2020 is a milestone to me. I think once we hit 2020 the world we live in will look astoundingly, undeniably different (it is still somehow possible for people to deny the ungodly technological progress we are making in 2014).
The amount of change that will take place between now and 2020 is far more than used to take place in hundreds or thousands of years. So in that sense time has slowed WAYYY down. I think this is particularly relevant when looked at in light of looming problems like global warming and robo-apocalypse. People say that global warming will have progressed so-and-so much by 2050... but the amount of change that will take place between now and 2050, again, used to represent thousands of years. Our minds are beginning to have trouble conceiving of that and it can look worrisome. It would be much nicer to think that the problem is thousands of years off, and in a sense it actually is.
As for a nightmare AI scenario, computers are not even close to that level yet and it will take at least several years for them to start seeming like it. Exascale supercomputers are going to be here around 2020 that may be able to fully simulate a mind... but then again, so many other advances will have also occurred.
Then again, many activities still take the same amount of time they ever took, like eating a meal, sleeping, watching a sports match, going for a hike in the woods, etc. It's very odd to live in this world, to me at least, because the future becomes so unpredictable it ceases to be something it makes sense to plan for. I believe this to my core - I am living on savings right now and just spending my days learning things, because I pretty much feel that keeping up with the world is the most sensible thing I can do, despite having no idea how it will become useful.
The idea of spending 8-10 hours a day working at some job disconnected from world events and information seems like sinking underwater. More and more people seem like they are "living under a rock." Even people my age sometimes still don't know about things the savvy have been aware of for years. You don't know about 3d printers? Holy shit, where have you been? The funny thing about that is that I have never even seen a 3d printer but my excitement over them peaked a long time ago. Now they are old hat. These days the possibilities I'm excited about aren't quite as tangible... I often find that I want to go and tell people what is about to happen to the world but I can't do so in a way that even remotely does it justice. For instance, I've told people that I don't believe I am going to ever die, and they simply think I'm a lunatic despite my explanations. Even that is just the tiniest tip of the iceberg.
This stuff will go mainstream eventually, and I wonder how the world will change. I also wonder what sort of position it will put me in, having known about and gotten used to these ideas a long time ago.
What say you?