I live in London. I don’t have a car so I use public transport – bus, tube or train. I just traveled back from the depths of south London back up north and managed to read a fair bit of the launch edition of the UK Wired and survive a mild asthma attack. I started my journey re-reading Bessie Head’s Question of Power but by the time I got to Victoria Station, I was having fantasies about horrid things so I was on the search for something to take my mind off serious matters. The Sunday papers looked utterly boring and I couldn’t face another article on G20, NATO, Obama or Brown. Wired, on the other hand looking soothing, geeky and glossy seemed the perfect distraction from drudge, evil racism and misogyny, and Obama sycophants. I don’t often buy Wired but when I do it tends to be at an airport or train station and keeps me occupied for a couple of hours at least.
What fascinating back to the future stories did I find in Wired? Well even in Wired there is a gloomy but highly graphic reminder of the failures of G20. Under “News and Obsessions” is a story of what would (will?) happen to London when global warming comes to town. The opening photo is a bit deceptive as who would say no to a tropical London with palm trees?
Fortunately a closer look and we get to see the real environmental consequences of climate change on the city..
The images in London Futures are, however, above all believable. GMJ, a design agency, has dreampt up a future city which may or may not come true, but which will certainly stop us in our tracks. London Futures shows us the possible environmental consequences of our behaviour and encourages us to think, and think again.
That was the doom story now lets move on to something fantastical or maybe not. Apparently distractions make us more creative so switching between email, Facebook, Twitter, reading the Guardian and blogging will hugely impact on your “latent inhibition” ie your capacity to screen from conscious awareness stimuli previously experienced as irrelevant”. It took me a while to get this so please persevere. [“I’m not a Zen monk. I’m doing my expenses’ by Russell Davies.]
Some frightening and some welcoming futures. 2018, Teledildonics – remote control sexual stimulation and 2019 “Electro-Sex” and possible “orgasm pill”. Now I know we would all looovvve that one. It gives new meaning to sex on the train or a “quickie! I wonder if these in anyway connect to the “latent inhibition” mentioned above?
2018, Meal replacement patches – will deliver all necessary nutrients without you having to open your mouth! Well I guess it will save time! And the really disgusting, 2029, “Lab grown meat in fast food restaurants”.
Some good stuff – 2032 “Cancer no longer a problem” 2024, “Cure for AIDS” 2023, Live to over 100 and much more. The only one that seems realistic and frankly does not require any significant mind adjustment is free city-wide wifi in 2010 – Roll on!
Finally – couldn’t resist some credit crunches – whatever this exactly means!
“At the end of 2001, there was $920 billion in credit default swaps outstanding. By the end of 2007 that number was more than $62 trillion”