Technology never advances the way we think it does. There will be no flying cards, teleporters, or time machines. Technology will advance in areas that are most basic to our well-being yet areas that are trivial too. We will have big leaps in medicine that let us live longer and healthier; superior drugs, cybernetics, lengthening our lifespans, using stem cells to regenerate old and damaged tissues. We’ll have drugs and surgeries that can easily control our moods and psychological states, at least we’ll think that way. Our basic standards of living our everyday lives will improve. We’ll have better cars, trains, and planes but they’ll really just be faster, quieter, and sleeker. There will be no outstanding improvement.
We’ll advance in the trivial too. We’ll have all forms of entertainment from Internet to television to video games fused into a few machines and programs even we can’t comprehend. And all of this will be contained in a small, handheld projecting device that can create a screen and a medium anywhere at any time. Problem is we’ll be so reliant on this future INFINet for every little thing that every action we do goes in one system of records.
We will still enjoy absurdly big screen TVs and giant sports and gaming arenas, especially the poor where mass public media will be everywhere at all times. The poor will remain forever trapped in a “media dimension” as it were with little understanding of or even contact with life outside. The rich will enjoy similar spectacles but with not as many drawbacks as they will be educated and groomed to a degree we can’t comprehend. They would seem as aloof and wise – yet as frivolous and foolish – as the gods.
Gaming, as in video games and the like, will be taken to a whole new level. There will be many video games out there that are complete like virtual worlds. Players will not connect to any machine. Rather, a virtual world will assemble in front of them, in our world. Games as we know them, where you hook up a console to a television and mash buttons on a controller, will be a relic. All games will be on the INFINet, and gaming will take as much prestige as spectator sports and the Olympics. Every video game title will have a complete virtual world holding all the world’s data on that game.
Economically, the division of the rich and poor will become extreme. (Nothing original in this prediction.) There will be no middle class, just a small network of extremely rich families while everyone else lives in dire poverty. The rich will live completely isolated from the poor. They will commerce all the world’s goods and partake in all politics among themselves. The average person will be completely shut out, not knowing a single thing that happens in a rich person’s life. The rich will never actively oppress the poor. They will never have to. In fact, the rich just ignore the poor. The very social structure and culture itself.
The rich will be socially liberal yet economically conservative; this contradiction taken to its extreme. The rich have lives liberals would consider a dream. They do not discriminate on race, gender, nationality, and sexuality, anything of the sort. Their schooling is extensive in all areas, putting the Iceland and Sweden of our time to shame, and they take great care to cultivate themselves. Yet they are, of course, very elitist and, like most aristocrats, take their accident of birth as a virtue that justifies their wealth and other’s poverty. Further, they think their feudal society is simply the most practical system there is and all other societies fail.
There will be no countries or global government. Land will be divided into feudal-like estates owned by a corporation privately owned by an extended family. There will be no politics as we recognize it today; no Congress, no courts, no military. All disputes are settled in private courts and the rich will at most have a private police, a unique one for each family. These private officers will engage in small skirmishes and may conscript serfs for larger ones. Officers are closer to knights than to our soldiers as many have strong ties of loyalty to a family, serving it for generations. The rich fight many petty feuds with each other, usually through espionage, blackmail, back dealings, and business betrayals. Rarely is there any outright warfare.
There are limited ways the poor can advance in society. One is for a girl to become a concubine to a lord or become an escort who beds nobles of different families for a large price. This concubine is far above the prostitute of the poor yet has an unstable position all the same. She must keep pleasing the nobles and be in their favor or else she will quickly lose all her wealth and status. A skilled poor man may do some work maintaining the basic infrastructure of a family’s mansion, machines, and computer networks. Doing so, he becomes a valet. Others of his kind do basic things like maintenance and cooking. However, machines have already usurped many positions at this point, so much so most valets are machines. Only a person of outstanding quality can match a machine and become a servant. Like officers, valets do have strong loyalties and could serve a family down the generations.
And finally the serfs, 99% of the entire population of the world. They live in the direst poverty, permanently underemployed as machines do all the grunt work keeping the rich functioning. Some of the poor do toil in sweatshops or mining for the smallest pay. At this point cities have grown ever denser, serving as capital estates of the rich. The poor live in huge megaslums surrounded the mansions of their lords. Outside the cities, the poor live in small towns and tribes sustaining themselves as the rich neglected them long ago. A small number of towns and tribes do make some business with the rich by manufacturing some good or providing some service, but such communities are few and far between. Predictably, the poor in the megaslums are always unemployed and scrape a living however they can, often turning to crime.
The poor in the megaslums live in the deepest ignorance with no schooling at all. The megaslums are a mass media nightmare, with massive televisions, radios, and holograms everywhere, drowning the poor in an endless sea of distraction and stupidity. Brothers, prostitutes, porn, and other lewd entertainment are as common as the air they breathe, as are soap operas, reality TV, and other vile rubbish. Drugs of all kinds are cheap and widely available. Food is plentiful but all are full of oil, fat, starch, and sugar, with little nutrients, creating an obese people. The police rarely bother to enforce law in the megaslums as the poor are constantly at war with each other, divided amongst themselves in gangs, clans, groups, pop star juries, and sports teams fans of all kinds.
There is not a single moment of peace or room for thought. As such, the poor are stupid, ignorant, selfish, brutish, shallow, sentimental, and near-sighted. Families are always broken and there are many unwanted children as men and women leave their children behind and sire new ones without any thought to the child’s well being. Contrast the shattered poor families with the richness and size of rich families, where gentlemen and gentlewomen have few children and invest extreme care in them, often becoming helicopter parents, sheltering and spoiling them to absurd degrees.