[Illustration by PHILIP BOND]
1) It’s going to get worse
2) The future isn’t going to feel futuristic
It’s simply going to feel weird and out-of-control-ish, the way it does now, because too many things are changing too quickly. The reason the future feels odd is because of its unpredictability. If the future didn’t feel weirdly unexpected, then something would be wrong.
3) The future is going to happen no matter what we do. The future will feel even faster than it does now
The next sets of triumphing technologies are going to happen, no matter who invents them or where or how. Not that technology alone dictates the future, but in the end it always leaves its mark. The only unknown factor is the pace at which new technologies will appear. This technological determinism, with its sense of constantly awaiting a new era-changing technology every day, is one of the hallmarks of the next decade.
4) Move to Vancouver, San Diego, Shannon or Liverpool
There’ll be just as much freaky extreme weather in these west-coast cities, but at least the west coasts won’t be broiling hot and cryogenically cold.
5) You’ll spend a lot of your time feeling like a dog leashed to a pole outside the grocery store – separation anxiety will become your permanent state
6) The middle class is over. It’s not coming back
Remember travel agents? Remember how they just kind of vanished one day?
That’s where all the other jobs that once made us middle-class are going – to that same, magical, class-killing, job-sucking wormhole into which travel-agency jobs vanished, never to return. However, this won’t stop people from self-identifying as middle-class, and as the years pass we’ll be entering a replay of the antebellum South, when people defined themselves by the social status of their ancestors three generations back. Enjoy the new monoclass!
7) Retail will start to resemble Mexican drugstores
In Mexico, if one wishes to buy a toothbrush, one goes to a drugstore where one of every item for sale is on display inside a glass display case that circles the store. One selects the toothbrush and one of an obvious surplus of staff runs to the back to fetch the toothbrush. It’s not very efficient, but it does offer otherwise unemployed people something to do during the day.
8) Try to live near a subway entrance
In a world of crazy-expensive oil, it’s the only real estate that will hold its value, if not increase.
9) The suburbs are doomed, especially those E.T. , California-style suburbs
This is a no-brainer, but the former homes will make amazing hangouts for gangs, weirdoes and people performing illegal activities. The pretend gates at the entranceways to gated communities will become real, and the charred stubs of previous white-collar homes will serve only to make the still-standing structures creepier and more exotic. MORE
WIKIPEDIA: Douglas Coupland (pronounced COPE-lund) (born December 30, 1961) is a Canadian novelist. His fiction is complemented by recognized works in design and visual art arising from his early formal training. His first novel, the 1991 international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, popularized terms such as McJob and Generation X. He has published thirteen novels, a collection of short stories, seven non-fiction books, and a number of dramatic works and screenplays for film and television. Coupland has been described as “…possibly the most gifted exegete of North American mass culture writing today.” and “one of the great satirists of consumerism”. A specific feature of Coupland’s novels is their synthesis of postmodern religion, Web 2.0 technology, human sexuality, and pop culture.