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Douglas Coupland

A radical pessimist's guide to the next 10 years Add to ...

35) Stupid people will be in charge, only to be replaced by ever-stupider people. You will live in a world without kings, only princes in whom our faith is shattered

36) Metaphor drift will become pandemic

Words adopted by technology will increasingly drift into new realms to the point where they observe different grammatical laws, e.g., "one mouse"/"three mouses;" "memory hog"/"delete the spam."

37) People will stop caring how they appear to others

The number of tribal categories one can belong to will become infinite. To use a high-school analogy, 40 years ago you had jocks and nerds. Nowadays, there are Goths, emos, punks, metal-heads, geeks and so forth.

38) Knowing everything will become dull

It all started out so graciously: At a dinner for six, a question arises about, say, that Japanese movie you saw in 1997 ( Tampopo), or whether or not Joey Bishop is still alive (no). And before long, you know the answer to everything.

39) IKEA will become an ever-more-spiritual sanctuary

40) We will become more matter-of-fact, in general, about our bodies

41) The future of politics is the careful and effective implanting into the minds of voters images that can never be removed

42) You'll spend a lot of time shopping online from your jail cell

Over-criminalization of the populace, paired with the triumph of shopping as a dominant cultural activity, will create a world where the two poles of society are shopping and jail.

43) Getting to work will provide vibrant and fun new challenges

Gravel roads, potholes, outhouses, overcrowded buses, short-term hired bodyguards, highwaymen, kidnapping, overnight camping in fields, snaggle-toothed crazy ladies casting spells on you, frightened villagers, organ thieves, exhibitionists and lots of healthy fresh air.

44) Your dream life will increasingly look like Google Street View

45) We will accept the obvious truth that we brought this upon ourselves

Douglas Coupland is a writer and artist based in Vancouver, where he will deliver the first of five CBC Massey Lectures - a 'novel in five hours' about the future - on Tuesday.

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