February 18, 2006

In Fifty Years… by P. Coelho

Writing about web page http://izvestiya.ru/coelho/article3027157

Paulo Coelho for Izvestia

1. Degrees will lose their significance: only degrees in Medicine, Law and Engineering will still be valid. Others will disappear, as the coming generations would realize the redundantness of getting a degree at university to then work within a totally different field.

2. The return of tribe culture: Marshall McLuen – an outstanding specialist in communication – once said that the world will turn into one big village, where everyone will be following much the same rules. He couldn’t’ve predicted the coming of the Internet, that would allow people to group according to their tastes and interests. Nations may maintain their significance, but people will start creating virtual nations.

3. De-urbanization: the heritage of the current epoch – big, cosmopolitan cities, which were created essentially due to the limits of communications and services – will lose their significance. Carpenters and craftsmen will have a higher wage than psychologists and sociologists. The service area – banking, shopping and etc – will all become computerized and made available via Internet.

4. Change of the perception of “success”: people having a better time and enjoying themselves more will be considered more successful than those with fatter wallets.

5. Life will become much easier: we’ll go back to the simple joys in life, available for little, or no money at all, e.g. beautiful landscapes or a walk in the town flee-market.

6. Intuition will be given same importance as logic: men will start developing their previously undiscovered potential

7. Goddess will reach the 'throne': it may take more than 50 years for people to start recognizing the holy mother figure, along with the predominant father figure that holds monopoly in nearly all the world religions at the moment. However, there will be fewer prejudice, and, quite possibly, the Catholic church will start contemplating trusting women key posts in clergy.

8. Fundamentalism will reach its apogee: precisely because of this, points 2 and 7 will be taken with greater frenzy. Speaking of tribe-azation of human race, I suppose, I expect the major tribes be formed by the fundamentalists of the basic world religions.

9. Decrease of xenophobia: the enmity, widely experiences in the ‘first world countries’ toward the foreign, will go downhill and will take the form of tougher immigration laws. However, tribes would already have gained enough strength to finally fight off xenophobia.

10. Rise of Islam: of the three major monotheist religions, Islam will become the strongest. Today, unfortunately, the idea of martyrdom is coming forth to the front due to the preachings of Islamic fundamentalists. And that shall make Islam a dominant religion.

11. New languages: people, who’d visit Spain in 50 year’s time will see that Catalonians will be speaking strictly Catalonian, and el País Vasco will have all its public information in Vasco. The same will be taking place in other parts of the world: dialects and ‘regional languages’ will gain further development and grow stronger, since it will be the most recognized form of cultural identity. Parallel to that tendency, new inter-tribal languages will emerge. English will most likely become the lingua franca, since it’s so closely linked to the language of the World Wide Web. Although in 2055, most people will be speaking Chinese.

I am 58 and I will hardly live to 108. But if any of you youngsters find my musings attractive, cut out this little article of mine and some day you’ll check if any of my predictions would come true.

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