Is COVID a Scary Glimpse Into and Preparation For The Future?
Cocooning: staying inside one’s home insulated from perceived danger.
Faith Popcorn, the trends and futurist guru coined the term cocooning in 1981 predicting a trend toward staying at home in lieu of interacting with an increasingly uncertain world. I always thought her theories were fascinating and right on, this one has to be not merely predictive, but downright psychic.
So what does this mean to us as individuals if we prefer to stay inside and interact less with what transpires outside our domain? Will it create a world of hermits living in fur-lined, customized caves? How will it affect what we manufacture, purchase, create and invent? Especially the way we communicate with one another.
Or can we let go of others and forego human interaction for that great new series on Netflix?
According to Popcorn, the places we live will become more minimal with movable multi-use furniture. We won’t even need television screens any longer thanks to Microsoft’s Hololens and other new ways of delivering images directly to our brain. Sales of tiny houses in the US are up 67% already and designers are building new and more interactive homes every day.
The last phase Popcorn mentions is the regenerative phase of cocooning or living in a pod that is wired to anticipate our needs. It’s transportable and can be taken with us wherever we go. Mercedes has already envisioned a live/work space that takes us from location to location guided by a robot.
She predicts 50% of work will be freelance and your robotic kitchen will cater to your nutritional and dietary needs. Your bathroom fixtures and mirror will scan your health and transmit it to your medi-bot to make the required changes in your diet or meds. And what if I still want that Sander’s Hot Fudge? Will I have to battle my robot for a sundae? Is Big Brother my doctor?
Alexa will be there to listen when you’ve had a rough day and provide a robotic shoulder to cry on. Houses will float on water or be underground as rising sea levels affect millions whose homes will be underwater in high tide. Does that mean ocean front property will be selling super cheap?
I could continue but I suggest you read Popcorn’s report at faithpopcorn.com as it is a fascinating, albeit sometimes scary peak into the not-to-distant future.
Yes, I believe these new technologies and inventions exist, but recent events seem to point otherwise. I may not be an expert on trends, but human nature I know something about. After my last blog I received so many responses from people saying how much they treasure their early memories and having others to share them.
So if human beings are so happy to share and interact with others, why are we going out of our way to create a world where we do neither? I’ve always been under the impression there are two kinds of people; those who love wide-open spaces and the second type that enjoys urban living. My generation, once married seemed to gravitate toward homes with large lots and spacious yards for playing, entertaining and creating a comfortable distance with one’s neighbors. Yet, not too far as there seemed to be a genuine need to have other children for playing and parents with whom to socialize.
It seems incredibly foreign to me after being locked in captivity the last three months that this would become a permanent way of life. I certainly don’t see anyone enjoying the solitude and whoever can is running outside faster than Coyote chasing Roadrunner toward that cliff.
Was Barbra wrong when she sang, “people who need people are the luckiest people in the world?”
Or is this a world that will only exist in the memories of those still alive to remember the good old days, when people socialized and interacted with one another?
Recalling a time when we stood in line at crowded movie theaters and at restaurants to dine. When we watched a television show together as a family on that great new, big screen Dad brought home for himself for Mother’s Day?
When we look back it does seem that life has truly changed greatly in the last 75 years since World War II, but the changes to come that are really revolutionary are not that far away now. Tech is moving so quickly one day we’ll blink and that new “modern” kitchen will be as outdated as a Model T Ford.
So I have to ask myself, technology is evolving at warp speed but is mankind? Is there something in all those new gadgets that will alter a human’s need for love, caring and affection? Can we be satisfied with Alexa’s shoulder to lean on when a dream dies, a romance falls apart or we feel hopeless and vulnerable? Is this the way man will evolve, a creature controlled by artificial intelligence sitting in a tiny pod (guess they cure claustrophobia in the future) and having a movie programmed through his brain?
Yipes! I imagine humans will adapt to this new form of existence although I’m glad I won’t have to. I prefer sharing memories with friends, hugging my kids and grandchildren, walking in a beautiful garden and enjoying a meal I’ve prepared with someone special. The future seems awfully lonely and we’ve recently glimpsed into it Zooming, Skyping and Amazoning through today.
I for one will be glad to get out into that scary, unpredictable world once more, because as frightening as it may seem, it beats cocooning, seeking solace from a robot or hiding away forever.
The following is a recipe from a dear friend no longer here. It’s still one of the yummiest. ENJOY!
Malka B’s Strudel
2 cups flour
½ pound of cream cheese
½ pound butter
½ cup of honey mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
Cream butter and cream cheese and add flour. Knead well
Chill several hours or overnight
Divide into six portions, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate about half and hour before rolling out to 14 or 16 inches.
1 18 oz jar of apricot preserves
1 small package of sweetened coconut
1 small package of walnuts
1 small package of raisins
1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
You can also use fresh apple slices, raisins walnuts and cinnamon and sugar as a filling and for a new kick add some caramel to the mix.
Preheat oven to 350
Roll out one portion of dough and brush on a thin layer of honey and water mixture
Spread on a layer of preserves
Sprinkle on a light layer of graham cracker crumbs
Add coconut raisins and walnuts and begin rolling from the bottom up. Seal top together with honey water mixture.
Score the top into eight pieces and place on a parchment covered cookie sheet.
Bake about 45 minutes until lightly browned.
Cut into pieces and sprinkle with powdered sugar when cooled before serving.