Years-disguised-in-minutes ago, I was a fierce atheist, always up for a debate as to why religion and "feeling people's energy" were total bullshit with a bow on it. Their interpretation and their execution can certainly be such at times, like all things human, but their roots and noble purpose deserve our consideration.
Then I realized that although the metaphysical might not always be as comfortable as the physical/tangible plane of reality, that it is where I want to play and explore. In this sense, I became a kid again.
I am grateful to be meeting the right teachers and to be given some tools to see other sides of the coin: it's not that flat. They showed me how sad it is to ever think that "this is it", that "science" is always exact, and that we've reached our maximum capacities.
We haven't solved the greatest mysteries, and you and I may never will. It's exciting, it keeps us wondering.
How much are we afraid to even consider that we don't know it all right now, and that this lifetime won't give us all the answers? So we give up the search through our fear our failure (the same applies to dating when we give up on true love like being alone is what we truly want), wondering why our life feels dull, as we order another drink that we'll soon regret, as our alarm slaps us hard in a face we can't recognize anymore.
How can we design a better future?
Let's go on a little ride together, and think about how different could the future be. Here, take a seat, and a bottle of Soylent while you're here.
I'll share with you different predictions which I'm making through extrapolation of the current trends and variables that are known and observable, and through my own lenses and imagination. It's one of a few paths I've thought about, nothing too extravagant. The other ones are a little too abstract for blogging.
Technology evolve in its form, but human needs and desires remain stable to their core. I invite you to withhold judgement for a moment, or try not to make sense out of them, as if you were an alien meeting this world for the very first time.
I'm not a sci-fi expert either, I'm a semi-professional dreamer. Observe the ideas with an open mind, or read them like stories. In fact, many authors and thinkers such as Arthur C. Clarke, Gene Roddenbury, Aldus Huxley and George Orwell, believed that science fiction would offer a window to explore human condition like no other way.
So get on the starship of your mind:
Most of our time is already spent in alternate realities, i.e. digital world, accessed throughs screens, but this is just the start. Most hardware will disappear and technologies will be seemingly integrated into our brain and body. That's pretty obvious. Having 6 sizes of screens is neither convenient, or environmentally sustainable. Clarke would agree: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". Augmented reality, augmented vision and holographic screens will replace physical devices.
I believe that many will commit "reality suicides", basically disconnecting from the physical world and fully escaping to software-designed realities that will be generated based on their dreams, desires and personalities. In the physical "sober" world or "reality", (i. e. common agreement for humans to function normally with this given set of senses and current cerebral capacities), nothing is perfect, nor is it meant to be. There are consequences and risks to every one of our actions. Life will feel easier in the primitive stages of these virtual spheres initially designed to entertain us, or at least for as long as we'll have control over it. For example, it will be easier to cheat on your virtual girlfriend than on your actual wife. This appeal will lead to new types of addiction, for which detox centers will be built.
But one day, things will change, and reality will be what your awareness is perceiving at any given point. "Virtual" will disappear from our vocabulary, meaning the line between "real" and "virtual" will blur and vanish. The "virtual" will be regulated, and we will lose full control. The party will be over. Think about it like the word "mobile" is becoming obsolete. Now, everything is mobile, because it's a basic human desire to be free of our movement and technology is the evolving expression of our desires.
Although many see Singularity as a threat to humankind (like my longterm crush Elon Musk), I see it as a way to accelerate the fall of broken systems, making room to birth of better ones. Most of us don't have the strength or courage to make the right decisions, and we can't take into account all the variables necessary to understand what is necessary to achieve the "greater good."
Computers can, or will, with an increasing accuracy. It is our chance to be forced into real evolution, however painful it might be, versus falling into complacence and automation, as depicted by the movies Wall-E and Idiocracy...
Artificial Intelligences won't make ego-driven decisions, or be as affected by their selfish goals, traumas and personal beliefs. Therefore, what would require a "sacrifice" for us or what would necessitate the intelligence to predict future consequences so that we would finally have the knowledge to make better decisions, will be the simple answer to an obvious equation for these so-called "robots". The courage and objectivity of their decisions will also be a reflection of their power, which is scary from an individualistic perspective, but not for our collective ascendance.
We go to great extent to prove our "viral" nature by not only killing each other but killing all other forms of life. This apparent supremacy won't last. We deserve smarter enemies to show us a lesson of humility. There is no equality or pity in nature, that's a man-made concept, designed to protect the masses.
In fact, we are the ones creating these intelligent robots, which demonstrates a certain courage and an admirable curiosity, yet again a twisted inclination for self-destruction. But if we make these robots "human-like" to play God, it will surely comfort some and increase sales, ease the adoption process, but once again it will demonstrate our arrogance, selfishness and be inefficient. Of course the human form is not necessary to be kind, just and incredibly intelligent.
There will be an economy of time, a time market if you will (yes, like the movie In Time). Aging will be luxury. Giving birth won't be a right, you will need a permit. From a physical perspective, once you can't pro-create, the body becomes deadweight and it consumes more than it produces. We are trying to cheat death, and we're pushing on our original expiration date.
But on the other side, the mind can always produce value, or wisdom, in an ever-increasing manner, even if the body decays, leveraging acquired knowledge and building an incredible wisdom database in an exponential manner, especially as we ascend in consciousness, beyond our current limitations. Using a fraction of our brain is an insult to our potential.
Under certain conditions and rigorous testing, some humans will have the opportunity to experience some form of immortality, having their minds working to support and develop human consciousness, as their bodies will be "renovated", regenerated, but probably not all present due to the energy requirements of maintaining a human body. Some people or their human mind will remain "alive" without their original human body. Eventually, they won't have any of the same body parts that they had at birth, but they will be attributed a new container for the same mind and soul with which they first arrived on Earth. (Yes, this is a dream of mine Outliving my body for a few centuries).
Also, on the subject of time, we will finally understand the non-linearity, or the multi-dimensionality of time, and yes we will be able to time travel, just like we can pause, rewind, and fast-forward on a movie. We are now in the front-end of reality, and as we understand more of the backend, we will emancipate from this thinking that this is all there is to reality, like a flat A to Z waste of time.
Drugs, pills and psychotherapy will be substituted for Emotional Engineering through which we will be able to permanently alter our brain's chemistry, either for the "greater good" (*cough* governmental control), or to please your own desires, such as feeling love for someone, locking in these butterflies and happy feelings that once fleeted your mind, or to heal from traumas.
Real human relationships are complex and expensive to maintain. For most people, relationships will be virtual. The price and accessibility of the Artificial Intelligences with whom we connect will be based on their human qualities and emotional intelligence levels. Some AI's won't be accessible to all, because of their level of sophistication, like a new type of "celebrities", built to engage with the elite. Scarcity will be maintained to create a new type of virtual economy, but also to prevent the poisoning of these systems with low-level thinking and other mutations from Internet bullying that might alter the programming of these AI's. But again, "artificial" will become a useless word, just like "mobile" and "virtual".
The stigmas around sex will lessen, and so will the guilt and shame around the physical envelope that carries us. This is more of a personal opinion but I could see clinics in which you could receive "sexual" and Tantric stimulation through mechanical, emotional and chemical stimulation, experience explosive orgasms to relief stress and experience incredible amounts of pleasure, much more so than from receiving a back massage for example. Much. More. In fact, "sexual" will become more "physical", as religion releases its grip on our thinking, and as pragmatism overtakes our "duty to pro-create." But these hedonistic tendencies might be seen as wasteful as we realize how sex is not necessary for our advancement. Sorry. It will go either way. But beyond the friction of two bodies overflowing with hormones, we will deepen our capacity to experience intimacy, and see how it is a door to the divine, to the power of spirituality.
We will clearly see how the Internet is a representation of the structure and the connectivity of human consciousness, or the "collective unconscious". Once mapped out, networked and accessed, companies and government officials will be able to directly implement data in our brains (emotions, decisions, desires), which will be much more efficient than any kind of law "enforcement" or attempt to advertise to our abused eyes.
Meat from animals being killed will be illegal, as the equation simply doesn't make any sense, and meat can be grown in labs. But we'll probably trick our brains to feel satiated and will evidently ingurgitate more pills and shakes.
Lifeless human bodies will be used for energy production, mostly through combustion (I wouldn't dare to say food...). Outlaws will be assigned to productive tasks, their minds adding power to these next-generation "consciousness servers".
Education will be extremely accessible, and will not only be free, but organizations will financially support you on your learning path in exchange of your mind's capacities, so you can better develop your skills and focus on achieving your "purpose". Your purpose will be known before you know how to put two words together.
Knowledge is already out in the open, sitting on servers and in our minds, so the concept to pay just to serve someone else thinking we need paper books and a fancy frame is extremely damaging to our progress and will burn for good. (I do not wish for a second that my future kids to go to a "prestigious school". Paper is not prestigious. Curiosity and a sense of wonder are, they lead to knowledge, which is where power can be unlocked).
Ultimately, our abstract thinking and creativity will be our main value, as it is the hardest piece to replicate, the "divine" essence that makes us yet which we can't fully understand. We will buy theoretical knowledge, and brain upgrades. But creation necessitates connection with emotions, a deep understanding for human desires that is digested back into art, solutions, products, etc. This is why we see a rise in the feminine energy, and this rise in power is and will be painful for men, until we reunite both and experience freedom. Intuition, empathy and mindfulness will redefine what "power" means.
The Human race will be forced to bow down in front of a different type of intelligence that has been ignored, oppressed and abused for centuries: the Technology of Nature. At that point, we will tap into incredible databases of wisdom, heal these wounds we've created by constantly trying to control Nature, and separate ourselves from it. For example, our vision of "bacterias" will be extremely different. This obsession for cleanliness is one symptom of this incredible fear we have to let Nature have power over us, because we are part of her, and another sign of our arrogance. Well, we will be shown a lesson, in time.
And then, we will meet ourselves again, realizing the importance of communities, and the respect of higher forces. We will embrace our interdependence, our social and emotional qualities, and see it as complementarity through which we can achieve beautiful synergies. Spirituality will become essential to survive, as the physical world will mutate in front of us, and all of its empty promises will fall down, for us to better rise, realize our place in the Universe, and our role to serve each other.