Forgive if this essay is disjointed or incomplete. I've a limited time window for typing, and this is all worst than first draft stuff here. Don't even get a chance to think.
In any case, I'm thinking about what's in store for 2013. I pride myself on being hip, but as it turns out, that's a false conceit. I haven't been hip since at least 1977, if then, and probably for about two weeks. (I was also beautiful then, which was good). But I do try to follow trends, or predict them, but the thing I am interested in is not the obvious trends, but the game changers, the things coming out of left field. My record is about as good as a coin flip.
There are a number of things piling up in the left field bleachers that should spill out and, I guessing maybe this year.
Various people are predicting this as the year of 3D Printing. I've noticed it for about five years. It really popped into my consciousness just this past year, what with Makerbot, and the Thingiverse, and Shapeways on the acceleration curve. Which means, since I am not hip, that 2012 was teh year of the 3D printer. Now, I don't think these things will end up on desktops. I do think you will start to see franchises like copycenters opening up. I still don't understand why there is not a 3D printer facility at the UPS and Fedex hubs in Louisville and Memphis. But I'm betting this year there will be, because...
Logistics, logistics, logistics! This is the year of all things logistic. You are going to be tired of that word when the giant comet arrives
I am predicting the World Go Boom. Economically speaking. A two pronged boom has been occuring and will accelerate. You got the developing world boom, and it is quite something. The beauty and problem with that is that you get only a one-time boom when a coutnry goes through development. So, the problem is doing it right the first time out. It's not going to happen in most places. (Not that there aren't still plenty of places to go boom. Myanmar is looking promising, but then what? I don't know). The second prong is the convergence of cheap robots (Rodney Brook's Baxter looks like a winner), Internet coordinations (by what Bruce Sterling calls "the Stacks", but there is hope open-source still can blossom), and finally we get to use all that fiber optics that have been laid down. So the second boom is developed world automation - again.
But don't count out leveraged booms. I'm guessing cheap solar continues to get cheaper, and the logical place for that is the developed world. So once again, I call ou attention to Africa. Maybe this is the year wher saying "It's Africa, stupid" comes true.
So, believe it or not, despite all the horseshit, I don't see how things can't improve economy-wise.
(The coin came up tails, by the way).