The Listserve is an email list currently made up of about 22,000 subscribers. Anyone can join and every day someone is picked at random to write a short piece on any topic they choose. Three days later their submission is sent to everyone on the list. I’ve been a member for a number of years and have seen many things including political rants, feel-good stories, personal tragedy, plenty of recipes and more self-help advice than I ever needed to see.
I stick around though because it’s often insightful, sometimes funny and always full of very genuine people from all over the world – many of whom are the kind of folks I would never expect to interact with.
People who know me know that I like to be (overly) organised which means I like to be prepared for if and when I get picked by ‘the Listserve lottery’. I wrote a post back in March of 2014 covering what I would have written about then and this is intended to update that. It’s also good to remind myself that in a Listserve post you can’t include any hyperlinks…
A wise man once said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
There are three things I suggest you check up on as I believe they’re all going to be profoundly mainstream in the next 10-20 years.
The first is the impact of artificial intelligence on how we life and work. Have a google for IBM Watson, Google Deepmind, Boston Dynamics and especially the YouTube video by C.P.G. Grey called “Humans need not apply”. In terms of new-future fiction seek out the UK Channel 4 series “Humans” and the film “Her”.
My second suggestion is that you read about the concept of Universal Basic Income which is fast becoming a common topic among economists and is already set to be trialled in small parts of some countries. A great introduction to that topic is the free online story “Manna” by Marshal Brain. As we move to a future where there are fewer jobs available for people, what will everyone do? The tale contains two potential outcomes of that situation.
The final item is polyamory. With the ever-increasing global acceptance of homosexuality and non-binary genders I believe that people, especially younger people, will continue to rethink and challenge traditional relationship and family roles. Some of them will realise that, for them, caring deeply and wishing to spend their life equally with more than one person is normal. We won’t see the end of the story-staple ‘love triangle’ but at least some of them will be resolved when the protagonist realised that it’s okay for them to love them both. For more information about polyamory I recommend Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan.
The future is arriving fast. To at least partially avoid what Alvin Toffler famously called “future shock” I suggest finding out a bit about each of those topics so you’re ready for, if and when, they come into your life.