Looking back historically, those who accessed and controlled the seas had an advantage over those who only were on land. Those who accessed the air had an advantage over those who did not. Those who have satellite (LEO) orbit control and access have an advantage over those who do not. Those who access space resources will have an advantage and gain benefits over those who do not.
Those with better computers and software and use them more creatively can gain economic advantages. Those who can effectively use AI (identify trading patterns, automate services) can gain economic advantages.
Enhancing human capabilities is happening now. Creatine, growth hormone, steroids, blood doping for strength and endurance. Cosmetic surgery for appearance. Millions do it. Smart drugs to help gain advantage on intellectual endeavors.
Technologies and methods that make people and groups and nations more productive or powerful have social and historical trends that indicate that they will likely be fairly strongly adopted.
The details of a technology to know what is the most productive way to adopt and what it impacts really are is important. The economics of the deployment and rollout also need to make sense. Space access has proved harder to "deploy" over the last few decades. However, trends indicate that barriers are coming down. Wider availability of superior materials (which is happening for other economic reasons) and better computers will lower the barriers to making radically better space access.
Productivity, more resources, economic advantage, competitive advantages are reasons why certain choices will be made.
China destroyed its ocean going fleet a few hundred years ago and paid for that error when several nations forced China to give up HK and Macau for 99 years and accept trade terms. So bad technology choices can be made but if that choice results in military and economic weakness or social degradation then the bad chooser will lose eventually.
Many things that are dismissed as science fiction or fantasy are happening now. Molecular Nanotechnology is often dismissed because applications such as nanobots in the bloodstream strikes some as fantasistical. Yet we already are or about to send devices into the bloodstream. MEMS capsules, 100 nanometer nanospheres etc... Many of the "fantastical applications" are being enabled with pre-molecular nanotechnology technology. But molecular nanotechnology still will provide superior control and benefits. The fantastical that is already becoming mundane will be exceeded. Problems that seemed intractable are falling and will fall. It is like we are getting physically stronger and we cannot lift some weight (a problem) but then finally our strength is enough and we can lift it.
Some future applications will probably not happen because disadvantages were ignored or the advantages were over-estimated. Example, flying cars. They do not provide as much advantage as people think and have more downsides. Home based nanofactories provide less advantages over semi-centralized industrial nanofactories combined with advanced product distribution. Cybernetics may have limited advantages over less invasive coupling with technology/robotics/exoskeletons. But cybernetics may still happen for a fraction of the population who choose to get closer to the tech. It could be like some people choose to have Lasik eye surgery and others choose to use contact lens. Both provide a means to better vision. Genetic modification has advantages which are not easily replicated with other means. Tougher to get regeneration and some methods of life extension without it.
Are there easier ways to do things?
What are the other systems or options?
what are the real advantages and disadvantages?
Are there relevant and applicable historical or global parallels? Many things have happened before somewhere and sometime. 10-50 year variance in lifespan between current populations. Doubling of life expectency over the 20th century.
Will multiple things happen for the same purpose because different groups choosing different ways to do a particular benefit.
Wealth is increasing especially for the top few percent. It is a spreading of those who reach financial escape velocity who are able to fund and enable new technology. Another way that bottlenecks are falling and technological competition is improving. It will allow better ideas and approaches to more rapidly filter to the top. The rise of China and India is also creating a larger pool of technology developers. India's president Kalam's support of Thorium, nanotechnology and biofuels is encouraging to me.
I would categorize myself as a detail-oriented evidence focused transhumanist/ futurist.