Futurists’ Sandbox: Scenarios for Social Technologies in 2025

This is the weirdest SXSW panel I’ve ever been to.
The setting is a funeral parlour or church, with a fake pastor (complete with black suit) gives a final sermon to a fictitious porn star whose 13″ penis has been copyrighted by Disney, thus he could not show it in public for the last 20 years of his life.
What I’m getting from this is the first scenario is about big corporations dominating and suffocating content creators with their legal rights. It’s a doomsday prediction.
The second scenario is a futuristic-looking one, simulating an Annual General Meeting of a company which seems to treat data like money. There is such a glut of data that the value is in processing it within context. Other services include surveillance and data collection from young children. This has a Big Brother feel – again, negative. The trend is data profiling will become more important as the market is flooded with data.
I feel like walking out of this one but I’d be joining another panel (a long distance away) when more than half of it’s gone.
The third scenario has a fictitious Make a friend foundation. “Kids should not be denied access to Facebook, just because they cannot afford ad-free versions of Facebook.” In short, social networks will become necessary for children’s social development and health. It is the only way that children can find and make friends with each other. This is actually scary too.
To raise money to help these children, there is a fake auction. First item is several volumes of Cory Doctorow’s data. Next item is Google Vault’s “propaganda posters”.
The third item is a lifetime subscription to the fictitious Google Flush service where you can dump all your data.
Fourth item is fictitious iCandy contact lens that lets people watch 5,000 channels and allows you to surf the Internet.
Fifth item is a lifetime supply of fictitious product, Anger Away! as many people today are getting angry.
Sixth item is fictitious Crayola customisable DNA markers which each have RFID tags that pair your DNA with your family members.
The fourth, and final, scenario, is a faceless Voice. Feels like the Matrix. Everyone must be connected to the Reputation Internetwork. If they leave, they will no longer be heard. Their reputation points (treated like currency) will disappear, filtered out from other people’s views.
The final 10 minutes is FINALLY looking like a real SXSW panel. They introduce themselves but no questions are asked.
Top points for creativity and style but low on actual substance. A number of people have walked out on this ‘panel’. If I knew what I’d be in for, I’d never have stepped in.