Monday, 14 July 2014
Could we be living in the future? First make sure we’re living.
Are we living in the future?
Could the residents of 1914 have predicted all the elements of today’s life?
Can we predict what will be commonplace 100 years from now?
100 years ago nobody could have predicted being able to watch TV on a tablet, but they were happy to predict we would all be living on the moon.
It is all a matter of extrapolation…
It is easy to think about the things we do today, then make them easier or more efficient via the application of technology. That’s really just a waking dream. On the other hand to be able to predict the less likely is more than just an extrapolation of the current. First we would need to imagine some strange new wonder.
Perhaps the more productive way would be to try predicting the motivation of our desires, this may be a starting point from which we can step toward a less usual extrapolation.
For example, the growth of our world’s communication technology has made it seem like the world is getting smaller. Communication has been the key. Technology has made it easier to transmit and receive a message. Tiny little smartphones that can do more than the average computer from only a decade ago.
Some would say that the resulting increase in quantity has shown a reduction in quality, but the important thing to remember is that this technology has forever changed the way we all live our lives. The smartphone fills our desire to be connected to, to belong to, a bigger group.
A larger clan.
How many people use their mobile phone to look at pictures of people they don’t really know, doing things they don’t have time to do themselves?
So, you see how 100 years ago, this desire would be very hard to predict, especially by someone living in a world where the telegram was state of the art.
So what unusual developments might we expect in the future?
Let’s think about possible motivations - People want to be removed from reality, so perhaps new drugs? Perhaps realistic immersive games?
Another driving factor could be the desire to understand others, so maybe electronic mind reading? Could it commonplace that human interface devices are implanted into babies? Will we use genetic engineering to predispose people to certain emotional preferences?
Another common theme when considering the future, is the question of population density, will we all be living underground or underwater? I’ve never really been inspired by these, but they still seem quite likely.
The key to the future is that we will all be involved, global accessibility is what will make it unusual.
We cannot predict what some ingenious inventor will produce in a world where anyone can make whatever they can imagine and use it in any way they wish.
Similar to the smartphone example earlier, perhaps we will be using smart “matter transformers” to leave unique “shape messages” to each other in locations we don’t really look at because they seem better when viewed in augmented reality?
Whatever the future brings it will have an element of the unpredictable, tinged with an element of the utterly mundane.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt
I can’t wait, but perhaps I’m already living in the future? The older I get, the more I believe this to be true.
Since “future” and “past” are simply a matter of perspective, then surely I can be living in whichever one I choose?
"Now" is where the life happens, the "past" is where the lessons live and the "future" is full of our dreams.
Be whenever you can.