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October 7, 2013 | by  | in Features |
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Dog Days Are Over

Life’s shit.

The Great Recession. 9/11. The Christchurch Quakes. Pike River. The Japanese tsunami. Iraq. Global warming. Doom and gloom has provided the soundtrack to our adolescence. We are less Generation Y and more Generation Why Us? We have every right to be depressed about our state of affairs.

But it’s never been better.

Given the choice between being well off 60 years ago, or being poor today, I would choose the latter, hands down. Why? Colour television, computers, photocopiers, cellphones, the internet, washing machines, fast food, cheap air travel, Dyson Airblades, contraceptives, CGI in movies, and soft-serve ice cream, just to name a few. Even the poorest of us have reached a level of wealth that most humans throughout history could not have dreamed of.

Seven years ago, there was no such thing as an iPhone. The BlackBerry was considered a ‘smartphone’, and even then only high-powered executives owned one. We were still playing Snake on our Nokia 2280s. Nowadays, almost everybody carries around a device in their pocket which gives them access to the entirety of human knowledge (via the interwebs). How fucken cool is that?

And the future’s even better.

We’re all going to be rich:

Everyone knows that the economy goes through cycles. The shit thing about this is that the economy went bust just as we were becoming adults. The cool thing is that the boom is coming, and it’s going to be great. There’ll be jobs galore (even for BA students!) They’ll be high-paying. Things will be cheaper. The first computer my family bought cost $3000, ran Windows 95 and only had a slot for floppy discs. Compare that with what you get today for that kind of money, and imagine what you’ll be able to get for it ten years hence. Even the poorest of us will drive nicer cars, live in nicer houses, and do more of the things we enjoy. How awesome!

Holy shit technology is going to be amazing:

The internet will be so fast you’ll be able to download a movie in less than a second. The 80 per cent of the world’s population who don’t currently have access to the internet will get it (well maybe not all of them, but a lot of them!)

Cars that parallel-park themselves? Pffffft. Future cars will drive themselves. Having your own robotic chauffeur will mean you can drive into town, get pissed as a skunk, and then get the car to drive you home. Radical!

3D technology will continue to get better, completely changing the way in which we interact with movies and games. 3D printers are fully sick and are only going to get iller. Did you know Apple just patented technology which allows you to swipe 2D objects from your iPad up into 3D holograms? And that there is a thing called Oculus Rift, a mask you put on which fully immerses you in a 3D virtual-gaming reality? Think of the possibilities!

Television screens will be massive, the 20th iteration of iPhone and Galaxy S will be off the chain, headphones and speakers and recording technology will make listening to music good as. I can’t wait.

We will live longer, healthier lives to enjoy all this cool stuff:

It’s conceivable that in our lifetime, scientists will find a cure for cancer. Bionic legs will allow amputees to walk again. Genetic engineering will enable us to hugely increase food production. When we can grow meat on a plate, or a crop of corn in the desert, there will be no need for African children to starve. Did you know that sheep and cows are twice as big today as they were in the Middle Ages? Jesus, humans are great.

Everyone will get along:

Of all the generations that have gone before, this is the first one in which gays can be comfortable in their own skin. The population is gradually becoming more accepting of those who are different to us. The preponderance of interracial couples will mean racial lines will start to blur, and eventually there won’t be such a thing as black or white or yellow—we’ll all be beautifully tanned! We will be able to talk to anyone in the world without learning another language: we’ll just speak into our phone and it will translate it instantly into the language of the person we are talking to. Wow.

There will be challenges, but we will beat them:

Anthropogenic global warming presents a very real and present threat to our species. But humans have never met a challenge that we couldn’t overcome, a problem we couldn’t solve, a tight spot we couldn’t get ourselves out of. Electric cars and solar power and cleaner nuclear energy will all grow in popularity, and genius scientists will figure out a way to cool the planet. I have complete faith in the ingenuity of our species.

The moral of the story:

The next couple of weeks are going to be shithouse. Exams and stress and worries about the future will start to consume you. But then we get three months of summer holidays!

The cup may be half-empty now, but it will runneth over soon enough.
——

Cameron Price pretends he is doing third-year Law. He is next year’s Salient Co-Editor. Last week, Ricky Gervais laughed at a joke he made on Twitter—you can too: @campricetheory

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