Hot Topic Reflections… Welcome to the Dark Future
It's funny, but in 2020 the upcoming cyberpunk features become more and more visible. The global pandemic has exacerbated national and social conflicts. Severe quarantine according to the Chinese model, with movement control and drones tracking negligent citizens, makes us recall the most worthy dystopian examples.
Russia is not far behind by introducing QR passes, and the public is resisting by organizing online rallies (digital society with digital methods of resistance, ha-ha). Conspiracy theories add fuel to the fire: COVID-19 is a biological weapon created in Chinese / American laboratories; in Britain, 5G towers are set fire, as they are blamed for the spread of the virus; a floating hospital in New York is associated with an attempt to conceal the victims of pedophile traffic (I'm not joking, google it). Like mushrooms after rain, covid dissidents appear and doubt the existence of the virus and its consequences. However, their number has decreased recently...
Amid this hysteria, the global economy goes to a steep peak. The oil crisis, trade wars, mutual sanctions, small and medium business losses threaten to cause a domino effect, and some economists generally predict problems akin to the depression of the 30s.
It’s also worth noting that those employed in the IT field are much easier to bear the effects of a pandemic - many of them either has worked at a distance, or can switch to it more easily now. The rest have much worse, up to the loss of work and livelihood. The US unemployment index reached 23%, comparing with the Great Depression indicators. In Russia, this percentage will also jump up, especially considering that part of the population is employed in gray and black labor markets. Entire industries suffer critical losses, and economists' forecasts for a post-pandemic economy range from bad to very bad.
Technology and scientific advances strengthen the isolation of society, and it seems that the destruction of traditional forms of social interactions and the nuclear family will be accelerated. Distance friends, distance education, even parties and music festivals - all this quickly spilled over to online and may soon become commonplace. The growing industry of virtual and augmented reality will only make this experience brighter. How fast will we be able to get back to familiar social interactions? And will we be back?
What will this crisis push the mankind to? May the developed biotechnologies be used to prevent such large-scale epidemics in the future? Will countries join the biological race, and will ethical standards limiting this industry now be called into question? Will the system of global surveillance and control of citizens be abolished, or will it be our inheritance "just in case"? Who will be declared the scapegoat after the end of the pandemic and will it lead to a new cold war, or maybe a hot one? What will happen to a huge number of people left without a livelihood? Will unconditional basic income help here? Too many questions, the answers we will be able to find out online, 24/7 and very soon.
Someone said the 21st century came only now, and a year ago we lived out the years of the good old 20th. If so, welcome to the dark future. And do not forget to fasten your seat belts, the trip promises to be hot!
Filipp Suvorov, INNO-MIR