‘Ten Scenario Spoilers’ goes viral near 25th anniversary of long-boom prediction


Bushcraft adventurer, standing on top of a old destroyed van, is spotting survival opportunities with a monocular field glass, in a no man’s land. Night begins to fall.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Nearly 25 years ago Wired Magazine posted a story about how the world may be in for an economic boom that could last for decades. They predicted a 40-year period from 1980 to 2020 of prosperity, freedom, and a better environment for the whole world. Economic, social, environmental, and technological forces were coming together to create a better future.

There were a few things that Wired predicted could tarnish the chances of that bright and shiny future coming to pass. A Reddit user posted a page from the 1997 magazine that outlined the top ten disasters and the post went viral with tens of thousands of reactions and comments.

The “Ten Scenario Spoilers” are posted below. Do any of them sound familiar to you?

Ten Scenario Spoilers:

  1. Tensions between China and the US escalate into a new Cold War – bordering on a hot one.
  2. New technologies turn out to be a bust. They simply don’t bring the expected productivity increases or the big economic boosts,
  3. Russia devolves into a kleptocracy run by a mafia or retreats into quasi-communist nationalism that threatens Europe.
  4. Europe’s integration process grinds to a halt. Eastern and Western Europe can’t finesse a reunification, and even the European Unification process breaks down.
  5. Major ecological crisis causes a global climate change that, among other things, disrupts the food supply – causing big price increases everywhere and sporadic famines.
  6. Major rise in crime and terrorism forces the world to pull back in fear. People who constantly feel they could be blown up or ripped off are not in the mood to reach out and open up.
  7. The cumulative escalation in pollution causes a dramatic increase in cancer, which overwhelms the ill-prepared health system.
  8. Energy prices go through the roof. Convulsions in the Middle East disrupt the oil supply, and alternative energy sources fail to materialize.
  9. An uncontrollable plague – a modern-day influenza epidemic or irs equivalent takes off like wildfire, killing upward of 200 million people.
  10. A social and cultural backlash stops progress dead in its tracks, Numan beings need to choose to move forward. They just may not…

Commenters on the post shared thoughts like:

  • Nice to know this truly is the worst timeline
  • Granted all those scenarios weren’t far-fetched. The US, Russia, and China have been the clear players for decades. Pollution has been a huge issue for decades. Climate change has been known about for decades. A pandemic has happened so often that it’d be unusual not to have one. And ours hasn’t killed 200 million people.
  • Kinda thinking it’s a little too much to be a coincidence.
  • Wow. Who signed up Cassandra to write this. Much more accurate than I would have thought possible.

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