The Future is only a past waiting to happen.
The Future is amazing because it's about to happen and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Over the next number of years, man will be tranfigured genetically, neurologically and physiologically, artificial intelligence will be created and possibly fused with our own consciousness, there will be lasers fuckin' everywhere, everything will be made of shiny metal, and we'll all live in, sleep in, travel in and eat capsules. You can be quite sure of all of this.
No one knows quite what the future will bring. All we can say for certain about the future is that it's basically like Japan.
With such insanity in store for us, such petty concerns as politics fade into meaninglessness. There are people called 'conservatives' who try to maintain the status quo of society. This is impossible because as technology changes, human life will change, and technology always advances in a straight line, more or less regardless of anyone's attempts to stop it. Politics, morality, religion, ethical norms can hold back the march of science for only so long. It was long considered unethical to dissect corpses, and the science of medicine was held up for a while because of it, but progress broke through in the end, as it always will. Human cloning, genetic manipulation or artificial intelligence might be considered ethically questionable by people today, but anyone with enough imagination will be able to see that our ethical norms are not constant, and they will fall before progress just as they have in the past.
The future is already upon us. You can see it in the LUAS, on Dublin's Henry Street, in the design of our beloved Dimensional Transfunctioner, in your mobile phone, the Internet, and all the everyday things like that which we no longer consider witchcraft. It's 2008, for Christ's sake! We should all know from the cartoons of our youth that 2008 is definitely the future.
Andy Warhol famously said that, "In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes." This neatly sums up the trend of everything becoming bigger and bolder and brasher and brighter and faster and shorter-lived. There is no reason not to extrapolate the acceleration that defines our age into the future in this way.
Money, information and social power structures, while mind-bogglingly abstract, hold ever more weight compared with physical reality. Bill Gates is more a more powerful man in our society than I am, even though I could easily kick the shit out of the skinny little nerd-face. Power is not physical any more; it depends on a vast hyperreal structure. In the future, reality will be less and less important. (I predict that some time in the next hundred years, there will come a point when mankind's survival depends on the survival of the Internet.) In the future, context is content.
List of things that are SO the future
- The Luas
- The Dimensional Transfunctioner
- The water tower (in UCD)
- Camera phones
- People who eat a brown rainbow variety of "health" pills for brekfast.
- The Internet
- wireless anything (broadband, mobile phones, mice, keyboards, bluetooth)
- the ways cars look today
- foreign people (especially asian people) in Ireland
- super glue
- MP3 players
- Sandyford Industrial Estate
- adhocracies (like micronations, indymedia, wikipedia, various anti-globalist movements)
- satellite communication
- Japan (especially Tokyo and especially Shibuya)
- iAnything (iBook, iPod, iTrip etc.)
- artificial intelligence
- Self-cleaning anything (ovens, toilets, windows, robot lawnmowers and hoovers)
- Intelligent clothing
- Internet-enabled things that aren't computers, like fridges
- The Singularity
- The Future - Leonard Cohen tells us all about it.
- Buckminster Fuller, who actually invented the future
- http://challenge.bfi.org/ideaindex The Ideas Index at the Buckminster Fuller Institute, a collection of ideas that will shape the future.
- http://www.ted.com TED, another collection of ideas that will shape the future.