Welcome To 2030. I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy... And Life Has Never Been Better

Authored by Ida Auken, Member of Parliament, Parliament of Denmark; via The World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils,

Welcome to the year 2030. Welcome to my city – or should I say, “our city”. I don’t own anything. I don’t own a car. I don’t own a house. I don’t own any appliances or any clothes.

It might seem odd to you, but it makes perfect sense for us in this city.

Everything you considered a product, has now become a service. We have access to transportation, accommodation, food and all the things we need in our daily lives. One by one all these things became free, so it ended up not making sense for us to own much.

First communication became digitized and free to everyone. Then, when clean energy became free, things started to move quickly. Transportation dropped dramatically in price. It made no sense for us to own cars anymore, because we could call a driverless vehicle or a flying car for longer journeys within minutes. We started transporting ourselves in a much more organized and coordinated way when public transport became easier, quicker and more convenient than the car. Now I can hardly believe that we accepted congestion and traffic jams, not to mention the air pollution from combustion engines. What were we thinking?

Sometimes I use my bike when I go to see some of my friends. I enjoy the exercise and the ride. It kind of gets the soul to come along on the journey. Funny how some things seem never seem to lose their excitement: walking, biking, cooking, drawing and growing plants. It makes perfect sense and reminds us of how our culture emerged out of a close relationship with nature.

“Environmental problems seem far away”

In our city we don’t pay any rent, because someone else is using our free space whenever we do not need it. My living room is used for business meetings when I am not there.

Once in awhile, I will choose to cook for myself. It is easy – the necessary kitchen equipment is delivered at my door within minutes. Since transport became free, we stopped having all those things stuffed into our home. Why keep a pasta-maker and a crepe cooker crammed into our cupboards? We can just order them when we need them.

This also made the breakthrough of the circular economy easier. When products are turned into services, no one has an interest in things with a short life span. Everything is designed for durability, repairability and recyclability. The materials are flowing more quickly in our economy and can be transformed to new products pretty easily. Environmental problems seem far away, since we only use clean energy and clean production methods. The air is clean, the water is clean and nobody would dare to touch the protected areas of nature because they constitute such value to our well being. In the cities we have plenty of green space and plants and trees all over. I still do not understand why in the past we filled all free spots in the city with concrete.

The death of shopping

Shopping? I can’t really remember what that is. For most of us, it has been turned into choosing things to use. Sometimes I find this fun, and sometimes I just want the algorithm to do it for me. It knows my taste better than I do by now.

When AI and robots took over so much of our work, we suddenly had time to eat well, sleep well and spend time with other people. The concept of rush hour makes no sense anymore, since the work that we do can be done at any time. I don’t really know if I would call it work anymore.

It is more like thinking-time, creation-time and development-time.

For a while, everything was turned into entertainment and people did not want to bother themselves with difficult issues.

It was only at the last minute that we found out how to use all these new technologies for better purposes than just killing time.

“They live different kinds of lives outside of the city”

My biggest concern is all the people who do not live in our city. Those we lost on the way. Those who decided that it became too much, all this technology. Those who felt obsolete and useless when robots and AI took over big parts of our jobs. Those who got upset with the political system and turned against it. They live different kind of lives outside of the city. Some have formed little self-supplying communities. Others just stayed in the empty and abandoned houses in small 19th century villages.

Once in awhile I get annoyed about the fact that I have no real privacy. No where I can go and not be registered. I know that, somewhere, everything I do, think and dream of is recorded. I just hope that nobody will use it against me.

All in all, it is a good life. Much better than the path we were on, where it became so clear that we could not continue with the same model of growth. We had all these terrible things happening: lifestyle diseases, climate change, the refugee crisis, environmental degradation, completely congested cities, water pollution, air pollution, social unrest and unemployment. We lost way too many people before we realised that we could do things differently.

Author’s note: Some people have read this blog as my utopia or dream of the future. It is not. It is a scenario showing where we could be heading – for better and for worse. I wrote this piece to start a discussion about some of the pros and cons of the current technological development. When we are dealing with the future, it is not enough to work with reports. We should start discussions in many new ways. This is the intention with this piece.


Beam Me Up Scotty IH8OBAMA Sat, 11/25/2017 - 12:22 Permalink

So who is going to make the machinery to deliver all of that "stuff" to you for free?  Who is going to repair that machinery?  Someone, somewhere will have to do some ACTUAL work, so you won't have to.  How do you think they will feel about that?  You living in your little Utopia while they waste their lives working away.  Your "vision" is more like the Hunger Games than any sort of Utopia.  The workers in the Districts will be slaving away for dried bread crumbs, to create your Utopian dream.  Good luck and Fuck YOU.

In reply to by IH8OBAMA

macholatte Beam Me Up Scotty Sat, 11/25/2017 - 12:26 Permalink

 The author is a  classic .gov parasite not even mentioning where all the robots come from or who pays for them or the word “work”.  It all just falls from the sky. Nobody has to clean the house or do laundry. The grass is GMO so it never needs to be cut or watered. All the food appears in the markets magically. The machines never break down so nobody has to fix them. Humans are merely passengers. Nobody has to expend any energy doing anything. Utopia or Fairy Dust? 

In reply to by Beam Me Up Scotty

Reality Creator DownWithYogaPants Sat, 11/25/2017 - 15:02 Permalink

A farmer has a big herd because that makes him more money than a smaller herd.

With artificially intelligent robots and a service economy that does not reward "ownership," what's the point of a herd at all? Sure, you can have a few pets, like pussy-cats, but a herd of fat cows?

The surplus population will consist of the vast majority of humans who do not need to be around anymore to fatten the economy for the minority 1% elite. Why would the farmer keep their livestock, if he could just get his steaks delivered and cooked for him, or for that matter, everything brought to him in the form of a service?

The question is, who is going to pay for it all, and build the robots to mine the natural resources and process it all into value-added products...I mean services? How will it work out when the robots can build the robots, fix them, schedule their work, and so forth? And which humans will be the ones remaining to enjoy it all?

In reply to by DownWithYogaPants

NoDecaf Beam Me Up Scotty Sat, 11/25/2017 - 20:36 Permalink

Ida forgot to mention that everyone in this future city will be wearing rompers, the preferred attire for Man-children of the future or mildren for short. That's newspeak for those who don't know. Those who live in their dusty hovels of the districts. If only they knew how good life could be. Nobody should have to work or own things, except a bicycle.to remind ourselves...about shopping...and something elsewhat was I doing? oh yes I almost forgotpaint by numbersI am almost finishedI never finishI'll just get a new one tomorrow

In reply to by Beam Me Up Scotty

Shemp 4 Victory NoDecaf Sat, 11/25/2017 - 21:43 Permalink

Paragraph 4, line 2:

Then, when clean energy became free, things started to move quickly.

I hasten to remind Ida that a magic wand is not yet invented.

Author’s note: Some people have read this blog as my utopia or dream of the future. It is not. It is a scenario showing where we could be heading – for better and for worse. I wrote this piece to start a discussion about some of the pros and cons of the current technological development.

While considering the pros and cons of the current technological development, Ida should be mindful that the biggest "con" is the myth of clean and abundant free energy.

In reply to by NoDecaf

buttmint macholatte Sat, 11/25/2017 - 16:19 Permalink

IDA is trying to hustle and plagiarize HG WELLS "The Time Machine." The Morlocks lived underground---the worker vermin multiracial worker bees that supplied all to the 1% schmnos living the good life....the Eloi.....the false narrative. All of ZHers need to head to Amazon or any free eBook service and stock up our Kindle / iPads with The Classics!

In reply to by macholatte

WOAR macholatte Sat, 11/25/2017 - 21:36 Permalink

"When I'm not there, my living room hosts business meetings."I call bullshit. How much JUNK do you accumulate? How can you even begin to make that kind of statement? Unless there are zero standards for professionalism, you do NOT use a house to host business meetings. Such an idea is asinine. Are they going to tear down the paintings that your children made so they can use the white walls for their presentation? Without any concept of ownership, what state of distress will they leave in your living room? Will garbage just be thrown about? Is that your job - garbage man for other people that use 'your' house?How pathetic. You are an 18th century butler that doesn't even have class.

In reply to by macholatte

tmosley Beam Me Up Scotty Sat, 11/25/2017 - 12:29 Permalink

This person from the future, dreamed up by a bureaucrat projecting his desires onto others, has simply CHOSEN his life of coddled poverty. That these things will be cheap does NOT mean that you will not own them. On the contrary, when they become so cheap, more and more of them will be owned, and SOME people will make a conscious choice that goes very much against their own human nesting instincts to not own anything, and instead simply summon such things on demand.And no, you aren't going to rent out your fucking living room for business meetings. What a ridiculous notion. VR means you can attend such meetings in your underwear from home. Much more likely is that you will rent out your car, and maybe your AGI robot butler when you don't need it.

In reply to by Beam Me Up Scotty

Big Whoop Beam Me Up Scotty Sat, 11/25/2017 - 15:06 Permalink

You don’t get it. Everyone is an interior decorator or a food critic now. Even though I know a computer can do a better job at it than I can, I’m a food critic. I wouldn’t even call it work. It’s just me being me. Sure, there are some rabble who live outside the city, but that’s because they chose to be left behind. A world where everything is free and clean was just too much change for them.

In reply to by Beam Me Up Scotty

Sparkey Future Jim Sun, 11/26/2017 - 11:48 Permalink

You are absolute right  Jimmy boy, Everything seems to say; The Rulers fear us, so they hate us, you can see the changes over the last fourty years or so, we have changed from Citizens to suspects, soon, as Jim says, there will be no need for your consent to anything and as you won't have any purpose your AI handler will, in the name of efficiency, terminate you in accordance with it's programming. Remember AI will do it's work with out hesitation, pondering moral questions won't be part of the programming, neither will imagining Heaven or hell or a past or a future, this is true Hell on Earth for Humans perhaps it is for Chickens in a pen, do you worry about the chickens in the pen? AI will do it's job with greater detachment and less emotion than  a chicken Rancher applies to his work as he culls his flock.

In reply to by Future Jim

Future Jim FORD_FIESTA Sat, 11/25/2017 - 12:30 Permalink

The reality of this kind of future was illustrated much better in the old Russian novel We.We – A Prophetic Novel from Russia Russian naval architect and author Yevgeny Zamyatin wrote his brilliant and visionary novel We in 1920. It takes place in the 26th century, where he shows us the end result of progressivism – given enough power and enough time. He shows us how the humans in a progressive dystopian future will be absolutely certain that they are living in a perfect utopia. Now I know what you’re thinking, but We is refreshingly lighthearted and even goofy, which is appropriate given the naivety of the main character and his people, who have never been exposed to a dangerous idea, and who have never had to make a tough decision. We learn all about our future “utopia” through a few months in the life of the main character, who is simply documenting his day-to-day observations for the benefit of humans elsewhere in the solar system. You see, outside of Earth, humans have yet to understand how absolute conformity benefits everyone absolutely. During this period in the life of the main character, he meets a woman who risks everything to introduce him to ideas and emotions he has never known before. He documents his daily flip flops between his loyalty to her and his loyalty to his government. The main character is not just anyone in his utopian world. He is the architect of the ship that will carry the philosophy of earth to all humans so that maybe the ship won’t have to convert them through force. This ship is being built as the novel progresses. Is the new woman in his life just using him because he is the architect and future captain of the ship? Does she really love him? We suspect that like Mata Hari, the answer is both. The main character is immature and weak – of course. He makes many right decisions and many wrong decisions. We never know until the last page whether he will develop the strength of character that will ultimately lead to an era of renewed freedom – or to the permanent enslavement of all humanity. Although Zamyatin was a Bolshevik, he was disturbed by the willingness of other Bolsheviks to censor artists and writers. Given just a few early indications, before Stalin, he correctly foresaw many of the atrocities of Stalinism, and we can see how many more of his prophecies would come true in the future if progressivism were given enough power and enough time. We was a direct influence on the novel 1984, and was an indirect influence on the novel Brave New World. Excellent movies that seem indirectly influenced by We are Brazil, THX-1138, and Equilibrium. These are all quite intense, so afterwards, I recommend Idiocracy. We is deceptively lighthearted. It will leave you disturbed for a very long time. In We, I have a discovered a novel that beautifully illustrates my own recent epiphany:

Given enough power and time, the result of Progressivism will have been to kill The Soul Of Humanity.

In reply to by FORD_FIESTA

Endgame Napoleon Future Jim Sat, 11/25/2017 - 13:04 Permalink

Funny, the Zeitgeist trilogy reviewer mentions those loose ends in the utopian, progressive, service-as-product sharing economy, like the incentive for the borrower to refrain from breaking the products that s/he borrows. It is not like a library, where they charge fines, actually, because everything is free of charge, and the borrowers have no fiat. I guess that is the reason for the “informants.”

What is the use of having an apartment for privacy and a private life if it can be “used [by strangers] as a physical space for a meeting” when you leave? Without the world of work, separating private life from public life, the whole concept of privacy breaks down. A certain amount of privacy is necessary for individualism to exist.

In reply to by Future Jim

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 Endgame Napoleon Sat, 11/25/2017 - 16:38 Permalink

I appreciate that you mentioned the use of informants.

Has anyone else noticed that snitching is alive and well on various Utube channels? Same for Twatter and Fackebook. By snitching I mean where a user can anonymously flag any content for any reason. Certain channels are consistently flagged in order to have them shut down and / or demonetized.

About privacy. I think privacy is necessary to be a healthy and sane person. What is the first thing that is stripped from anyone that goes to jail or prison? Their right to privacy.

I was in the military and lived in the barracks for four years. I also had to share a bedroom growing up. I can tell you this, sharing a bathroom or bedroom sucks. Especially with strangers. The military makes it work because cleaning and discipline and standards are strictly enforced. I can guarantee the little snowflakes don't want to be subjected to military discipline on a daily basis. I am guessing the stick would be non-compliance and the threat would be expulsion from the heavenly sanctuary city to the dirty hinterlands. That might work, for some.

Some of us prefer the dirty hinterlands.

In reply to by Endgame Napoleon

Sparkey Jessica6 Sun, 11/26/2017 - 12:07 Permalink

The "Perfect Society" is being imagined by the Class that imagines owning the AI machines busily working to make a better society for "Them", so what do they think their Perfest Society should look like, and can the owners really control the "Technicians'? Will not, over time, the Technicians become the Rulers because they alone will know how to program the machines, remember,,what ever 'plans' the instigators have the results won't be what the plan at origination was, the World is a dynamic place and no one can plan the future perfectly!

In reply to by Jessica6

Putrid_Scum FORD_FIESTA Sat, 11/25/2017 - 21:27 Permalink

I don't see human nature changing any time soon.There'll be a massive kill off using The Reset as cover ... essentially the same story in the 20th century but the means of killing will be more efficient this time round ... and the kill off has already begun in several systemically unimportant nations.The Reset is going to break a lot of hearts, a lot of dreams.Putridwww.beforethecollapse.com/2017/05/23/the-reset/   

In reply to by FORD_FIESTA