TWS207: Redictionary, Volume II: U through E

On January 7, 2012, in Episodes, by the Encaffeinated ONE

CQ: 2012 seems to be all about repeated historical cycles coming round again. What 3 historical cycles do you think — or want — to repeat in 2012?

On the show this week:

  • Undividuals; see also: ‘windividual’
    1. Parents will use an app which listens to them talking to their toddlers — to make sure that they are giving them the requisite amount of appropriate stimulation, lots of word forms and vocabulary, as well as not too much baby talk. It will also optionally count swearing, monitoring the child’s babbling, check accents and more.
    2. Once the toxin survival gene is isolated in fish, experimental roll-outs will begin to have it implanted in new “mutant fish oil” pills. Curiously, the major chemical companies are behind it — is there something they aren’t telling us?
    3. A new book will spark great controversy and a restructuring of kindergarten: “Google Gaagaa” is a tell-all book about just how much kindergartener’s *actually* know and experience. It will shock the world, who persists in forgetting what it was like when they were that age, assuming from the grown-up point-of-view that kids are as dumb as they seem.
    4. Having also conquered the ability to control aging — both to slow it down and to rapidly speed it up, many families are deciding to speed-grow their children to make them fully-capable physical adults by age 10. The process is repeated for clones, finally getting rid of that last step necessary (when combined with the ability to read, store and flash memories that we also got in 2011).
    5. Having realized how to live forever by decoding the genes of old people, many suddenly realize that we don’t want to, as few can afford to. Only the very richest can afford it, and they decide to almost all do it, creating a ruling class of immortals whom everyone calls “vampires”. Real vampires make themselves public just to put down the slander. “We’re evil,” they say, “but those guys are just *mean*.”
    6. Those seeking a form of immortality — and desiring immortality for those left behind — will donate their bodies for science, specifically to discover how we can live forever. These “pre-corpses” will find their numbers swelled by the number of punished prisoners no longer sentenced to death, but sentenced to science..
    7. The craze of “partial cremation” sweeps across the semi-rich. At first, it is only the sacrifice of optional or damaged limbs/organs that is given up to the living ash wake, but then “extraneous” bits of the body are given up as the craze takes off. Soon, the rich are giving up pinky fingers, ends of ears, spare toes and more, and having elaborate “wake the dead” parties. After someone gives up a hand, it gets out of control, so they just print out copies of organs and burn them instead (theirs at first, then a blackmarket develops in bootlegged organ plans).
    8. Another prediction from Cyberpunk (the Roleplaying Game) comes true in 2012, as the craze of “becoming your heros” takes off. Forget looking like Elvis: people gather in clubs over their obsession with everyone from the cast of Lost and Battlestar Galactica, from the Queen to Freddie Mercury from Queen. People no longer seek individuality, but rather crave to be part of a greater, common whole. In this way, singularity is achieved, but in an entirely different semantic way..
    9. The “Neo-Neanderthal Movement” celebrates individuals connections with the Thals, both in terms of feathered clothing and in getting yourself “certified Thal” with a simple DNA test. Man-caves will become *actual* caves.
    10. There will be a highly successful and very controversial Kickstarter campaign to enshrine Phoenix Jones with a statue in the middle of Seattle. The vigilante superhero will refuse it, but the public will ignore him and due it again. Soon, other enterprising would-be superheros realize the power of Kickstarter, and the race is one to build the first superhero lair, entirely crowd-funded. It comes full circle when the man himself, Stan Lee, takes a stand against the dangerous vigilanteism, which spurs them over the top in funding. Stan will relent in 2013, when he creates a comic book based on a vigilante based on Captain America..
    11. The loudest cat purr in the world used as new sonic weapon in the war on Occupy and protests. Protestors will be heard rofling and loling as well as screaming in agony. “So cute!” they cry. “Teh cute, it burns us!”
    12. Body enhancement and crime fighting join forces with the fringes of the Occupy movement and urban vigilantism to create the next wave of citizen crimefighting: ReOccupy The Streets. Gangs and other organized crime groups (not to mention the cops, the domestic forces and spy agencies) all elevate things to a massive firefight, until the only person left standing is wearing a home-built Iron Man suit. Inside, an unlikely waif has captured the hearts of the people — not to mention totally pwning the loser newbs at this game of “Urban Command and Conquer”. She becomes the next president, and things are totally wicked cool after that. Rad.
    13. Someone will invent the “air guitar suit” peripheral for a home console, allowing air guitarists (and air drummers!) to finally demonstrate that their mad skillz really *do* work! (Alternatively, someone will just do this with the XBOX [videocamera thing].)
    14. Only too late do we realize that the emerging AI intelligence isn’t actually being created by us. Rather, it is at that point that we recognize the true masters of the world are all the bacteria which float in our bodies, steering us as we steer our cars. Once they have the power of AI under their collective (and tiny) belts, they begin dispensing with us puny humans. The Robot War on Stomachs begins..
    15. A new virus escapes from an amateur lab, changing the face of humanity forever. Originally designed as a simple fashion statement, the “glowface” virus inserts DNA into a host’s own, transforming fat cells underneath the skin of the face into bioluminescent patches. These tend to flare up when the body is experiencing illness, and soon people run away from anyone with a bright green glow. Some people, however, just have a natural glow about them, especially pregnant women. Pregnancy is now mostly a hidden state, because it really creeps some people out to see a distended belly with flashing green face….
    16. Robotic versions of cuddly teddy bears will be sent around the world to be virtually inhabited by cash-strapped tourists who can’t travel places themselves. It gets a bit messy when the teddy avatars start to be used for sex and rock’n’roll..
    17. Unlocking the power of the martial arts masters and bottling it in electronic experience junkets allows the general populace to “hook up some Zen” in an easy way.
    18. The ability to decode and replay memories along with the Kiss transmission device and the Hug transmission device create a new market in “virtual love”. Some people replay the intimate encounters of entire relationships, and other sell them. Freeloaders can get plenty for free by just following the right (or wrong!) people on Facebook, who give a whole new meaning of “kiss and tell” when they share their latest kissing online. In the future, they use the term “kiss and d/l” without realizing where it came from.
    19. Movie makers and trolls try to capitalize on the surprise success of fake rockstar Nigel Tufnel’s 11/11/11 celebration by declaring 12/12/12 to be Chuck Norris Day. However, the meme fails and the backlash creates the alternative name for the day: “The Day The Mirth Stood Still”. Meanwhile, bakers around the world instead point to 12/12/13 as “Baker’s Dozen Day”, and much pastries are had. Yum, pastries..
    20. The naming gates are thrown wide in 2012, as parents, desperate to have their kids stand out, give them all sorts of ridiculous names. Originality and cleverness abound, with puns being the number 1 generator of new names. No longer will you have four Marks and two Susans, three Sarahs and four Jakes. Instead, it’s Markerboard, Skidmark, Dree Market, Lamppost, Sculpture, Pope Jim, Jackintosh, Cell Bydate, Shoesun and Ringtony.
    21. More and more elaborate and involved “simulation holidays” will be created. This year saw the army life simulation and the stay in a manger. Soon, we’ll have the entire world LARPing and they’ll no longer laugh at convention-goers. Unfortunately, conventions will suddenly overflow with clueless people looking for the latest “simohol”..
    22. We finally unlock the secret of why prayer and meditation works so well to combat our problems. Then, we synthesize it into a pill, take it daily, and are mellow for the rest of our unnaturally long lives.. Until the pills run out, and we suddenly create a revolution, kinda by accident. Bummed out, we suddenly realize all the philosophical truths of the universe, and implode into a being of pure thought. Don’t worry, though: that’s not due for a few decades yet…
    23. As people discover more and more about the manufactured and artificial nature of the city, suburb and town design all around us, clever ones among us decide they can do it again. After all, while there have been some failures, the suburbs were a model that lasted 50 years, and factory towns still exist long after the factories that created them have ceased. The quest for the new suburb for the new generations begins, and the sheer number of designs proposed is staggering. Ultimately, the model that is most sustainable is simply giving up compressed urban life altogether and moving onto large collective farms, which are no longer considered as isolating as they once were with great broadband, near ubiquitous cell phone and wifi access, and decent sky trains. Ah, yes.. The Sky trains will truly rock..
    24. The search for the “perfect beauty” form continues and gets more radical. Body shapes become more controversial, and people seek more and more extreme changes to make themselves stand out. The most extreme will be to switch up the positions of the arms and legs, a surgery that would have been impossible before, but recent extensions in medical science (and a ginormous amount of money) will make it work. Halfway through, however, the client decides to change the idea, having a pair of clone-formed arms attached where his legs were, making him the first human with four hands… but not the last.
    25. The “perfect joke” in invented, one that makes anyone laugh, anywhere. Suddenly, the Internet is filled with it, and we all laugh ourselves into blissful peace. Blissful, except we no longer get anything done, and all of society collapses. So much for world peace through laughter!
  • Eschatrollogical
    1. New celebrations abound in 2012, including “take your cat to work day”, “international day of sockless abandon”, “intergalactic pandimensional gargle blasting”, and my personal favourite, “Formal Day”, in which participants will be encouraged to dress better rather than slouch around like they do the rest of the week. It happens on Tuesdays.
    2. The Muppets are starting a third party and will be running in the next American federal election, led by the controversial figure, Marxist the Frog. Their slogan will be “Real puppets taking back Our Street from the puppet masters.”
    3. We will redefine “smells bad” and “looks bad” in 2012, and gain an rather disturbing appreciation for all things excrement. In other words, the art world goes to *BEEP* in the coming year.
    4. Occupy: The Movie will be released in the summer of 2012. It will bear little resemblance to the actual events of the Occupy movement, instead having morphed into a detective tale/supernatural thriller/comedy/drama/love story between a female cop on the front lines and a controversial but skilled “Mic Check” orator. By the end of the film, they have swapped roles and swapped spit, and the sequel to the film will feature their daughter, born of two worlds and able to unite the world together under one banner: “Occupy The Moon!”.
    5. 50% of the economy becomes creative, making things and capturing data and transforming information and producing cultural artifacts for others. That’s not so much a rediction, as a sincere dream..
    6. The veneration of the past will itself become a thing of the past, as people argue successfully that the unquestioning preservation of the past is a deterrent for the future growth. Museums are voided of artifacts, old buildings are no longer quarantined when found under mounds of dirt, and old bones in graveyards are burned and turned into fertilizer. Incidentlly, the energy released from the burning of old bones is used to heat a large music ampitheatre, where 10-minute pop stars perform for increasingly bored crowds..
    7. Security theatre finally reaches it’s zenith in 2012, spurred on by apocalyptic visions and a fanatic belief that television tells the truth. Hundreds are wounded at an airport after an actual terrorist walks right through the security theatre unchecked, but an old lady — further known as “Grandma Death” — is accosted, strip-searched and beaten for her insistence in keeping her nasal drip spray in her purse, outside of arthritis-defeating plastic bags. After Grandma Death becomes an internet meme, airports around the world remove all the intrusive impediments to safe and happy travel.. Sorry, dreaming again.
    8. Fed up with reality as it now sits, a movement of disgruntled students and free thinkers “invents” a new one, creates an entire fictional background for it, and seeks to bootstrap Reality 2.0. Their goal is, if they are successful, that future historians will never know that the current reality even existed. “We’ll plant giant bones and age them properly, develop new indiginous life, and completely transform the world.” There are some who claim that this already happened, and that the evidence has been kept secret by the previous Lore Keepers.. After all, isn’t that what the Scientologists and the Raelians are trying to do, and what the Christian-centred religions already tried to do?
    9. 2012 will be known as “the year we all hunkered down and got really efficient, yo”. We’ll do things that we would never dream of, like getting an energy-efficient haircut, returning to candles, recycling and eating leftovers.
    10. We’ll continue to redefine such quaint, antiquated and restricted notions such as “marriage” and “religion” and “relationship”, until only the broadest, most inclusive definitions really apply. After the initial boom of pseudo-religions created to capitalize on contractual language based on old definitions is finished, certain “rules” to govern what might be called a recognizable faith or religion are defined. Surprisingly, these rules don’t include any test of faith, but they do require a certain amount of tithing to a central organization. Banks immediately declare themselves to be religious institutions to seek federal funding, which in turn triggers public outcry, the destruction of the banks and the creation of the OMNIROBOBANK, a completely autonomous and computer-controlled non-profit banking system which forbids humans to be involved in any banking decisions, creating the global electronic currency which unites the world. Sure, a few countries fell in the wake of this turmoil, but the rest of the world got together to buy them a nice card..

Full list of articles after the jump!

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