Tag Archives: predictions

Timeline of the far future

This wikipedia page is just great, and includes such hits as:

1 million Highest estimated time until the red supergiant star Betelgeuse explodes in a supernova. The explosion is expected to be easily visible in daylight.[11][12]
1.4 million Gliese 710 passes within 1.1 light years of the Sun, potentially disturbing the Solar System’s Oort cloud and increasing the likelihood of a comet impact in the inner Solar System.[13]
10 million The widening East African Rift valley is flooded by the Red Sea, causing a new ocean basin to divide the continent of Africa.[14]
11 million The moon Phobos collides with the surface of Mars.[15]

Makes you think in a slightly longer time frame than what’s for dinner on Tuesday.

The Seeds of Psychohistory?

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series was based on the idea that in the future overall societal events, like the rise and fall of governments, could be modeled mathematically.

Folks at the New England Complex Systems Institute have proposed a paper that looks at global food prices as compared to food riots and unrest, which in many cases directly preceeded much larger overthrows of governments. It’s a really interesting read.

This is not yet peer-reviewed published, so take that with the appropriate caution. The paper makes a point about the fact that many countries no longer have much of a local food system, which means they are directly impacted by global food price index. Two major statistical factors in the rise of global food prices are cited as commodity speculators and US corn ethanol policy.

I encourage interested people to read the whole paper, available on arXiv.