Yeah, who knows what will really happen? But here are my predictions (i.e., wild guesses).
UPDATED in May 2023 with the grim verdict: I am not a prophet.
- The Jeffrey Epstein estate and Ghislaine Maxwell cases, as well as the Biden Ukraine case, and some as-yet-lesser-known cases, will rock the entire Western world for several years. Donald Trump will not be among those indicted, but he will continue to be smack dab in the middle of it all. The Clintons and the Bidens will be among those indicted. We will discover that the world has largely been run by literal, not figurative, criminal cartels of one kind or another. OUTCOME: wrong. The Maxwell case was in the news, but did not “rock the entire Western world,” and nobody other than her was indicted. When I wrote this, I had not yet understood how well-organized our criminal overlords are; they look out for themselves very well.
- Several of the people ultimately punished in these cases will be Democratic politicians and celebrities, as well as once-respected Establishment Republicans. This will cause a crisis in American politics as we find that “Americanism” was maligned as “populism” and that we actually like Americanism. But exactly how that will play out remains to be seen. The country will not break up. Democracy and what has been called the “American civil religion” will be renewed, as we will look back on 1992-2020 (at least) with horror and as a near-miss at a second civil war. OUTCOME: The notion that there would be a reckoning for the Establishment was purely wishful thinking. Who knows when, or how, that might actually happen. While “Americanism” by that name was not maligned, old-fashioned patriotism and resistance to globalism became increasingly smeared as “nationalism.” The American civic religion remains deader than ever.
- As more and more people learn about the utter decadence of certain of our “elites,” and that our mass media has been systematically manipulated by cultural architects (so to speak) for decades, there will be a massive exodus away from traditional media and a massive resurgence of traditional Christianity in the West. OUTCOME: Finally, a win. This is exactly what happened. While Democrats, older folks, and corporate Establishment types continue to blindly consume mass media, there has been a massive growth in new media, indeed especially since 2020.
- Donald Trump will be re-elected in 2020. Sorry. Hard to see past 2020, because the political situation in the country will probably look very different by 2024. OUTCOME: LOL. But who knows about 2024?
- The massive recent revelations about Facebook, Google, and others are a slow-moving avalanche threatening to bury these companies. A few will not survive the decade. Even bigger revelations (not least of which are the associations with Epstein and Epstein-style networks) and massive new movements will overwhelm their economic power base. OUTCOME: False. More wishful thinking rooted in naivete about how much power there is in mere truth and honesty. There were some partial revelations due to the Twitter Files and the investigative work of Project Veritas.
- New Internet companies, more committed to privacy and free speech, will offer open source solutions integrated tightly with old-fashioned decentralized networks and open data standards. We will see, just for example, a massive new decentralized encyclopedia network that connects all existing encyclopedias in a centerless, leaderless way, and makes it easy for people to go head-to-head with existing offerings via their own blogs. OUTCOME: Sort of. Yes, some new Internet companies committed to liberty did make a slow start in 2020.
- The popularity of personal servers (like my Synology NAS) will grow steadily, until even grandma knows about them as a better alternative to Dropbox. The software these servers run will become every bit as good as cloud-based apps offered by, e.g., Google (such as Docs, Sheets, and Drive). “Rolling your own” will happen a lot more by the decade’s end, because the software for doing so will be much more powerful. OUTCOME: One source indicates that there was a significant uptick in NAS usage from 2019 to 2020, but the real boom is not expected to happen until later in the coming decade.
- We will probably not see general AI this decade, unless this has been developed secretly—i.e., unless giant corporations and, more likely, military programs have made much more progress than we knew about. We will likely see some massive new technological breakthrough on the order of the invention of the personal computer. Possibly a medical breakthrough. Of course, some technologies that are already well-developed but not in mass use will come into mass use, such as commercial space travel and ever-more integrated “smart” devices (that will be run via your own NAS rather than via a cloud server). OUTCOME: “This decade”? It’s hard to say. The massive new technological breakthrough took the form of popular AI, albeit not “general AI.” Thing is, privately, that seems to be within our grasp in this decade, if it hasn’t already been developed.
- We will all get ten years older. Both of my boys will become adults. I will start enjoying more free time. I might actually publish a book sometime this decade, but don’t hold your breath. OUTCOME: all true.