#PushKnowledge
Kedar Anil Gadgil .

THE FUTURE WILL BE HERE. JUST FASTER.

Too many media outlets, influencers, celebrities, billionaires, business experts, TV talking heads, Twitter stars, LinkedIn luminaries, and professional panelists are trying to convince us that the world will change in manners we have never seen before, that our workplace will be unrecognisable, markets will undergo a complete transformation, our living, eating, shopping, working, entertainment habits will be reset to a level not seen or even imagined before, and the human civilisation itself will be revolutionised to a point where even science fiction writers and futurists (yes, such a profession existed at one time in the 1990s) would have been hard pressed to envision just a year ago.

In effect, according to most experts, the new future they are selling will be nothing like the old future everyone had bought into.

I beg to differ. Somewhat.

Of course, it is always extremely difficult to predict the future with any degree of assurance or accuracy.

Literally every person who answered the standard interview question in 2015 got it wrong: "Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?" ~ Anon

Suffice to say, it takes some guts to go out on a limb and say one's mind. But humans are known to do risky shit, for no good reason (I shall come back to this theme later). So, for what it's worth, here are my top predictions for the

(Caveat lector: None of these here are about what I want or desire the world to look like. These are just how I see it will pan out. Please understand and appreciate the difference.)

MANUFACTURING

  • Things will be different in some sectors because of acceleration of the reforms (specifically concerning automation) already on the way. Automation will become cheaper and more universal and smaller and smaller businesses adopt it and more and more vendors start offering it. This was going to happen anyway with Industry 4.0. It will simply happen faster. But only a bit faster.
  • Labour may be reassigned in the short term, but eventually (I predict this will happen in less than 2 years), the best workers will migrate to the best jobs. And the most efficient businesses will find the cheapest labour. Worldwide. As usual.
  • Supply chains will be rethought and adjusted. The operative word is "adjusted" and not discarded and rebuilt from scratch. Most businesses will prefer to source locally or at least domestically and retain more inventory with a slightly longer runway than before. For a short time. Until someone smart opens a text book from the 1980s and realises that JIT and worldwide sourcing is the edge they can acquire over their competition, and once again the race towards lean processes with long supply chains will begin. This is not rocket science. Hawk strategy and dove strategy is well known in evolution.
  • A lot of maintenance and repair work will shift to local vendors, with local skills and locally produced parts and consumables. This was, once again, already existing in economies like India and China, but we might see a resurgence of this trend in more advanced economies too.
  • Many businesses would want the ratio of local to international business to be skewed in favour of the local markets. This will last until the next currency crisis, which could be round the corner. Once again, this is not a stable trend and will keep yo-yoing based on immediate past that will colour the perspective of the humans running the business about how the immediate future will look. Hawks and doves, once again. Cooperate or defect. As usual.

SERVICES

I am just going with a single prediction on each of these sub-sectors. There's obviously a LOT more to it than I have said, but in the interests of brevity (ha!), I think I'll stick to one forecast each. So, here goes:

  • Sales & Marketing: Nothing has changed except the products, the players, the channels, and the jargon for the past 50,000 years. Nothing fundamental is likely to change because of a mere virus! You will have even more innovative (or sometimes, boring and not innovative at all) merchandise to vend, even more players competing with you for a piece of that limited pie of the customer's mind-space and her wallet, even more channels you have to learn about and get to use like a pro within a short time, and even more complicated jargon to hear from your boss, your contemporaries, your juniors, and the latest book on sales that your friend recommended. Nothing changes for you. A salesperson is a salesperson is a salesperson. Go on. Roll up your sleeves. Shake hands (or smile on camera). Make the pitch. Close the sale. Respect the hustle, baby. The world will continue to turn. In your universe, the hustle is all you got.
  • Healthcare & Research: Oh boy! Do they have a chance of a lifetime here! Expect huge resources to flow into healthcare and research, from the largely basic to the most esoteric and borderline metaphysical. No, seriously. If you went to college and chose either of these fields and graduated, say 5 years ago, you are in luck. At the end of your career, if you have not either made a ton of money, discovered or invented or been part of a team that discovered or invented something mind-bendingly beautiful and useful, worked with some brilliant minds, or at least had a ball, you have wasted your pathetic life. Being in these fields at this time is like working at NASA during the race to the moon. You cannot not be in the middle of something inspiringly great. Question is: Are you?
  • Education & Training: Schools, colleges, and vocational training institutes will make a big show of going digital and then eventually restart with social distancing. That will not last. Social distancing is not practical in that setting. It will be business as usual very soon, unless they want to keep running a sham. The problem will not be of social distancing, but of the lost months of teaching (and revenue). Those that manage to cope with this break will come out on top. Expect to see little or no changes in the pecking order. But for one exception, and that is the online education brands. Their valuations are unrealistic. They will fall. Not because their quality of education or the cutting-edgedness (or whatever) of their technology is in doubt, but because their approach to sales is wrong, and not from the sales process angle, but from the ethical perspective. Education cannot be sold like a time share holiday. And using FUD even to sell insurance or fire extinguishers is borderline yucky. To use it on kids is just. No. It will not be long before these "institutes" have reality catching up with them. Or karma. Same difference.
  • IT & ITES: The only industry where WFH will have a real impact, though for how long is difficult to say. Those businesses that plan well and create proper structures and processes for this that take into consideration all the limitations that employees have to overcome to truly perform at their best will quickly lose their key employees to other companies who will be willing to pay top dollar to the people who have managed this right. Customer data theft, privacy issues, hacking, and other security problems will soon surface for most. The government may need to intervene to bring in either an entirely separate law, or amend the current labour and occupational & workplace safety acts and rules to consider the changed environment.
  • Legal, Taxation, Banking, and Insurance: Once again, these are those industries that are on the cusp of change anyway, and the pandemic would simply have acted as the trigger, the final straw on the proverbial camel's back. The government may well carpe the diem out of tax reform, or throw open the insurance, audit, and the legal sector to come who may. But even if it does, the industry, or at least insofar as the industry's interface with the common public and the garden variety corporate client is concerned, there would be little, if any changes other than those that are already well on the anvil. Digitisation, remote working, templated & standardised documents & contracts, and steep competition will lead to the niche players falling off their perch and an overall commoditisation of the service. it was all going to happen anyway. As for insurance, it may add a few more disasters it covers for and make some money for a short while, but beyond that, nothing exciting to see here, folks. Move along. (P.S: If you are a young lawyer, CA, banker, actuary, or broker, this is your time to shine without being scared of the biggies who have occupied the high chair at the table for so long. My advice: Do not waste a moment. Seize the day. Alea iacta est, if you know what I mean!)
  • Travel & Tourism/Hospitality: The airline and hotels and restaurants industry will die. And then rise from the ashes with new owners, but the same management, much like how Kings and Rajas used to change at the top in the medieval times without really it meaning much to the farmer, worker, trader, or soldier at the bottom-most rung. There will be a spate of high profile bankruptcies with some "wilful defaulters" absconding to foreign shores and causing a kerfuffle in the living rooms of some equally high profile Indians, but it would be a side-show at best. The real excitement would be the new owners and what their vision for their industry and their brand would be. This excitement will die down soon as people settle down to realise that there is really nothing that has changed except the name on the share certificate. It will be, to repeat, business as usual within a short span of time. I know. Boring. But true.
  • Sports & Leisure/Entertainment: Malls and sports arenas will be jam packed within days of opening. There will be some initial initiative from the more moneyed sports bodies (AELTC & ITF or BCCI & ICC or the USPGA or IOC etc) to play without spectators, which will soon be abandoned to switch to "spectators but with social distancing" which will soon be chucked into the dust bin, never to be retrieved again. Vaccines and pre-game checkups for players may become de rigueur, like the WADA tests, but that would be about it. Movies and web series will start being produced too, initially like the sports bodies, with social distancing and what not, but eventually (and soon), simple pre-shoot thermal scans and self-declarations will suffice. After all, for an industry whose motto is "The show must go on," this is but a minor blip on its radar.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

  • For first generation entrepreneurs (1GE), there would be huge opportunities as several businesses face closure and huge vacuums are created. Those who are following in the previous generation's footsteps (non-first generation veterans of family businesses) will be risk averse and would have burnt their hands by losing a substantial portion of their wealth. They would prefer to wait and watch, while the 1GEs would go make their mark. Expect many niches and industry verticals that looked solid and impregnable for many years to be breached by new players. This is one of the few massive changes to the skyline I expect that will happen over the next 1-2 years.
  • However, I would also predict that those that sat this out will re-enter with their powders dry and tons of (family) experience after the first 2 years of free-for-all and pick up the laggards as well as the top-of-the-line businesses, leaving only the middling ones to remain in the hands of newcomers.
  • Government contracts less than Rs.200 Crore may sound tempting, given the recent announcements, but the chances of a 1GE who isn't already 10 years old in the business getting their little fingers on any of it are far fetched. No change in the fact that large, government contracts are only for the big boys.

AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND PHARMA

  • Everybody, their uncles, and their dogs will want to own farmland and turn farmers. Land prices in the rural hinterland will rise, though not as much as the agricultural land adjoining the urban centres. None of them will actually farm.
  • Farming will be opened up to large corporates. All over the world. They will gobble up all the arable land in the world, especially in the developing and under-developed economies. This will give them great power over the local communities and the governments. This is a logical extension of the take over of water sources by private enterprises over the past 100 years. Combined with their control over pharmaceuticals, telecommunication, and banking (including digital payments), these corporates will decide the futures of entire swathes of humanity. This is not new though. It just sounds ominous. This has already happened.
  • The food habits of the world will be decided by the corporates and governments together. You will have the illusion of false choice. Once again, this has already happened. The next time you go to a mall's food court or the local supermarket, take a look around you. You are buying what you are allowed to buy within a very narrow spectrum. You are consuming what you buy. You are already in the future. This is not a prediction. This is me calling it out as I see it. Just because you are paranoid does not mean they aren't out to get you.
  • The movement of food will be less free across the world, despite the corporates controlling the entire chain. That is because countries will close down their borders and offer protection to locally grown, locally processed food. The corporates will understand this and game the system to their advantage. The most to benefit would be those who form clusters that can be integrated backwards all the way to the farm and forward all the way to the consumer's table. Food will be the most local of all products you will consume.
  • It follows that non-local food will become relatively rare, and will be seen as exotic. Hence, it will fetch a premium. This is not a new thing to developing and underdeveloped economies. But it will become more pronounced in developed countries also. This movement towards locally grown, locally processed food is not new though. Just that the spread of this would be accelerated to reach critical thresholds of volumes needed for profits, and hence competition from focussed players much faster than earlier anticipated.
  • The pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industry will get a huge boost. they have been trying to get budgets passed from their own corporate bosses for years already to conduct research into vaccines and other preventive medicines and to combine them with food. This pandemic will make the corporate brass open up their purse strings to the chaps in white jackets. New discoveries and inventions will flow. Many may be superfluous or maybe even harmful in the long run. But there is likely to be some breakthrough stuff we can expect in the near future. While this is not new, the kind of budgets that such moonshots need were not made available before this. They will be now.
  • As for genetic research, there is already so much money flowing into it that with the same budgets, we could have colonised another planet by now. Or built a new one. More money is unlikely to help. But they will get more. This may start putting pressure to show results in the form of something spectacular, given the eye-watering amounts that are likely to be pumped in. And as so many horror movies tell you, asking someone to speed up genetic experiments may not always be the best move you could make.
  • A lot of the low level research might make its way to your dressing table or bathroom sink. Beauty and hygiene products are likely to see the next wave as the overflow from the investments into organic chemistry for pharma finds its way to start contributing to the balance sheet. Instagram and Tik-Tok (or whatever replaces it) influencers are going to clean up, as a second-order effect.

POLITICS & ENVIRONMENT

  • The world was already on its way to becoming more authoritarian, more closed, more inward looking, more xenophobic than immediately in the past. The pandemic will only accelerate this as opposition and dissent will be (as it already is being) crushed in the name of fighting the virus. "We are in this together" will be the new slogan to rally the citizenry under the standard. National Citizenship Registers will be introduced, people counted, classified, and documented, as technology will be harnessed to tether and monitor people. And to use against them at will. Worldwide.
  • The left has had its moment in the developing world. It will attempt a last ditch breakout with the exploited and angry workers and migrants, the poor and the most affected from across the world. It will fail. It has missed the bus long ago. It will need to rework its entire strategy and approach for it to be relevant in this century. It will be replaced by a more right of centre liberalism that sits on the left of the government. Everywhere.
  • In the really small ultra-developed world, the left will make a comeback. As environmentalists. But they will prove to be right wingers pushing a pro-rich agenda under the superficial green paint, as factories will be closed, polluting industries shifted to non-ultra-developed countries, and a faux environment-friendly lifestyle foisted upon the the handful of super-rich citizens who will be told by the media to look down condescendingly at other less developed societies with scorn, blaming them for driving the world to shit. They will be the new Brahmins. Everybody will hate them. But they will win all the Nobel Peace Prizes.

GOVERNMENT & THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM

  • Fighting the virus will become the new war on terrorism, which was the new war on drugs which was the new war against commies/capitalist dogs (depending on which side of the wall you lived). Frontline warriors will be martyred, a gazillion dollars will be poured into it, and the media frenzy to report every small detail as either a brilliant victory or a crushing setback will create jubilation and panic in turns, as and when the party in power wants to turn up or down the collective dopamine ration.
  • New laws will be introduced and pushed through via dubious means in the name of reform and under the cover of the pandemic. Systems and institutions earlier having liberal leanings will be turned rightwards. Popular will trump intellectual. Majority wants will defeat minority needs. Duties will override rights as rights become privileges, accorded by the mob to "others" out of largesse & generosity and not as principle. The revenge of the right will be upon us. Everywhere. As it had already begun. Just quicker. But, like the left-liberal usurpation of the institutions in the past century, it won't last. Nothing does. The circle will come around. But not in our lifetimes.
  • Patents & patent litigation (as well as plagiarism and IP theft), tariff wars & retaliations, and protectionism & counter-protectionisms via subsidies & debilitating anti-dumping duties will increase as the friction between various nations rises, depending on their individual economic strategies and the amount of unfair advantage afforded by a government to the local businesses based on how strong they (the ruling party, the businesses, the national economy, the currency, and the armed forces) are. New, previously unexpected Free Trade Agreements might come into being. A lot of this will be from the fear generated by the very experts who are saying that the world will change completely post-Covid, just like the earlier decisions were driven by experts on ideology or faith or drugs or terrorism or economics. But then, this is normal, natural, and has been happening for quite some time now. You are likely to see a realignment. Just like you see it at least once, if not more times, every century. So, nothing to be surprised with.
  • Governments will use technology aggressively to map resources out, monitor them, surveil and record any changes, and to implement policy. These will include living beings (their citizens) as well as useful objects like water sources, boundaries (both political and revenue, for example, privately owned land), flora & fauna, terrain, features, archeological & tourist spots, movement & migration of humans and animals, as well as keeping tabs on parameters like body temperatures in public spaces to even heart rates. This technology may extend to crime prevention or detection, and eventually to policing every aspect of the citizen's life. But then, we were already moving in that direction pretty fast. The only obstacle was the political will and a justification for such measures. Corona provides both.
  • Technology will likely be a flashpoint. Satellites, GPS, 5G, autonomous driving systems, military hardware & software, even fashions linked to technology are likely to evolve separately depending on the alliances a country might be part of. The internet is already divided between the English and the Chinese versions. Other things would have been too in the future. This will be accelerated. Nothing new. Just faster.
  • New alliances may be formed. I predict a low-to-medium intensity war between at least two blocs in the next 15-20 years. It could escalate. I am not sure. But it would start as a proxy war. Perhaps over territory. Or faith. Or water. Or currency. Or technology. Or a mix of some. Or all. Perhaps in this decade itself.
  • Wars will be fought as remotely as possible. The era of excessive boots-on-the-ground (or at the very least, boots-on-the-ground as the first line of attack) has been dying for some time. The pandemic has finally cremated it somewhat hurriedly. It might resurrect itself for one last hurrah, but even the infantry knows its days are numbered, and for good reason. It's not that they will become obsolete overnight, or that we will suddenly see armies sans the foot soldier. Far from it. The army has been reinventing itself for quite some time now. This just gives them impetus. The actual fighting itself will be a lot about infiltrating enemy systems and planting a virus, bringing down enemy equipment through hacking/jamming, eavesdropping, using drone swarms, armed UAVs, ICBMs, air strikes, and medium-to-long-range missile attacks interspersed by small special forces operations to destroy strategic assets, assassinate key leaders, and demolish enemy infrastructure. It will consist of massive propaganda and public relations to demoralise the other side, media & movies, posturing & teeth-baring, sanctions and embargoes, blocking banking and seizing assets, so on. But then, this is where we are going anyway. Once again, at the cost of repetition, we'll just get there faster.

WORK & MONEY

  • Money has always been very important for the very rich and the very poor. It will remain so. For a (very) short period, money will become less important to the middle class who will prioritise their relationships, health, and lives over their careers and income. It won't last. I give it till Diwali, tops. As the job market bottoms (because the total number of jobs will come as near zero as is practically possible), careers and professions will make a comeback. Like never before. We will all become Japanese in that aspect. People would have to be forced to take leaves. Some will die of the stress of work. Slackers are unlikely to find work in the near future.
  • Older people will be expected to either retire and stay home, or die. Quietly. The world will be run by young people. Like it always has been. Nothing changes. Except our perspective of seniors. I do not know if that is a good thing or bad. Probably depends on which side of 40 you are, dear reader.
  • Everybody will pay lip service to the "gig economy" but everybody will want a steady job. Once again, this is simply a fallout of the massive recession that everyone is seeing coming, and the sentiment (of preferring a steady job to say, jumping on to the entrepreneurial wagon) may not last beyond the next 5-6 years, maybe less. But we are likely to pass through a phase where good, hardworking, and skilled people are available cheaply, and are willing to take a lot of abuse without a complaint. It's just that steady jobs would be hard to come by for the next 1-2 years at least. Government jobs are likely to be at a premium. Expect to have increased competition (not that there is less of it now) if you are a young adult preparing for that entrance exam.
  • Real estate as a store of wealth will probably make a comeback as the prices drop and people see great value as well as a solid investment. No surprises here. My personal view is people will opt for collective risks in realty if such instruments are made available to them, and prefer not to have very large exposures in expensive property, unless it comes with some kind of an income plan. Gold will surge. Nothing new here too.
  • Rental income will become sought after. People will plan for retirement, death, war, drought, floods, cyclones, and of course, pandemics. Insurance companies will make hay while the sun shines (and refuse to pay and go bankrupt when it stops shining). There would be a premium (for a short while) on instruments and schemes that can provide a fixed, guaranteed income. Portfolio allocation will shift to accommodate this need. It won't last. Humans are prone to doing risky shit. This is a recurring theme in our history and the fly in the ointment for all those who are silly enough to dare to predict the future based on a presumption of rational behaviour on part of the species.
  • New and innovative financial instruments (some long lasting, some fly-by-night) are likely to be seen in the market over the next 1-3 years. I believe that just like mutual funds, and insurance before that, and the joint stock company even earlier, revolutionised personal finance and financial security planning as well as shared risk-taking in humans, something new will emerge that we will look back at a century from now and recognise as the result of the pandemic. I do not know what it is. But then, I am not a finance expert. Just an entrepreneur looking at something that has remained stagnant too long and is in dire need of disruption.
  • Currencies are likely to remain, for the lack of a better word, in currency. While there is a definite movement towards more egalitarian models based on some kind of crypto, peer-to-peer, blockchain, decentralised technology, that process is unlikely to be either hampered or accelerated due to the pandemic. People will move more and more towards coagulation & collectiveness as societies and nations. Inward looking systems like national currencies will become a source of identity, pride, ego, and probably conflict in the near future.

SOCIETY & ZEITGEIST

  • Social distancing will fail. Almost immediately. No one can get to work, travel for business, meet new people, party, entertain, eat out, or get children to learn how to share and play together with others by staying 6 feet away from another human. Entire cities, societies, workplaces, factories, transport systems, political processes, and domestic & International trade will need to be redesigned from the ground up for us to maintain the kind of social distancing this virus needs, or at least what our current knowledge of this virus is limited to. This will take more time, effort, resources, political will, and determination to make happen than the vaccine will take to be discovered, tested, and released. Social distancing in any country that is not in the top 5 in terms of development and bottom 5 in terms of population density is a pipe dream. Any laws we make about it, and about the donning of the ridiculous PPE by everyone from hairdressers to engine drivers, or about occupying alternate seats, or drawing little circles or boxes on the ground, and then forcing people on pain of arrest or fine to follow them, will simply result in more money in hands of the corrupt official and cop, and will create large number of criminals from regular, law-abiding citizens who simply cannot follow an impractical fiat. People will start gaming the system. And the whole of it will collapse. Literally immediately. But I already said that above.
  • Work From Home is a fad. It will go away. By the end of this year. The average WFH family is urban, which is only a part of the total workforce. Rural families seem to have escaped the so-called futurist's gaze completely when they claimed that WFH is the "new normal". Many urban families are multiple income (which means more than one family member works) families, which means they have more than one person working potentially from home. They live in small houses in close quarters with children, elders, and pets, with one or more domestic staff coming in and out of the home for a major portion of the day, in places with dodgy power and water, on a highly unreliable and insecure network, and not enough space to provide a clutter-free, disturbance free environment, either for (video) meetings, phone calls, or just a quiet & productive work place for focussed intellectual activity. The amount of work that can actually be done digitally is limited, more severely than most can imagine, as are the specific industries in a very small list where such work is at all possible. Also, the speed & efficiency of a physical workplace where one can simply turn to a colleague or walk up to them and sort out a problem is currently unmatched. Lastly, the need for maintaining paper records and trails, whether for regulatory compliance or legal purposes will not go away soon unless the entire society, including our government, our administration, our laws, our courts, and our taxation system is rewritten with literally two primary goals: digitisation and remote working. And not just in India. That is as likely to happen as the Earth being demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass by Vogon Constructor Fleets, in which case, do you know where your towel is?
  • Face masks may become a fashion statement. For some time. Like skinny jeans. Or polka dots. Not all will wear them. Touching and hugging will come back. With a vengeance. Ditto partying, outdoor activity, sports, and tourism. This is not because people will not continue to get infected and die, but because we humans are evolutionarily hardwired to do risky shit. That is how we managed to become the dominant species on this planet. That won't go away. Not now. Not ever. Until we literally become extinct. Perhaps due to the very same reason!
  • We will become more intolerant, more close-minded, more closeted within our own echo chambers. But that process started way back, with the advent of mobile networked technology and its unrelenting advance via the ironically named "social" media that has become ubiquitous and omnipotent in our lives in a manner so insidious that were we to classify THAT as a virus, we won't be much further from the mark. This infection will continue to grow. Just faster. Because being locked up does that to one's mind. It will reflect in our choices of fashion, food, art, relationships, careers, and politics. Worry not, we will party, we will mingle, we will make new friends, we will hug & kiss, we will marry, we will make love, and we will procreate. But within smaller and smaller circles. With more and more stringent requirements of belief and faith than ever before. Even more stringent than the inquisitions. Or the caste system.
  • Marriages will make a comeback. Ditto children. Many people will have many children at much younger ages and enter monogamous relationships with much more frequency than currently observed. This is an expected fallout of really bad economic times and there is nothing new in this. As stated earlier, this is not rocket science. Just that it sounds better when listed as one of the "predictions." This is also lazy writing. On my part. But be that as it may, you'll see more couples promising each other the world and producing babies. How long will it last? Your guess is as good as mine.
  • As earlier predicted, intellectuals will be the new patsies, mocked, derided, and paraded as examples of out-of-touch vestiges of an obsolete world managed by long-extinct dinosaurs of a bygone era. Just like right wing historians and artists, politicians and writers, and speakers and social workers, amongst others, were treated for little less than the past century or so. Those marked out for particular abuse will include artists, performers, writers, thinkers, even researchers, teachers, and students. The only people excluded would be those with "useful" skills like engineers, doctors, dentists, rocket scientists, nuclear technologists, pharma researchers, etc. So, if you are studying human behaviour or history or literature, especially from a non-right wing perspective, you will be seen as wasting the society's resources ("You are almost 30 and still doing your PhD? On my dime? You anti-national!"), while if you are researching the atom or the gene, you will be feted and celebrated. Left-liberalism would have failed. And will have to take the long way up to climb back to where it was once again. They will return to being the perennial underdogs. But they will win all the Nobel Literature Prizes. Bookers too.
  • Art will simply assimilate the crisis. Music will include references to the time of Corona, as several dozen books and films, web series and comics are churned out to sounds topical, smart, and prescient, just like this article by me. But this phenomenon won't be new to art. Art has always absorbed influences from life, as it infuses life with influences of its own. It will just be more of the same. From time to time, a new crisis, a new happening, a new fashion, a new discovery will keep infiltrating into our art. And enriching it. While it enriches our life on this planet. As always.

SUMMARY

Contrary to what we are being led to believe (not surprisingly, by the very people who stand to gain from a changed world), the future will not change that much. Not for you individually. Not as fast as you believe. And not to the extent you've been repeatedly told.

Some things we predicted will come true. Most won't. Just like the past predictions. The only difference will be that the future will come faster.

Or at least some of it anyway. That is the nature of future. It is unpredictable because it isn't here. Yet.

Because if it were, it wouldn't be.

Image: Mad Max: Fury Road

Shareable Link: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/future-here-just-faster-kedar-gadgil

Originally Posted Here
5 Comments

Rishi Sen

This is simply fantastic and written with a lot of wiseness (no points for guessing which side of 40 the auth is on) sans the folly of youth. One correction on the medical front - it ain't gonna be that hunky Dory as you suggest. Commercial prioritiesdictate research and covid is but one disease (as of yet). I fail to gather how that will spill over. Also an observation the more you read the more timelines get blurred. Maybe put a scale / magnitude to some of the observations which currently lack them.Fantastic read though and though there is a huge confirmation bias this is going to guide some of the life and money decisions that I need to make. Thanks Kedar

Few more questions Kedar Anil Gadgil what is meant by collective risk in realty and which instruments are these? An example would be great.

I also didn't get why would everyone want to own farmland. Food is not under stress the entire section sounded a bit too ominous. Too much like the state in US

Kedar Anil Gadgil

1. I do not know which instruments. I have defined what they might offer. I do not know which form they may take, for I can only guess what the market may need. So, if there is demand, I am assuming someone smart enough will create the supply.
2. The pandemic has created an exaggerated need for urban cowboys to own farmland, thinking that it would be not only an escape during the next whatever, but also a way to be self-sufficient in terms of food. Prepping is not exactly a fad in India yet. I suspect it will be. Or at least to a point that certain urban people will start thinking of it. But I also suspect it will be as shallow as paying for a gym membership and hoping that in itself that somehow would make you fitter. So, while I am more or less certain about urban cowboys rushing to buy their own farmland, I am as certain that they won't till it, or even visit it past a point.

As you can well imagine, these are my opinions. I may well be wrong. In fact, I'd be the first person to be utterly shocked if more than 8 our of 10 of my predictions are not proven completely wrong.

Rishi Sen

For the first part I think I am challenged with understanding what is meant by collective risk?

For the other - there was a startup which let you farm your piece of land and sends the produce home. You can plant stuff in an app like Farmville. That might go well with 'urban cowboys'.

Kedar Anil Gadgil

Yep. Like you said, where there is demand, there will be supply. So, startups like that may open up. And/or people might buy farmland directly.

As for collective risk, consider a mutual fund. It is shared risk that is taken collectively. An instrumentlike that would be desired. And now that you mention it, there are people I know who are working on exactly that. But I cannot divulge it here because it is not mine to talk about.

I hope that clears it.

Rishi Sen

 Realty mutual fund (ish). Interesting.

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