I used to have a boyfriend who, when shooting pool and faced with a difficult shot, would call a nearly impossible shot – e.g. multiple walls, extravagant combos, etc. When asked why, he would say that no one expected him to make the shot so the cost of failure was low but the value of success was high. Very similar to long-horizon predictions.
We are starting to understand the impossibility of knowing with any certainty what will happen 10 years down the road. A single nuclear attack would change everything. The development of technology is accelerating while the absorption rate in mainstream culture is relatively fixed. We should laugh at anyone that tries to predict that far out.
So, for your chuckling pleasure, my predictions for 2020:
1. Mass-scale solar grid parity
2. Mainstream full-genome sequencing (as opposed to genotyping) - now priced at $50K
3. Reemergence of nuclear power
4. Mass-market sales of hydrogen fuel-cell car models
5. Rise of India relative to China
6. Personal body sculpting verges on the mainstream
7. Consolidation in the dot-com world to improve the seams of the customer experience
8. Virtual eradication of malaria globally
9. Broad-based shift of commercial-quality photography to individuals
10. Pharmaceutical R&D performed by and critical patents held by firms in emerging markets
11. Permanent decline of the banking sector (banking as a service, not a value-add)
12. Distillation of newspapers to low-page-count high-quality content paid for by low-cost digital subscription delivered through Kindle-like devices, with paper editions a niche offering delivered as a premium-priced daily news magazine
Don’t quote me on this.