Batteries are the hottest tech, Musk commandeers space, China becomes a pariah state, Ford makes microprocessors… and we accept a world of absolute insecurity.
These things and more will happen in 2022 if we believe Mark Anderson, the publisher of the weekly Strategic News Service global report on technology and the economy, which is apparently read by Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Michael Dell.
No shrinking violet, Anderson claims to be the only person to have publicly predicted both the 2008 global financial collapse and the oil price collapse, “the two most important economic events of modern times.”
So, let’s take some of those ideas as outlined in Anderson’s top 10 predictions for 2022:
The demand for EVs is going to be stratospheric with competition the fiercest around battery technology that can up the mileage and reduce charge times, ultimately to the minute or two it takes to fill up a petrol engine.
Anderson says battery technology will respond to the most intense financial and innovation pressures in tech history, “leading to radical improvements in both energy density and safety. New materials, solid-state, cheaper, faster, better. Huge fortunes are bet, lost, and made.”
Chips Are Commoditized
The global supply chain shortage is most acute in microprocessors. This issue is not set to be straightened until late 2022 but could be compounded by geopolitical issues. Taiwan for instance houses huge volumes of the global supply of chips and faces a tussle with China of sovereignty. Not for nothing is Samsung spending billions on a new chip making plant in Texas (operational 2023-4).
Plus, there is predicted massive demand for chips in just about everything from smart devices to the IoT.
Anderson thinks there’s a bigger shift afoot. “We leave the era of chip monopolies and rapidly move into a completely new era of technological innovation. Forget Intel; welcome Ford and GM. Forget PCs, servers, and smartphones and welcome Smart Everything.”
Anderson is pessimistic about the state of pretty much everything from politics to Big Tech. No wonder, if you look at the alarming ultra-right wing attacks that threaten the media, democracy and truth in the United States — or other countries like China, Russia and at a lower level in countries like the UK.
He mentions the effect of IoT and home networks to ad tracking, the surveillance state, and “completely invasive vendor behavior”. While security companies remain prosperous, no one and nothing is trusted to be secure, he adds. “This has a deep psychological effect on citizens, customers, and partners, in addition to the mammoth hidden tax put onto people, companies, and transactions by this forever-condition of theft and loss.”
Climate Struggle Connects
On the other hand, the growing impact closer to everyone’s home from California to Siberia means the world is belatedly waking up to climate change.
“Faced with certain damage, agreed science, and the threat of new mega events — and encouraged by international consensus — the world seriously begins the exciting and painful move away from generations of terracide,” Anderson suggests. “Things go faster than predicted only a year ago.”
China Becomes a Pariah State
Stands to reason perhaps that the world may stand up to China but its economic clout — and also perhaps a prevailing fear of its response — has so far curtailed much action beyond rhetoric when it comes to human rights issues from Hong Kong to the Uyghurs.
Anderson thinks the seeds of Chinese reckoning are being sewn within. The debt default problems of real estate firm Evergrande are perhaps a tip of the iceberg of issues with state-subsidized companies unable to compete with true market forces.
The internal contraction and/or collapse of China’s domestic economic machine accelerates… moving beyond property development into an increasing number of sectors, with higher bankruptcy rates and more desperate corporate bailouts by the CCP,” says Anderson who also thinks the domestic shine will fall from President Xi.
SpaceX Wins the Space Wars
Space tourism and the commercialization of the low earth orbit was a big theme at CES this year as private enterprise begins to dominate this new frontier.
“SpaceX turns out to be well-named, since it now owns the commercial-space space,” suggests Anderson. “No one else is even close, from Virgin to NASA to Boeing and the Launch Alliance. Outside the Earth’s atmosphere, Elon is an emperor.”
We should not forget that other countries including Russia, China and Japan also have an active interest in colonizing mineral assets or virgin territory on the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Science Combats COVID
More prosaically, rapid, accurate COVID detection will be recognized as the necessary complement to vaccination and to avoiding further health and economic damage. New math and pattern discovery will provide the detection improvements needed to keep the world going on both fronts, thinks Anderson.