Timewarp discovered: What daily life will be like in the year 2049

By Ross Dawson on January 17, 2009 | Permalink

Have you ever wondered what life will be like in the year 2049?

Amazingly I seem to have stumbled across a timewarp. The blog p40y is being written every day in the year 2049, and each blog post appears daily 40 years earlier. Since the blog began on New Years Day 2049 (and 2009 via the timewarp) some fantastic insights into the future 40 years from now.

Here are a few excerpts that give a flavor for what we can expect at the end of this half-century.

Claytronics

Today I sat in a meeting with some people and some Claytronic replicas of other people that were unable (couldn’t be bothered?) to make the meeting in person. Now I know this is a new technology but it’s total rubbish. In theory you just pmail or gfax over some instructions to a giant programmable lump of clay sitting in one of the spare chairs and it automatically morphs into a life size 3-D, walking, talking replica of the real person.
However, it didn’t. In this instance the millions of tiny microprocessors didn’t seem to be communicating with each other correctly – or the electrostatic forces weren’t working because someone left an AiPhone™ on – and what we got instead was a giant brown talking turd. “Different day, same old talking shit” as one wit observed.


This is particularly interesting. Kil’n People by David Brin, one of my favorite science fiction books, describes a world in which people create animated clay replicas of themselves. I have also blogged about a Japanese professor who has created a doppelganger of himself – though not in clay…
DNA Hacking


Spent the evening playing with Ben. I gave him a DNA hacking kit for Christmas and today was our first time together doing some experiments. We logged on to DNAHack.com for some ideas and then made a culture of my skin that glowed in the dark thanks to splicing in some DNA from a coral gene. Ben said this was totally ‘sick’, which I thought was a fairly nostalgic thing to say. He then asked if we could go celebrity dumpster diving to look for some dental floss to test. I said “no”.


Surveillance

I have just been reading a report on the most hated professions in the country. Top of the list is traffic wardens who are now walking the streets with helmets and clothing fitted with cameras to record incidents of physical and emotional abuse.
I also hear that the police have gone one step further. Not content with ‘head-cams’ strapped to their helmets – and the fact that there are now 680 million CCTV cameras covering every building in the country – the police have now started to use tiny surveillance drones to monitor things from 1,600 feet up in the sky. The drones are about the size of houseflies and feature digital cameras and location tagging technology that was originally developed for military purposes.


Timewarps…

…every so often I bend down to smell a tiny patch of pre-colour- and pre-smell-enhanced grass and I am instantly transported back to my parents’ garden in the country in 2007. Perhaps that’s it. The past and the future really do love (sic) alongside each other in some kind of parallel universe. It is possible to transport yourself backwards or forwards in time by moving between metropolis and wilderness, or by just stopping and stooping to observe the passage of time in a grow-bag.


There are many more insights on the p40y blog.
I will continue reading the blog to discover how the year 2049 unfolds…

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