by Roger Bourke White Jr., started February 2017
This is the outline for Visions of 2051, second in the series.
The center of this book is wearables and how they will change how we live and how we think. This will also continue to explore TES and how that will change how we live and how we think. Ambitious class will be explored to show how TES contrasts with it.
For reference: The center of the first book is cyber muses, and the center of the third book is baby clubs.
What is going to get covered here that is not covered in Visions of 2050?
o Idea: The Paralympics (or Special Olympics) evolve into the Paralympics Plus or Extra Special Olympics in which the competitors are using lots of augmenting paraphernalia. Think of the relation between Formula One and NASCAR as they have evolved over the last few decades. There will be all sorts of categorizing questions to be solved, and the answers will keep changing as augmentation technology keeps changing.
o What external threats will keep Necessity Class enfranchised?
The societies of today that most closely resemble the Total Entitlement State (TES) of 2050's, and have also endured for decades, are Cuba and North Korea. Many other places have attempted TES, as various forms of socialism and communism, but these others have all had to change their ways after a few years to a few decades. Examples being early Communist Russia and post-WWII England. These others have all had to get more free market or more kleptocratic. Cuba and North Korea have endured as egalitarian-aspiring communist because the people in these countries feel threatened by what they perceive to be aggressive external enemies who are ready, willing and able to conquer them and turn them back into imperialist colonies of some sort. The conquering style these societies fear can be militarist and overt, or through subversion of many sorts. The result is the societies feel that if they don't maintain the appearance of strong national unity their social system will perish. The result of that is if the society's members argue anywhere but quietly and behind closed doors, they die. A further result is they support lots of internal spying and vigorous repression of those who are perceived of as being enemies of the state.
How does this apply to the upcoming TES societies of the 2050's?
When viewed from the material needs side, a 2050's TES state can be quite relaxed and diverse compared to these 2010's versions. The 2050's versions will have lots more prosperity and material goods and services available to members than the 20th century attempts did. But if all this prosperity leads to frustration and strong feelings of disenfranchisement, then crime, violence and gangs will be a large part of the system. Places such as the Philippines seem to be enduring this problem today, and the Philippines have elected a vigilante supporting populist, Rodrigo Duterte, as a result. (That such a choice proved popular sure surprised me!)
The challenge is to find what alternatives there are to external threat totalitarianism that can also support strong feelings of enfranchisement. What more peaceful and diverse techniques can be found? One example is supporting Big Visions -- the Pyramids and the Space Race. Will other tactics be developed that will keep feelings of enfranchisement strong?
If nothing else can be found this strong national front tactic is a powerful way of stroking the enfranchisement feeling. Will it also be used in the 2050's? If it is, who is the enemy? A thought: It may be time to fabricate believable alien invaders who can stroke urban legend and become a popular enemy for all humanity. This may be a way of having a threat, but dodge using nukes to solve it.
o What are coming of age rituals going to be in this era of driverless cars, TES and wearables?
Driverless cars means we will loose getting a driver's license as a widespread coming of age ritual. Likewise, those people who are necessity class, not ambitious class, are not going to have getting a hard to acquire diploma and job as coming of age rituals. What will be the replacements for these? How will cyber muses and wearables affect what are coming of age rituals? Will there be "child" and "adult" cyber muses? Will there be "child" and "adult" wearables? Will getting the adult versions take passing some kind of moderately difficult test? What will kids have to work hard at, and accomplish, to be seen as having become adults? Q: Will a coming of age even be important in necessity social circles? A: It is likely to stay important because this is supported by instinctive thinking.
o Wearables -- this is the center of Book Two, and the center of this is how wearables can influence emotions. If they can influence emotions they can influence thinking in big ways. Closely related is how they can affect human performance, but the emotions will be the core.
oo controlling fear: Fear controls a lot of our choices. It is an instinct that will be controllable. If it is what changes? One change will be affect what gets afflicted with The Curse of Being Important.
ooo airport rituals -- We can lose TSA and totally redesign airports and how we enter and exit air transport vehicles. Things can much simpler and more flexible.
ooo Housing and property values -- Fear of losing property value, fear of Grandma getting kicked out of her place, and NIMBY combine to stifle lots of residential change. Loose these fears and urban city cores can transform and adapt much more quickly and easily.
ooo Nuclear energy -- This will be being handled by cyber and no longer on human radar, except as urban legend. But in urban legend it will still be quite powerful.
Hmm... a Roger Classic: Genetic manipulation of babies. And right along with that, genetic manipulation of food. But this will be Book Three topics.
ooo How will Us versus Them be handled? This comes across as fear. Where will it be suppressed, where will it be allowed to blossom? (sports teams) Racism in the US these days is more ritual than fear. How will it evolve? Closely related, how will Tender Snowflakism evolve? How will college campuses evolve? Will they split into two kinds? Will there be necessity class campuses filled with Tender Snowflakes, and ambitious class campuses filled with hard learning and hard inquiring activities?
oo How will system gaming be handled? Will wearables be used on this?
oo controlling love: this creates rock-solid marriages in situations where today marriages go on the rocks. Related: patriotism, as in, love of country or some other organization.
oo controlling patriotism: we will like organizations just as much as we like romantic lovers and old marriage partners. How will dissent be handled? How will new ways of thinking about running organizations be handled? How will loyal opposition be handled? If cyber is running Big Business and Big Government, will dissent be important? Where will it still be important?
oo recreational mind altering: so many new ways of getting drunk, high, whatever... and with recovering being quick and easy. Beyond getting high there is searching for new realities, new dimensions of experience, whatever... Timothy Leary LSD-style stuff.
How will dangerous things like parachuting and risky entertaining mix with mind altering. What will be the fate of "Hold my beer..."?
oo the straight medical stuff: early warning, early fixing, what difference will this make? What will we take for granted?
oo physical performance enhancing wearables. What will be taken for granted with those? Olympics versus Run Whatcha Brung contests. (covered above)
oo How is busy-body prescriptionism going to fit in? Who gets to put their nose in other people's business, and how do they do it? How is social shaming going to work? This is likely to be the biggest threat people feel in the 2050's. Will cyber muses get involved in social shaming? Which way? moderate or amplify?
oo How is exile (prison) going to be handled? This is a instinct-supported ritual so it will modify, but it is unlikely to disappear.
oo Mixing urban legend with emotion controlling. Most of what Necessity Folk will learn in their schooling, entertainment and recreation is urban legend. Why not? It is comfortable and it won't effect their well-being very much because cyber is controlling the material, service and transportation functions. What will this lead to? It could lead to panics and witch hunts, but the wearables should be able to dampen the impact of those by damping the emotions that power them. It can lead to lots of social shaming. This is likely to be a major time and attention consumer in Necessity Folk circles. Gossip will experience a strong revival.
o Baby making -- also in Visions of 2052
o Enfranchisement in TES -- how to keep humans invested in being good community members, not disrupters of various sorts such as gangsters.
o Pervasive serveillance is going to affect war making. The more you can see the more you can shoot accurately at. If the conflict is between two advanced powers it will start with drone vs. drone over the conflict zone to see who controls the airspace. That phase will end quickly with a winner. That side can then move soldiers and ground drones more openly. The loser side will have to hide in various ways -- the simplest being just become part of the crowd, as we have in terrorism today. What other ways?
These conflicts I'm envisioning are not going to be total war affairs with nuclear. They are going to be like Middle East of today -- local regions with local issues, local governments, and lots of "proxy"-style intervention.
o We have Megan's Party Time which is about a TES young woman going through her daily routine. What is going to keep her from getting ambitious? One inspiration is The Devil wears Prada where the protagonist gives up on ambition to keep her existing friends.
Notes -- The Kardashian thing continues to advance. Anton meets with Megan in real life. They head for a love hotel. Anton invites Megan to see his real-life work. She sees it but can't get into it at all. It isn't sports, it isn't food, it isn't fashion. He says that if she gets more involved with him in real world she will travel a lot. This puts her off because she can't be with her friends. And that breaks them up -- boring job, too much travel, not being with her friends. Anything else?
o We have Baby Club which is about picking how to have a young one.
o What are soldiers and war-style conflicts going to be like?
o Real challenge: an Agatha Christy-like mystery in a world of pervasive surveillance.
o Space tourism -- a domed city on the Moon, it is popular just because it is so science fictiony. It will feel like Tomorrowland at Disneyland, and that will be the whole purpose for having it. Oh, there will be talk about supporting some science research, but that's because that is part of the Tomorrowland theme. And the Necessity Folk will be protesting for some "rights" to go there. Waiting in line to get such a right will feel OK, just like waiting in line feels OK at Disneyland today. What will Mars support? Where will "hard core" tourists go? Will they want to go beyond Mars? Any space commerce to speak of? Any reason to put in a Space Elevator?