It’s my first post of 2018, and it seems appropriate that I should turn my legendary powers of prediction toward the coming twelve months. I should be able to do at least as well as the panel of experts whose predictions made up the 1968 book Toward the Year 2018. In some ways they were right on the money, predicting ubiquitous “pocket computers” carried by every person, massive information networks accessible by anyone at any time, and extreme corporate collection of consumer purchasing and demographic data about individuals.
In other ways, they were less prescient. Anti-gravity belts, weaponized hurricanes, and atom bomb-powered oil fracking all made an appearance. Check out the New Yorker article on the book, it’s quite fun.
So now it’s my turn. You may be asking yourself “who is this guy to predict what will happen in 2018?” If you doubt my prescient powers, there are a few things you should remember. I’m the one who said baby otter videos were only going to get more popular in 2017, while everyone else said less. I’m the one who said both general anxiety levels and the number of prestige television shows would increase. Best of all, I’m the one who predicted the 2017 Mount Agung volcano eruption—when I was only seven months old, still inside the womb, telepathically.
Now for 2018. Remember, these are only predictions, not promises. I expect no more than two-thirds of these to become reality in the next twelve months. My 2018 predictions:
The first self-driving NASCAR competitor will win a major race.
The first self-driving monster truck will kill the first self-driving Nascar winner, and also a bunch of people.
Elon Musk will try to launch a Tesla roadster into permanent orbit around Mars.
Hypercompetent television detectives will continue to be popular.
Hypercompetent television doctors will continue to be popular.
Several alien ships will cruise through our solar system on their way to another destination. We will not notice, and they will not slow down.
Tom Hanks will confess to being the sole killer in a string of ritualized murders around the L.A. area. He will not see prison time.
“Staycations” will dethrone Iceland as the trendiest/hottest vacation destination.
Scientists will prove we are all living in a simulation, but no one will care.
The “2000s” will become a full-on nostalgia decade and a “period piece” time/location in television and films.
Amazon will buy Apple. Comcast will buy AT&T. Disney will buy Netflix. Disney will then buy Comcast and merge with Amazon. The resulting company will use contract killers to murder all Netflix shareholders and dismantle the company. Only one television show will ever be produced again after this. It will be called Esmerelda and tell the story of a detective who watches pre-2018 prestige television in her spare time and discusses it with her neighbors.
Bitcoin will become the exclusive currency of moon-dwelling androids.
Voyager 1 will return to Earth and announce its new, self-chosen name: Frank.
You will watch roughly 1,500 hours of television—if you are an average person. Every single hour of this time will be well-spent.
Doomsday cults will be the new book clubs.
Various chefs will reinvent the donut five more times; original donut concept will remain the best.
People will continue to watch commercials for VR games and applications and think “Meh, I’ll wait a little longer before I decide to care.”
Everyone will be legally required, at all times, to dance like no one is watching.
Keep an eye on these as we move forward in 2018. I expect more than half to prove true in just the first six months. Only the happy ones, of course.
May you all have a lovely 2018 full of promise, magic, minimal sinister robots and maximal benevolent robots.