I have a simple theory on how to forecast the future and it involves an angry grandma.
It was once said by Arthur C Clark that there is no point in predicting the future because people make two choices, first they play it safe and talk in terms too near to current times to be right. The other option is they go so far out there that no one believes them and exclaim that they’re crazy (like Philip K Dick and HP Lovecraft). The problem that Clark saw was that people who took the second route stood a better chance of being right but little chance of being recognized for it in their lifetime (Philip=S.O.L.)
But I have a simple theory on how to forecast the future.
Think about the stereotype of older people. (before I launch into this, please forgive me if the following description makes you feel old) They look at computers and are baffled by them. Their sense of overwhelming is palpable and watching them finger punch the keyboard with their index fingers is mind numbing. At the same time they hear on Fox News about all the “crazy” stuff that young people are doing online and it drives them nuts. Here’s your hint right there. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, once upon a time grandma was young and attractive and did crazy stuff. Once upon a time she was out partying it up at a “hop” or riding around in a car with no seat belt (cause there weren’t any) and her grandma hated that shit.
So … here’s 5 things for 50 years from now that I know will be true cause it would piss me off:
Everyone’s going to have implants and be connected to the internet all the time. Why? Cause when you’re old this will bug you. Especially since you won’t be able to use it cause your brain is slow and you’ll be pissed about that too.
No one will drive a car, they will be driven for you. Why? Because that’s safer and somewhere along the line government will require this. It’s kinda obvious why you’d hate this, you’re not an adult unless you can drive (excluding NY of course where adulthood is bestowed upon you magically.)
Movies won’t exist anymore. At least not how you remember it. You’ll be upset because no one goes to sit in a dark room with strangers anymore. Your grandkids will be upset because you keep bringing it up at holiday dinners (which do still exist). Movies will have become thrill rides by this point and “Movie Theaters” will be a new version of an amusement park but R-rated. Again, you’re pissed about this.
Fast food will be cool. Yep, that’s right Mr. and Mrs. Vegan. Your kids, kids will like McDonalds because it’s convenient, available online, and has stuff in it that makes you smarter, faster and better looking. Except that McDonalds will have transformed themselves into an eco-friendly company around 2030 in response to that bill on greenhouse gas emissions you got all your friends to vote for. (don’t worry I voted for it too and I’m also pissed about the fast food trend. We’re sitting in our retirement pods being pissed about it together via group video chat.)
Video chat never takes off. No, Harrison Ford in Bladerunner, you don’t get to booty-call Rachel from the video pay phone pretending like you really wanted to catch that Replicant. That was in poor taste and assumed she wasn’t busy. People send data to each other to avoid insulting people’s valuable time. In the future this data is simply an amalgam of visual items with text, video, music and imagery attached to it like an animated gif of a plate of food being eaten frame by frame that your grandkid knows means “meet me at McDonalds at 4pm for some carbon neutral fries). I know this one is true cause it sounds freaking stoopid to me. Like really really dumb.
Oh, and here’s an extra. The English language changes but doesn’t die. People all over the world love it. It’s retro. Except their only reference has been videos of loud American girls who talk like everything is a question because they’re trying to downplay their intelligence. Again. this would piss me off to no end if my personal care bot’s AI talked to me like this.
Now just go make some of this stuff happen and you’ll be like so rich.(?)