I recently attended a presentation by a ‘futurist’ who advises large corporations how they should prepare for technological and societal changes over the next five years. While highly entertaining, there was nothing in his list that couldn’t be predicted by the average Joe. So last night I gazed into my author’s crystal ball to determine your future, dear reader and was shocked by what I saw.
Politics will descend into an Orwellian nightmare.
Continuing the trend of obnoxious politicians from Donald Rumsfeld (“there are known knowns and known unknowns”) to the truth distorting Nigel Farage and the thin-skinned bullying of Donald Trump, politics will become a race to the bottom of the gutter. Western style democracy as we once knew it, will be on life support. Neo-Nazi’s will become your next door neighbours, Antifas will use your granny flat as a squat and your local pub will become the chapter house of a white supremacist gang.
2018 Your pre-school toddler will suffer burn-out.
A new breed of early learning tutors will emerge to bring out the young Einstein in your three-year-old child. He will persuade you that if your little angel cannot memorise ‘pi’ to one hundred decimal places and recite the opening soliloquy of Shakespeare’s ‘Much ado about Nothing’ then she will ‘miss out’ forever and be thrown on the scrap heap of life. Toddlers around the world will become fat, obnoxious and hyperallergic as their Tiger mums drag them off the playground and into the classroom to study yet more quantum physics and ancient Greek.
2019 Your country will avoid the worst consequences of global warming.
But only by the skin of its teeth and no thanks to your local politician who trusts his gut more than the country’s most eminent and concerned scientists. Pure economics will save the day. The cost of renewable energy will fall to the point that your fellow taxpayers will refuse point blank to pick up the $10bn bill for your MP’s pet ‘clean coal’ project.
Electric vehicles will struggle to gain traction until some bright spark will work out how to make money by the bucket load from electric vehicle recharging stations.
Cash will go the way of the dodo and high street banks will close, replaced by crypto-currencies available as an app on your iPhone. As traditional banking jobs disappear, the only new jobs will be with Amazon, the local beauty salon or as a barista at the local café. You will lose half of your life savings in The Great Bitcoin Bubble of 2019.
2020 You will misplace your smartphone and life as you knew it will cease to exist.
It will take you three months to replace your phone and much longer to retrieve your precious data after you discover half a dozen Serbian students have stolen your identity and the rest of your life savings.
Later that year, Donald Trump will be elected for a second term in a landslide thanks to massive campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association and the American Petroleum Institute. His Democratic presidential rival ‘Crooked ole’ Bernie’ never stood a chance.
2021 The march of technology will blow your mind.
The internet will be provided by satellite; robots will have personalities; trucks will become driverless, but cars will not (but they will become a lot smarter). Your groceries will be delivered by drone. Amazon will ‘know’ what you need from the supermarket better than you do yourself based on ‘big data’ and ‘artificial intelligence’. Amazon will get your order right 99.9% of the time.
You will lose your ‘important’ job at the insurance company to a clever algorithm that was programmed by a teenager in Manila. You will refuse a job painting toe nails at the local beauty salon and so the government will stop your dole money.
2021 You will be on first name terms with the Russian mafia
Social media ‘bots’ will become so sophisticated, it will be impossible to tell whether that hot chick you will meet online is a real person, a Nigerian scammer or the creation of a Russian mafia gang. Unluckily for you, the lovely ‘Christina’ from Idaho who seduced you into parting with half of your redundancy money is actually the oligarch Sergei Volkov, head of the Novgorod mafia.
Just like Ebenezer Scrooge who was shown his future by the ‘ghost of Christmas yet to come’, you will be happy to know there is still time to change. You do not have to accept the dark, brooding social vision of the future that I have seen in my author’s crystal ball. Rise up! Be positive and fight for social justice when you see a chance to make the world a better place before it’s too late. And good luck with your future!