887: Future Timeline

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Future Timeline
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Not shown: the approximately 30,000 identical, vaguely hysterical articles titled "WHITE PEOPLE IN [THE US/BRITAIN] TO BECOME MINORITY BY [YEAR]!", which came up for basically any year I put in.
Title text: Not shown: the approximately 30,000 identical, vaguely hysterical articles titled "WHITE PEOPLE IN [THE US/BRITAIN] TO BECOME MINORITY BY [YEAR]!", which came up for basically any year I put in.

[edit] Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: almost no elaboration
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic uses the same strategy as comic 715: Numbers, in which Randall uses Google to search for phrases and then charts the results. This one is charted as a timeline, whereas 715 was charted as line graphs.

"2101 - War Was Beginning" is a reference to the opening narration of video game Zero Wing; the same narration is famous for the internet meme "All your base are belong to us". As there are not any other out and out references in the comic, and the rest are actually results that you can find if you search using Randall's methods, we're pretty sure "War Was Beginning" came up when he googled 2101 as well.

Another point of this comic is that certain event, e.g. "Social Security stops running surplus", are repeated multiple times. Also, certain bizarre events, like "Apocalypse occurs", or "Flying cars reach market", happen before rather plausible things, like "HTML 5 Finished". Certain events, like "Japan is a robot-only country", may be related to a recurring theme in xkcd comics, including 605: Extrapolating.

The title text is borne of a recurring "white people panic"; scaremongers will put in years of the very near future in order to get the panicked racist people to pay attention to them (without actually using valid or accepted scientific measurements to back up these claims; panicked racist people don't exactly fact-check very much), while level-headed sociologists will usually come up with more distant dates from their extrapolations.

As for how accurate the Internet has been: The ONLY prediction to have come true as of January 2014 is the world population hitting the 7 billion mark. The United States is scheduled to remove the last of its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but the cynics in the audience may note that the government is usually lenient about these dates. And unless you count the Android phone platform, Linux shows absolutely no signs of winning back 50% of the operating system market in the next 12 months.

[edit] Transcript

THE FUTURE
According to Google search results
Events for each year determined by the first page of Google search results for the phrases:
"By <year>" "In year"
"By the year <year>" "In the year <year>"
"Will * by the year <year>" "Will * in the year <year>"
"In <year>, * will" "By <year>, * will"
2012 World population reaches 7 billion
Flying cars reach market
Canada cuts greenhouse emissions to 6% below 1990 levels as per Kyoto
Apocalypse occurs
2013 National debt paid off through President Clinton's plans
Microchipping of all Americans begins
Homelessness ended in Massachusetts
Health care reform law repealed
2014 US leaves Afghanistan
GNU/Linux becomes dominant OS
2015 New Horizons reaches Pluto
Health care law causes hyperinflation
192 UN member nations achieve millennium development goals:
  • Extreme poverty and hunger eradicated
  • Universal primary education implemented
  • Women empowered, gender equality reached
  • Environmental stability ensured
2016 Baby boomers begin turning 65
Android takes 38% of the smartphone market
Android takes 45% of the smartphone market
Windows Phone overtakes iOS in smartphones
2017 China completes unmanned Lunar sample-return mission
Social Security stops running surplus
US budget balanced
Newspapers become obsolete and die out
Cosmetic surgery doubles
2018 Social Security stops running surplus
Jesus returns to Earth
2019 Social Security stops running surplus
Every baby has genes mapped at birth
2020 Solar power becomes cheaper than fossil fuels
Keyboards and mice become obsolete
New Tappan Zee bridge constructed
2021 US debt reaches 97% of GDP
US unemployment falls to 2.8%
Restored caliphate unifies Middle East
Lake Mead evaporates
2022 Kilimanjaro snow-free
HTML 5 finished
Newspapers become obsolete and die out
2023 Jesus returns to Earth (again)
US debt passes 100% of GDP
All unprotected ancient forests gone from Pacific Northwest
2024 Atlantis begins to reappear
Orangutans extinct in wild
China lands men and women on the moon
NASA sets up permanent moon base
Female professionals pass males in pay
2025 World population reaches 8 billion
Two billion people face water shortages
62 MPG cars introduced
US power fades
2026 Atlantis emerges completely
Rock Bands die out
US debt paid off
Car accidents cease
West coast falls into ocean
2027 Japan introduces new fastest Maglev train
Lyndon Larouche-planned Mars colony is established
Social Security stops running surplus
2028 Tobacco outlawed
40% of coral reefs gone
US debt paid off
Social Security stops running surplus
2029 Social Security trust fund exhausted
Computers pass the Turing test
Aging reversed
Wikipedia reaches 30 Million articles
2030 Half of Amazon rain forest lost to logging
Cancer deaths double from 2008 levels
Arctic ice-free in summer
2031 Computers controlled by thought
Realtors replaced by technology
Social Security trust fund exhausted
2032 "Big One" hits San Francisco
US elects first married lesbian President
Entire world converted to Christianity
2033 Kilimanjaro ice disappears
India becomes superpower
Europe reaches Mars
2034 US diabetes cases double, treatment costs triple
US builds autonomous robot army
2035 80% of America's energy comes from renewable sources
Himalayan glaciers down 80% in size
Arctic sea lane opens
2036 80% of US has access to high-speed rail
Asteroid Apophis misses/hits Earth
2037 Arctic ice-free in September
Social Security trust fund exhausted
2038 32-bit timestamps roll over, causing Y2K-level chaos
"Big One" hits California
2039 US population hits 400 Million
Severe heat waves become commonplace
Scientology becomes majority religion in US
2040 Arctic summers ice-free
Nanotechnology makes humans immortal
2041 Social Security trust fund exhausted
2042
2043 World population passes 9 Billion
2044 Mankind genetically engineered to be happy
Childhood obesity reaches 100%
2045 Humans and machines merge
2046 World's natural resources depleted
2047 World ruled by banks and corporations
Tobacco industry fails
US begins using autonomous attack drones
2048 Salt-water fish extinct from overfishing
Unisex bathing suits cover body from shoulder to ankle
Entire US population overweight
US begins using autonomous attack drones
2049 $1.000 computer exceeds computational ability of humanity
Singularity occurs
Fishing industry collapses
2050 80% of Earth's population lives in urban centers
China controls space
Sex with robots possible
Cars banned from European cities
One million species extinct from climate change
2051 Atmosphere escapes into space
2052 Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security spending exceed total US revenue
2053 US budget balanced
Majority of Americans in prison
Cars driven by dogs
2054 Hunger becomes unimaginable global problem
2055 Atmospheric CO2 doubled
Oil runs out
Copper, tin, lead, gold, and nickel all exhausted
2056 RFID-tagged driverless cars
Robots given same rights as humans
2057 150 Japanese settlers on Mars
Colorado River runs dry
2058 Smoking ends in New Zealand
2059 Humans have domesticated robots
2060 Human race lives in peace
Extreme droughts across much of Earth
Global temperature rise reaches 4°C
Oil runs out again
2061 Halley's comet returns
2062 Uganda hosts World Cup
The Jetsons
2063 First human clones reach adulthood
Population of Moon reaches 100,000
Population of Mars reaches 10,000
Spacecraft exceed speed of light
2064 Clean Air Act finishes reducing haze in national parks to natural levels
2065 Last coral reefs die out
Chernobyl cleanup complete
2066 Cyprus achieves its goal
2067 Americans live in domed cities and watch 3D TV
Redheads go extinct
2068 Ozone hole over Antarctic finishes recovering
Lord Jesus rules Earth from throne in Jerusalem
Entire world population gay due to chemicals in the water
2069 Public masturbation legalized
2070 World population peaks
City-scale flooding disasters
60% of world's energy comes from renewable sources
2071 Europe's temperatures rise by 3°C
World summer temperatures rise by 5°C
2072 US retirement age is set to 75
2073 Oceans do not rise one foot
2074 Number of 100-year-olds reaches one million
Supertyphoons hit Japan
2075 US retirement age set to 69
2076 Average scientific paper has more than 24 authors
Social Security trust fund exhausted
2077
2078 Newspapers become obsolete and die out
2079 US debt reaches 716% of GDP
Lodgepole pines disappear from Northwest
Floods commonplace
Religion marginalized
2080 Federal spending reaches 70% of GDP
UK population doubles
2081
2082 World population declines to one billion
2083
2084 Robot policemen introduced
2085 US deficit reaches 62% of GDP
2086
2087
2088 Japan becomes all-robot country
2089 World halts fossil fuel use
2090 Global warming hits 7°C
Global warming hits 4°C
2091
2092
2093
2094
2095
2096
2097
2098
2099
2100 Global warming around 5-7°C
Sea levels have risen by a meter or more
Joshua trees nearly extinct
Earth's climate resembles that of the Cretaceous
Germany tropical
Emperor penguins extinct
Arctic permafrost thaws
Rising seas flood coastal cities
Rain forests mostly gone due to climatic shifts
All coral reefs gone
Gillette introduces 14-bladed razor
2101 WAR WAS BEGINNING
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Discussion

This one slipped under the transcripting radar. I may do it. --Quicksilver (talk) 20:52, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Do not talk about radars, just do it. The transcript is done right now, but the explain section still does need a big radar!--Dgbrt (talk) 20:20, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Find the song! I have no idea so far but the repeating phrase "Social security trust fund exhausted" should match a refrain.--Dgbrt (talk) 20:20, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

They now have the dogs driving cars... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWAK0J8Uhzk Let's not wait for 2053.173.245.54.90 21:01, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Out of curiosity (I'm new to the standards of explainxkcd), are out of date pages considered incomplete? Or is it up to editors to chose when to update a pages explination. I would assume the former, except that would make maintaining the pages significantly more difficult. Also, referencing the Linux takes over. Since Android is now a part of the libux kernel,should thia be changed? It would definently put linux over the 50% mark. Mrmakeit (talk) 05:03, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
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