The future is going to be stranger than you think if the world economy doesn’t collapse due to the stupidity of our leaders. Because, in the not too distant future, you will be able to get things made to order, from clothes to goods at a local shop instead of from a manufacturer. In fact, big box stores will be a thing of the past. Everything you need will be obtainable from a local store. And then, not long after that, things can be made to order in your home like something out of a Star Trek replicator. The technology is called 3-D printing and it’s already here.
The day may come soon when even buildings are made by printers.
3-D Printing will be able to make almost anything on demand, which will save untold billions in transportation, shipping, manufacturing costs. Of course it will radically change society and eliminate jobs on an insane scale. However, this transitional. The transition will be a nightmare, but the end result will be a world where everything is much cheaper to obtain. And people will be able to have things more easily. Waste can be reprocessed into the materials for the printers, so recycling will actually be efficient. It would make for a radically greener world economy, as many harmful mining, manufacturing and processing done today would no longer be needed.
There could also be major negative impacts as the world economy is changed. That’s the scary part. But at the rate were’s going now, the world economy is going to change in any event. At least things like this and nano-tech offers a real hope for the future.
In my graphic novel Aftermath I talk about “grown buildings” which are buildings assembled by nano-robots from raw materials, grown to the specifications programmed into those robots by the architect. Printed buildings are a cruder method, but just as science-fictioney, except they are already testing this right now.