Many observers of human history have recognized cycles of behavior. Most of them have attempted to quantify these wave patterns of behavior hoping to be able to use them to predict the future. A recent interpreter of these cycles is John Casti who goes so far as to advance the science of Socionomics. He theorizes that cycles in human affairs are influenced more by social mood than specific events. In his book Mood Matters – From Rising Skirt Lengths to the Collapse of World Powers, John Casti argues the following postulates:
   • The long-term global mood has shifted from positive to negative;
   • This will result in a massive change in every aspect of geopolitical, financial, and social life;
   • The current problems are psychological, not financial.

   Analysts like George Friedman have suggested that the pattern of traditional life in developed countries is collapsing. He relates the disruption of historical social patterns more to the factors of longer life, the decline in fertility rates, extended education of children, and the breakdown of the institution of marriage. Jared Diamond points to over population and depletion of resources and warns that lifestyle of current human societies has less than 50 years left. Futurists more oriented towards technology like Martin Ford see the economic impacts of truly advanced future technologies as being the probable cause for social disruption in the next fifty years.
   It is likely that these eminent authors and analysts have grasped fundamental truths. That humanity is approaching a Kuhnian paradigm shift is the common thread within all future predictions for the coming century. The point of this book is that we are facing more than a wave cycle. In my view our singularity will alter all the social patterns of past humanity and eventually humanity itself. The immediate disruption over the next few decades is the most easily visualized. Technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence will change jobs and industries throughout the industrialized world. We’ve seen these types of social impact before. Jared Diamond points to the invention of subsistence agriculture 9000 years ago as the beginning of the human population explosion that is likely to peak in this century. The industrial revolution, less than 200 years ago moved humanity from the farm to cities. According to Kurzweil, his logarithmic graphs of 15 paradigm shifts for key historic events show an exponential trend. There are so many trends that are likely to impinge on the world over the next 50 years that successfully using them to predict the specific consequences on the economies of the world is not possible.
   For every negative impact, technological revolutions have countervailing positive impacts. The luxurious life styles of the developed nations since World War II can be directly attributed to the productivity resulting from industrialization and technology. Because of the power of technology over the last two centuries we have consumed more resources worldwide, than humanity consumed in the rest of recorded history. This leverage of technology does not appear to be lessening. If Ray Kurzweil’s logarithmic growth projections are accurate we will be receiving even greater benefits over the next several decades. Resources do not increase logarithmically. If anything, some of them have been decreasing logarithmically over the last century. Fish in the oceans, arable land, fresh water, and natural vegetation all are in dramatic decline. Technology’s ability to introduce previously unidentified substitute resources will be enhanced. Humanity’s historical shifts in fuel sources from forest trees, to coal, to fossil fuels, to nuclear power could not have been predicted by previous generations. What we can predict today is that there will be multiple new power sources that will continue to enable the technological world we have been building for ourselves.
   How will this all impact the economic well-being of the citizens of the world? It seems likely that, though there will be severe regional economic disruptions, the overall trend will be the continued improvement of the living standards of undeveloped countries while still maintaining the living standards predominant in the developed world. The combined influence of genetic engineering, nanotechnology and robotics technologies will fuel this continued economic growth. However, the social disruptions of these same technologies combined with resource disparities insure that there will also be the specters of war, famine and disease causing regional societal collapse and human suffering.
   During the latter half of this century as TAB humanity begins to emerge, the definition of social well-being will change. The definition of what it means to be human will be evolving. In a later chapter I address what this evolution of humanity will mean to our existing concepts of human equal rights. The definitions of social welfare and economic growth will be undergoing transitions as the rules governing human economics diverge into whatever will replace them in the post-humanity world.