Friday, July 14, 2006

Positive Futurist

The Roaring Zeros must have seemed bizarrely optimistic when it was published in 1999, at the height of the Y2K scare. Optimistic futurism seems almost out of style, but super-lifestylist Kevin Kelly's predictions of a hyper-prosperous North America for decades makes for a great read:
"Fast-forward to 2020. After two decades of ultraprosperity, the average American household's income is $150,000, but milk still costs only about $2.50 a gallon. Web-enabled TVs are free if you commit to watching them, but camping permits for Yellowstone cost $1,000. Almost everyone working has signed up for a job that does not exist (at the moment); most workers have more than one business card, more than one source of income. Hard-hat workers are paid as much as Web designers, and plumbers charge more for house calls than doctors. For the educated, the income gap narrows. Indeed, labor is in such short supply that corporations 'hire' high school grads, and then pay for their four-year college educations before they begin work."

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