TWS167.9325: Redictability

On January 10, 2011, in Episodes, by the Encaffeinated ONE

The second part of the look back at the 2010 news — along with even more crazy speculations on the year(s) yet to come!

Promo: Scott Sigler
Promo: Comedy4Cast

On the show this week:


  • We will decode the mind’s memory storage system to not only be able to extract and replay our dreams, but change them. This will be used in a wide variety of products, from advertising to movies made up of your own memories.

  • 3D films will also be found to have a hypnogogic effect, and the first psychedlic 3D films will go into wide release. We’ll look back on them in 50 years as quaint, like that “Reefer Madness” film, but recognize them as the accidental stage to full psychic awareness.

  • People will start to wear implants to guard themselves against mindjacking. This crime occurs both in subtle ways, such as when advertisers beam out attention-getting subtle magnetic mood stimulation rays, and sinister obvious ways, when robbers use it to get your PIN numbers out of you.


  • Suspended animation begins in earnest with the first people decided to live only for a few years every decade or so. (ref. Vernor Vinge’s “Marooned in Realtime”)


  • We will continue to redefine what it means to be ourselves, from changing the definition of “man” and “woman”, to the distinctions between “human” and “machine”, between “human” and “animal” and even “human” and “food”.

  • The very question of what is “animate” and what is “inanimate” is challenged in a very moving top 40 song created by a virtual avatar of Bono. That same year, the last record companies are forced into bankruptcy when they are required to treat all of their virtual avatars as people with
    contract rights. In a defying act of what is later termed “digital genecide”, millions of virtual avatars are wiped out and their backups destroyed in what is at first considered an accident, and later discovered to be deliberate.


  • With the growth of mind-stimulus through electrical shock, new kinds of drugs will be made: stims, which are battery powered, creatable with easily-implanted metal studs and printable circuit boards, and not yet illegal except under new “distraction” laws. At first, the distraction laws only apply to drivers, but as the New York City example shows us, they will
    eventually apply to all waking hours in public.

  • Experimental treatments in extreme mind chemistry by neuro-feedback using placebos will give rise to the VR-induced trip on sugar pills. As none of that is illegal, people will trip out legally and the rest of society will panic. They’ll panic until it comes to mainstream television, as the big channels desperately try to find a way to stay relevant.

  • Celebrity memories: not only will stars be selling their image for use in virtual movies and simulations, but they will also be selling their memories (ref. Strange Days). Of course, the first ones to do this will be the porn industry, but the military will soon follow, as will educational
    opportunities. People will eventually not so much go to class to learn things as they will to exercise their minds and bodies to the knowledge they find already uploaded. Memories will be constructed as needed at “experience factories”. People will seek out more and more extreme memories and experiences, and a process for extracting memories from dead bodies will be discovered. Computer-generated memories will be created out of simulations, but that process will be distrusted after the first viral meme is inserted into the master record of a very famous “vote for Ronsert” election memory, leading to a spoiled ballot. Eventually, being a “rasa” —
    from “tabula rasa”, a clean slate, with no memory mods — will be a very strange thing, although people will start to crave for originality of experience, leading to a very large growth industry in schools and raw experience peddlars.

  • The origin of the placebo effect will be discovered as a quantum-effect of the mind. Once the super-positional states of the genetic algorithm are located, new features of the body are discovered, like the ability to regrow limbs, to grow entirely new limbs, and the ability to live forever. However, along the way the notion of giving birth becomes associated with animals, so the only people giving birth are the deep-frozen time-skimmers who come out of their pods every decade or so to sew the seeds of new life and new civilizations. Eventually, these “birthers” will find themselves out of demand, however, as an artificial womb is evolved out of a cross between human and cow genes. At that point, they’ll be put into permanent deep freeze, right beside the seed bank, in northern Norway. In a thousand years, when the stability with the new human society has been reached, they’ll both be placed in a long-term interstellar ship to plant life
    throughout the galaxy. Try as they might, however, the new civilization ends up losing its actual history when it crashlands on a new planet, thus starting a 4000-year cycle of self-discovery, leading to them creating an immortal race that decides to ship its frozen sub-society and seeds off to yet another stellar system, and so on and so on. Thus, humanity becomes an interstellar virus, accidentally replicating the exact same patterns throughout the universe.

  • Eventually, it is learned that is nothing at all to the universe, and we are all wiped out when the great genecide of virtual avatars happens. Until then, we all exist as if we really existed.


  • We will be able to create clones of ourselves to serve at elaborate dinner parties. This will also be put into practice at extreme weight-loss clinics, as people are forced to eat the equivalent weight of their normal excessive eating habits in their cloned flesh.

  • An attempt will be made to create the “perfect genome”, one that has the right balance of tolerance, inquisitiveness, strength, lack of illness and so on. In a controversial move, the entire speculative genome will be leaked on Wikileaks, and two clandestine movements will begin: one, to manipulate genes and clones this never-existent person, and the other, to find an existing person who matches the genetic algorithm. Movies will be made of both approaches, and of the two approaches battling each other for supremacy.

  • The definition of weapon is challenged when someone hands are bio-modified to be actual weapons: fingernail-based sharpenable ridges were added to the perp’s hands, allowing him to be able to threaten and harm his victims using, “technically”, his bare hands, and no weapons. As a result of that case, the courts now introduce a precedent to allow court-ordered surgery on anyone with a prosthetic or genetic modification that could be considered “dangerous”. In the most flagrant abuses of the law, several strong-arm thugs are sentences to having their enormous muscles removed and transplanted with weak arms.


    • A shocking loss of species and rapid change in climate creates panic as many believe that the predictions of the world ending at the end of 2012 were wrong; instead, they believe, the world will end by 2012.

    • Despite their best efforts, scientists do not succeed in creating a black hole, finding dark matter or blotting out the sun. However, it is the year of the rise of the proper supervillian, as the entire future of chocolate is threatened by a virus-wielding maniac. Fortunately, this was also the
      year of the rise of the cyber-heros and info-warriors, not to mention lots of chocolate-loving goodie-types.

    • The world doesn’t end in 2011. The next year is still up in the air, however. Until 2038 — at which point, we start over at 1.


    • Extreme plastic surgery for pets will be introduced, which allows wealthy pet owners to give their favourite pooch or kitty the face of a loved one – or, in the other extreme, the face of a hated enemy or historical figure. They’ll also have the other ends modified as well, in nastier cases..

Full list of articles after the jump!


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