8 trends that will drastically change your future (digital) life

future prediction post

by MarsDorian

hello fellow creative crusader
and time traveler

The end of the year is nigh, which is a perfect opportunity to write about the future, heh.
I believe that if you want to stay relevant in your online biz, you should anticipate the future to see where the puck may go.
It will open your mind for new possibilities and remind you to adapt to, or better, anticipate changes.

I’ve written a prediction post about the blogpost in 2020, and I’m now doing the same for our online world.

Whether or not you’re ready for the future, the future is ready for you.

Here are my 8 predictions for the next 10 years in the technologized world.

Renting becomes the new buying.

Technology changes our lifestyles. And with more people working online, they’ll be free to live wherever they want. The need to own a house and cars will seem ridiculous – especially if you want to live abroad. Mix that with the attitude of sustainability (optimize what you got instead of buying something new) and you have a trend that can become mainstream.

Don’t want to own a car ? Rent it on the go.
Don’t want to own a house ? Rent it across the globe.
Don’t want to commit to a serious relationship but have sex and dates ?
Rent a partner.
Hey, it works in Japan.
Until the invoice does us apart.

Our surroundings will be smarter than us.

It might crack your ego when a your nightstand will be more knowledgeable than you, but I predict it’s going to happen. Smart wear, smart cars, smart houses. Every inanimate object will be able to tailor its use towards you.

Your jacket will say,
“You’re about to shiver, put on more clothes.”
Your wristband will say,
“Drop that third donut, buddy, you reached your sugar limit.”
Your house will say,
“I can sense you’re tired, I’m going to dim the lights.”
You’ll feel like the monkey amidst brilliant technology.
Which gets us to the next prediction.

We’ll transition from human to cyborg.

Not in the terminator with the German accent way, but more in a hybrid, co – existential way.
Quick reminder :
A cyborg is an organism that needs technology to survive. By this definition, every human with a pacemaker is a cyborg. With more and more tech on our bodies, we’re moving away from a 100% organic life form and embrace technology in our bodies.

Dare I say, in less than a hundred years, we’ll turn into a new, artificial species.

Bitcoin will be the major alternative currency in the future.

According to MT. Gox, the most popular trading website for Bitcoin, the crypto-currency just reached 1000 $ for one BTC. This is a dramatic increase from the 15 $ at the beginning of the year. Trust into governments is sinking around the globe, I can see it here in Europe and hear it from my American friends. And with more countries, media and corporations accepting this currency, it’s fair to say it has high chances of becoming mainstream in the next decade.

And why not, given that most of us work online anyway ?
It’s digital evolution, stupid.

Become unique before you become out-roboted.

I remember renting books from my local library a few years ago. You had to carry your tomes to a person behind the desk, who then scanned for to you. And now ? No humans whatsoever, machines now scan your books.

The only existing humans in my library sip coffee behind the information points and moan in boredom. Who knows when they’ll get robot-replaced. If your work can be easily replicated, your future ersatz “colleague” will carry a number instead of a name.

Begun, the body wars have.

Remember that slim case you call a smartphone ? A goner in the next years. The new technology will have a closer relationship with you, literally. Corporations will fight over your body space.

Wristbands, microchip’d tattoos, computerized clothes – these technologies will turn your body into a mobile computer with wi-fi access.
Also known as “PAN” – Personal Area Network.

The question won’t be which device you buy, the question will be which brand you’ll let stud your skin ;)

Online will be the new status of wealth.

And being offline will be the new ‘homeless’. Even if you have a decent income and a roof over your head, if you don’t have / don’t want to be online 24/7, people will look at you with squinted eyes. The idea of being offline will be similar to using horses as your main transportation.
Somewhat doable, but unacceptable in society’s eyes.

Your value as a human will be ranked.

When our bodies become more robotized, we’ll become more measurable. Someone said you can’t put a number on a human’s life, but in the 21st century, I’m afraid you can.

I tend to criticize Klout, but I believe it’s the first step into the future of human ranking. The algorism will become more sophisticated. It will create astute observations of your value, and show it to possible employers, clients and even mating partners.

(overhead in the future :”I like your DNA stats, I think we can create some beautiful, healthy children together.”)

Every conversation, every piece of work and remark you make, will impact your score. Mix that with the amount of people you interact with (and the impact you have on them), and the world will have a good overview of your value. Oh, and your natural stats (age, skin color, hair, body, cancer risk) will also be visible, which will lead to body upgrades to stay competitive.

Forget about made-up CVs, applications, dating sites and other promotional shenanigans. Your stats will show what value you really bring to your fellow humans.

Conclusion

Predictions are guesstimations at best, but I believe it’s important for you to think about the future. Even if some of the predictions don’t come true, they’ll stretch our thinking and keep our mind open for possibilities. Only with a fresh mind will you be able adapt to the changes.
And they are going to come, sooner than you think.

What are some predictions you can make for the near future ?

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  • http://www.craigmcbreen.com/ Craig McBreen

    “Renting becomes the new buying.”
    – This is already part of my new way of doing things ;) Part of what I’ll write about in my new online property.

    “We’ll transition from human to cyborg.”
    –I would say Ray Kurzweil’s “The Singularity Is Near” should be required reading. He completely agrees with you ;)

    “Become unique before you become out-roboted.”
    –I agree and think this new age will reward those who are not so easily pigeonholed. The creative class, … but we are all renaissance men and women, really, right? The lesson? Opening yourself up to our innate creativity could (should I say, will) lead to some pretty amazing stuff!

    Now, about Bezos and those drones …

    Great sizzle as usual, Mars!

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Yeah, Bezos and the Amazon Prime Air, I didn’t want drone on that topic ;)

      The renting thing is crazy, it’s happening in my city (Berlin) now.
      This was the first year when I drove in car that you could rent via your smartphone and drop off at any place. Not to mention the parties in the AirBnB rented spaces.

      Anyways, I believe that our creative class will be out-roboted in the future as well. It will just take longer because it’s obviously more advanced and unpredictable than logistics and mundane work. I think the question is not “if” but “when”, so I have to hustle twice as hard to bring my creativity to the next level.

  • Nobilis

    I don’t believe Bitcoin will survive, but something like it will eventually take root.

    Culture is taking a corner, and past the information economy, will come the trust economy.

    In a traditional bank, you are trusting in a corporation (the bank) and the government of the country where the bank is located (if the bank is insured by the government). If there is a dispute, there’s an agreed-upon system for handling it.

    With Bitcoin, who are you trusting? Where do you go when there is a dispute? Who is responsible for the stability of the currency?

    Here’s the fundamental problem with bitcoin: Its decentralized nature means that it’s inherently unstable in value. Wealthy speculators can manipulate its value by buying them up to jack up the price, and then selling them again. With government-backed currency, such swings are much harder to engineer, because the issuing authority can put money into circulation to satisfy shortages and remove it from circulation to quell a glut. Stability breeds trust (see above) and facilitates business practices.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hmmm, that’s an interesting thought, and I agree, TRUST is the one of the most important factors. And what I’m seeing today is that people lose major trust in their banks and governments, because of what they’re doing with the money.
      I personally prefer a decentralized currency than one that gets managed by someone who’s not acting according to my interests.

      The internet itself is decentralized, and look who humanity embraces it. When there’s trouble, we can always turn to help from people we know (and trust), but the idea of an authority that you bow down to is shaky. Free market is the best for everyone, except the elites in power.

      • Nobilis

        Yes, they’re losing trust in their banks and governments, and shifting that trust to corporations (such as Google, Monsanto, and Apple), credit unions, and other organizations (such as churches and Anonymous).

        It’s not a terribly meaningful shift.

        The fundamental problems with Bitcoin remain. It is vulnerable to market manipulation by ultra-wealthy currency traders, it lacks any mechanisms for fostering trust.

        I consider it somewhat likely that the current run-up in the value of Bitcoin has less to do with money fleeing banks than it does with some speculator (or group of speculators) creating a bubble for the dual purpose of enriching themselves and destroying it.

  • http://www.ahappierman.com/ Max S

    I’d really like a house smarter than me to tell me what to eat and when (it would be even better if the house could cook my meals on its own… and buy the groceries! ;-)

    Though I do worry that with more and more of our behaviors being monitored and recorded, it will become harder and harder to move up the ladder of social hierarchy: Those in power will know exactly what to do to keep us in our place… (Humans will always be humans, and people in power will always try to protect their interests).

    What to do? Mars’ advice is right on! Work as hard as we can now,…. while we still have a chance.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      I think the people who really thrive in the future will have knowledge about technology – programming, coding, developing etc.
      after all, you need humans to surveil and maintain those robots :)

      I’m curious which path our world will take if human work becomes less and less required.

  • http://shipshapewebdesign.com/ Martin Greaney

    The themes in this article are along similar lines to the latest Wired special The World in 2014. They seem to revolve around creating newly vast amounts of data about ourselves and then allow others to rank, judge and sell to us based on this. One of your points seems (possibly tongue in cheek) to suggest that data will replace romance as a source of relationships! Another common theme across here and Wired is that those with more money will be able to afford the best cyborg upgrades and more greatly improve their data feeds than those who need to rely on social support for solely essential implants (inevitably those which don’t improve your Page Rank, or anything beyond mere life support). Although all this may come to pass, I’m sure there’ll always be consciencious objectors and the like. One thing that won’t come to pass: we’ll never all be the same

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Thanks for those thoughts, Martin.

      I didn’t even think about the disparity between the rich and the poor in terms of stats and upgrades, but that idea makes sense. The more money, the better the body improvement and thus social status and survivability. If (when) we’re heading into that direction, it will be a like a gamified world where people hunt for the best and rarest items ;)

  • http://www.tommydarker.com/ Tommy Darker

    “Renting becomes the new buying.”
    I agree with this, the culture shift is feeding this future. In the past, it was unbelievable to think of, but now it’s not. From sharing cars & accommodation to streaming songs instead of owning them and, of course, from the major change of digitization of most businesses (they don’t have to be located in 4 walls anymore), these are examples of a shift towards non-owning – renting might be a good solution. Still not sure, the dominant business models will show.

    ###

    “Our surroundings will be smarter than us.”, “We’ll transition from human to cyborg.”, “Become unique before you become out-roboted.”, “Begun, the body wars have.”
    I’m not afraid of this future. Somehow, the present is way beyond expectation from what I thought it would be 10 years ago, Things change fast. Just hear the first sentences of this video, where it mentions the Victorian era people http://aeon.co/film/what-will-the-future-be-like. Our values will change, our acceptance and perception about what’s ok and what’s not will change as well.

    ###

    “Bitcoin will be the major alternative currency in the future.”

    I don’t know if it will be called Bitcoin or DigitalSoup, but everything is becoming digital for the sake of convenience. Why not our currency? And why not pay with different forms of exchange in the future? Whenever a major change occurs, there is always a counter-change that happens on the same time. In our case, it could be a major acceptance to return to the small village mentality, where you would reciprocate a favor with another favor – no monetary transactions involved.

    // Tommy

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Tommy,

      wow, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I find your “small village mentality” interesting, do you really think that will ever happen ?
      I’ve many people say “if you want to predict innovation in the future, focus on man’s laziness. Whatever supports our inborn laziness has a good chance to thrive.”
      If you look at the web, it become apparent – we don’t even have to leave the house to order stuff. And I believe changing favor is wayyy too challenging (what if you want a service from someone specific but you can’t offer an equal favor in return) ?

  • Mike

    Perhaps you tooted your horn a little too soon on guys at Mt. Gox. A ton of people lost money in that biz. Bitcoin is now trading in the $600 last time I checked. Either way, market cap or whatever, it still has a long way before I start dumping my greenbacks.

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