I don’t exactly know if it was utopian, but there was some sense that there would be cool perks like flying cars and replicators. It was definitely shiny, and things seemed generally clean and well designed. Lots of minimalism too, which has definitely not played out. If anything, we live in a world of maximalism. There’s just a ton of crap everywhere, and even though so many people think we’re hovering on the brink of total global economic collapse, it still seems like there’s still ample encouragement to buy stuff that won’t last a month, let a lone a few years.
I have no idea what the future looks like these days. What does it look like for a seven year old, sitting in class, daydreaming? Even dystopias seem cliche. Think of all the dark, scary versions of the future that you see in films and games. They’re just these fearful metaphors for the unknown, and besides, the present is so dystopian that we don’t really need to project our worst fears onto another world. In that regard, the future as it stands seems like a proxy for the most terrifying and bizarre contemporary accomplishments of humans. Who needs the future for a scare? Just look at the TSA or Chinese espionage.
Still, I want a good future. I could picture something really scaled back and oriented towards intellectual and spiritual growth, rather than the simple, endless expansion of material wealth. For some reason, I see a lot of small-scale farming. All of the lawns become rows of nourishment rather than signs of domination. The backyards always have a chicken or two pecking around. I don’t see much government anywhere, but people may learn to better organize themselves Kickstarter-style, rather than outsourcing it to bureaucrats. I definitely hope that the Internet still exists as a relatively free forum, because this is increasingly the place where you learn, share your visions and make your case for the world you want to see.