If we define the future as a time that looks different from the present, then most people aren’t expecting any future at all; instead, they expect coming decades to bring more globalization, convergence, and sameness.
In this scenario, poorer countries will catch up to richer countries, and the world as a whole will reach an economic plateau. But even if a truly globalized plateau were possible, could it last? In the best case, economic competition would be more intense than ever before for every single person and firm on the planet. However, when you add competition to consume scarce resources, it’s hard to see how a global plateau could last indefinitely. Without new technology to relieve competitive pressures, stagnation is likely to erupt into conflict. In case of conflict on a global scale, stagnation collapses into extinction.
That leaves the fourth scenario, in which we create new technology to make a much better future. The most dramatic version of this outcome is called the Singularity, an attempt to name the imagined result of new technologies so powerful as to transcend the current limits of our understanding.
— Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters