The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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What will the next 100 years look like?

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Looking back on a century of history sure is a long time. With SMU’s centennial celebration coming up, I cannot help but think about what people will be saying about our time here in another hundred years.

While a century is a long time to make any accurate predictions, I figured there is not any harm in trying to guess where the world will be during SMU’s second centennial celebration. So for your enjoyment (or possibly scorn), here are two predictions of what the future might hold: one extremely pessimistic, dystopian view and one optimistic view.

Pessimistic prediction: War and destruction

In the year 2016, Donald Trump won the United States presidency. His bombastic style and hardline negotiation tactics proceeded to push the world to the brink of war, then over that brink.

World War III broke out over Iran, ISIS and Russian aggression. Luckily a nuclear winter and the extinction of humanity was avoided by a combination of satellite-based lasers able to intercept high-payload ICBM’s launched and cyber warfare, which was able to disarm firing systems and power grids before the nuclear warheads could be launched.

The human toll was overwhelming. The entire world was effected through the interconnection of the Internet and the advent of cyber warfare. The world’s population was reduced by a total of 17% in the span of two decades.

The economy is entirely dominated by a combination of the military-industrial complex and the farming sector, desperate to feed and protect in the aftermath of WWIII. Technology is not trusted in the aftermath and horrors that cyber warfare brought. The solutions to both domestic and international issues have not been resolved. While the people of 100 years from now have learned much from their suffering, our actions were not enough to provide future generations with the tools to solve our problems and avoid the human toll of another world war.

Optimistic predication: A cultural paradise

The outcome of the 2016 election doesn’t matter. No matter who is elected, they weren’t able to change the overarching trends of America in eirhgt years (assuming they were re-elected). The 2024 election saw a boiling over of the overthrow of the two party system that has been around for so long. The Democrats and Republicans were both equally to blame, each only listened to their own extreme bases and were not willing to compromise to get anything done.

This new moderate party saw a renaissance of American and indeed global prosperity. The necessary compromises were made on energy, the economy, and public services. Issues like racial disparity and economic unrest were largely solved as people finally realized that the true solution was in between the two political parties and in people working together –not in a triumph of one hardline ideology.

No, not everything runs off of green energy and no, not everyone has free healthcare and social services. I don’t think there ever will be a perfect utopia of any sort in the future. But in this (somewhat) optimistic version, people are happy with the progress that is being made and how people are working together. One hundred years is not a time to see a complete turnaround in society, but if paradigms shift in the right way then society can continue to progress.

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