[FoRK] [tt] I'm going to catch hell for this one

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Oct 11 06:22:01 PDT 2010


Notice that there's shit missing. It's eleventies, and the stupid
*nix clipboard still doesn't work.

On Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 03:17:36PM +0200, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> 
> (remember, I didn't write it. Ok?)
> 
> http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/a-radical-pessimists-guide-to-the-next-10-years/article1750609/print/ 
> 
> A radical pessimist's guide to the next 10 years
> 
> Douglas Coupland
> 
> From Saturday's Globe and Mail
> 
> Published Friday, Oct. 08, 2010 6:49PM EDT
> 
> Last updated Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010 10:24PM EDT
> 
> The iconic writer reveals the shape of things to come, with 45 tips for
> survival and a matching glossary of the new words you'll need to talk about
> your messed-up future.
> 
> 1) It's going to get worse
> 
> No silver linings and no lemonade. The elevator only goes down. The bright
> note is that the elevator will, at some point, stop.
> 
> 2) The future isn't going to feel futuristic
> 
> It's simply going to feel weird and out-of-control-ish, the way it does now,
> because too many things are changing too quickly. The reason the future feels
> odd is because of its unpredictability. If the future didn't feel weirdly
> unexpected, then something would be wrong.
> 
> 3) The future is going to happen no matter what we do. The future will feel
> even faster than it does now
> 
> The next sets of triumphing technologies are going to happen, no matter who
> invents them or where or how. Not that technology alone dictates the future,
> but in the end it always leaves its mark. The only unknown factor is the pace
> at which new technologies will appear. This technological determinism, with
> its sense of constantly awaiting a new era-changing technology every day, is
> one of the hallmarks of the next decade.
> 
> 4) Move to Vancouver, San Diego, Shannon or Liverpool
> 
> There'll be just as much freaky extreme weather in these west-coast cities,
> but at least the west coasts won't be broiling hot and cryogenically cold.
> 
> 5) You'll spend a lot of your time feeling like a dog leashed to a pole
> outside the grocery store – separation anxiety will become your permanent
> state
> 
> 6) The middle class is over. It's not coming back
> 
> Remember travel agents? Remember how they just kind of vanished one day?
> 
> That's where all the other jobs that once made us middle-class are going – to
> that same, magical, class-killing, job-sucking wormhole into which
> travel-agency jobs vanished, never to return. However, this won't stop people
> from self-identifying as middle-class, and as the years pass we'll be
> entering a replay of the antebellum South, when people defined themselves by
> the social status of their ancestors three generations back. Enjoy the new
> monoclass!
> 
> 7) Retail will start to resemble Mexican drugstores
> 
> In Mexico, if one wishes to buy a toothbrush, one goes to a drugstore where
> one of every item for sale is on display inside a glass display case that
> circles the store. One selects the toothbrush and one of an obvious surplus
> of staff runs to the back to fetch the toothbrush. It's not very efficient,
> but it does offer otherwise unemployed people something to do during the day.
> 
> 8) Try to live near a subway entrance
> 
> In a world of crazy-expensive oil, it's the only real estate that will hold
> its value, if not increase.
> 
> 9) The suburbs are doomed, especially those E.T. , California-style suburbs
> 
> This is a no-brainer, but the former homes will make amazing hangouts for
> gangs, weirdoes and people performing illegal activities. The pretend gates
> at the entranceways to gated communities will become real, and the charred
> stubs of previous white-collar homes will serve only to make the
> still-standing structures creepier and more exotic.
> 
> 10) In the same way you can never go backward to a slower computer, you can
> never go backward to a lessened state of connectedness
> 
> 11) Old people won't be quite so clueless
> 
> No more “the Google,” because they'll be just that little bit younger.
> 
> 12) Expect less
> 
> Not zero, just less.
> 
> 13) Enjoy lettuce while you still can
> 
> And anything else that arrives in your life from a truck, for that matter.
> For vegetables, get used to whatever it is they served in railway hotels in
> the 1890s. Jams. Preserves. Pickled everything.
> 
> 14) Something smarter than us is going to emerge
> 
> Thank you, algorithms and cloud computing.
> 
> 15) Make sure you've got someone to change your diaper
> 
> Sponsor a Class of 2112 med student. Adopt up a storm around the age of 50.
> 
> 16) “You” will be turning into a cloud of data that circles the planet like a
> thin gauze
> 
> While it's already hard enough to tell how others perceive us physically,
> your global, phantom, information-self will prove equally vexing to you: your
> shopping trends, blog residues, CCTV appearances – it all works in tandem to
> create a virtual being that you may neither like nor recognize.
> 
> 17) You may well burn out on the effort of being an individual
> 
> You've become a notch in the Internet's belt. Don't try to delude yourself
> that you're a romantic lone individual. To the new order, you're just a node.
> There is no escape
> 
> 18) Untombed landfills will glut the market with 20th-century artifacts
> 
> 19) The Arctic will become like Antarctica – an everyone/no one space
> 
> Who owns Antarctica? Everyone and no one. It's pie-sliced into unenforceable
> wedges. And before getting huffy, ask yourself, if you're a Canadian: Could
> you draw an even remotely convincing map of all those islands in Nunavut and
> the Northwest Territories? Quick, draw Ellesmere Island.
> 
> 20) North America can easily fragment quickly as did the Eastern Bloc in 1989
> 
> Quebec will decide to quietly and quite pleasantly leave Canada. California
> contemplates splitting into two states, fiscal and non-fiscal. Cuba becomes a
> Club Med with weapons. The Hate States will form a coalition.
> 
> 21) We will still be annoyed by people who pun, but we will be able to show
> them mercy because punning will be revealed to be some sort of connectopathic
> glitch: The punner, like someone with Tourette's, has no medical ability not
> to pun
> 
> 22) Your sense of time will continue to shred. Years will feel like hours
> 
> 23) Everyone will be feeling the same way as you
> 
> There's some comfort to be found there.
> 
> 24) It is going to become much easier to explain why you are the way you are
> 
> Much of what we now consider “personality” will be explained away as
> structural and chemical functions of the brain.
> 
> 25) Dreams will get better
> 
> 26) Being alone will become easier
> 
> 27) Hooking up will become ever more mechanical and binary
> 
> 28) It will become harder to view your life as “a story”
> 
> The way we define our sense of self will continue to morph via new ways of
> socializing. The notion of your life needing to be a story will seem slightly
> corny and dated. Your life becomes however many friends you have online.
> 
> 29) You will have more say in how long or short you wish your life to feel
> 
> Time perception is very much about how you sequence your activities, how many
> activities you layer overtop of others, and the types of gaps, if any, you
> leave in between activities.
> 
> 30) Some existing medical conditions will be seen as sequencing malfunctions
> 
> The ability to create and remember sequences is an almost entirely human
> ability (some crows have been shown to sequence). Dogs, while highly
> intelligent, still cannot form sequences; it's the reason why well-trained
> dogs at shows are still led from station to station by handlers instead of
> completing the course themselves.
> 
> Dysfunctional mental states stem from malfunctions in the brain's sequencing
> capacity. One commonly known short-term sequencing dysfunction is dyslexia.
> People unable to sequence over a slightly longer term might be “not good with
> directions.” The ultimate sequencing dysfunction is the inability to look at
> one's life as a meaningful sequence or story.
> 
> 31) The built world will continue looking more and more like Microsoft
> packaging
> 
> “We were flying over Phoenix, and it looked like the crumpled-up packaging
> from a 2006 MS Digital Image Suite.”
> 
> 32) Musical appreciation will shed all age barriers
> 
> 33) People who shun new technologies will be viewed as passive-aggressive
> control freaks trying to rope people into their world, much like vegetarian
> teenage girls in the early 1980s
> 
> 1980: “We can't go to that restaurant. Karen's vegetarian and it doesn't have
> anything for her.”
> 
> 2010: “What restaurant are we going to? I don't know. Karen was supposed to
> tell me, but she doesn't have a cell, soltural activity, will create a world
> where the two poles of society are shopping and jail.
> 
> 43) Getting to work will provide vibrant and fun new challenges
> 
> Gravel roads, potholes, outhouses, overcrowded buses, short-term hired
> bodyguards, highwaymen, kidnapping, overnight camping in fields,
> snaggle-toothed crazy ladies casting spells on you, frightened villagers,
> organ thieves, exhibitionists and lots of healthy fresh air.
> 
> 44) Your dream life will increasingly look like Google Street View
> 
> 45) We will accept the obvious truth that we brought this upon ourselves
> 
> Douglas Coupland is a writer and artist based in Vancouver, where he will
> deliver the first of five CBC Massey Lectures – a ‘novel in five hours' about
> the future – on Tuesday.
> _______________________________________________
> tt mailing list
> tt at postbiota.org
> http://postbiota.org/mailman/listinfo/tt
-- 
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
______________________________________________________________
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE


More information about the FoRK mailing list