Party like it’s 2050?Written by Andrew Collins 5 July 2019
In 30 years, we will have hit the Mid 21st Century. For those of us old enough to have enjoyed an adult cocktail at the turn of the Millennium, the key question is: will 2050 be worth hanging around for?
To answer this, we must rely on the predictive perspicacity of the futurologists plotting the future of the human condition. After a morning’s investigation, their conclusions suggest that things could be great, or possibly terrible – and more than likely a bit weird.
What does the future look like?
Here is an entirely unscientific round up of some of the highs and/or lows we can expect to be experiencing should we make it that far.
All sorts of jobs will disappear due to automation. This is a pretty safe bet since it’s been going on since the Industrial Revolution – although the difference is that it will be brain power being automated, rather than muscle power. We won’t all be able to put our feet up, however, because new types of work will be invented that we don’t yet know about. As well as missing the point about predictions, this is obviously very bad news.
Cars will become the horses of today – owned only by enthusiasts for recreational purposes and slowing down traffic. The rest of us will be ferried around like teenagers by autonomous vehicles – programming options will be available, so these vehicles don’t embarrass us in front of our friends. We will travel longer distances, at great speed, using hyper-loop propulsion systems, and simultaneously, know what it feels like to be a champagne cork exiting a bottle.
This will be entirely virtual – enabling us to go anywhere and do anything. The result will be ‘experience inflation’ at the premium end of the spectrum where the only possible way to feel superior to someone who has been to Mars virtually, is to go to Mars physically. Space tourism will thus become a reality for the super-rich. The not super-rich will be happy to see them go.
Nutrition will be personalised to our own individual specifications based on testing and analysis of our gut microbiome. These plans will tell us precisely what to eat, when and in what quantities to guarantee a healthy diet. Along with accompanying nutritional consultancy, they will be regarded as a large, but necessary lifestyle expense. Once we have purchased these plans, we will ignore them. Meals still won’t be available as a pill.
There will be big changes at both ends of life: babies will be grown in laboratories, not mothers and increasing control over the ageing process will lay the foundations for achieving immortality. Continuous health checks will become part of our daily lives – with diagnostic monitoring devices woven into clothing and toilet bowls capable of performing liquid biopsies. Related to all these advances, there will be an explosion in demand for therapy.
Hot and wet – but not in a good way.
Augmented by smart prosthetics, our bodies will become capable of previously unimaginable tasks – such as building flat-pack furniture. Technology will exist that allows our brains to be directly connected both to computers and to other people’s brains. The former will mean we are capable of liking cat videos with the blink of an eye, while the latter will confirm precisely how selfish and thoughtless he is. In both cases Apple will expect us to buy new connectors with every upgrade.
So, there you have it. 2050 – a brave new world, dystopian nightmare or something in between – however things turn out, hope to see you all there.