Two or three technological areas are likely to transform life in the 21st century ... while also being so counter-intuitive to so many people that they're just as likely to leave millions in a state of incomprehension. Some top candidates: 1) Quantum physics (computing, cryptology, nanotechnology): Leaving common-sense, big-world thinking behind and embrace chaos, ambiguity, and physical forces we never experience 2) Virtual worlds (commerce, gaming, communication): Thinking in deep and complex metaphors, parallel identities and rule systems 3) Modeling of complex adaptive systems (market analysis, policymaking, ecology): Thinking in non-linear terms, fuzzy logic, probability, self-organizing systems, and punctuated equilibria How will the vast majority of people be able to keep up? Our education systems are failing as equalizers on so many levels. Our living spaces are awash in neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors. The grip of poverty grows tighter everywhere. Where is it all going?