Re: Futuristic progression of Programming Languages?
A program written in Python can be a fraction of the number of lines as a program which does the same thing in C.
Time is money, or whatever other means you want to measure the value of time in. You can get a finished program in fewer man-hours. That matters in a lot of fields where being first to market is what counts, or where you are delivering a bespoke solution to a single customer at the lowest cost, or where you have a scientific problem that needs solving without investing a lot of time in writing the software part of the project.
Python isn't the best solution to all possible problems, but it is a very good solution to a lot of problems which are fairly prominent at this time. It also interfaces to C very nicely, which allows it to use lots of popular C libraries that already exist outside of Python itself. These are why it is popular right now.
There is no one size fits all solution to all programming problems. It is in fact considered to be good practice to write bits of your program in C and the rest in Python if that is what makes for a better solution for your problem. There is no necessity to re-write everything in Python in the manner that certain other languages require everything to be re-written in "their" language. The result is that Python has become the language of choice for a lot of fields of endeavour where you can reuse existing industry standard C and Fortran libraries from Python.
Van Rossum's "retirement" isn't a huge shock and won't make much difference. For quite some time other members of the community have been taking the lead in developing new features and Van Rossum's main role has been to say "no" to adding stuff that was trendy but didn't provide a lot of value. Everything should continue along find with the BDFL further in the background. Overall, it is probably a good idea to get the post-BDFL era started now while the BDFL is still around.