out would be letting some of that history disappear.

Somehow, as part of the conversion, my old posts became covered in question marks. Maybe this is the digital equivalent of photos fading.

Will I still be able to access this post 50 years from now?