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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

MoD outlines possible dystopian futures

(Updated 6:08 pm)

The British Ministry of Defence has released a study that provides a grim look at several possible futures facing humanity by 2035.
Information chips implanted in the brain. Electromagnetic pulse weapons. The middle classes becoming revolutionary, taking on the role of Marx's proletariat. The population of countries in the Middle East increasing by 132%, while Europe's drops as fertility falls. "Flashmobs" - groups rapidly mobilised by criminal gangs or terrorists groups.

This is the world in 30 years' time envisaged by a Ministry of Defence team responsible for painting a picture of the "future strategic context" likely to face Britain's armed forces. It includes an "analysis of the key risks and shocks". Rear Admiral Chris Parry, head of the MoD's Development, Concepts & Doctrine Centre which drew up the report, describes the assessments as "probability-based, rather than predictive".

The 90-page report comments on widely discussed issues such as the growing economic importance of India and China, the militarisation of space, and even what it calls "declining news quality" with the rise of "internet-enabled, citizen-journalists" and pressure to release stories "at the expense of facts". It includes other, some frightening, some reassuring, potential developments that are not so often discussed.
Read about it in the Guardian:
Revolution, flashmobs, and brain chips. A grim vision of the future

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Update (6:08 pm)!

Read the MoD's original document here:
The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036

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