Last weekend’s “women’s march” was the well-heeled status quo demanding to maintain their status, angry about not getting their way, seeking solace and friendship and an opportunity to safely vent their rage — not that there’s anything wrong with that!
If you see it coming, it’s not a revolution.
All good and clever, Brian, but where are the revolutions?
Personalized television is the next major shift in popular culture. It’s the second half of the second decade of the 21st century and we don’t have underwater villages, flying cars, and can’t even get personalized television.
Netflix, as rudimentary as it is, is far in the lead. Others vying for this, with an actual shot, include Twitter, Google/YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Snapchat, and Apple, in that order.
A major barrier, of course, is that viewers across the globe demand relatively high production values, and these remain expensive. Another barrier is that the breadth of television is not sustainable on the advertiser/sponsor model only. (Spoiler: That’s a big opportunity for someone not Google.)
Personalized everything. Your news, your recommendations, your shares, what you see and hear, the products pitched to you, everything, will be based on a real-time constantly-changeable aggregation of very personal, very specific metrics — your credit score writ large. Irony: you, the actual person, will have extremely little control over changing this agglomeration of numbers.
Expect numerous businesses and business ‘parks’ to sprout up across America as millions of our fellow citizens — and illegal residents — will spend more time in their car, driverless or not, and on the road, than in their home (and office) combined.
The economics of ‘livable’ cars, autonomy, new power sources and roads — an American strength — will make it more economically rational to live inside our cars than buy a home.
I am not referring to long-haul truckers, who have a home and a family that lives there. I mean individuals, friends, families, clans, living in their cars, always on the road.
Values = Profits
No business, no news network, no major entertainer, probably no minor entertainer will be spared: if you want our money, you better *publicly* align your business and your bottom-line with my social, cultural, religious and political values. No exceptions. This will make for some nasty internecine cultural skirmishes.
There is simply no way around this. We know too much and can find out instantly what we don’t know. We can buy from anyone, anywhere, at anytime, usually getting the same great price as anyone else. Meaning: if you want our money, you better see the world just as we do.
Values-based businesses only.
More Human Than Human
Everything we now make is aware, sensing, responsive — alive. How are humans differently alive? The efforts to resolve this question will plague and liberate humanity through at least the remainder of this century.
Yes, abortion will soon come to be viewed as immediately necessary, based on our immediate knowledge of the status of the fetus, as well as an abhorrent, mostly illegal act — given all we know and will know and will actually soon visually witness of the glorious development of human life.
Abortion battles are just the start.
Yes, parents will regularly engage in gender selection, gene editing, and other efforts to construct their child as nearly complete as they possibly can.
Millions, at least, will replace or have replaced limbs with bionics.
As we learn more about mental cognition of animals, individuals will want to alter their brain structure to temporarily or permanently think like a particular animal. Literally.
In addition, human behavior — individual and group — will profoundly and deliberately change as we outsource the rational to our machines. We have outsourced our physical labor, our calculations, and now we are outsourcing our numbers, data, analysis and intuition to the machines. Humans become what their machines cannot.
We will all become more irrational, more emotional, more dramatic, more faithful, more outraged.
Markets For Everything
There will be markets for everything. Everything, as I hinted at previously:
…in the very near future, in the form of a wearable blood chit or tattoo of some sort, whereby the wearable or tattoo may not be visible to the naked eye, for example, but it glows when viewed through a screen or perhaps causes every nearby connected thing — IoT — to respond differently, and maybe such a mark can be used for both punishments and rewards, so that if a group of people are out with friends, for example, and are stopped by a gunman, his gun — no doubt also connected to the web — can alert him that the tall man, second from the left, hails from a very wealthy family and if the gunman doesn’t harm him he will be sent a very handsome reward…
Americana For Rent
Americans are deeply indebted. The western world even more so. There won’t be enough available monies to pay off everyone’s debts.
The East will make a deal.
Let them into our colleges and universities, teach their children English, help them navigate western customs, bump them to the head of the line for interactions with the American bureaucracy, and serve as a showhorse.
There will be others. There are always others.