Eloi and Morlocks 25 years from now

A company I once helped (a little) to come into being celebrated its 20th birthday in February 2006, and invited party guests to recall some history and predict some bit of the future.

My prediction was

2030: An even smaller proportion of people will know anything about programming or designing anything, or thinking deeply and critically. Everything, including ideas, will be designed, packaged, and sold by multi-national corporations, ready for use, and unchangeable. This will follow the previous de-skilling that occurred with mechanical then electrical machines. Most humans are already and will continue on the route to being the Eloi of H.G.Wells' Time Machine. Instead of eating them the Morlocks will use them as economic pawns, held in check partly by religious indoctrination and dreams of becoming celebrities.

Can [the company] counter this by allowing, and even encouraging, people to design their own tools, interfaces, functionality, etc.?

For a different view of what's happening see this analogy with obesity

Aaron Sloman
3 Mar 2006
Maintained by Aaron Sloman
School of Computer Science
The University of Birmingham