Sometime in the Future ...

Monday, September 26th 2011

Watching a video on Facebook. Look at this screen capture I grabbed:


I found it funny, anyway. :-)

That sort of imagery will provide some excellent grist to the conspiracy mill!

Of course given the demon reference, we can always rustle this old quote from the Book of Revelation 13:17–18, King James Version:

And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Puts increasing data collection, mobile tech that knows your name and allocates a number to you, "ecommerce" and "social networks" in a whole new light ;-).

Meanwhile, in the background, the Worldwide SuperBrain That Will Rule Us All is gradually expanding its remit.

Although this may also apply:

The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim. – Edsger W. Dijkstra

In 30 years, computers will be much, much faster, more networked, more portable, more ubiquitous. What will the world look like then? Will it be a Bibilical Dystopia full of Satanic, Technocratic Zuckbeasts? An anarchist techno-utopia? A libertarian market-world where everything is for sale?

I doubt all of that. Here's one possible scenario ...

Coates in the Morning

Coates rolled over in bed. It was dark.

"Time to wake up," said the sultry, disembodied voice of Marilyn Monroe. "It's time to check some tasks."

Coates sat up. A dim, ambient light slowly filled the room. He felt good. Marilyn always timed his waking time to suit his brain waves.

He got out of bed. He pulled on a pair of tracksuit pants. They started cleaning his legs. It was a strange sensation. But you got used to it.

As he walked into the hall, he heard some messages from friends. Mostly stuff he didn't care about.

The messages stopped.

In the hall the cleaning droid was just finishing work.

"Good morning," it said in a pompous English voice.

Coates smiled to himself.

He went into the kitchen. Some soft music began playing. Schubert. Just what he was in the mood for.

"What do you think of this?" asked Marilyn.

A video appeared of a car, rotating in space.

"Colour sucks," said Coates, absent mindedly.

"Thank you," said Marilyn. "Shuanghuan Noble Motor Corp appreciate your attention."

Coates scratched his head. He wondered what was going on in the ...

"News," said Marilyn.

"Thought this might interest you," said the voice of Jill.

It was a debate. Some people arguing.

"... let's face it the notion of work is ... " said one guy.

"Does it matter," said a lady. "We're living in an age of ..."

"Hmm," said Coates. "I like the look of that guy. Sex."

A 3d video flicked into view. To Coates, it seemed to hover in front on him.

"Samuel last had sex 3 days ago with Samatha Robbins. Would you like to watch?"

"Sure," said Coates, absently playing with his muesli.

He watched for a minute or so. The guy wasn't exciting him. Nor was Samantha. He waved his hand. The video disappeared.

"Scheduled task 1, completed, select car colour," said Marliyn. "Would you like to complete another task?"

"No," said Coates. "No tasks til 6 am."

Coates went into his gym.

"Yo," said disembodied, manly voice. "Ready to work out?"

The gym equipment powered up in a manly fashion, making entirely unnecessary but satisfying whirring, crunching noises.

Someone else walked into the gym. Coates ignored him. But a brief bit of text flashed over the guy's head. "Conversation invited."

Coates shook his head imperceptibly. He was in a bad mood this morning.

His favourite piece of gym equipment had been booked for him, and he used it for about 20 minutes.

"9% improvement on yesterday," said the manly voice. "Well done."

Eric was in his front room, looking out the window.

"Coates has beaten your record on the Abcycle 4000," said a matronly voice.

"Fuck," said Eric, half smiling. "At this fuckin' time, too. Jesus."

Coates walked down the street, a car pulled up the kerb. He got in.

"Take me to the ..."

And then there was a strange noise. Something Coates had never heard before. A sort of cracking sound.

He looked up. His heart beating.

"This surprise was brought to you by the Comfy Square Sludge Group," said a voice. "You recently ..."

"Cancel," said Coates.

"Sorry you can't cancel surprises at this time,' said a voice.


There was a massive bang.

Coates jumped.

"Fuck! Whattaya doing! I didn't authorise ..."

Another crack. A bang. Then some deafening sounds.

"This was a message from the Neonuk Project. Did you enjoy it?" asked a voice.

"I said no to tasks!" said Coates.

"This was not a task. It was a social organisation message authorised under the ..."

Coates shook his head.

"Subscription canceled," said a comic robot voice.

"Would you like to hear Jennifer farting in the shower?"

"Oh," thought Coates. "What the hell."