Future shock: our indispensable guide to surviving the future

Future shock: our indispensable guide to surviving the future

CultureAugust 25, 2016

Put an iPad in your grandparents’ hands and they can’t even turn it on. And as far as the Twitterverse is concerned, they don’t even exist. Don’t let this cruel fate happened to you. Stay ahead of the virtual curve by keeping up on emerging tech and learning the latest lingo. Here’s a list of things to look out for in the next 50 years.

Teleportation
We can already do it with single particles (using science we don’t quite understand) but we might soon be bopping around the planet at the push of a button. As long as you survive the trip. Make sure to keep all your particles aligned when you take your disembodied flight. Being stuck in an alternate dimension or zapped into miniature would pretty much ruin the future for you—on the other hand, you might wind up in some kind of scientific book, nominally famous for your poor luck.  

Hover Cars
These vehicles have been a dream for decades—so why haven’t we seen one yet? Our love affair with petroleum probably has something to do with it. Still, on the horizon is the emergence of some kind of magnetically propelled or anti-gravity elevated vehicle. Unfortunately for your “Back to the Future” fantasy, the garbage-fueled flux capacitor will probably never come to fruition. 

Marriage
With divorce rates soaring, marriage may soon be a thing of the past. When you’re old, you might be quaintly attached to the love of your life, while all your kids will be faithless sluts. Life goes on. It’s not like humans are supposed to be monogamous creatures anyway. Just ask the Swedes who have the highest divorce rates in the world. Hell, have a lifelong string of one-night stands with your town’s burgeoning robot population for all we care. It’s all game in the 21st century.

Artificial body parts
In a few decades you might have a prosthetic liver built better than the rest of you—one that can finally keep up with your insatiable thirst for cheap beer. With muscle, bone and organ regeneration technology, the possibilities will be extreme and endless. Unfortunately, this will create a vigorous black market for cellular tissue, which means when you die you’ll be harvested for all your fake and real bits. Be a harvester, not the harvested.

Space Travel
If we aren’t visiting Mars on a regular basis in the future something will have gone drastically wrong. With commercial spaceflight around the corner and private space companies already interested in things like space mining, we’re bound to be traveling to far off planets sometime soon. Unfortunately, James Cameron is going to be there with some kind of fancy camera and a story that reads vaguely like every story ever written. Wait for the whatever-they’re-going-to-call-the-DVD-in-the-future.

Disappearance of Islands
Global sea levels rose 3.3mm between 1993 and 2009, and they won’t be receding soon. By the time you have grandkids they’ll want to hear stories about the exotic island hotties you used to score on spring break. Save a vial of beach sand from your next trip to Tahiti in order to bolster your stories’ credibility. If you have a time-share in the tropics, it might be time to sell.

Driving
Google is doing its best to automate driving, which will eventually end the presence of manually operated vehicles on the roads. Fortunately, this means no more worrying about being side swiped on your way to work by that near-blind senior citizen or having to play Russian roulette for who gets to drive home after that deadmau5 show. Unfortunately, these automated vehicles won’t be smart enough to take you home instead of staying parked outside your ex’s apartment at 3 a.m.

Robot Sex
If pop culture is any kind of indicator—“Demolition Man” with its erotic mind control glasses, “Austin Powers” with its bodacious fembots—sex between two “real” humans could be in peril. We can all agree on the perks: a virtual sex partner looks great and feels great and you don’t have to make it breakfast in the morning. Just stow your device of choice in the closet until next time (and don’t forget to attach it to the recharger). 

Travel
If teleportation give you the willies, perhaps a train ride from New York City to Los Angeles in under an hour is more your speed. Provided the right kind of tunnel, the newly engineered German maglev trains (check out the one in China) can accelerate to outrageous speeds without you noticing. Aside from the commuter benefits, future high-speed rail innovations will have wide ranging implications for the long distance booty call and something we’ll go ahead and dub “The 3,000 Mile Per Hour Club.”

Red Bull Babies
Ever wonder what all that caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone, and excessive sugar in energy drinks will lead to in the future? If you take a crack baby whose parents frequented AA classes and mainlined speed, you’d be on the right track. They are the next generation. We have no advice on how to survive these fuckers.

The “new” Internet
Other than that guy in TRON, who really saw the Internet coming? The only thing that humans can really predict is that we have no fucking idea what the next big thing will be. Time travel? Genetically engineered superpowers? Warp speed? Whatever it is, let’s just hope it expands the porn industry as well as the Internet did. 

Facebook 2.0
Social media sites in the future will make our current online networking fixation look like a quaint hobby—like a student who had a once-a-month weed habit living in the dorms turning into a full blown self-destructive meth head by the end of his senior year. Prediction: the most dominant social media website of the future will be a platform directly connected to a Bluetooth chip inside your head that records your every thought and action, like when you take a shit, masturbate about your boss or kill yourself because the future sucks.