Back to the well
Somebody I trust said recently “You’re at your best when you just go, and don’t try to construct things too much”. I was going to blame them for what ensues, but in reality its Tequila and a day reading Wired magazine that has brought us to this point.
The future will be broken, unfixable even. But this will be its strength. If something is perceived as fixable, the primary concern is always fixing it, and each fix merely reveals the other breaks. Or the spectre of failed fixes proves a haunting downer.
The future will be honest about it’s brokenness. We will all be honest about our brokenness. This will be an interregnum before the great age of Is [i-zz], where the existing condition of the world and of its constituents will be accepted as harmonious with a “natural order”, despite prevailing inequality and injustice. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
During the interregnum, likely to be named the Frag (for fragmentation, not for the future’s resemblance to Mega City One or any other fictional conurbation and attendant slang), humanity will regroup according to communicable criteria. Access to communication (both legal and illegal, the latter largely tolerated) will have become ubiquitous, enabling humanity to cluster along lines of its choosing. The resulting society will be unequal, fractious, comfortably discontented, but each cluster will be so well networked as to feel themselves inseparable, unseparated, despite the real-world disparity of their locations.
These clusters will each realise that they are the latest chapter in a species history largely defined by failed attempts at creating unison, at fixing the inbuilt divisions between said species’ constituents. To that extent, if to no other, they will be self-aware. There are of course further ventures of reason and recognition to be made from and on this point, but as the human race has shown, only the few and the interested will get to the extremes, the rest will spectate from the middle. That’s no bad thing necessarily.
As the world fragments into these communities and their collective drives, there will be less enthusiasm for attempting to draw all people together. This will mean a refocusing on the universals which all can agree upon (sanitation, healthcare, housing, utilities), though obviously the process of reaching universal accord as to the provision of these entitlements will be one of several decades and a multitude of grey hairs.
Big picture, humanity will realise that though we are evolutionarily joined in our basic needs, we as a species have evolved beyond this commonality by securing the essentials in perpetuity. We will thus be freed to pursue the full multiplicity of our passions, the thousand souls within each of us, without Darwinian competition.
Just enough self-consciousness to perform. Just enough collaboration to survive. Just flawed enough to need to believe in progress.
The future will rule.