PART from falling victim to violence or severe accident, we’ll be able to live about as long as we like. It will be quality time all the way, with everyone remaining vigorous and active— physically, intellectually, and sexually. Nursing homes, like sanatoria, will pass happily into history.
There’ll be machines to do everything, including fix each other. No one will have to work but most will continue to make a contribution doing something they enjoy, even though those who choose not to will no longer have to listen to themselves being referred to as lazy bums, nor even by the kinder and gentler deprecation, slackers.
(Such a time couldn’t come too soon for me. As it is, unless things turn around in the fiscal department, I’ll eke out my declining years on a Social Security check, along with whatever I can make evenings and weekends as a dance partner.)
If we don’t feel like trying to keep up, or incapable of staying on the cutting-edge, we’ll each be able to choose the level on which to live where we feel the most comfortable. Some of the more laid-back of us— incurable romantics all— will even elect to get around by horse and buggy, while others may live in various Twentieth-Century-level cultures.
Many will still garden, and cuss at their lawns, but even more (in fact, just about everybody) will be active in some form of art or craft, or at the very least working on a novel. Since all our friends will be living forever, they won’t be able to use as an excuse for not reading it the fact that they don’t have the time.
Robot slaves will be built that are virtually indistinguishable from and as pleasurable as human partners, besides having the ability to deliver a mean game of chess. Many more female than male versions will be sold, and will be open to all forms of sexual expression.
Most of us however will still choose to love other humans. Sex will become safe again, unless you’re one of the relatively small group of people involved in a form of consensual activity called edgeplay, or EP.
The population of the earth will stop growing and start declining, leveling off at around ten billion. Birth rates will drop, but people will live longer. By the time death rates start to really fall, significant numbers will be leaving to colonize space.
While overall prosperity will continue to increase, disparities in income will remain and even expand. But these will decline in significance as the life-value of wealth itself declines. Being poor will no longer imply not being well-off— it will simply mean not being rich.
Since labor, via robots, will be virtually free, our old landfills will be mined for raw materials. Efforts will be required to preserve a few sites for archeological purposes.
More attention will be given to the aesthetics of living environments: more historic and other zoning, buried utilities, urban woodlots, parks— even roads, sidewalks, and parking lots. Likewise, more attention will be given to noise pollution, and the rights of citizens to enjoy the sounds of nature, even in urban areas.
Many more non-motorized greenway trails will be developed, maintained, and used. Even in urban blocks, systems of pedestrian-friendly walkways and bikeways will be developed by converting old alleyways, going underneath streets midway between intersections.
More people will leave the large urban areas to flock to small cities, towns, and the country. However major cities that either maintain a unique character (e.g. New Orleans) or are a major cultural center (e.g. New York) will remain popular places to live and work.
Later in the century roads and bridges will be built such that it will be possible to circle the earth in your car, without resort to ship or ferry— and many will.
Many new models of cars will resemble, both inside and out, classic designs from the early-to-mid Twentieth Century, but their technology and safety features will be state-of-the-art. Others, nicknamed SAVs (Swiss Army Vehicles), will be easily convertible to a wide variety of uses. All of them will be able, under some circumstances, to drive themselves.
Drive-in theaters will make a comeback, as will drive-in restaurants, diners, and art-deco everything. Jukeboxes will sound better (oh like that is a great prediction— kowtow to me the great prophet, yeah right :).