Pessimistens guide til de næste ti år

Den canadiske forfatter Douglas Coupland (kendt for romaner som Generation X, Microserfs og JPod) har begået en pessimistisk guide til de næste ti år, baseret på en simpel lineær fremskrivning af tendenserne de sidste ti:

1) It’s going to get worse

No silver linings and no lemonade. The elevator only goes down. The bright note is that the elevator will, at some point, stop.

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.

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!

9) The suburbs are doomed, especially thoseE.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.

20) North America can easily fragment quickly as did the Eastern Bloc in 1989

Quebec will decide to quietly and quite pleasantly leave Canada. California contemplates splitting into two states, fiscal and non-fiscal. Cuba becomes a Club Med with weapons. The Hate States will form a coalition.

Den danske forfatter Erwin Neutzsky-Wulff er inde på lignende dommedagsvisioner i sit historieværk Menneskets Afvikling.

Jeg påstår ikke at kende fremtiden og skal ikke kunne sige, om det virkelig er så umiddelbart katastrofalt, som Coupland (og i endnu højere grad Neutzsky-Wulff) lægger op til. Men det er svært at komme uden om, at tendenserne i de sidste år er bekymrende og fortjener at blive taget alvorligt.

Link: A radical pessimist’s guide to the next ten years (via Boing Boing).