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Thread: Your concept of future

  1. #1
    <3 gator's Avatar
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    Your concept of future

    What is the timeframe you typically think of when you're thinking of the future? What is the timeframe you think about when you're thinking of your own future? Has that changed over time?

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    dormant jigglypuff's Avatar
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    the future - next generation, like if i had children.

    my future - up until i'm in my 80s? basically most of the rest of my life, hopefully.

    i find it difficult to think about my short-term future, admittedly. i'd rather do something about it (how cliche).

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    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Future is about four years out right now. When I was six the farthest out I could think was twenty-two years and when I was twenty it was twenty years.

    Globally future for me is about 2050. Whereas my personal long term future horizon is getting shorter the global future horizon is getting longer.

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    This is the last time I reference this:


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    Bringer of Jollity MoneyJungle's Avatar
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    The future is when resource scarcity rears it's ugly head in the US in a serious way. I hope it happens sometime after my future. Hopefully I'm wrong.

    Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

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    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    Retirement. I totally love the idea of being retired, and that's what I get excited about when I think of the future.

    Future in general...I tend to think in terms of a social generation or two...usually while musing about the radical changes that life has had since the baby boomers kicked off, and imagining what may come about for the world over the next few.

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    Member Thoth's Avatar
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    I've always thought of my future and the future as wholly unrelated things.

    My future is typically seen five years in advance and it's rarely pretty.

    The future is usually somewhere between fifty and two hundred years in advance. I consider what could be accomplished if the world wasn't poisoned with social media and thus plagued with multitudes seeking nothing more than self absorbing validation.

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    After all the changes I've gone through in the last year, I feel like the future is now. Or Monday, when I start my new job.

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    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    My concept of my personal future, from as early as I can remember thinking about it, always revolved around what my life would be like when I was 30 years old. I thought of that age as the point where things in my life would have crystallized into a more or less permanent form for the long stretch until I hit retirement age.

    Now I'm 31, and I honestly don't think about "my future" very much. The future I care about at any point is typically comprised of the next few weeks, and speculating about anything beyond that tends to seem like a waste of time. (At the moment I actually do need to be contemplating what I'm doing next year, but I find this an irritating and unwelcome necessity--I'd rather focus on what happens between now and December.)

    There are some exceptions--it's interesting to see what my son takes an interest in at this early age (5) and wonder which of those things, if any, will turn into actual lifelong passions or goals. For instance, he's very mechanically inclined and curious about how things work, and when he draws pictures they're most often pictures of robots or other forms of machinery he's "going to build." When I've told him that "building robots" is very likely a job he could actually end up having as an adult, he gets ridiculously excited. I can't remember if I even had any career aspirations at age 5, so I'm kind of fascinated by the question of whether this current passion of his will be sidelined by something else in a few years or whether I'm seeing what a future engineer's personality looks like in its early developmental stages.

    Of course, that line of thought just leads into "how am I going to pay for him to go to college?" and I don't have an answer to that, so I revert to the solace of probably having a few more years of "one day at a time" before I really have to figure that one out.



    "The Future" in a global sense?

    From my perspective, we're living in it already. I'm just old enough to remember all the mania around "Y2K", and actually a lot of the things I used to imagine happening in the big, newfangled 21st century are actually happening now.

    I remember being in 6th grade (so about 1996), sitting at a school library computer waiting for a website to load (back when the procedure for using the internet was "click on a link and then wait 2-5 minutes"), and thinking that it would be interesting if some day everyone maintained a personal web page as a basic form of communication. (You know, where you'd keep a sort of biographical sketch of yourself available for people to look up if they were interested, and with a means of contacting you directly built in--or what we now know as the essential functionality of MySpace/Facebook/LinkedIn/etc.)

    Then there was the time when I was in 11th grade (1999) and some of my friends asked me where I thought the next big war was going to happen--basically without missing a beat (as I'd been thinking about it) I said "Afghanistan" but then couldn't fully articulate why I thought that. (The al Qaeda embassy bombings had caught some headlines and provoked a few punitive airstrikes by this point, so I wasn't completely pulling this out of my ass, but my conclusion was a more general intuitive sense of several different geopolitical developments crystallizing around central Asia as a flashpoint.)

    So, honestly, a part of my brain still hasn't really adapted to this being the present. It's funny because I'm not that old, but to some extent I'm living in a world with many of the ephemeral hallmarks of the science fiction I grew up on (even portable phones were still kind of Star Trek technology when I was a kid, let alone little handheld computers than can look things up in big information archives if you're suddenly curious about them), and kind of struggling to accept that.

    I don't really know what "the Future" holds beyond that. Certain other hallmarks of those sci-fi worlds are now things I'm a bit pessimistic about--I do think at some point humans will probably start colonizing other planets, for instance, but this seems like it might be a lot further off than people were assuming 20 years ago. Maybe I'm just not reading enough sci-fi lately, but there seems to be a shortage of new Big Ideas on that level of magnitude. I don't know what else to imagine, really.

    I guess I would define the global future roughly as the world as it will be when my son is an adult. (He'll turn 18 in 2026.) It's funny--in one of my classes I like to start the year by having the kids, who are 10th grade, write letters introducing themselves, and a lot of them choose to mention their birthdates. This year I had a sort of "hey, wake up, old man" moment upon noticing that they were all born in 1999. I'm still mentally stuck in 2001-5, I guess, since everything since then has gone by in a rapid blur for me. I mean, obviously, it's 2014 so kids who are 15 now were born in 1999, but I basically just haven't been thinking about it. It's moderately shocking to me to note that in a few short years there will be adults walking around who were not even alive during the 20th century. (An arbitrary calendrical distinction, of course, but still a big deal to me.)

    I can certainly imagine that, but mainly as an extension of what the world is like now. I've mostly gotten over my younger self's obsession with imminent apocalypse. Certainly there will be major crises, but there have always been major crises--the species will adapt and move on. If we're talking about, say, 2050, that actually seems paradoxically close to me, and I doubt the world will be all that much different.

    Early 20th century history (like 1900-1920) has become a major interest of mine, and maybe that's due to thinking about the fact that I'm living at the beginning of the 21st century--in terms of a hypothetical date on which to posit that we will have entered some radically different era, I'm more inclined to speculate about 2100. To over-generalize (I've been thinking of starting a thread about this), I think 2100 will likely be a point at which certain major questions humanity is fretting about now will have been answered. In short, we will either have suffered the worst possible forms of the catastrophe(s) many people are warning about now, or we will have figured out how to weather them with some comparatively minor social and technological changes and be moving on to other things. A lot that shit is supposed to be scheduled to hit the fan at or around 2050, so I'd imagine that will kind of be the climax phase of the era we're in now rather than the beginning (or middle) of a new one.

    At current life expectancy, I'll probably still be around in 2050, so it doesn't really resonate as "OMG the Future". They'd have to figure out how to give me another 40 years or so to get me to 2100, but there's a chance my son will be eking out his old age then, so it's more interesting to me to wonder what that would be like.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

  10. #10
    Member Aurast's Avatar
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    The near future: next few days to a couple of weeks.
    The future: When we have flying cars and cybernetic implants. 2075ish? We won't necessarily ever enter this era since it's not a particular time.
    The distant future: When people include our time in their conception of the "distant past" or "ancient world". 1000+ years?

    My future: next year to my death.

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