This essay below attempts to make a big claim, just for the sake of making one, and let’s see how it plays out. There is going to come a big turning point in the world, and a lot will change from then on, and for the sake of having some kind of line in the sand, I am going to venture that it’s the year 2030. The world will have to recalibrate, and a lot of what “it” decides will probably be super logical and simple, but I think some of the side effects aren’t that predictaable, and so here are some out there ideas about it all.
We have known for years that in some regions they are skyrocketing, and others, totally plummeting. We all followed how China had the one child policy, then two child, then any amount of children, and yet nothing is stopping their “inverted pyramid” population potential crisis. India isn’t in the same boat, or Indonesia, and if all three were, wow that is a ton of humans dying off every year. However, Japan is. And South Korea has the world’s lowest rate at just 0.78. And Spain, and Italy, and many more countries, and probably regions within countries. I’d say the underlying theme is likely economic prosperity, and first world comforts that a typical individual between 25-40 is like “Life is so nice and easy, why would I upset this with having kids?!” and though that is the thinking, it’s probably not the “speaking” – that likely sounds more like “The climate is getting worse, and if we have more kids it will get worse, so hey, I am being a hero by not having kids”, coupled with that innate thing in every human of some degree of selfishness. I don’t blame any of these people: I have similar thoughts and bents, and totally get it. If fact, as a parent, I’d say if you aren’t certain you want children, then don’t! It’s hard work, and if you outsource that hard work to another (because you can afford to, or your Scandinavian government can) then why have a child for someone else to raise in the first place? Either do it whole hog, or not at all; there is no value in having your own mini flesh and blood if you don’t see the thing. Rather adopt a child and get help with that if you are going to be so prone to avoiding your child when they are in the years of ultimate need. It’s just a few years, if you can’t do that, then don’t get started.
Universal Basic Income
This is coming like a freight train at society. It’s just inevitable that government will roll this out in more and more places. First it will work in some communities, then some towns or cities, and then a whole government or canton or region will try it, and then once whole countries are doing it and it shows success, we’re “doomed”. Of course, I don’t mean it’s a bad thing, I 100% support it. The way capitalism and life plays out is that it’s a broken system that is the best we can work with; socialism and communism will be hell on earth, so let’s not go there. All you have to do is imagine your job was made reduddant, or you had an absent father, or a disability, or some massive life event, for you to realise that there needs to be a safety net. It used to be that you could always find something to do, or find a piece of land to grow something etc etc – but the earth is crowded, all the land is claimed, resources are protected and restricted and a large % of society is just flat out stuck. UBI for me looks like a micro apartment, with some energy from the solar grid, water, one healthy meal a day, some wifi, and something like a chromebook (cloud based work for the win) – just a base from which you can build a life. There will always be folk who exploit this and do nothing, but I think once they see and smell everyone else enjoying their pain au chocolat and flat white when they leave their apartment, they might think “hmmm, if I just do one hour’s work I can partake of that goodness. lemme try”.
Four day work week
Leisure is here folks. I don’t think we realise (if you are alive today and reading this) that that word was for the nobility/royalty 200 years back. The fact that some of the lowest income earners can enjoy the sunset, read a book, watch a movie, walk in a forest on the weekend etc is pure marvellous and a wonderful truth that the world is getting better, not worse. The four day work week is just the poster child of the future where we literally don’t have enough work to do to fill 40 hours a week. The lawyers and surgeons and presidents will always overwork, it’s in their nature, but for 95% of folk, they will find that with a combination of reasons we just don’t need to spend so much time at work anymore.
As the screen in everyone’s faces takes over from normal life (ie. life before about 2008), loneliness is only going to spike. Who can compete with the “best of the best” in every facet (music, media, news, entertainment) of life? This will result in a new kind of industry, the “Anti-screen and anti-wifi” retreat, or workspace, or something-space kind of break from the screen. I can imagine it eventually being a benefit of flying with x Airline, or staying at X Hotel. We offer “horribly slow wifi”, or we offer “wifi for one hour a day”, or “you can make one phone call, once a week, and/or only for emergencies like death”. I myself love being up in the sky in a steel tube for an international flight knowing full well that for 12 hours no one can disturb me – it gives my mind a freedom that is almost impossible to have anymore, let’s hope it can return, at a fair price.