Being the narrow minded slaves to habit that they are, journalists never tire of treating us in their December narratives to a barrage of speculation about the year ahead. Superstition, numerology and the software industry having progressively eroded the intellectual base of our civilization, this obsessive fascination with the future seems to be reaching unprecedented levels of prognosticatory frenzy as we inexorably slouch toward that magic year Aught-Aught.
Of course, we here at EGR are no less curious than the next gaggle of hacks as to what the future may bring, but we know our audience is far more demanding than most. We therefore look not simply to the subsequent 12 months, but ask ourselves what the future might look like on the eve of the next millennium.
One thing we discovered in our deep introspection on this theme is that time apparently is cyclical -- though not exactly as the Ancients thought. If you recall your study of Ptolemaic epicycles, the concept should prove fairly easy to grasp. Instead of events repeating themselves verbatim -- as they do year after year in the Fortune 500, say -- there are instead certain "bands" or "tracks" (think of a phonograph record or, if you don't remember those, a CD-ROM) of temporally related circumstances that reoccur in various endlessly changing combinations. Thus, while the future is not simply a lengthy unfolding of the same old random shit we experience on a daily basis, neither is it as boring.
Rather than struggle with the model theoretic implications of such a cosmology, we decided to drop in on some ordinary folks in the year 2996 to observe how their mores, customs and concerns differed from our own. While some of these differences were a bit surprising, we were astounded by the similarities.
Join us now, won't you, as we prepare to eavesdrop on a small group apparently just meeting in the town square for some sort of discussion...
Young RepublicansFido: Look thee, Socrates, thine garment hath become enmeshed with thither thistle bush.
Socrates: If it's all the same to you, Fido, I prefer the commo