Future Wishlist 2018

Things I’m looking forward to in the future.

Robotic self-driving vehicles. I want to enter a vehicle and get carelessly whisked away to my destination while I play on my portable computing device.

Mechanized birdlike wings. These aren’t for travel per se, but mainly for flights of fancy, soaring through the sky. In a sense, these are bionic wings you strap-on, powered by motors with batteries that’re attached-to and activated-by your arms.

Long-distance travel surprise. Something new and awesome or even something old and quaint — either a more efficient way to travel or more entertaining (or both! having different options is fine).

Full-immersion viewing experience. Imagine someone calls you, and with these glasses on, it feels like you’re right there with them. They could be walking around a store and you’re virtually there, browsing along. Or, you’re playing a video game and it feels like you’re inside of it. Or, you’re watching TV feeling like you’re in the audience of a stage-play.

Maintenance-free surfaces. From counter-tops, to shower-stalls, to walls and floors — these surfaces will be maintenance free. No scrubbing or vacuuming or whatever else you usually do to keep them clean.

Instant shower. Step in, the washing process begins and ends automatically, step out.

Instant toothbrush. Stick it in your mouth: bing, bang, boom – teeth are cleaned automagically.

Smart-sleep systems. Temperature, pressure on parts of the body, ambient light and noise, even smells are all regulated by the sleep-system of tomorrow.

Unified on-demand library of all media. Movies, books, music, shows – whatever it is, is all available immediately on-demand via your portable computing device.

Utopian Government. Oh, might as well tack on a Star Trek-style united-world government. And with a colonized Mars, there could even be a United Federation of Planets.


Wishlist 2018

If life is a computer-simulation, what changes would you like to see implemented?

From my particular perspective, I would like these aspects altered:
A good night’s sleep every night.
A perfectly functioning physical body.
Increased resources.
Upgraded dwelling.
Light easy travel with family.

In general I’d like to see:
An abundance of safe well-functioning advanced technology.
Worry-free transportation.
Clothing designed to fit flawlessly.
A stable basically futuristic/utopian political climate.

Society-wise, I’d like to see all medical/legal/political and even relationship drama come to a close. Instead of heavy dramatic stuff, I think challenges and competition should come in the form of ever-advancing technology, philosophy, art, athletics, and just creativity in general. There can be exploration of not only space and uncharted regions of the planet, but consciousness and the underlying foundation of existence itself. People often overlook that the Internet was (and still is) a new frontier to be explored and conquered.

P.S. Yes, I do like Star Trek.

New Chief

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Bytekings.

Tell me, are you familiar with the concept of air supremacy?
Yeah, it has something to do with controlling the skies in battle.
Those who control the sky, determine who will die. I assume you’ve heard of the rockets my company produces?
Yes of course, they can even land themselves.
That’s right. And you’ve probably also noticed that my company makes semi-autonomous automobiles as well?
And I’ve seen the solar work you’ve been doing, it’s all quite fascinating.
Decentralized electrical power is decentralized political power.
There seems to be an underlying theme to all this.
Indeed there is. The way in which humankind is currently organized is outdated. I am going to fix that.
And those currently on top will allow you to do this?
How easy would it be for me to weaponize my rockets? How quickly could I weaponize autonomous vehicles? And I need no electrical grid to produce my power.
Just what are you saying?
Relax, I’m simply telling you what I could do, not what I will do. Tell me, are you familiar with the Simulation Hypothesis?
Yeah, the idea that our world is only a virtual reality.
Exactly, and I’ve been well aware of this condition for some time, hence my recurrent success. I lack the the fear and doubt that plague those that believe themselves living in an organic world.
Then what are you going to do?
I am an engineer by nature, a creator of systems, I am designing the foundation of the next era. I have my hands in banking, robotics, energy production, as well as transportation: terrestrial and beyond. Think of how early industrialists made their money, I have seeds in all those fields and soon my crop will establish itself.
But then what?
Then power goes to the people.

Future Civilization H

In this future civilization, death-by-tool is considered a priority problem. For example, tens of thousands of deaths per year were considered unacceptable, so every human-controlled car on the road has a speed-limiter installed to cap speeds at 35 mph. Additionally, new cars have acceleration rate-limitations and roll-cages that protect passengers in-case of roll-over.

Sprinkler systems are retrofitted within homes and made mandatory for new construction and all multi-unit residential buildings. Never again can a fire rage through a dwelling where people unwittingly sleep. Remote-alarms and ventilation systems are required on all gas installations and piping has been improved to minimize leakage.

Because of their prevalence in thousands of homicides per year, handguns are no longer manufactured or sold. Existing handguns can be turned over to a generous buy-back program. Police no longer carry handguns. Long-barrel guns with manual-rate-of-fire (bolt, lever, pump-action) with 5-round capacities or less are the only firearms allowed to be manufactured and sold.

Food items with an overwhelming percentage of sweetener are restricted through increased taxation and bundled-quantity limits. For example, sugar-based drinks are taxed whereas typical cookies and cakes with ample non-sugar ingredients are not subject to additional tax. But, cookies and other such delectables are limited to 12 per package (or other applicable limitation). Also, purity labels help consumers select foods containing authentic all-natural time-tested ingredients.

All new pool construction requires removable pool fences and safety signs/brochures detailing the inherent risks to small children and necessary precautions. Similarly, stair-gates are as prevalent as car-seats and electrical outlets are covered by default. All commercially sold substances that would be poisonous if consumed have their container colored with a standardized black/orange pattern (visible from all sides) based on level of toxicity. For instance, the container of a highly-toxic substance would be almost completely patterned whereas a more milder cleaning agent would have a much smaller indicator.

Environmental poisoning is considered an egregious offense that is handled swiftly and surely. Industries that are higher-risk are closely monitored and pay into an environmental insurance fund. Long-term effects of substances and practices are tested and documented. Animal habitats, especially fisheries, are overseen and regulated. Drinking water is regularly tested from within homes.

Maximizing Participation

When thinking about a technological future, we tend to drift towards robotic automation, then we wonder what humans will do with their time. We usually think of leisure activities, then creativity and art, then crafting for the sake of doing things by hand. In this thought process we end up going full-circle, from having robots doing everything, to humans going back to primitive methodologies.

To phrase it another way, why play basketball if a robot can score more accurately? Because efficiency is not the point, the point is participation and the enjoyment it brings. In this sense, there is no way humanity will reach a fully-automated future, they just won’t want it. Even today we see people rejecting some mass-production in favor of locally crafted products. And there are many who long for “simpler times” who are drawn to the idea of “starting from scratch”, and feel the world has gotten too complex.

If you think about it, efficiency is not the goal of humanity. The most efficient life is the one that ends immediately after birth. The point is participation. Yet how can humans participate if robots do it all? But thinking it through a bit more, what are the tasks we wish to automate? The tedious ones. But what are those? Do these even need to be done, or are they the result of poor planning, perhaps a passing trend, maybe some unnecessary pessimism or greed is involved?

It’s probably best if societies focus on maximizing participation of inhabitants. In a hyper-efficient technological future, we’d likely sit isolated in rooms staring at our telescreens as we live life virtually. But in a participation-focused future we’d each seek a satisfactory role to perform as we contributed our part in our locality. But by necessity, these localities must be small so we can each have a greater impact within it.

The exciting times within a business are not when the bureaucracy sets in after success plateaus and employee count swells. No, the exciting times are during the startup phase when experiments are performed and people are few and each makes his greatest impact with a more meaningful contribution.

It’s possible that automation and participation can work together though. If large societies purposefully divide into smaller autonomous units, then technology and automation could allow these new units to achieve a level of self-sufficiency not previously possible. Small-scale energy production and manufacturing, effortless long-distance communication, and simplified food production could usher in an era of startup societies. And within these small societies, individual contribution would be maximized as people are not mere cogs in their communities, but genuine influencers.

Economic Future

An excerpt from the fictional tales of Beholding Tomorrow.

Retail cashiering, fast-food service, endless convenience stores and strip malls, soul-crushing commutes, working for the purpose of paying others to watch our children — let us shed these old ways. As we moved from an agrarian society to an industrial one, we must now transition to a digital economy.

Tech entrepreneurship, app development, digital content creation in its various forms from videos to blogs — it will become a renaissance of creativity. Even in the form of food preparation, we can aspire to cruelty-free food production and an adherence to authenticity in ingredients.

From social media management to professional gaming, there’s more interesting work for everyone. And for the family-minded, why not professional parenting, an opportunity to raise one’s own children if so desired — outsourcing childcare must no longer be a necessity. This is the future.

We’ve been performing meaningless jobs for ages — jobs serving no other purpose but to transfer money from one hand to another. If we’re already used to working for work’s sake, then let’s simply select the jobs we enjoy. Why define our lives by antiquated terms, the future is now — as soon as we accept it.

Looking To Tomorrow

When I was a boy, the aspirational careers were doctor and lawyer. If you couldn’t get that far, accountant was pretty good too. College was mandatory for success. You were expected to pick your lifelong career while still in childhood. Those not attending college got to be plumbers or policemen.

Nowadays, people get to be digital content creators and tech entrepreneurs. College is optional. Careers are invented and selected in real-time. So the upheaval of an entrenched system is not always bad, in fact it tends to create opportunities.

If we’re to move to a digital economy, of course the old has to go. We should not lament the end of the antiquated, but celebrate the coming novelty. The problem is not the new, but insistence on the old. It’s that transitional period where antique definitions overlap modern ideas.

Don’t look for what’s lost, but look for what’s next, keeping an eye out for approaching opportunity. It’s a fallacy to look back and see only the good. We need change, it’s what flushes out accumulated cruft and prejudices. Every age has its landscape, its new horizon, its bright tomorrow that must be embraced lest we linger in darkness.