A future you won’t like: plausible scenarios

Into the Future

Most predictions of the future are alike. Everything is either good – we will get a lot of available goods and services and a lot of time for relaxation and travel, or, for example, artificial intelligence will seize power on the planet and this will be the final humanity. But everything is not so clear…

A future without private property

The tangible expression of the “American dream” – the well-known ideal of well-being – for many decades was to have its own private house and car for every adult member of the family. It was kinda a guide for the rest of the world. But, apparently, this standard of a prosperous life is a thing of the past. 

If we talk about the United States, modern research say that more and more citizens of this country under the age of 35 refuse to purchase real estate and their own car. This age group has already been nicknamed the “generation of tenants.” They don’t even buy houses on mortgages, but rent apartments. They don’t buy cars, but use taxi. A whole IT industry has already grown to help them, with leading services such as Uber and Airbnb. All this is called a “shared consumption economy.” And this is just the beginning…

The Guardian journalist Ben Tarnoff paints a picture of the future that might seem fantastic at first glance. In his vision of the near future of the economy of joint consumption, a human handle without his own things at all. We are talking not about houses, apartments or cars. With this, everything is clear. It’s about a winter coat, which is being returned to the landlord in summer, about a bed that you change to a larger one if you sleep more than one, and about other things that you own only when you need them.  

However, these concerns are not new. In past, this idea was less enthusiastically described by the famous American science fiction writer – Philip Dick in his novel ‘Ubik’, that was published in 1969. The main character lives surrounded by things, for the use of which you need to pay each time. The front door, coffee maker and refrigerator have a slot for coins. If you want to open the door, you need to lower 5 cents into it – otherwise it will not open.

The book was written more than half a century ago. The technological solutions described in it look quite funny. But it is the twenty-first century already, and the developed technologies make it possible to realize all this at a fairly advanced level.

Toyota, through its financial division, is developing an interesting solution based on blockchain and smart contract technology. It applies to those who buy cars on credit, but can be extended to tenants. If you didn’t make the next payment on time, you won’t be able to use your car – it just won’t start. “Smart” contract in action – the penalties will be imposed on you instantly, remotely and without the mediation of public services – courts, bailiffs and so on.

The same can be implemented with respect to leases. Ethereum Computer – a project of the German company Slock.it – allows you to install “smart” locks on any thing, from the front doors, rented apartments to your washing machine, which you allow your neighbors to use for money, of course. The washing machine will work exactly as much time as it was paid for. By the way, in the future, Slock.it solutions will allow smart devices to rent things on their own. The owner will not even have to communicate with tenants – everything happens automatically.

Everything goes to the fact that owning property is very expensive. If you have something, this should be shared. If you don’t have anything, it’s even convenient: you can rent everything you need. For money, of course.  

Person without privacy

We all perfectly understand that information is being gathered about us every day. It is assembled in many ways. Our search queries, data from smartphones, camcorders from the streets where we walk, payments by bank cards. Technology already allows us to track every step we take.

Soon, in small streams, information about us will flock to large databases, and then be analyzed. Imagine that you bought medicine in a regular pharmacy, the course to take of which is two weeks. Paid with a bank card. A few days before the end of the medication, contextual advertising services will begin to show you on all sites the advertisements of competing drugs. The purchase data from your card is correlated with you as an Internet user. Not only your behavior on the Web, but also your actions in real life will tell you what kind of advertising you need to show.

On the one hand, this makes life convenient, on the other, it is fraught with serious problems. Simson Garfinkel – author of “Everything is under control. Who and how is following you ”- believes that in the future we should not be afraid of the Orwellian“ Big Brother ”- the state watching over us – but hundreds of“ little brothers ”spying on us from everywhere. These are companies that collect information about our every step, every event in our lives: purchases, illnesses and injuries, social circle, problems with the law and so on. Today, thanks to technological progress, this has become possible.  

Moreover, personal information has become a commodity. A hot commodity? Garfinkel provides an interesting example in his book. Information about the financial condition of one American family was sold to 187 credit bureaus. But the essence of this story is not even in the fact of sale. Due to a mistake by the tax authorities, this information was not reliable. As a result, for seven years, banks have been refusing to give spouses loans. In fact, the family has long been limited in rights.

Government agencies care about security issues, and businesses are looking for a way to increase their income. What should a person do in this situation? A global study by The Consumer Data Value Exchange, conducted by Microsoft, showed that 99.6% of Internet users do not mind selling personal information about themselves for a fee. San Diego’s Luth Research is ready to buy your data and then resell it to its customers. So maybe in the future the sale of personal information will become an additional source of income, for example, simultaneously with unconditional basic income? And maybe it’s not so bad? 

People who have not found application in the economy – in the real world, will find their life goals in virtual world. Its being told about profession of a designer of virtual worlds, as about one of the most popular professions of our future. Video games will become the meaning of a “worthless class” life. The very creation of virtual reality is an expensive exercise that requires significant financial investment. For those who play free spins no deposit in a casino, this will also require certain expenses, since they will need to purchase the appropriate equipment that will be able to work with the corresponding site.

New technologies and a new way of life can solve many problems. Maybe our children will enjoy such a future…

About Author: Serg Dum – Almost 3 years I am devoted to work as a Chief Content Editor at King Billy Casino.