In 2115, none of today’s readers will be able to fact check Stefan Klein and Stephen Cave’s article. In “Once and Future Sins,” the two authors try to project the outlines of human society 100 years in the future. Both writers live in Berlin, a peaceful and unified city, and call themselves “progressive” – a descriptor, they hypothesize, which may disappear altogether. Instead, a hundred years from now, there will be new labels: It may no longer be acceptable to use genderized words such as “he” or “she,” which are loaded with prejudice. A pronoun like “heesh” might be used to refer to all persons equally, regardless of their chosen gender, the authors write. “Heesh” will also apply to all animals, and it will be considered an offense to eat any life form. So no more sausages. But there is also a different future for vegetarians, since humanity will recognize plants as “striving for life.” The food will therefore be mostly synthetic.
Privacy will be abolished, and regarded as a cover for criminality and hypocrisy. One hundred years from now, the idea of consuming alcohol or driving a car will be unacceptable, not to mention flushing the toilets with drinking water, as we do now.
Klein and Cave, however, sound a bit conservative when talking about the use of the Internet and cell phones a century from now. But I won’t tell you more and spoil the rest of the article, since it’s a fun read.