By the year 2020, news will be downloaded directly to your brain and information will be uploaded to memory just as if you were an MP3. Everyday, people are inundated with about 34 GB of information, a sufficient quantity that could overload a laptop within a week. As a result there will be numerous limits to this new form of news delivery. Information obtained will have to be erased on a weekly, monthly or annual basis, depending on the purchased memory capacity. The rich will become richer, as they can afford the best technologies and will no longer need to send their children to expensive universities. Education will become digitally infused in the mind. Within ten years of introduction, however, it will be discovered that by implementing these new wonders into one’s brain causes an incurable type of cancer, and the wealthiest segments of the global population will be wiped from the face of the planet. The technology, iMind, will be so costly that the majority of people—anyone below what modern sociologists have recently referred to upper middleclass—will be free of this new affliction.

The Grid

After the nation suffers this loss it will become clear to global citizens that consumer culture and corporations have caused the populace to suffer a form of mind pollution, and a movement will begin to establish credible news organizations with anchors that can be trusted. Communities will elect multiple anchors, and depending on the size of the community there may be a large pool anchors. Whether these anchors are needed will be the topic of much debate. The anchors themselves would be educated men and women of various backgrounds, whose jobs will simply consist of digesting and delivering news they find relevant to the citizens that elected them. While some of the citizenry will be able to relate to the new anchors they will not be expected to be best friends with all viewers. Their job will be political, as it should be with elected officials. It would be best if multiple anchors provided the news in an alternating pattern. Bias would still be present. It is impossible to escape the polarization of views, but objective journalism will be the key to the new system.

To juxtapose these elected anchors, raw footage of events will be available for streaming multiple times during broadcast. A prompt will appear when the anchor mentions an event or topic with supplemental video footage. People can then check what others are saying about the video and the anchor’s comments via Vidder, the instant information exchange that records people directly from their televisions. The anchor will respond to key elements of the discussion later in the broadcast. This will heal the dissociation viewers have from the form of current newscasts. Whether information being supplied to viewers can be trusted in addition to thoughts on facts and figures that are missing can be debated thoroughly and instantly. We now use many tools to interpret images and create meanings with them, and we often use these tools by looking automatically, without giving them much thought. Images are produced according to social and aesthetic conventions. By use of instant discussion social norms of right and wrong will come into question, as people—though part of the same community— will thrust cultural shock upon one another. A participating high school classroom in a crime-ridden neighborhood will not agree on issues with the upper middleclass tuning in from their couches.

Entertainment

Not everyone will be able to receive their news in this way, so print publications will remain a cornerstone of information consumption. Much debate on Vidder, over the Internet—which by 2020 will be regulated by the government and as a result not be the outlet of free speech it is today—and in public space will begin with print. All joking aside, the written word will remain strong, this I believe. Authorities can censor all forms of media, but they will never be able to fully censor speech—I hope. Citizen journalists will not command the flow of information, but they will help. This is already occurring with the advent of Twitter and Facebook.

Humanity does need guidance when it comes to receiving information. History has shown, people can be manipulated and swayed. The broadcast stations which implement Vidder will be privately owned and government funded. There will also be channels provided for individuals not aligned with any corporation or political party. Each form of funded broadcast will have equal share of the airwaves. Filtration of information will be carried out through debate and discussion. This is all wishful thinking, of course. In reality, corporations will continue to purchase small news entities until freethinking individuals are pushed off the radar. People have the capacity to improve, and distrust in our lobbyist-controlled system will eventually emerge in the masses. The American Dream as depicted by Walt Whitman is truly gone. Citizens are starting to change that dream by altering long-embedded ideals. The amount of information received is overwhelming and it will remain so, but at the same time the world has always seemed overwhelming to those with a sense of wonder. Radical change will occur. Probably not in the science fictionesque way described, but a catalyst is forming that will forever change society. When that change will occur is indeterminable.

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