This I believe (pessimist edition)

I believe that this is just the beginning.

I believe that the economy will get worse and worse, as housing prices keep falling and unemployment keeps rising and corporations keep failing. I believe that, at some point, not only will it be difficult to find a job, it will be impossible—in fact, eventually the very idea of a “job” will fade into obsolescence. Moreover, everyone and everything will be forced to declare bankruptcy. But, since there will be no more banks, the idea of being “bankrupt” will just seem quaint. And although nations will continue printing money (for a while), I believe there will be no way for people to earn it, making money abundant and scarce simultaneously. I believe, too, that whole nations will become so frustrated by their own impotence, by their inability to provide anything short of constant and self-perpetuating anarchy, that most governments will just give up and declare themselves non-states, rendering their foreign wars and currencies and borders and U.N. memberships and the very concept of citizenship null and void. I believe that, at some point, the few remaining nations will step in and create a new global currency, in just three different denominations—$1, $3, and $250,000. The fronts of these bills will feature not presidents nor world leaders but a Liger, a Unicorn, and Warren Buffet. I believe, however, that this currency will be more or less worthless, and therefore goods and services will no longer be bought and sold at all. I believe that the robots will be in charge by then and that they will continue manufacturing all of the consumer products to which we’ve become entirely addicted and dependent, that they (the robots) will give everything away for free, accelerating both consumption (because who doesn’t like free stuff?) and their masterplan to make the world completely uninhabitable for humans. I believe that this plan, when discovered, will be met by a collective, worldwide yawn. “Big deal. Weren’t we doing that ourselves already anyway?” someone astute will ask. Someone equally astute will respond, “plus, free iPhones.” I believe that global warming will increase its already-frenetic pace, until all of the glaciers and ice shelves and ice cream and ice cubes melt forever and the sea level rises so there’s no visible land left in the world. I believe this will prompt us to ask the robots to build us a few underwater cities, and this will prompt them to say “No!,” loudly and vehemently (and, to be perfectly honest, somewhat rudely). We will all have hurt feelings and be forced to tread water and be wet all the time.

It is the beginning of the end.

This I believe.

28 responses to “This I believe (pessimist edition)”

  1. lane says:

    “Free I Phones!”

    Steve Jobs will save us!

    Let’s put him on the new money!

  2. PB says:

    Um, now I will start my day . . . in retail. Maybe I can sell the robots some motor oil?

    J Zitter = J Swift?!

  3. Wait, something got mixed up — this is the “optimist edition”, right?

  4. Jane says:

    Brilliant. What a wonderfully satirical movie this would make.

  5. Scotty says:

    Some of the robots are gonna be hot-babe robots, right?

  6. Ronin Furgunstein says:

    I’ve got my food storage, so I say ‘Bring it on!’

  7. Scotty says:

    6: I’m imagineing a (Target purchased) plastic bin filled with candy bars that you keep hidden under your bed.

  8. Tim says:

    J Zitter = J Swift?!

    More like J Zitter=J Handey

  9. J Cramer says:

    Market’s down = TIME TO BUY STOCKS!!!!

  10. LP says:

    I remember reading something like this around December 1999. Back when Y2K was gonna force us all to live in caves and survive on our vast stores of rice.

    My brother stocked up, and when Y2K didn’t happen, he gave away 10-lb. bags of rice as prizes in his pool for the Survivor TV show.

  11. Ronin Furgunstein says:

    7. Dude, I totally forgot about those candy bars! That is like finding a $25 bill on the street. It is my lucky day.

  12. Scotty says:

    Jeez LP, your such a yaysayer!

  13. Tim says:

    This week’s “This Modern World” sheds light on this same issue.

  14. LT says:

    And you ask why I wanted to learn how to fire a gun.

  15. Tim says:

    You can’t stop the robots with guns.

  16. …But the robots with knives, those you can stop.

  17. Scotty says:

    LT, the robots, even the hot-babe robots, will all be bulletproof anyway. Resistance is futile…

  18. Scotty says:

    I swear, my comment was first.

  19. Jeremy says:

    3: Yeah, “Optimist Edition” would’ve been way better.
    5: Of course all the robots will be hot babes, who unfortunately won’t give you the time of day.
    10: I wrote an article for a magazine that was all, “Transit’s Mad Scramble to Solve Y2K!” It was totally doom and gloom, but then nothing happened. This time, it’s gonna be totally different.

  20. Breanne says:

    I have so many questions:

    1) What will happen to the human race if the world is made of water (because everyone knows you can’t get pregnant if you have sex in water)?
    2) Is it weird if I want a hybrid robot/human baby? You can seduce robots, right?
    3) Do the free iPhones come with free downloads of cool shows like “Simple Life” and “Rock of Love”? God knows I can’t live without those.
    4) What is going to happen to all of the fixed geared bicycles of the world if there is no land?
    5) Will we adapt and grow flippers, or better yet, mermaid tails? I always had a thing for Daryl Hannah in Splash…

  21. Tim says:

    1) What will happen to the human race if the world is made of water (because everyone knows you can’t get pregnant if you have sex in water)?

    Kevin Costner has the answer to that.

  22. Jeremy says:

    14: Also, LT–didn’t you see Terminator, parts 1, 2, and 3? Also, Robocop.

  23. Jeremy says:

    Oops, Tim and Scotty already addressed bullet-proof robots. Just trying to inflate my comment count…

  24. LT says:

    I forgot to mention that I am learning to shoot this gun: http://tinyurl.com/cmcwnl

    If that doesn’t work, I’m defecting from the human race and will identify as a hot babe robot.

    Yeah! This thread is getting all “Cyborg Manifesto.”

  25. Tim says:

    Ooo, are people still reading Donna Haraway in grad school? My education is not yet completely obsolete!

  26. renee montagne says:

    Hey Jeremy,

    Great post again. My and Steve Inskeep are BIG BIG fans! We’d love to feature you on our segment “this, i believe” later this week on morning edition. How bout stopping into the KCRW studio to record this tomorrow? America really needs to be uplifted right now by your heroic vision of America’s future. Hope you can help it. It would mean so much to me. (oh, and melissa block thinks you are a total fox. next time you’re in dc please stop by the studio. she’d love to get her %**#%s autographed!). Thanks again!

  27. laura schlessinger says:

    will there be stay at home robots?

  28. sarA says:

    I want unicorn money!