Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Speculation: Media in 2030

Following on from the last post, I wondered what life will be like for a teenager in 2030. (*) I want to hear your thoughts - add them in the comments:

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Do you want to listen to something? Watch something new? Well, for the most part it's available instantly. You want it? Say it to your voice-activated googler and there it is.

Which means there's no cachet for someone who's dedicated themselves to collecting rare singles, B-sides or concert footage. All that stuff is just ... there.

What you do get cachet for is having a reputation as an explorer and a discoverer. Can you introduce your friends to the new, the old, the unfamiliar and the fresh? Can you discover and point out the history and inter-connections between music (its sounds, producers, rivalries and riffs)? In the world of 2030, there's so much stuff to experience, that most of it has never been heard or watched before. The shit that's been lost due to quantity and the death of the mainstream would boggle your mind. It means that media archaeologists are cool.

And pretty much everything's digital, right? I mean, your grandparents have shelves full of books. Your parents might have a few. But you? Everything's stored, waiting for you to access and project onto your wall or your hud.

But what use is a book? You can't search it, except you know via eyeball. You can't tag it, rec it, comment on it or read what your friends or the author thought of your favourite passage. Books are dumb.

(They're also maybe, like, increasingly unnecessary. For some of your friends it's a mark of pride not to be able to read. I mean, when do you really need to? But post-literacy is like way out on the fringe. Maybe for your grand-children it'll be normal but you don't even want to think what the world'll be like when your hypothetical grand-children are teenagers.)

Oh, yeah. And everybody who wants to create something, can. The engines of creation have been open-sourced for decades now. Record an album, remake Lord of the Rings again - you're a teenager: you've got tech and free time. Go nuts.

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(*) Of course, all of this assumes the continuation of civilisation as we know it.

Anyway, add your ideas in the comments. And let's apply brainstorming rules: don't disagree or say why someone's idea wouldn't happen. Just write something different.

2 comments:

Morgan said...

I totally see a future for physical items in general, and books in particular. These artifacts will be identity-items. Think about the library - why do I own any books when I have a library card? Because they are cool things to own.

Cross this into Bruce Sterling's spime idea, and you get a book that is a physical object, something neat for your shelf, that's tagged with a data chip that talks to your hand computer and gives augmented reality comments, context overlay, writer's commentary, etc etc.

Simon said...

In 2030, teenagers will interact mostly with digital friends.

Digital friends like you find on dating sims at the moment. They're designed to give a relationship-experience to kids that's fulfilling and all-encompassing.

Adults say that kids these days don't learn proper social skills because all they do is interact with 'bots online, but the kids don't care. Why would you need social skills?

Ad companies try to make sims to attract kids, but they don't really get what it's about, and they're creepy and over-friendly. Ugh, and then there's the "edu-friends" which are as bad as you'd expect.