Sometimes, I have a really hard time falling asleep ~ so I tend to play word games in my head until my brain slows down or to keep it from spiralling out of control. Sometimes, instead of games, I’ll “write” stories – complex plot lines and character sketches. Or sometimes, I’ll just pick one fantastical idea and follow it, coming up with as much detail as my imagination will allow, until I fall asleep. I’d say about half the time, this focused kind of thinking backfires on me and I get too wrapped up in it and end up staying awake many more hours than I would have otherwise.
The past few days, I keep going back to one idea rather than make up stories or play games. I am always intrigued by futuristic stories (books, TV shows, and movies in particular) and it’s interesting to compare them to each other and cool to see what “predictions” have come true (if the time period of the story has already past – like Back to the Future). I was thinking about all the technical marvels that have been invented in the last 150 years. If you think about it, almost everything we take for granted now didn’t exist then. Even all the marvels that have come about within my lifetime. So, it’s made me think…
What will life be like 150 years from now? What things will be commonplace in the lives of the people at that time that I can’t even begin to fathom now?
If you built a time machine and went back to 1867 and brought a person from then back with you to introduce them to now… what would they think? Could they even handle it or would they have some sort of mental breakdown. I can’t imagine that someone from that time would ever feel comfortable in today’s fast paced, technological society. Yikes. Cars, telephones, computers, the internet. Electricity. Refrigeration. Indoor plumbing. OMG. Medical breakthroughs. The list is endless.
So, with that knowledge in mind, would I personally be able to handle 2167? It seems to make sense that the pace of progress will at least continue, if not increase. It’s ludicrous to think we’ve gone to the limits of human ingenuity and have only tweaking to do. I highly doubt the rate of progress will slow.
Back to where I started~ I’ve been thinking about what the future might be like. If I were the one writing the story taking place in 150 years, what cool things would I envision?
Maybe I should mention what triggered this idea… I watched the movie Passengers the other night. I’m not even sure what year it’s supposed to be. There were obviously a few big things (space travel, human hibernation stasis whatever, etc.) but, in general, most things were just refined versions of what’s going on now. Then I got to thinking about other movies from various future times and what I thought was plausible and what was ridiculous. (The Fifth Element, Minority Report, Star Trek, etc.) Then, I started imagining what things would evolve and how daily life would be. Gotta say, I TRIED to come up with something completely new but I guess my imagination isn’t strong enough.
Here are some of the ideas I had:
I think that the two main factors for change in the next century or so will based on the environmental damage humans have done and continuing the trends of making daily lifestyles more convenient. It’s great that we’re finally realizing how badly we have hurt the environment but even though some changes are being made to stop it or fix it, the far-reaching effects haven’t yet even been seen. I think it will get much much worse before it gets better. And I think that people will continue to flock to cities as they have been for the past century or more and urban areas will get more and more crowded.
The first thing I thought about is how and what we eat. There is the trend to eat more naturally but I also foresee that type of diet being too expensive for the majority and, because of environmental effects, that becoming harder and harder. There is also the increase of dietary restrictions limiting the things people can eat, like the rise of nut allergies or gluten intolerances, etc. I see the advances in engineered food really taking off. I imagine that we will have some sort of naturally based, cheap to produce, something or other that can be manipulated somehow to taste like anything. I could see a nutritious, bland, grain like substance that can be molded into various textures and customizable to individual preferences. I always wondered what was actually coming out of the food replicators in Star Trek. This is my answer to that. You can pretty much eat anything you want, but it won’t be “bad” for you. I think only rich people will continue to eat real meat and organic food.
The second thing I thought about was transportation. Due to environmental issues and climate problems, I don’t think cities will rise up as much as future imaginers have, but going down underground instead. And instead of “flying cars” which seems to be such a popular idea, I would like to see cars abolished altogether. I think that subway systems will be the main way of transportation in cities. If you’ve ever experienced the underground systems in Asia, that would just be a precursor to what I envision. I think that they would need to have many, many more lines, longer operating hours, etc. Basically, replace existing roads with underground tunnels. My main idea was that instead of a single train going from point A to point B, it would be one continuous train in a loop. And they could be concentric for local, rapid, and express services. You’d have to transfer frequently but since it’s all underground, you’re out of weather issues and traffic wouldn’t be an issue.
My third idea was an extension of the transportation going underground. That would free up streets, which I saw being covered with a roof and glass walls to protect from the likely uninhabitable outdoors most of the year. (I think summers and winters would be long and severe and spring and fall almost nonexistent.) The streets would be commuter tunnels. Each household would have an entrance (like their current driveways – or each apartment complex would have an underground entrance. Then you’d walk along the street tunnel to the nearest stairway that took you down to a stop on whatever line you needed.
I also think “outdoor spaces” that we are used to now, like parks, would also be underground and engineered. We still want our nature but much of it will have to be manmade in order to be accessible most of the time. I think actual outside would be deserted during summer and winter. The heat and cold would be too much, but also, it gives nature a chance to heal if we aren’t out there fucking it up.
I tried to envision how communication will evolve. It’s difficult. I think more and more will be digital, automated, and hands free. I think we’re going to use our “phones” (more like, hand held devices) for almost everything. Almost everyone will have one. I see the watch idea taking off but instead of it replacing the hand held screen, I think they will be used together. You will receive your alerts and information on your watch but use a screen to view things in more detail. Like, you can’t type out a complex document on a watch. Taking calls through your watch also doesn’t seem to work for me. I think maybe a device that stays near your ear but in less intrusive than the Bluetooth ear pieces or even ear buds. I also see this crossing over into fashion. Ear pieces as jewelry. Also, in fashion, I think clothing will start to incorporate more pockets and add-ons specifically for tech.
I think, in the future, your ‘phone’ will be a part of everything you do. Health monitor, personal safety/location, no-touch payment at stores, clocking in and out at work and being paid. The beginnings of that are already in place but I think it will become so standard that things like land lines, paper money, hard-wired home systems, etc. will be abolished.
Automation will be in everything.
That’s all I’m going to write for now, because I’m tired and sick, but I may come back to it again later and add in more ideas.