Thursday, May 29, 2008

The future of civilisation

What with the way that fuel, food prices, housing costs and fees and global political situations are going, I've gotten to thinking about what's happening to us and what will happen in the future. Mostly, it doesn't look pretty. Give it fifty years or so (or maybe less... gulp) and here's where I think we will all be.

  • Nobody will be able to afford to travel. Electric cars will be here, pushbikes will be all over the place, we'll be fitter from all the walking we'll be doing, but air travel and therefore most overseas travel will be out.
  • The internet will super-evolve and we will be cyber-connected at nearly all moments of our lives. Most people will be microchipped, not as a Big Brother-like governmental control but so they can be on the phone, shopping online or chatting without being near a computer. In fact, technology and the internet will evolve so that we no longer need to be at a computer or electronic device to be connected.
  • The internet will provide most of our contact with, and knowledge of the world beyond our travel limitations.
  • People will live and work either within walking or cycling distance, or they will work from home. Women will be the ones that mostly work from home, to take advantage of heavy childcare costs due to an overzealous and litigitious law system.
  • On some levels, we will return to a pre-industrial age. Towns and cities will become more like the close-together villages of old Europe. We will physically travel less and our lives will revolve around our immediate family and neighbours. Relatives or friends coming to visit will be a major effort and expense, and thus will be a big deal.
  • We will know our neighbours, by necessity.
  • Large blocks will be out. We will live in the smallest possible dwelling, leaving the smallest possible eco-footprint, by law. Each family will have a patch of land and will have to produce something that can benefit the community: vegetables, fruit, cloth, seeds, livestock, cheese, honey, etc. People will barter and swap foods with neighbouring families. The concept of pre-packaged and processed food being bought at a distant mall and driven home will be almost gone. For this reason, artisanal products will flourish and people will be more connected with the food they eat.
  • We will all be significantly healthier. Lifespans will be longer.
  • Trades will be back, by necessity. Families will need to know how to carry out repairs and do physical labour, because we won't be able to afford to hire someone to travel to us. Workers will all need to either produce a product, or work in the public sector. Jobs like retail worker, personal assistant and publicist will no longer exist.
  • Religion will return to the masses.
  • We will be suspicious of people from beyond our villages.
  • We will eat less meat, but take more medications.

What do you think?

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