2017, a a future review from 2011

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2017, a a future review from 2011

Post by madd0ct0r »

Old thread from 2011: http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=152849
madd0ct0r wrote: 2011-12-28 10:22pm it's 2017 and oil has hit $300 a barrel. No wars, no nuclear Armageddon and it's not the end of civilisation. No wonder tech breakthroughs either. Stuff that was just about around in 2012 is in use but fusion is still 50 years off.

You are sitting having a coffee / breakfast in your neighborhood.
What have you seen over the last decade? what's changed?
Well, I didn't expect fracking or the OPEC response to it (I was projecting the 1998-2008 price increase - https://www.macrotrends.net/1369/crude- ... tory-chart)
In real life, Oil is $50 a barrel now, half what it was in 2011 and yet electric cars, hyrdrogen trains and heirloom plastic (trather then disposable) are all on the rise, or so it seems.

Choice bits:
madd0ct0r wrote: 2011-12-29 12:10am With a rustle I fold the paper back on itself, and quickly read down the job listings. The number of Westerners in Vietnam has been steadily growing these past few years as more people chase the jobs east. Now, even in a little city like Da Nang you can get the English language newspaper easily, not that Da Nang was a little city anymore. [this happened]

I sipped my black coffee and peered down at the traffic. More cars then there were a decade ago, even with tax on purchase now at 250% of the car’s value. Less of the old clattering rat bikes and more newer Japanese purring models. One had a sticker along it, boasting of ‘110% fuel efficient’. Some things never changed. [Electric bikes actually. I missed that]

Other things did – there was now a Mexican and Filipino restaurant in the city centre. [this happened]
Da Nang buses were now green, not yellow and had bred prodigiously. More people cycled for ‘fun’ or exercise then because of poverty, although the ‘clean air tax’ had helped. The men at the table next to me called for a chess set. The pieces were set up face down, hiding the Chinese characters. Letters naming the pieces had been written on the underside (now top) in permanent marker. I’d seen newer chess sets with the pictograms carved into the top of them, and even one that was converted from a western chess set. Anything, as long as it wasn’t Chinese.

The government had fallen a little while back. Under the steadily increasing pressure, it had been revealed certain older, corrupt members of the Party had offered China favorable terms should it intervene to prevent a New Spring. Passed from mouth to mouth, mobile to mobile, the country had exploded. I’d returned here in the aftermath, to try and cut as large a slice of the contracts as I could for my company, and maybe even do a little good on the side. [this happened, including protests and riots, but did not change the goverment, largely due to the failure of the arab spring. I refer also to HK's ongoing situation]

The coffee was black and oily over the ice. Heaven.

The roofs around me were green. I’ll say this for the old party, it might have taken years before they understood the concept of sustainable building design, but they’d finally embraced it with gusto. Now every new roof was green, and most of the old had the gleaming tell tale of a hot water panel somewhere. Still, unless the drought broke soon the dams would run dry and it’d be three day brownouts again. [green roof movement sort of got started, but far from universal. Hot water panels turned out to fail - my fil removed his becuase the water was dangerously hot in the summer, and you don't need more then a kettle most of the year. The drought happened: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/201 ... 51087.html]

Ho hum. I sipped my coffee ad flipped through my diary.
Guardsman Bass wrote: 2011-12-29 12:32am Let's assume that I'm sitting in a coffee shop. The smartphone I'm reading the news on cost me $40, although it's pretty basic - you still have to type your text messages. It has a cool custom cover I got made at the local 3D Print Shop, and while it has a battery, it's currently running off of the wireless power device plugged into a nearby wall. [this all happened, but turned out people like texting and that ordering online is easier model then local print shops] A pity the coffee cost me $10.

The news is mostly old today, with one exception. There's the usual fears about collapsing exurban house prices,[this is not really happening yet?] and the controversial congressional proposal to extend aid to Michigan in dealing with the former workers of the now defunct General Motors. Terrorism news has quieted down quite a bit, with nothing noticeable since the failed 2015 Washington Monument bombing attempt. The riots in Shenzhen continue with little end in sight.
The best news is that Starcraft 3 is garnering decent reviews, enough that I might even be willing to pay the monthly fee to stream it.

My phone warns me that the bus is almost here. I'd love to get one of the plug-ins that my best friend recently bought, but I can't afford the payments quite yet.

As I sit on the bus, I relax and put on my screen glasses. They look like opaque sunglasses from the front, but the screens on the inside link to my phone, and allow me to seemingly watch on a broader screen. It's even good enough to (almost) let me ignore the wanker who thinks no one notices him jerking off in the back corner seat, probably to his phone's Sexbot App no doubt.
Guardsman Bass wrote: 2011-12-29 06:10pm
Simon_Jester wrote:And the superficial sameness is kind of implicit in your posts. I have a smart phone- how much energy does that smart phone cost to produce, and to power? I have a job- how does the inability of other people to drive around impact that job?
The electrical power used to power and make it comes from coal-burning plants, both in Indonesia and the US (China got too expensive for a lot of the final assembly work). The transportation costs are higher because of the oil prices, but they also ship them in bulk. Of course, I had to actually ride the bus to the big Amazon locker a couple of miles in town, since getting it home-shipped is just too costly these days (even with UPS's increasing use of the new natural gas hybrid engines for their trucks).

I wouldn't go so far as to say that nobody else can drive. This area is reasonably well off, so you've still got quite a few upper-middle class people driving cars around running on the usual gasoline. It's just that they only have one or two cars instead of three or four, and both cars are compacts (hybrids are quite common as well). The middle- and working-class people here are worse off - most of them have to carpool, ride on some of the new bus lines, or take the extended light rail (sometime a combination of all three).

The real losers are the new couples out in the exurbs, who moved out in search of cheap housing only to get the rug pulled out from under them when commuting became too expensive. Lots of them are underwater in this state, and housing and commercial residency prices in Metropolitan Salt Lake City have been rising steadily. There's some serious pressure being put on some of the cities in the valley to loosen building height restrictions.
Pretty damn accurate, although maybe flavoured by the aftertaste of the 2010 recession, which was ongoing at the time.

Gradn Master Terwynn took the $300 oil to the level, which didn't happen in real life. I'm not going to strike out the whole post.
GrandMasterTerwynn wrote: 2011-12-29 07:24pm That cup of coffee tastes burnt.

Typical, really. A non-committal coffee drinker, like myself, goes through these cycles where the caffeine addiction drives me to go back to coffee; and that lasts until some fucker burns the pot. At which time, I'm off the stuff again. For a while, anyway. A much longer while, given that the cup of coffee just cost me $12.

But, that can be forgiven, given how empty the coffee shop is nowadays. I saw that a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline costs the same $12 that my terrible twenty ounce cup of coffee does. Traffic outside the window is still as busy as it ever was. Maybe even busier. The haze on the flanks of the mountains is certainly denser than it used to be. People still drive . . . they have to.

For example, I'd sell my soul to the Christian devil, to have someone buy my house and everything in it, so I can go find an efficient little apartment in the city center. But my house is worth maybe 40 - 45% of what it was in the boom years . . . and I still owe the bank the same check each month that I did when I bought the goddamn thing.

I'd love to buy an electric car, but one of those goes for about half of what my house is worth. As it is, I'm lucky I traded in my old car for an even older Toyota Echo . . . but even though I only drive as far as the Park and Ride lot anymore, I still pay $2400 more a year in transportation costs than I did a few years ago . . .those bus passes are expensive! A hundred and twenty a month!

Yeah . . . don't get me started on how much more everything costs. I pay more for gas. Pay more for everything . . . electricity, heating and cooking gas, and food . . . did I tell you that I saw store brand white bread on sale for $4.69 a loaf? Couldn't believe it myself. I bought two loaves that day . . . good thing I can still afford the electricity to run the refrigerator! It, and my laptop, are the only two things I have plugged in these days. Sure, I got a couple of lights on for an hour or so every night, but that's it. Who cares that the house is 100 degrees in the summer and 40 in the winter?

I'm mighty grateful my twelve year old laptop is still running . . . don't know what I'd do for internet access without it. Sure, there's the library, but they're only open for three days a week anymore, and they charge you five bucks to use their internet. Same for my ten year old cellphone. I sure ain't going to pay Verizon $150 for a bare-bones phone like the one I got.

It's the same for everyone else I know. Retirement? Fuck that, nobody can afford to retire, since they can barely afford to work to begin with. Why, I'm having this cup of coffee because, I'm celebrating the fact that I've survived the latest round of layoffs! I feel sorry for the guys on the factory floor who got escorted out of the plant. Yeah, sure, you'd think that with $300 a barrel oil, countries would be lining up to buy missiles and bombs and shit; but they're not buying them from the U. S. of A. Ain't a day that goes by anymore that I don't get hit up for spare change. It used to be that I'd buy someone like that some tacos, or a coffee, or tortillas. Nowadays, all I can do is say "sorry, guy, I gotta eat too." But I gotta be careful who I say that to, because the county can't afford to pay to have sheriff's deputies tooling around in their cop cars as much; and people are starting to catch on to that fact.

I don't wanna be unemployed . . . government ain't gonna take care of me. No better than they've taken care of the 14% of Americans already unemployed. That road outside the coffee shop? It's got cracks and potholes in it. It's been three years since the county could afford to do any more than throw some gravel into the holes that seem to form after every monsoon season. And another thing . . . I read an article the other day that the Federal government is less than ten years from default now. Jeb Bush got into the White House by promising to open up the country to be drilled like a well-used Mexican whore, and to cut taxes to "put money in the hands of the job-creators." It's almost a good thing that Washington hasn't gotten any more efficient over the last five years.

Jeb Bush! hahahah. WE GOT TRUMP BABY! (although in the 2017 of the thread it

Count Chocula wrote: 2011-12-30 12:28am Currency inflation has run its inevitable course, and thankfully "wages" in the developed world have kept up with it once employers discovered the 10% permanently unemployed were permanently unemployable, for various reasons. It feels a lot like the 1970s.

So oil is $300/barrel, le sigh. Milk is $7 a gallon and my teenager drinks the stuff like it's Jack Daniel's. Which is $50 per 750ml ouch. My $70k/year job in 2011 pays $210k/year now; good thing I've added creds and experience so I'm at a whopping $300k/year, just under the "rich" tax soak rate.

But there's good news: the federal deficit has leveled off at just under $300 billion/year, and with the way inflation's going there's a possibility my son's grandchildren won't be born with a six figure debt payment over their heads.
Plus, it's not like the Eurozone folks have anything to crow about; England's still on the Pound and thumbing their noses at the Continent while the Euro lurches from crisis to crisis.[this happened, but still UK dosen't have anything to crow about either :)] Sure, China's cashing in of their US bonds hurt us back in 2017 when the Yuan was pegged at its true value and China fell apart into feuding fiefdoms, but they're still fighting each other and Taiwan is still free. As far as Monopoly money goes, the American dollar still ain't a bad way to bet.
Junghalli wrote: 2011-12-31 12:07am
*Note: I've tried to honestly capture my own likely reactions, opinions etc. in this; this shouldn't be taken as a completely reliable narrator :D :

And yes, I did run with DXIII's ideas on the politics. I think portraying a future where leaders we dislike get into power and actually do a decent job (for a while at least) might be interesting.


They've marked up the prices on the newspapers again. And the food. Annoying. Inflation, I guess. I've noticed a lot of the prices seem to be going up lately. Nothing serious, just a few extra cents. Well, except for gas, but then when are gas prices not outrageous?

I buy my newspaper and breakfast, walk home, make my coffee. Breakfast and a newspaper, my Sunday indulgence. Something about Palestine draws my attention, and I decide to be a good boy for a change; spinach before dessert, I'll read the news section before I read the editorials and comics and science times and book and movie reviews.

Coffee's OK, I put a ton of sugar into it as usual. Bagel sandwich doesn't have much of a taste. Maybe it's the whole wheat, or maybe it's just not very good. I think I'll go back to tradition next week; a donut.

I look through the newspaper. It's pretty much the usual. The usual trouble in the Middle East. Sanders plans to appeal to the Supreme Court. Gas prices at an all-time high, negotiations in progress to expand the oil sand mining in Canada. I wonder it that'll make any difference to me. There's supposed to be a ton of oil in the sands and shales and other "unconventional reserves" - several times everything we've used up so far, going by those papers I read anyway - but then I have the suspicion the prices they charge us have very little do with the physical world, and a lot more to do with what they think they can get away with demanding. [this happened, except Sanders.]

The TPF has been cancelled again. No surprise, with the economy tanking pure science is bound to get cut - and I can't really say I disagree with that. Most of those planets probably didn't change all that much in the last million years and won't in the next million years - they can wait a decade or three. I actually feel a little petty relief. That thing was going to make my sci fi as quaintly obsolete as Ray Bradbury's Mars. Sometimes I think it would have been better if I'd been born earlier - I wouldn't have had this problem if I'd been writing in the 80s. Then again, I wouldn't have had a computer. Imagine having to do all my research at the library, not having that ocean of information at my fingertips. No thanks.

I flip over to the editorials. Speculation that, with the economy tanking, the Democrats may finally have a shot at becoming relevant again. I have to admit the Repubs had by all appearances done a surprisingly good job up to the last few years, the economy had been good in the teens - credit where credit is due. Poor Jeb, it looks like he might just be the first Republican one-term President of the twenty-first century.[this might happen, but it's not Jeb]

Hmm, "The End of Car Culture?" With gas prices being what they are carpooling, public transport riding is on the rise. People are driving less. The editorialist is all set to dance on its grave. I think he's full of shit. If the sand oil doesn't work out they'll switch to methane, or batteries, or something. I'm more pissed off because he seems to think this would be a good thing. Puritanism for the twenty-first century; righteous disgust at people fucking is so nineteenth century, the way of the future is righteous disgust at people consuming. Different package, different object of disgust, same impulse; distrust and resentment of the natural tendency of the masses to seek pleasure, an excuse to feel better than them. [this happened]

Then again, I'm a total arrogant judgmental self-superior prick myself, so who am I to judge?

I finish up my coffee, put on my slippers, and go to wash it out. The annoying thing about living alone is having to wash my own dishes. I don't like washing dishes.
Guardsman Bass wrote: 2011-12-31 01:44am [Future Me]

You still buy print newspapers? Dinosaur. Not to mention that the damn things sell for $4.50 each - the price of a short novel. I just check the BBC. At least wages are rising again - even the shit jobs are paying $12/hr, and they're always hiring.[this happened]
Not many Mexicans are coming north these days, and those that do keep on trucking to Alberta, where they can get double that with more hours to boot. Hell, why not? Why risk your skin and $6000 on a coyote when there are tons of jobs back home?

I for one am sad that they cancelled the TPF, although I'm not surprised. Congress has a short attention span when it comes to these things, and even the discovery of a near-twin to Earth (1.04 Earth diameter, 1.09 Earth mass) smack in the middle of the habitable zone of a G-class dwarf only kept it going for three years. By 2016, they were already making noises about cancellation again.

I still can't believe Microsoft is gone. The software giant of my youth, yet Google swallowed that fucker whole. No way they would have gotten past that Anti-Trust Folks five years ago, but a Republican Congress is less afraid of consolidation, and the company just couldn't survive the bath they took when software patents were severely curtailed in 2015.
madd0ct0r wrote: 2012-01-04 09:31pm I flipped through the diary, scribbling a note here and there. Siri’s were cheap, but a paper diary had a certain degree of robustness I liked. I tapped my phone awake.

“Bodge, reminder 9am, meeting with Kim Chow Yun.”
A wink of green confirmed the appointment.

“Bodge, how do I say “Good to see you again!” in Korean?”
The little phone pondered a second, then carefully enunciated,

“dangsin-eul dasi mannaseo bangawo”

I echoed his voice.

“Not quite. About 60% correct. 4th sound not correct.”

I tired again and received a verdict of 70%. [this happened, duolingo.]

I added the voice tag to the reminder and asked Bodge to check my emails. The first was from my sister.

“Hey Peej, how are you? Not much happening here. Carl’s putting in another layer of loft insulation before winter and we’ve now go a piglet at the end of the garden. A little potbellied blackie. Very cute. Robbie loves petting and feeding it, but we’ve been very clear all along Hamchop has a destiny.

Part of me thinks it’s ridiculous, but milk is getting more and more expensive, and Robbie’s a growing boy. I got the idea from a mother at school – Cath. You’d like her, she’s into the whole hippie good life thing too. We’re currently swapping pork future’s for fresh eggs from her. Saves going to the supermarket, just pick them up at school. And they’re cheaper of course.

Message back, M”

I smiled and flicked through the next few mails. One was from HF in London. He was a lawyer but had always threatened to go into politics at some point. That point may have arrived.

“Ey up, P, heard the red team at your end have been disqualified – what’s the new league shaping up like? The usual here: red team and blue team at each other’s throats again. Energy policy. Both want to reopen the coal mines, God knows the north needs it, but as a nationalized industry or a private? Older blues dislike the idea of German, American or, gasp, Chinese companies profiting off our resources, whilst the new Reds argue it’d be better for the government to stay independent to mediate between unions and corps. They don’t want an 80s rerun damaging the rest of their agenda. It’s a regular 4-way five a side.
Only the greens are arguing for nuclear and even then only because it’s less bad then coal. I’m rapidly turning turquoise under the strain, but with only 18months to go the next general election I’m going to have to pick a horse soon.
I know you always threatened to vote the opposite of whatever I ran as, but I might need to talk to you soon. A pint when you get back from ‘Nam?
HF. [this is amusing how it is so wrong and yet I got his behavior almost spot on.]

I ordered a second coffee, and thumbed a dollar bill out of my wallet.
Guardsman Bass wrote: 2012-01-05 12:23am This may be the age of Voice-over-Text, but the computers at work still require a typed-in password. I quickly enter it, then say the magic words: "Payment Terminals One, Two, Three Boot". And like magic, the grocery store winks into life.

They call me a "head cashier", but I'm a glorified babysitter. The only time I ever take anyone's money is when I get that One Old Guy, the one who insists on paying for his carrots and toilet paper with cash. But hell, how can I complain? They pay me $25/hour to sit here on my ass, reading A Dream of Spring while the rest of our tech-savvy customers swipe items with their phones, pile them up, and walk out the door. I don't even have to stop the teen wankers who always seem to forget that the Security Cams flag them for not scanning the booze they try to walk out with - that's Winston's job, and I can't think of a 6'5" Polynesian mountain of a man who can do it better.

Still, even sitting on your ass can get tiresome after a while, so I get up and walk around the store. It's pretty quiet, what with most of the bus folks not stopping by until 5 PM after work. I get a VOT message with video from one of my friends, but I don't run the video here while under camera view. He's fun, but he and his girlfriend have gotten into the nude hiking craze lately, and they never hesitate to send me videos of themselves in nothing but boots. I'll get back to him when I get off work.
this sort of happened.
Korto wrote: 2012-01-05 11:54pm Sitting at home at the breakfast table.
Susie's been doing a lot more with eggs these days. Not surprising with the cost of meat. Eggs are cheap.
A smiling glance at the hens hanging around the back door, hoping for a few scraps thrown their way. While I've had chooks for more than a decade now, more and more people were getting a few to try and cut their food bills.

"Price of cement's going up. Gas, too" Annoying news, hitting both my concrete moulding, and metal casting. Oil's to blame; with the demand for other fuels increasing to replace oil, anything done with any fuel is going up.
"Is that a problem?"
"Not really. I'll do what I can with the furnace; some more insulation and maybe lengthen the air intake/exhaust to scrounge back some more heat. Not a lot I can do about the cement, but they're just small garden ornaments, the cement is only a tiny part of the price anyway. May raise my prices a bit; prices are going up everywhere, so no-one will notice"
Fortunately, the economy's going strong with the demand for coal and gas, which we're finally getting decent value for once the government was forced to find its balls and push through a decent mining tax. Mean's they've been able to keep my carer's pension up with their presumed cost of living; as our cost of living has always been less, it's profit.
I smile sadly as I remember the old Ural. Finally got around to getting it running after years, and then promptly had to sell it to a collector; it was just too fuel-hungry; kept the postie*. Use the buses normally, however, although the price for that has gone up, it's nothing compared to the cost of fuel.
With the cost of everything, things are being expected to last again. The "Throw away" society is becoming unfashionable, and workmanship is regaining respect. People are repairing things again, and things are being made so they can be repaired. While electronics still have "Stand By" on remote, there's also a "Hard Off".

*Postie bike, Honda CT110 (105cc), about 35km/l (82mpg in US speak). Cute things. Pity mine eats chains.
The Ural was a write off in the end, but otherwise Korto was spot on.
"Aid, trade, green technology and peace." - Hans Rosling.
"Welcome to SDN, where we can't see the forest because walking into trees repeatedly feels good, bro." - Mr Coffee
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