Douglas Coupland’s Thoughts on the Future

Through­out his most pop­u­lar nov­els, Douglas Coup­land defines terms that come to define gen­er­a­tions and also man­ages to cre­ate stor­ies that per­fectly describe and con­nect with a cer­tain cul­ture at a cer­tain time.

In a series of recent art­icles, Coup­land has done this once more, but looks toward the future, instead.

One, an art­icle cov­er­ing Coupland’s proph­ecies for the com­ing ten years:

Try to live near a sub­way entrance: In a world of crazy-expens­ive oil, it’s the only real estate that will hold its value, if not increase.

In the same way you can nev­er go back­ward to a slower com­puter, you can nev­er go back­ward to a lessened state of con­nec­ted­ness.

It is going to become much easi­er to explain why you are the way you are: Much of what we now con­sider “personality” will be explained away as struc­tur­al and chem­ic­al func­tions of the brain.

And two that togeth­er form an extens­ive gloss­ary of terms for this com­ing peri­od:

Ikeas­is: The desire in daily life and con­sumer life to cling to “gen­er­ic­ally” designed objects. This need for clear, uncon­fus­ing forms is a means of sim­pli­fy­ing life amid an onslaught of inform­a­tion.

Omni­science Fatigue: The burnout that comes with being able to find out the answer to almost any­thing online, usu­ally on your phone.

Pseudoali­en­a­tion: The inab­il­ity of humans to cre­ate genu­inely ali­en­at­ing situ­ations. Any­thing made by humans is a de facto expres­sion of human­ity. Tech­no­logy can­not be ali­en­at­ing because humans cre­ated it. Genu­inely ali­en tech­no­lo­gies can be cre­ated only by ali­ens. Tech­nic­ally, a situ­ation one might describe as ali­en­at­ing is, in fact, “human­at­ing”.

Situ­ation­al Dis­in­hib­i­tion: Social con­triv­ances with­in which one is allowed to become dis­in­hib­ited, that is, moments of cul­tur­ally approved dis­in­hib­i­tion.

via @vaughanbell and Kot­tke