Predictions for the Future

R.U. Sirius

 

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, many 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.

 

2020s

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. 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.

Steal This Singularity Part 3: Bean Counters in Paradise

 

It was 2008 — maybe a week or two into my first experience working with “official” “organized” (as if) transhumanism as editor of h+ magazine. I was being driven down from Marin Country to San Jose to listen to a talk by a scientist long associated with various transhumanoid obsessions, among them nanotechnology, encryption and cryonics. As we made the two hour trip, the conversation drifted to notions of an evolved humanity; a different sort of species — maybe disembodied or maybe not — but decidedly post-Darwinian and in control of its instincts. I suggested that a gloomy aspect of these projections was that sex would likely disappear, since those desires and pleasures arose from more primitive aspects of the human psyche. My driver told me that he didn’t like sex because it was a distraction — a waste of brain power… not to mention sloppy.

I arrived at a Pizza Hut in an obscure part of the city. This gathering of about 15 – 20 transhumanoids would take place over cheap pizza in the back room that was reserved for the event. There was even a projector and a screen.The speaker — a pear shaped fellow clad in dress pants held up by a belt pulled up above his stomach — started his rap. As I recall, he predicted major nanotechnology breakthroughs (real nanotechnology i.e. molecular machines capable of making copies of themselves and making just about anything that nature allows extremely cheaply) within our extended lifetimes, allowing us, among other things, to stay healthy  indefinitely and finally migrate into space.

I recall him presenting a scenario in which all of us — or many of us — could own some pretty prime real estate; that is, chunks of this galaxy, at the very least that we could populate with our very own advanced progeny (mind children, perhaps.) I’m a bit sketchy on the details from so long ago, but it was a very far out vision of us united with advanced intelligences many times greater than our own either never dying or arising from the frozen dead and, yes, each one getting this gigantic chunk of space real estate to populate. (That these unlivable areas can be made livable either by changing it or ourselves or both with technology is the assumption here.)

Once the speaker had laid out the amazing future as scientifically plausible, he confessed that he was mainly there to make a pitch.  Alcor  — the cryonics company that he was involved in — needed more customers. As he delineated how inexpensively one could buy an insurance policy to  be frozen for an eventual return performance, he began to emphasize the importance of a person in cryonics not being considered legally dead… because that person could then build interest on a savings account or otherwise have his or her value increase in a stock market that was — by all nanocalculations — destined to explode into unthinkable numbers (a bigger boom).

For the bulk of his talk, the speaker dwelt on the importance of returning decades or maybe even a century or so hence to a handsome bank account. It was one of those “I can’t emphasize this enough” sort of talks that parents used to give to their 20-something kids about 401ks. Read more “Steal This Singularity Part 3: Bean Counters in Paradise”