D A Y # 10

TASK 2: FUTURES MATRIX

For Task 2 we had to select two drivers of change and present 4 extreme scenarios in a ‘futures matrix’.

Driver of change #1: mass-production of goods & industrialisation vs. smaller businesses, local & markets

Driver of change #2:
increase in self-awareness & interest in well-being vs. no interest in well-being, anaesthetised

20110629-113410.jpg

Group Five's 'Futures Matrix'

‘WORLD OF ZERO CONSCIOUSNESS’

In quadrant #1 the world is an extreme place to live in, with an increase in the mass-production of goods, and a disinterested, unhealthy and anaesthetised population. The world is very much a dystopia reminiscent of Blade Runner’s 2019 Los Angeles – bleak, miserable and functioning like a repetitive monotonous machine.

Blade Runner's dystopian Los Angeles - Ridley Scott, 1982

There is an ongoing and continuous demand for goods with everything operating 24/7, yet there is no ethical or moral conscience. High density living, pollution, the depletion of natural resources, mental illness, depression, robotic, mindlessness, repetitive – the people of this world work for mere survival and do not feel any desire to fulfil their inner mental, spiritual, psychological or physical needs.

Johnny lives in a tightly packed 50 storey apartment block, built only 3 metres apart from neighbouring blocks, creating a haunting replication of the now demolished Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong. His apartment is comprised of one room of 12 square metres, the ceiling low enough to brush the top of his head and the concrete walls cold, dank and heavy. His singular window makes the space dim-lit, forcing Johnny to rely on artificial light perpetually and blurring the definition between night and day.

Johnny's world bears a haunting resemblance to the demolished Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong

His personal possessions are little to none – a bed which folds out from the walls, a kitchenette, a heater/air conditioner, a desk, a chair and a computer. Toilets and showers are located on every second floor and despite being communal, Johnny has never bumped into any other tenants during one of his rare trips to the bathroom. His kitchenette is most obviously the cleanest part of his apartment, appearing almost unused due to the quick, inexpensive and convenient delivery food services. If it were up to him, Johnny would not have a kitchenette if it did not come built in with the apartment – it was one of those mass-produced products, making each apartment in his block identical to the next.

Johnny’s skin is a pale colour, having not found the need nor the desire to venture outdoors (even if so, the tightly-packed, high density buildings would have hidden the sun). Besides, he needed to remain at his computer or his boss, whom he has never met nor spoken to, would declare him unreliable, inefficient and therefore redundant.

His chair is heavily worn down, the cushioning barely identifiable underneath the pressure of Johnny’s 130kg body. He can no longer recognise his family despite the potential for interconnectedness in his highly technological world. He thinks of nothing other than completing the ongoing list of tasks sent to him and updated every half an hour. Johnny’s job is to complete a certain task somewhere in the middle of the production process, to be passed on to another, and then to someone else across the globe, in an endless chain of mass-produced goods.

He claims to have seen and travelled the world, yet does not realise that viewing these things virtually through the computer screen is not what we of the past would consider as ‘experiencing’. His body is under intense physical, mental and psychological strain and is, unknown to Johnny, a ticking time-bomb. Like many others, Johnny is not expected to live past 35 years of age, yet he does not find this statistic questionable.

When Johnny dies suddenly at 29, the computer immediately detects his absence and sends corpse collectors to his apartment. Five men are needed to carry his body away to the city’s cremating area. Johnny’s apartment is declared ‘for lease’ and is occupied by another man named Johnny 2.5 hours later.

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