I can’t wait for the future.
Not the 2013, 2015, or even 2020 future, I mean the 2050s, the next, better, version of the 60s.
Think about it. For the next 20 years, the patent trolls (big brand and small) will deduce all possible ideas, patent them, filling the set as quickly as wikipedia became complete. 20 or 30 years later, the patents expire, and we’ll finally be free to create, share, and move forward. In the patent-free future the systems and services without apis, broken rss, and ridiculous playing-for-keeps limitations will be laughed into a dusty corner of history.
It’s not just the software that’ll amaze. As khan academy, stack overflow, the w3, and codecademy and the like race past textbook-pushing/research-focused corporations masquerading as institutes of education, we’ll see the price of higher education fall. It’ll be the PC or Android race all over again, a race to the bottom line price of $0 for information that already want’s to be, and should be, free.
At the low low cost of free, cheaper education will lead to higher literacy rates, which in turn will marginalize honey-boo-boo to the same dusty corner of history as our patent wars, remember those? Somewhere in there the wire will finally be recognized as the greatest series in the history of television, eclipsing even honey-boo-boo around 2025, and we’ll turn this rotten culture of ours right around, or at least set a new minimum expectation for what passes as worthwhile programming on the television. With a new era of pseudo-intelligent entertainment, voting with our text messages will fall out of fashion, as will the american idol version of presidential debates.
If our presidents won’t be elected for their looks and singing abilities, there’s a fair chance we’ll see a few more civil liberties enter the equation. The future may just be a little better for everyone. Our sisters wives and mothers won’t feel like it’s god damn 1923 or 2012 again, and we’ll redefine marriage at least once more. We’ll possibly be beyond crying about not being able to afford trillion dollar health care initiatives while complacently okaying bailouts many times the cost.
Money will be all funny too. 3D printers will hit big over the next decade or two, but first we’ll have to wade through DRM insanity pushed by the same-old ancients. When the dust is all settled, I’ll finally be able to cook something as well as my wife, with an Auto-CAD file and a food printer at home. Houses will be printed quicker than current technology can destroy trees, and the third world may even have clean water, finally. When everyone has water, and printing a house is a matter of playing with google sketchup for a few evenings, keeping-up-with-the-jones’ won’t be nearly as fun anymore and the value of anything less than 100% automated will be the only thing of value at all.
With everything automated, we’ll all have four hour work weeks. Or, for that matter, we won’t have work weeks at all, because we’ll all be empowered to do what we love, make the world a better place, and it won’t be ‘work’ at all. Nobody will trade their life for money planning to live at 65+, and social security will be saved, because nobody will ever retire.
When work won’t feel like work, we’ll watch the clouds and the stars just a little bit more, like we did way back when. We’ll have time to finally enjoy that remaster of the fragile that came out in 2035, and the 28th feature-length star wars movie, you know, the one where we discover the entire space war was started because your children did not exclusively request disney toys for christmas.
Holidays are going to be weird too, but better. With non-cartoon elections, and civil rights, your grandpa/dad/brother isn’t going to have as much fun on the anti-whoever soap box, and those family get togethers will feel a bit more like that warm fuzzy feeling of the perks of being a wallflower. And, bonus, with less inane bigotry, we’ll probably have less crime, which means driving through southern states won’t feel like a perpetual version of u-turn.
Holidays and wars won’t be the same either, because, you know, with enhanced literacy levels, a lot more people will connect the dots between not one, but all religions being a collection of meandering fables, some with better profit margins than others. When we’ve given up the ruse, and accepted that each man’s beliefs are his alone and we’re all free to be a little crazy in our own way, we’ll finally be able to foot that trillion dollar healthcare bill, and perhaps feed the world.
The future is going to be awesome, provided we don’t screw too much up between here and there. We’ll either go forwards, or backwards, depending on our choices. The empire will rise or fall, and all of our questions will be answered. Everything will be happy, shiny, neatly organized, and clean.
“Unchecked, science and monotheism both mean to vanquish nature.” – Christopher Potter
Music: Polinski – Like Fireflies