Fifteen years ago in Whole Earth Review
, Kevin Kelly and Brian Eno ran a list of outrageous future scenarios. Kevin says it was "a small game Brian Eno and I played to loosen up our expectations of what might happen in the near future."
Kevin republished the list on his blog, Conceptual Trends and Current Topics. Here are the first few from the list:
* A new plague seizes the world. As fatal as AIDS, but transmitted on a sneeze, and spread by airplane travelers, the virus touches billions within a year.
* Computer power plateaus. The expected doubling of power and halving of chip size slacks off. More computer power can be had, but it costs.
* Computer screens (both CRT and flat screens) are found to be dangerous to the health. Working at a computer is viewed as a toxic job.
* Alcohol is so severely restricted that people need "licenses" to drink it. Tobacco is, of course, prohibited from being sold. You can grow your own, though, and some do. The underworld moves to North Carolina as cigarets become contraband.
* American education works. Revived by vouchers, a longer school year, private schools and for-profit schools, the majority of Americans (though not the most disadvantaged) get the best education in the world.
* Japan is eclipsed by the Asian tigers. The success of Japan subverts itself: women rebel, the young drop out, the workers play, and the system declines.
* Catalog direct marketing dies. Inherently private electronic money and stricter privacy laws kill the hopes of bar-code dreams and direct marketing in general.
* Nobody wants to be a doctor. It becomes an over-whelming bureaucratic job with low status. Women and minorities become working doctors; men do medical research.
* The human genome project is halted by activists. Placards at demonstrations say: "Our DNA, Our Selves."
* Third World nukes become commonplace. Everybody has one, because everyone has nuclear power plants.
* Mass advertising is restricted. Billboards are categorically banned; advertising in subways, buses, removed. Towns take up "Advertising-Free Zones."
* People begin leaving the U.S. Many arrivals to the US keep resident status but choose not to adopt citizenship. The world sees more people without allegiance.
* It costs half a day's pay to drive your car into the downtown area of a big city, and a day's wages to park.
Why we secretly love our cords. Tamara Warren: There’s a certain security in the cord. It’s the idea of connection, perhaps even dating back to our days in the womb. … A battery, no matter how sophisticated, is fleeting. When we have our cords with us, we are in constant pursuit of power, even when […]
The classic beatbox – not an expensive clone or a collection of cleverly-tweaked samples – is back. Roland’s TR-08 directly models the original machine’s analog circuits to recreate its sound as accurately as possible with modern digital technology, and joins revived versions of the TR-909[Amazon] and TB-202[Amazon] in the company’s lineup of boutique boxes. The […]
Coming after improvements to Firefox and continued unease at Google’s life-pervading insight, this image is outperforming the ███████ ████ Virality Control Group today (via). It got me thinking about all the promises that were made. Here’s the earliest article in Google News to contain “Big browser” in its headline, published by Time Magazine on Nov. […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
This project management bundle will help you get organized and learn how to lead a team to success. You can pay what you want for these five courses when you pick them up from the Boing Boing Store.To help you become an invaluable asset for your company, this bundle includes a curated collection of professional […]