What will the future be like? I was wrong the first time around, but in some respects, pleasantly surprised. Instead of awful food, usually stodgy and overcooked, you can now get anything anytime in anysize and if you cannot eat well you are doing something wrong. If you grown your own food there are massive garden centres who will sell you everything from a greenhouse to a Cardoon. From the perspective of a ten year old child in the sixties, the future is cool. You can fly anywhere cheaply, you have personal communicators that will pinpoint your precise position by satellite. Clothes are dirt cheap. There is an unlimited source of wank material, free, viewable in the comfort of your own bedroom.
But some things have gone backwards. Concorde is no more. The music industry is full of utter crap. Students are not rioting about something important.
What is very clear to a wannabe futurologist like me is that the future is driven by consumers. Its the reason there is no Concorde; not enough people willing to pay top dollar, whereas Easyjet and Ryanair are virtually unassailable in terms of market share and seemingly can do no wrong. My first ever flight, to Athens in 1967 or 1968 cost hundreds of 1968 pounds. ( might have exaggerated this a bit. Sorry Mick)These days you can get there for thirty quid. Why on earth do people still moan if the plane is delayed? They don't know they are born. Of course, today's plane do not have anything you can harm yourself with such as peanuts and silverware, but blame that on health and safety.
As to the economy, the global economy, there are too many possible scenarios to even make an educated guess. We might end up speaking Mandarin for all I know. We are currently going through a very bad time culturally and socially. We live in a time when people are so insecure and so lost that they clutch at straws to make themselves heard above the crowd; they pretend to be offended at everything. They affect to be a minority. They jostle with other minorities to be at the top of the pecking order. Black? Fuck off. you have to be Black and something else - disabled or gay to stand any chance of getting preferential treatment. And let's be honest, that is what equality is about isn't it? Getting preference, getting noticed. Feeling as if you mean something.
We cannot continue with this fractalisation of society. We cannot continue to act as if we are still burning witches.
There is a problem. People in reality know there is nothing worth fighting for. We have everything, but we have to make up reasons to fight. I remember being bullied at school and the bullying was predicated on the bully finding a reason to kick the shit out of me. The students are the same these days. Those behind the violence were looking for an excuse. It does not matter if the topic was in any sense valid. It is just an excuse to create mayhem and in some rather sad way.
And therein lies the rub. The future will be about understanding the role of self in society and coming to terms with the volume of information we must necessarily digest. Those who act like luddites who smashed up machinery because they associated machines with change and a shift of hegemony, will fail. They will be subsumed.
The future will be about understanding that we all have opinions and that nobody's opinion should curtail the freedom of thought of another.
Oh, and will we ever get hover cars?