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The Future According to VICE

Welcome to the Future According to VICE

A series of essays about how the world is going to change in the next few years, from drugs to terrorism, plastic surgery to video games.

by Alex Miller
Jan 18 2015, 12:00am

Welcome to the Future According to VICE. Basically, it's a series of essays about how various aspects of our world are going to change in the next few years. Why? Because it's January and hopefully we're all ready to shrug off the calamitous mess that was 2014 and stride onward into the rising sun. Although, on a global level, that plan has already been pissed on from a great height thanks to Boko Haram in Nigeria, those behind the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris, the world's most terrifying newscaster, and so much other bad news that the first couple weeks of January have felt like a miserable stretch in some CIA black site.

Anyway, here for you is a collection of pieces on things we think are interesting. From drugs to terrorism, plastic surgery to video games.

Cheers,

Alex Miller
Global Head of Content, VICE

The Future of Drugs:

The possibilities for buying drugs online while avoiding the attentions of future cyber rozzers are endless. Jonny Y, a seasoned online buyer, former psychonaut, and onetime online vendor, told me the internet now has a thriving number of close-knit online drug-trading communities who've gravitated away from the dark market and moved onto the clear web. Funded by monthly subscription fees rather than commissions from Bitcoin transactions, they're helping to make hiding in plain sight a new camouflage for the online drug buyer.

The Future of Video Games:

"Have the people who are strongly against VR actually tried it? We find that when people try it, they are immediately hooked and want to try more demos and experiences. There are a small number of people who find it a bit too much, but there is a scale of comfort with all software and experiences. Like all new technology, there will always be the luddites who dismiss and show disdain; but this time around, the market is ready and the hardware is available for those who want it."

The Future of Terrorism:

"We're entering an era of the democratization of destructive capability," says Paul Rosenzweig, a former senior US Department of Homeland Security official who wrote a book in 2013 on cyberwar. "Things that only governments could do are now being done by individuals."

The Future of Sex:

In the last year, I have received a blowjob from a machine, wore a spandex diaper to a strip club, slept with a dude I met on Instagram, and fucked at least 14 guys I met on Grindr. Yet somehow, according to sex experts my love life is about to get even better in 2015 and beyond, largely thanks to sexy robots and more apps devoted to getting people laid.

The Future of Plastic Surgery:

Social media continues to dominate more and more of the cultural discourse, which could lead to an even bigger demand for artificial enhancements to the human body. The future of beauty might not be as sci-fi freaky as Tyra Banks predicted in the summer of 2014, but it's certainly moving toward accessibility and ease of use.

The Future of Television:

We're not discerning viewers. We're content vacuums. We used to be snobby about how Nielsen ratings supposedly didn't measure the real viewing habits of America, but ever since they started crunching numbers from social media, they got a clearer picture of what we're really watching, and it's not good. Now they know we mainly just watch The Bachelor, Pretty Little Liars, American Horror Story: Freak Show, Teen Wolf, The Bachelorette, The Voice, and Dancing with the Stars.

The Future of Social Media:

"In ten or 15 years social media will probably just be a 3D hologram of a Coca-Cola bottle angrily shouting at us to buy Coca-Cola, then rewarding us with a meme .GIF if we buy Coca-Cola, or shocking us with a high-voltage electrical current if we don't."

The Future of Religion:

In the Western world, at least, religion is going out with a whimper, not a bang. Christianity is in a slow, long-term decline. About 60 percent of Brits say they're not religious at all, and in the US about a fifth of the population doesn't belong to any religion, including a third of people under 30. In other parts of the world, sure, the Muslim and Christian populations are growing, but that's mostly because populations in Asia and Africa are growing much faster than ours, not because they're persuading more people to convert.