Sharlos wrote:Additionally, it is perfectly reasonable for nations to continue balkanising all the while maintaining supranational unions for mutual benefit.
Indeed, in anything like the forseeable future the only way I can see a 'global' government working would be along an ultra-federalist model - a loose union type arrangement at the top level, then nations at the sub-level, then perhaps smaller regions/states below that. Most countries already have some kind of structure along these lines, with local governance below the national level, this concept merely extends that.
Anyway, more generally, a thousand years is a really, really long time
. In just the last hundred years we've gone from manual labour, industrial age, using horses and steam engines for transport to using mass production, in the information age with personal vehicles, aeroplanes and (early) space travel. Current technology was almost predictable a hundred years ago (try reading Wells), but in the 11th century it would've been like magic. Even Da Vinci was only 500 years ago. And progress is speeding up - I think we might have a shot at decent 100-year forecasts, but literally anything could've happened by year 3000.
Having said that, barring catastrophe we'll probably develop some kind of AI, and that may well lead to a singularity event. Even if this doesn't happen, a large part of the near/mid-term future development is likely to be informatics and software/hardware improvements. There's still a lot to be done in the area of intelligent search (apps that actually seek out information far more cleverly with more reference to context and automatically compile a report, rather than just giving you a list of 'maybe-kinda-useful' sites).
We'll either get fusion going or switch over to some kind of solar power. That should mean we won't have a major energy crisis in the mid-term, although the short term is more problematic. We'll still run out of oil eventually, as polymer use continues to increase, but with enough energy that shouldn't be a problem - we can manufacture polymers from CO2 and water, so long as we've got the energy to rip the molecules apart. Our main concern, I suspect, is most likely to be material resources (especially if we get self-replicating solar cells going: some kind of technology, nano- or otherwise, that can transform an asteroid into a huge solar power plant). Intrastellar colonisation will be a reality (if only to avoid the 'eggs in one basket' reality of all living on Earth), interstellar travel is probable but by no means certain unless we find an FTL solution. I can't see any reason why we wouldn't do either near-c ships (Orion project based, perhaps), or generational asteroid-ships.
Unless we all die somehow, which is entirely possible.