Okay, a long time ago, I wrote about jobs that I want:
Jobs I Want #1: Replay Official
Jobs I Want #2: Substitute Granny
Okay, a long time ago was in January and February, but to a fly, we are talking generations.
I want to be a futurist. This is an actual profession. They have societies, blogs, the whole nine yards. I have linked to a blog, but I have not read it. I don't want to steal from an actual futurist, plus I have a preconception of futurists that I don't want changed. You know, jobs look so good when you don't really know about them.
When I was in sixth grade, we talked about the future. It was in a textbook, and here is what I remember:
1. Because of technology, most work weeks will be four days in 20 years, three days perhaps thereafter.
2. We will receive most of our food from the sea by the year 2000. By most food, I remember a picture of farmers diving for kelp.
3. We will have underground cities because of the limited space above ground.
4. We will have several manned space stations that will be performing many science experiments. Not just "space" experiments, but more dangerous experiments.
5. Our pinkies will get smaller because we don't use them when typing, and most of us will be typing all day.
I don't know about you, but looking at this list, I would say that the futurist that had an impact on the state textbook is 0 for 5. And I will have to admit, part of the allure for this profession is that you are considered a success if you are right only occasionally.
Judging from people I know, I cannot imagine that we will ever be as good as people are in the Star Trek series. Okay, for those of you who want to debate Star Trek, please don't. I am not a trekkie or trekker, and I don't even know the difference. What I do know is that if you know Klingon or have a Star Trek suit and know what your rank is, it will adversely affect your ability to breed. That's all I am going to say on Star Trek fans. But for the series, I don't see a lot of greed. It is not like people are hording money or anything. And, sorry, I can't imagine going from what we are now to a society where money seems to not have much of a place. If that were the case, I just don't know how things would be.
Anyway, that is sort of the benefit of being a futurist – predicting the future. People pay you money, and they can't tell if you are any good for twenty to fifty years, depending on when your predictions are going to come true. Can you imagine having your next performance appraisal twenty years from now?
Okay, I know, as a futurist, you probably need to be entertaining. That is part of it, perhaps a large part of it, but that's not the part on which I am focusing my attention. From what I have read, many people did not know that plastics were going to be big, real big. And from a social perspective, if anyone said that VCRs were going to help the movie industry, people would have thought they were crazy. I can remember reports that the VCR was going to be the downfall of good movies. Why else would anyone go to the theaters? They must have forgot about other possible revenue streams.
My point is this – it would be way cool to just think up stuff all day, and bill whoever for your random thoughts. Because in the grand scheme of things, my random thoughts and someone else's random thought have about the same chance of being correct. And you are depositing paychecks for years before anyone is the wiser.