Friday, 13 October 2017

52 things that are more important than Brexit - including mushrooms

I know it seems that Brexit (or not-Brexit for that matter) is the most significant and momentous thing that has happened anywhere or anywhen. The chattering classes have nothing else to talk about - everything from the cost of coffee to the price of a flat in Mayfair is washed through the "what does this mean for Brexit" mill. Well I'm here to suggest that when other folk look back at 2017 in fifty years time they'll see some other things that were more important to the future of mankind - even of that small bit of mankind living in the UK.

I did a little list of those things that might be more important than Brexit.
  1. Driverless cars and autonomous transport technology
  2. Neo-Luddite campaigns opposed to digital disaggregation, AI and robots
  3. Better drones enable African development without roads or rail
  4. Electricity supply systems (power supply, microgeneration, disagregation, off-grid)
  5. Fracking, renewables lead to declining reliance on oil (impact on economy, on geopolitics)
  6. Private space travel
  7. Colonising Mars
  8. Non-national living, seastedding, artificial islands, cruise living
  9. Declining fertility rates in rich countries
  10. Continuing population pressures in poor countries
  11. Migration from poor places to rich places
  12. International migration, people trafficking, refugees
  13. Integration and community cohesion in a world with more migration
  14. Food production and distribution - feeding the world: GMO, animal welfare
  15. Changing diets as poor nations become richer
  16. Big killers - malaria, AIDS, and so forth
  17. Antibiotics
  18. Medical technology
  19. Continuing urbanisation with associated health and societal problems
  20. The future of care and health provision in an ageing society
  21. Loneliness
  22. Declining rates of functional literacy as technology reduces need to read and write
  23. Ideological bias in education - especially higher education
  24. Decline in religious worship leading to more extremism from faith groups
  25. Intellectual property, copyright and piracy
  26. Scientifical and technical literacy
  27. Cyberterrorism, cybercrime and cyberwar
  28. Pornography and sexual exploitation
  29. Women's rights
  30. Rogue states, civil war and terrorism
  31. Break up of established nations - Spain, Italy, UK, USA?
  32. Climate change - resilience, technological response, economic impact
  33. Environmental degradation, desertification
  34. Reforestation, rewilding
  35. Flooding and flood mitigation
  36. Water supply and water quality
  37. Pollution of the oceans
  38. Digital disruption of elite white collar business (law, accountancy, banking)
  39. FinTech and its challenge to central banking system of financial management
  40. 3D Printing and associated technologies
  41. Impact of Internet of Things on human productivity
  42. The 'gig' economy, self-employment - rights and protections
  43. Chinese monopoly of African resources
  44. China becoming a net importer of goods
  45. Remote warfare - drones, military robots
  46. Nuclear proliferation
  47. Mushrooms (or rather fungi in building, medicine and environmental management)
  48. Nanotechnology
  49. Biotechnology including 'bionics'
  50. Break up of blue collar/white collar political order
  51. Impact of digital technology on democratic institutions
  52. England winning the World Cup (well we can dream!)



Nigel Sedgwick said...

Looking back from 2067, many of those things might well be judged more important than BREXIT. However, looking back at what was specifically happening in 2017 in the UK, most of those things would not be judged as more important.

In a similar way, looking back from 1992, many of those things (and appropriately chosen other things) might well be judged more important than WW2. However, looking back at what was specifically happening in 1942 in the UK, WW2 was the most important one.

The problem with news coverage of BREXIT is that it is reporting daily (even hourly) on mostly trivial aspects, rather than much less frequently (say fortnightly or weekly) on more substantive aspects. That we are being driven to irritation over this trivial reporting (and I agree most of us are) does not mean that the substantive issue is unimportant.

Best regards

Anonymous said...

England has only ever won the World Cup under a Labour Government - be careful what you wish for.

Jonathan Bagley said...

Great post.