The Vision

Mind Altering

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright January 2015


Mind altering practices in 2050 are going to be wild and wooly compared to the 2010's. There will be many more kinds; wearables are going to increase both the variety and the surveillance; the TES lifestyle is going to divorce mind altering from bad consequences even more than the lifestyles of the 2010's do.

And there will still be strong community opinions on what are right ways and wrong ways to do it. So mind altering will still be a white-hot topic in 2050.

Wild and wooly, indeed!

Dangerous activity? We don't need no stinking dangerous activities!

One of the deeply compelling reasons to limit mind altering has been that humans operate equipment that can maim and kill -- the highest profile example being driving a car. In 2050 cars will be driverless and most manufacturing and service jobs will be humanless. In such circumstances, where is the danger? What dangerous equipment will humans be operating?

Those fully acclimated to living the TES lifestyle are going to be spending most of their time at gaming, partying and entertaining (on both sides -- being audience and producers/performers). Of these, only a few styles of performing will be activities that have to be inherently dangerous -- the difference between playing a piano and walking a tight rope. In such an environment mind altering can become much more extensive and intensive than what is experienced in the 2010's -- again, no need to worry about DUI's with ubiquitous driverless cars.

Wearables will add to mind altering

Many wearables that are dealing with health can easily be adapted to mind altering as well. This will be the new frontier of mind altering. There will be new designer chemicals, yes, but they will pale in comparison to the speed and variety of effects which wearables can produce. Plus, it is likely that wearables can turn effects on and off more quickly than ingested chemicals, and they will be able to feedback more sensitively, so the effects are more what the user wants.

Everyone is high

The result of all this innovation is that most people will be spending most of their time in a mind-altered state.

The social/community questions of 2050 are: Which are acceptable states and which cross the line? This will be a chronic hot topic because The Curse of Being Important rages strongly in the mind altering arena -- everyone has an opinion on what is right and what is wrong, and many people get both evangelist and prescriptionist about their opinions. The result: There will still be illegal ways to mind alter that are popular with a lot of people.

These opinions of acceptable and unacceptable will differ from community to community, and may become one of the big differentiators between communities. In response, people will consider a community's mind altering choices when they are picking where to live. Just as in the 2010's people worry about the quality of schools when they go home buying, in 2050 people will worry just as much about mind altering standards of a community when they look for homes or other lodging styles. And this will come up when they are looking at job choices: What will be a compatible mind altering work environment?

Mind altering and disenfranchisement

There will still be strong incentives for mind altering abuse in 2050. Even though cures will be numerous and effective, a lot of people will participate in abusive mind altering. The abuse will fall into two general categories: occasional and chronic.

Occasional abusive mind altering will happen because some people want to experiment, to push the limits and see what happens. Mind altering is a simple and convenient way of doing this. This kind of mind altering will happen a lot because there will be so many choices, and so many new choices, but the choices will not be repeated by the same person too much -- the person will learn, and say,"OK, I've learned." and move on. Given how efficient cures will be, hard-to-cure addiction is not going to be a common problem. This kind of abuse will be faddish.

Chronic abusive mind altering will have different roots. One of the important ones is feeling disenfranchised. The participator in chronic abuse is going to be feeling that the community cares little about their opinions, and what he or she does is not important to their community -- the meme is "Meh...". Abusive mind altering is an easy way to act out the frustration that comes with feeling disenfranchised. Solving this kind of abuse means solving the disenfranchisement issue the person is feeling.


--The End--