Halfway from 1990 to 2038

We are now halfway from 1990 to 2038.


Important events of 1990 include the Reunification of Germany, the separation of Namibia from South Africa, Desert Shield, the formal beginning of the Human Genome Project (finished in 2003), the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Baltic states declaring independence from the Soviet Union. Also in this year, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and Margaret Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after over 11 years.

President George H. W. Bush started the first Gulf War. It would end in Feb 1991.

The Soviet Union would end in 1991.

In the fall of 1990, Tim Berners-Lee created the first web server and the foundation for the World Wide Web; it would be released to the public in 1991. 1990 also saw the official decommissioning of the ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet system.

The world population was 5.26 billion and World GDP was 27.5 trillion in 1990 dollars.

Purchasing power parity GDP. China nominal GDP was $390 billion

Eric Drexler’s Engines of Creation book was written in 1986.

Eric Drexler’s MIT dissertation would be finished in 1991 Nanosystems would be published in 1992.


Venture capitalists saw record-setting growth as dot-com companies experienced meteoric rises in their stock prices and therefore moved faster and with less caution than usual, choosing to mitigate the risk by starting many contenders and letting the market decide which would succeed. The low interest rates in 1998–99 helped increase the start-up capital amounts. A canonical “dot-com” company’s business model relied on harnessing network effects by operating at a sustained net loss and to build market share.

Google is founded.

Elon Musk cofounded Paypal.

Asia was still going through its financial crisis which started in the previous year.

Bill Clinton was in his second term as president.

World GDP in 1990 dollars was $38 trillion.

The US GDP was $8.74 trillion.

China’s nominal GDP was $1.02 trillion and GDP PPP as $2.42 trillion.

In 1998, Interim Apple CEO Steve Jobs would release the iMac.

Between 1998 and 2006

The iPod and iTunes would be released in 2001.

Spacex would be founded in 2002


The Human Genome Project publishes the last chromosome sequence, in Nature.

The first generation iPhone would be released on June 29, 2007.

George W Bush was in his second term as president.

US GDP was $12.6 trillion

World GDP was at $33 trillion in 1990 dollars.

China’s GDP was $2.7 trillion in nominal dollars and was $6.2 trillion in PPP in 2006 dollars.

High-speed rail service in China would be introduced on April 18, 2007.

The World financial crisis will hit in 2007.

World extreme poverty was halved from 42% in 1990 to 21% in 2008


World GDP will be at about $50 trillion in 1990 dollars. World GDP is about $74 trillion in current dollars.

China’s GDP will end the year at about $10.2 trillion in nominal dollars and will be about $17 trillion in PPP (there will be revised PPP cost comparisons in March 2014.)

US GDP will end the year at about $17 trillion.

Obama is in his second term as president.

China has more high speed rail than Europe and Japan combined with about 14000 kilometers of high speed rail.

Spacex should launch the Falcon Heavy rocket at the end of 2014 or early in 2015.
Spacex should have a fully reusable rocket test in 2015.

Broad Group of China should build its 202 story Sky City factory mass produced skyscraper.

Carbon nanotubes can be grown on chips and there are 8 inch wafers with carbon nanotube chips but they have not yet been mass produced in place of silicon computer chips.

Carbon nanotubes and graphene are produced by the hundreds of tons in factories for material products.

DWave systems has a 1000 qubit superconducting quantum annealing system. The 512 qubit system is competitive with an optimized regular workstation for solution speeds. Google and Lockheed have purchased the Dwave System.

The Crispr-Cas RNA based genetic engineering system is commercializing. It is far more precise than previous gene therapy systems. There are hundreds of competing solutions for targeted delivery of gene therapy into the body. There is a lot of competing work on stem cells. There is new progress to cure diseases with a new wave of biotech solutions.

The ten year Billion euro human brain project is just started. There is also work in the US on neuromorphic chips.

World Population is 7.3 billion.


World Population is 7.9 billion.

World GDP will be at $75 trillion in 1990 dollars or about $115 trillion in 2014 dollars.

China has over 50,000 km of high speed rail.

China should be past the US economy in nominal terms.

The first new molten salt fission nuclear reactors should be made including Terrestrial Energy in Canada.

The Russian SVBR 100 MWe nuclear reactor will have been made.

China should have a dozen HTR-PM pebble bed nuclear reactors and will have several fast neutron reactors based on Russian 800 MWe and 1200 MWe designs.

There could be success with nuclear fusion projects – General Fusion, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, John Slough reactors.

There will be few thousand military exoskeletons.

Batteries should have been very successful with lithium-sulfur batteries at less than $100/kwh and high energy density 2000 watt hours/kg. There are also high energy density lithium water batteries and some lithium air batteries.

There are over 1 million electric cars made this year.

Spacex should be dominating commercial launch with reusable Falcon Heavy launchers.

Spiderfab should be used to create kilometer sized space structures.
Electric sails and solar sails should be fairly advanced.

There will be two to six major approaches to quantum computing nearing the million qubit scale. Dwave and their superconducting chips, dangling bond quantum dots, phophor quantum dot and trapped ion.

Robert Wolkow and his team in Canada in 2013 were building atom-scale quantum-dot cellular automata circuits on a silicon surface.

* yields of a tiny fraction of 1% have jumped to 80%
* they were producing 100 atomscale quantum dot structures in 1 minute
* In a day with continuous operation 100,000 atomscale quantum dot structures could be built
* they also lay out the case why their dangling bond approach is better than Michelle Simmons’ phosphor atom qubits (it is the 21st century so there are competing atom scale quantum dot and atom scale qubit approaches)


World Population is 8.4 billion.

World GDP will be at $110 trillion in 1990 dollars or about $200 trillion in 2014 dollars.

Extreme poverty ($1.25 a day or less) should be virtually eliminated at less than 3% of world population.

A manned Mars-Venus flyby will have been achieved.

Terrestrial energy will have made several dozen molten salt reactors for steam extraction of oil from Canada’s oilsands.

Spacex should be flying a reusable super heavy rocket
Spacex and others should be performing or prepping Manned Mars missions and colonization.

Additive manufacturing should be printing aircraft wings.

Factory mass produced skyscrapers dominant in commercial buildings


World Population is 8.9 billion.

World GDP will be at $170 trillion in 1990 dollars or about $300 trillion in 2014 dollars.

Less extreme poverty ($2 a day or less) should be close to elimination at less than 7% of world population.

Almost all cars electric

Mass production of deep burn nuclear fission power
Substantial production of nuclear fusion

Advanced synthetic, regenerative medicine, advanced nanoparticles (stem cell control, combined with genetic knowledge) should be able to achieve radical life extension.

If you liked this article, please give it a quick review on ycombinator or StumbleUpon. Thanks