“The future is what you make of it” isn’t just some annoying optimists’ platitude, thanks to the ministrations of professional futurists. Ford, Kraft, Motorola, and a host of other companies employ people in their “internal futures” departments; the University of Houston now offers students a degree in futurology; and various think tanks, most of them conservative in orientation, act as factories for professional speculators and their ilk. Creating the future, it seems, is the best way to predict it.
Comparisons to the more fabulous and generally less professional wing of the futurist community—palm, tarot and crystal ball readers, millenarian apocalypticists, Miss Cleo—are tenuous at best. Frankly, most divinators aren’t terribly interested in manufacturing the future in ways broadly aligned with the interests of corporate and government elites. And no self- respecting divinator would be caught dead using “strategic foresight,” “competitive behavior anticipation,” or any other such tool of the more employed wing of the futurist camp. There’s just no life in it.
To combat the professionals, and after failing to generate any predictions of our own that weren’t predictably bleak (and not all that useful) we advertised online for someone with real divination skills, and sifted through about 200 responses before settling on Victor, who mostly makes his living now as an online gambler. The predictions Victor gave us certainly aren’t “professional” in any sense of the word, but we were somewhat surprised—and frequently dismayed—at his prognostications…
- Your brand new high-def, drug-enhanced holo-television will still have nothing interesting on.
- Shortly after animal-human hybrids gain equal rights, cat people will quickly rise to the rank of de facto aristocracy, much to the consternation of humans and hybrids alike.
- The average life span won’t change, but some people will live to be 150 while others die at 30.
- New music will be made available only in the form of ring tones. Enthusiasts who seek out complete songs will be referred to as “completists.”
- Corporate consolidation will continue. In 2030, Disney will finally buy Apple and Russia.
- You’ll be able to record and edit a feature-length film on your phone, but you still won’t be able to get reliable reception.
- Bill Clinton’s disembodied head in a jar will host a hit talk show. His recurring guest host will be Al Sharpton.
- Oxygen bars won’t seem all that stupid anymore.
- The Rapture will be scary, but it’ll get rid of all the Christians and leave a lot of nice vacant housing available.
- Contraception will be unnecessary because everyone will be born sterile. Access to fertility drugs will be restricted and prohibitively expensive. Wealthy families will have multiple children as a sign of extravagance and wealth.
- Microsoft paraphernalia will be very retro.
- Taking everyone by surprise, giant pandas will overrun the Earth.
- News will be photoshopped onto the daily adpaper.
- The tourist trade will boom in the underwater cities of Amsterdam and Venice.
- “FTMTF post-op pre- transition soft butch” and “björk” will officially become the eleventh and twelfth genders.
- US schools will merge with Sony-Nintendo, and bundle 6th through 9th grades with any purchase of Grand Theft Auto Tasmania.
- Paper-based “magazines” will be rare and really, really cool; hipsters will collect them, like they once did vinyl-based “records.”
- The existing global capitalist order will descend into chaos as its own unsustainable operating instructions and increasingly disruptive climatological forces take their course.
This piece is part of the extended online release of Tipping the Sacred Cow – The Best of LiP: Informed Revolt.