I was watching DS9 last night and the episode Past Tense came up.
It’s set in 2024, 13 years from now, which is normally an opportunity for lulz, as predictions of 20 years in the future are often hilariously inept.
But imagine my surprise. It’s actually extremely plausible. The economy is in permanent collapse and all the jobless and hopeless live in enforced Sancturary Districts (which is most people) while the ultra-rich live decadent lives manipulating multinational economies and ignoring the situation. They even did a decent job with fashion–Dax is all steampunked out.
The Sanctuary Districts look eerily like the Occupy Wall Street camps around the country. It’s as if someone decided to Deal with the Problem and just put up walls around them. Which could happen, for serious, if it goes on long enough. If enough of the 1% get fed up with their commutes being disrupted. The tents and young people and the character planning for a demonstration telling everyone to bring their kids and look their best because no one listens to derelicts really struck me hard. Supposedly a series of riots will bring the awfulness to the fore and ignite enough rage to finally solve the social problems in future!America and lay the path for Federation style post-scarcity.
I was impressed. In my cynical current attitude, the only thing I don’t buy is that we’re only 13 years from things turning around.