I’ve decided I’m going to start writing about futurism on Fridays. I’m going to skip the next couple of weeks, since I don’t post on holidays, and then we’re going to start the Twenties by talking about our new century and beyond.
For the past several years, my aim has been to post book reviews on Fridays. Then I got COVID-19, and then I got a day job, and I have found myself unable to read enough to stay on top of this self-generated commitment.
I suppose that makes this my very first futurism prediction. In my future, I won’t be writing book reviews, and in your future, you won’t be reading them. Or at least, if you do read book reviews they’ll be done elsewhere by someone else.
This probably won’t stop the occasional hopeful author from asking me to review their novel, even though I haven’t reviewed fiction in something like 15 years. Note: Do your homework before you make a request of someone you don’t know.
Why am I writing about futurism?
I’m hoping to go back to school at some point in the near future - there’s that word again - to study strategic forecasting. Somebody’s gotta do it.
It turns out that writing five days a week and working long weeks are already pretty significant time commitments. If I go back to school as well, then something has to go. I haven’t made my mind up yet about the direction of the blog, so for now, this is a way to try to have it all.
Editorial decisions come up in the shaping of a blog, and one of them is how personal it will be. There are broad areas that I don’t cover - for instance, I don’t use the names of my friends or family, so they don’t have to worry about my writing spoiling their online reputations. I don’t write about family drama, I don’t write intimate things about my marriage, I don’t write about my political positions, I don’t share specifics about our finances. I don’t necessarily see a problem with other people making those topics their brand; it just isn’t for me.
At the same time, I see the world moving and changing. When I started writing, I focused on clutter and minimalism because I was still working a lot with hoarders, and it was something I thought about all the time. I started moving away from that work when I realized that it really doesn’t scale, that what people need is someone to work steadily with them for 3-5 years in a relationship that is at least as much therapeutic as it is practical. I don’t have it in me to become a counselor of that type and I didn’t feel that I had it in me to carry on any further in that direction.
I also wrote about health and fitness, and now that has shifted to my standoff with COVID-19. I certainly hope that quits being a topic of interest, in my personal life as well as the rest of the world. Whether I’ll continue to write about these things, I’m not sure, because my focus has changed over the past few years here as well. I remain opposed to the HAES movement, whatever it is that is currently known as “body positivity” leaves me utterly cold, and I am probably just too out of sync with trends to have much to add. Out of anything I write, this is the area that makes me the most nervous, because it just feels radioactive. It is probably better for everyone, myself included, if I keep my opinions to myself and simply manage my own mortal vessel.
This is what the topic of futurism does. It causes me to pause and ask myself, what parts of my life belong to the 20th century, and what parts are worth carrying into the 21st?
History has a school of thought, that there are watersheds, pivot points in time when everything noticeably changes. 9/11 was one of those, and so was the Vietnam War, and so was the first lunar landing. Part of the watershed theory is the idea that each new century doesn’t really get rolling until the second decade, just as each new decade doesn’t really get rolling for a year or two. Example: When we think of “the Sixties” a lot of the music, fashion, and culture that come to mind are more characteristic of the Seventies. What we think of as the Twentieth Century wasn’t really true of, say, 1903. People of the 1920’s felt modern in a way that people of the 1910’s, before WWI, do not.
Now we’re really starting the 2020’s, the Twenties again, and what is going to be different?
This is all going to be more obvious to us in the Thirties and Forties. Hey, readers, most of you are still going to be around to see how the 2030’s and 2040’s play out. How crazy is that?
I think what we’re going to see is a significant leveling up of technology, in the sense that middle-class consumers will start being able to buy stuff at Costco that wasn’t even sci-fi when we were kids. There are going to start to be thousands, then hundreds of thousands of blue-collar space industry jobs. Robots everywhere. You can already see this stuff starting to happen if you follow space and robotics news; for instance, did you know that an airport for flying cars is already being built?
(Hot take: I’m flying-cars negative because I don’t need that kind of thing falling through my roof, thank you very much).
The biggest obstacle between “us” and “the future” is human psychology. It’s tough for us to adapt to things that look and feel very different from what we had in our childhoods. We don’t always understand what we’re looking at, or why it is actually a big improvement over what we had before. This is what interests me about the future - that it’s coming at us one way or another, and it’s really all about how it makes us feel.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies