Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Future Guess

What will the world be like in 2020?  Rudy De Waele is crowd sourcing the answer.  Rudy curated a similar project in 2010 around mobile devices.  And now he's broadening the scope to include big data, social networks, 3-D printing, wearables, etc.  Each contributor was asked to make a prediction, and this was mine.

It started when people stopped taking phone calls.  By 2020 we are more immersed in our virtual lives than we are in the increasingly less-real world of meat space.   Just 14 years after the iPhone, 7 years after Google Glass and 2 years since Google Thought, we are spending more time in on-line worlds than we are in the “old” world.  As we cross the tipping point from mostly actual to mostly virtual experiences, the majority of folks who can afford it are thrilled with the steady stream of novelty endorphins that pour in through their devices.  Our addiction to engaging, snack-sized snippets of social interaction and gossip have left us unsure of what to do when we are not connected.  And that just accelerates the exodus from meat space. 
But as we cross that threshold, some will also be feeling the first spasms of separation anxiety from the world we were evolved to live in.  There will be a movement to unplug, which just further polarizes the camps, and makes resistance to the singularity invisible to those who prefer a virtual existence.  Eventually, the question of choosing between them becomes irrelevant, an inevitably.
Maybe its all of the phone and tablet work I've been doing this year, but it does feel like we're inviting the singularity into our lives (minds?).  Like a vampire, it can't come in unless you invite it.

You can find the whole book here.  Many thanks to my friend and Reallocate founder Mike North for recommending me to Rudy.

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