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Scaring Us to the Future

"People ask me to predict the Future, when all I want to do is prevent it". Ray Bradbury


It was a couple of years ago that I imagined the future. It was a humble, mostly positive reimagining of a simple household device that hasn’t been updated in a century. I limited my ponderings to what I thought I knew something about. I projected the future of that most necessary of modern conveniences- the toilet- aka the porcelain goddess, the potty, the commode, the cutesy, crapper, privy, head, the john, and my personal favorite- the loo.


Some say that my reimagining of the loo was a bit over the top. I took something simple, basic, and familiar and turned it into a technological contraption the crustiest, most experienced of porcelain worshippers would never trust their backside too. Best I leave this futurist stuff to others and stick to science fiction.


So I moved on from predicting the future convinced that Al Gore best be thinking about doing the same. Nearly every dire prediction he’s made regarding climate warming has turned out to be completely wrong. His documentary, ‘Inconvenient Truth,’ best be considered science fiction right up there with ‘Forbidden Planet,’ Jurassic Park,’ and ‘Alien.’ The millions of viewers, many of them impressionable young folks, dashed in fear for the loo after watching large rotating hurricanes the size of oceans drowning millions in a sea of black death and twisters hunting you down like a rabid tyrannosaurus rex. Horrendous images were created for one reason- to generate fear. It sells. That’s what Alfred Hitchcock would tell you.


The difference between Al Gore’s science fiction horror flick and the others is that he was serious. He actually believed the fiction and perhaps only smiled when he walked into the bank to deposit some hundreds of millions of dollars from box office receipts. Perhaps future documentaries that make serious, scary predictions of the future come with a money-back guarantee.


Today, author Ray Bradbury is considered a clairvoyant futurist. The book he wrote in 1953, ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ portends some of our present-day cultural morass. But he resisted being labeled a futurist and insisted on being known as a science fiction writer. It was perhaps his sense of personal integrity that if he were to scare his readers with his future predictions, they must remember that they were reading the fruits of his imagination- it was science fiction- not a prediction. After all, he was only interested in selling books.


And there were others. Aldus Huxley and his ‘Brave New World.’ ‘1984’ by George Orwell. These and others are enjoying a resurgence of readers.

Another would be futurist with a bent for using ‘scare’ techniques is Mr. Gates. Perhaps less of a fire-n-brimstone preacher type than Mr. Gore, Bill Gates is more of a slick talker in the mold of Mike Lindell, the My Pillow fella- just more sophisticated. Gates has also written a book suggesting the evils of the use of fossil fuels and the eating of real meat. He’s recently come out and claimed that the earth would bust through the 1.5C global temperature rise the scientist at the UN are predicting. It will be worse, says Gates. Maybe he divined things from the data in computer climate models the others have missed. Mr. Gates considers himself a very smart man, and it appears he has his reasons for pushing climate fear.


For Mr. Gates, a rise in global surface temperatures might be a case of wishful thinking- or strategic thinking. He has arranged his affairs to take advantage of just such a scenario. He holds hundreds of thousands of acres of US farmland that could be used to make biofuels. His private jets consume copious amounts of fuel. He has significant investments in faux meat makers and is deeply invested in various nuclear power enterprises. It’s a brilliant financial strategy considering that it doesn’t actually require the earth to warm or cool one iota. It simply requires people to fearfully believe it will and then go out and demand immediate climate justice and the reshuffling of our social/economic order. In the meantime, super sales dude Gates will continue to enjoy the various homes he owns that perch on ocean shorelines where even the loo has a view.


Just as I was about to abandon my dream of being a futurist and erase my imaginary but wonderfully thought-out high-tech toilet, I was brought back to reality. To my shock, the creative geniuses at Kohler must have read my piece and went to work. They have taken much of my imaginations and created (drum roll please) the Kohler Numi 2.0 Smart Toilet. I kid you not. You can buy it for $8777.62 here. I will receive no commission.

Just as I had imagined, this Numi loo will light up, heat the seat, spray warmed water at your things, clean itself, and flush using but 0.8 gallons of water. And as I predicted, it’s connected to an app to control all of its wonderful settings from anywhere on the globe.


Mr. Gates? I think this is something you should invest in.


Have a great weekend!




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