[[column written for recent 800th edition of 3Dworld magazine ]]
Back in the twentieth century, before even, if you can remember the time before, the world wide web, the first issue of 3DWorld magazine appeared. A lot has happened to the world in the 15 years since then, but the next 15 promise to be even stranger. Clocking the 800th issue, who better to predict the next 800, than a magic eight-ball.
>>Eight-Ball, What will magazines be like in 15 years?
“If you’re lucky.”
Seems awkwardly phrased as a reply, no doubt that’ll become clearer with hindsight. A few ways to read this. Maybe the print industry will only last 2 more years. Or – magazines’ll become a supercategory on our ‘Electronic Ink & Paper-like devices’, where like magic, we will suck whatever media we want from the skies, and compile it in some magazine style format on the fly. If you are lucky enough to be on the right side of the digital divide perhaps.
>>Eight-Ball, by 2021, will Cleo, Cosmopolitan and other sensationalist girlie mags have finally exhausted all possible ways to describe, frame or package ‘insight’ about male and female orgasms?
Get ready for the greatest hits compilations.
>>Eight-Ball, what will future generations look back on as the daftest musical sub-genre born in the next decade?
“Don’t you already kinda know?”
Hmmm. If Christian metal makes a come-back, is it really ‘new’?
>>Eight-Ball, are greedy middle managers doomed to go down slowly in flames as media distribution continues to decentralise, diversify and become easier between person to person?
I like these eight-balls.
>>Eight-Ball, Aight. An AIDS cure before 2012, to trigger another dawn of sexual exploration?
“Better not tell you now.”
Ho-kay. As long as it doesn’t get remixing with no bird-flu, we should be dealing with it sooner rather than later. And about time. As of the end of 2005, 25 million people have died of AIDS. At least 40 million people are now living with HIV. But then, given humans and disease are forever intertwined, there’s undoubtedly something else waiting it’s turn until after AIDS, and maybe we don’t want to know about that today.
>>Eight-Ball, global warming – do we reduce it in time?
A bit more positive, though still enough to frighten the pants off coastal property investors. Maybe it’s time to get more specific on Eightball’s ass.
>>Eight-Ball, should we adopt nuclear energy as an answer to climate change?
Feeling some negative vibes on this one.
>>Eight-Ball, what do we do after running out of cheap oil?
“You already know the answer.”
Deep inside anyone who breathed in the last century, are raw, primal, memories of one man rummaging through the desert with his converted V8. There was a dog also. What was his name? Google would know, but it’s better to train a memory for possible future scenarios that might not feature such fossil-fuelled information devices. Damn. He was a loyal dog, Mad Max’s dog.
Population Trivia BONUS ROUND
When 3DWorld started in the early 1990s, there was 5.2 billion people on the planet. Supposedly, the Earth’s population hit 6.5 billion on Saturday February 25, 2006. We had 1 billion in 1802 and 2 billion in 1927. If magazines still exist, and 3DWorld magazine manages a weekly outpouring until issue 1600 (around 2021), these pages will exist in a world of 7.6 billion, a growth supposed to plateau at a cosy 9 billion by 2050. Australia? 20.5 million now. 23-25 by 2021. China? 1300 million now, an extra 7 million added in 2005 alone! Inevitably, by 2021, 3DWorld will be entirely Chinese. Apart from the Indian sections read by 1100 million.