Immediate Future 2017-2019
I predict that these predictions will be proved incorrect but it was fun to write them. All kinds of crazy shit will occur that no one could predict.
In 2018, the Democrats will win back the House. They may or may not win back the Senate.
If the Democrats win back the Senate, Trump will be impeached.
If Trump is impeached, a few prominent liberal/feminist pundits will express qualified praise for Mike Pence’s sexual morality.
“The internet” will continue to get its collective knickers in a twist (or is it panties in a bunch?) every day over something that some celebrity said that doesn’t matter a soggy fucking banana.
We will be in a state of constant crisis brought on by…
- increasingly apocalyptic weather events
- economic mini-collapses resulting from a) Wall Street bubbles, b) currency confusion due to digital/alternate currencies c) hackers finally cashing in their ownership of everyone’s data… largely in the service of global “cyberwarfare.”
- Increasing international conflicts
This state of constant crisis will be greeted by a fair amount of cheery positive thinking, do-gooding and community activism. Good feelings about diversity will be cranked up to 11.
The far right will recede as a force in American politics. The anxiety about immigrants will also recede, although that won’t be the case in other parts of the world. There will be enough remaining dead-enders to distract and let us all feel superior.
A liberal/neoliberal centrism will maintain power in the US and be credited, correctly, with getting the lid back on enough to prevent total chaos.
The world will continue to be mostly owned by about a hundred people.
The multi-trillion dollar surveillance state will continue and grow and rarely be questioned.
US Foreign interventions will be limited, more frequent and seem, on the surface, pretty necessary as berserkers go ever-more berserk on a global scale. Resistance will be sparse and tepid. We will always seem on the verge of a big war.
There will be slow but certain improvements in our justice system and in its treatment of people of color.
There will be an inadequate universal guaranteed income that will, nonetheless, be less cruel and pinched than what is left of the welfare system.
The future will be much like Brave New World. A self-regarding, middlebrow, well behaved, quasi-liberal conformism will suffuse everything. It will be sharply satirized, mainly by British TV imports.
The margins around what’s ok in speech and creative work will continue to tighten.
The reputations of almost everybody who was interesting during the 20th Century, including those of many radical feminists, will fall before the expanding sex inquisition.
Sexuality will continue to evolve along the lines of a strange hybrid of prissiness combined with organized kink. Gender “non-conformism” will be the new gender conformism
The Apology will be the main social ritual of the society. It will be a source of gossip and social cohesion, giving 21st Century America a sort-of consensus narrative similar to the one that was once provided for by religion and alcoholism/drug addiction, i.e. sin and redemption.
At the end of the 2020s, we will be on the verge of prescription longevity medicine. It’ll be effective but have side effects. (By its nature, we’ll have to wait a real long fuckin’ time to find out how effective it is.)
Self-driving cars will not be mass market yet.
Psychiatrists will increasingly be allowed to prescribe psychedelic drugs and mind stimulants. They will be very effective.
Printable replacement organs will become increasingly available, mainly to the wealthy.
Proof of concept will be achieved for molecular machines that can make almost anything out of very little. Possible dangers and broad social chaos will stall its availability. The Pentagon will have a secret project that will have it weaponized and ready for use by the 2030s. It will be less lethal than conventional weapons.
We will have a major political figure who ends his or her talks by saying “Namaste.” (Jerry Brown will not live long enough to see this happen.)
The likelihood of a lot of cool and useful new toys/tools is largely dependent on the well-being and success of Elon Musk. Stand back! Give him some space!
Darren Aronofsky will film Illuminatus. It will be denounced as (Fill in the blank)ist by some but not all.