Careers of the Distant Future

I cannot escape the thought that if technological “progress” were allowed to proceed indefinitely and unhindered by government regulation, cosmic catastrophe, or divine intervention life should become depressingly dull, an unrelenting exercise in expanding and contracting one’s ribcage while seeking out the next momentary diversion or adrenaline producing near-death experience. People will be forced to invent virtual realities in which to experience real life. The only urban career left will involve helping virtual tourists get the most out of their virtual vacations. The happiest people will take their cue from the Amish and eschew labor-saving devices in favor of dirt and sweat and the vagaries of uncontrolled climate.

Same-day update: Back in 2007 Michael Swaim wrote a humorous piece about the most common SF visions of the future. It’s pretty good if you keep in mind that he was only writing for fun: The 8 Most Common Sci-Fi Visions of the Future (And Why They’ll Never Happen).

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5 Responses to Careers of the Distant Future

  1. Mark Call says:

    He lost me at the very first one:
    A totalitarian police state, and “why it will never happen”.
    “Because it already HAS…DUH!” I could have believed.
    But good grief. Some people are simply too blind for words. And the last line there shows that he’s just as ignorant of economics as well, and of what “fascism” really means.

  2. Mark Call says:

    I know, Jay – it was for fun. I guess the first joke in a piece has to help set the tone…

  3. jay c says:

    Definitely. In the real world, the article was pretty ignorant…but still fun.

  4. Triton says:

    Defining Features:
    Forcibly proscribed social roles and classes; a creepy, overbearing “beloved leader” and equally creepy propaganda posters on every wall; an ultra-brutal police force; the repression of all written communication and creativity; a huge underclass of drone-like proles paralyzed with paranoid anxiety; a moratorium on rainbows, strawberry ice cream and butterfly kisses.

    Take out the word “all” and the nonsense in the last phrase and I’d say that’s about what we’ve got now.

  5. Triton says:

    a world where electric razor technology has devolved to the point that every shave leaves one-eigth inch of stubble behind
    That was pretty funny, though.

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