To my little surprise many people tend to think that the future is a distant point in time which will fundamentally transform our environment, quite completely replacing old ways of life with wholly new ways of life. For this reason they think it is something we have to wait for. From my point of view, there is nothing to wait for at all. There is no more a single narrative for mankind. There is no more a single timeline in our history. There is no more a single civilization. There is no more a single culture or worldview in which to interpret the reality. This century is instead about diversity and personalization as the landscape for human’s expression has grown so exponentially during the last decades, that the individual is taking over the world – instead of nations or armies. The future is not about transformation of the environment, it’s about transformation of our relationship with that environment thanks to the increase of self-awareness of individual who is beginning to take a conscious iniative more and more often than institutions, corporations or governments which were commissioned to do so. One of the driving forces of cultural development of humanity, in my opinion, is the invention of tools through which an individual human being can express and define himself. Music, storytelling, myth, religion, dance – these are the tools which allowed communication and these innovations in communication have changed us forever. It is what connects one to another and brings them together – a ritual, a festival, a story, a sacrament, an initiation, that has made human such a sophisticated being. We have learned to explore and bring out the content of the unconscious. The 20th and 21st century has given us revolutionary new tools for individual expression – mass media and interactive media. Ever since we made it possible for ”many minds to become one mind”, our innate potential has exploded in unpredicted ways.
The way I imagine the future is a vision comprised of such elements as:
– people wearing extravagant clothes on the streets with no shame
– electronic, techno and house music rivaling and challenging acoustic music
– free mixing of diverse religions and philosophies to suit personal preferences
– rediscovering and reinventing ancient contributions to the modern civilization
– growing disproportion between generations and growing contrast between emancipated societes and restrictive societies
– cases of people feeling more comfortable with technology than with other people, having more succesful virtual life than real life and refusing to socialize ( hikkomori )
– people willingly exploring alternative lifestyles ( sustainable communities )
– emerging of new spiritual movements ( New Age, Deep Ecology, New Thought or Theosophy )
– ecological trends ( Apple Campus 2, Amazon Biodome HQ )
– big emphasis on and protection of individual rights ( Universal Declaration of Human Rights )
– humanism becoming more and more widespread and predominant
– destructive societies continuing to be destructive and progressive societies continuing to be progressive
In addidion, I would convincingly make these predictions about the future:
1) The houses will have elastic movable, removable and foldable walls and roofs so that you will be able to design new combinations for every day, move your house anywhere, make it transparent or wind it so that it doesn’t block the surroundings
2) You will be able to print into existence whatever device you will invent – just don’t ignore the mathematics!
3) Robots will become important part of many aspects of life cleaning the streets, taking care of disabled and preventing different dangerous accidents from happening
Having been experiencing the 21st century for a while now, I really think that the future as I used to imagine it, is at most, allready here! It’s just necessary to stop to think about it in utopian-dystopian terms, but instead to start to think about it in terms of pluralism, individuality and many pathways. More than this, I think that I am very lucky to be living at this period of time because it is possibly the best moment in a whole history for a human to be alive, when it comes to overall standard of living, both material and spiritual. After all, for more than 99% of our history, I would not be able to write this post!
”Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”