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Are you worried about the future?
Are you concerned for your species' survival?
Are your tentacles lacking wetness, or even chapping slightly?
Well for the last one, try Octo-moist.
Moistness when it matters.
*octo-jingle plays*
Not suitable for heptapods.
For the first two though, well, it's time to play another game of...
of Future History.
Our next contestant today is called-
*aside* fuck are they called?
Ah yes, Hu-mans. Yes, well, come on up then, don't be shy.
Yes, big hand for the Monkeys. Big hand.
Yes, that's enough, shut up.
Right, hu-mans.
You know the rules of the game do you?
No? Well the main aim of
of Future History is...
Not to go extinct as a species.
Your species, well, let's just say things are about to get a little bit bumpy.
Is going to give the wheel of Future History a spin and find out where the human species is going.
Could be amazing.
Could be mega shit. So let's see what you could end up winning.
Well firstly there are the utopias
They come in several flavors, there is:
Technological utopia. You might master automation, relieving all humans of labor jobs, banishing any need for human employment allowing your species to,
well, pursue whatever they want to.
Robotics and algorithms will tend to almost all unwanted work and facilitate blissful daily living.
Since there'll be no scarcity there will be almost no conflict
Meaning war vanishes, and humans live perpetually in peace forevermore mostly eating nice food,
Reproducing very loudly, and having a jolly old time.
Okay, I hear you ask. But will there be dogs?
Yes. There will.
There's also AI utopia. machine intelligence is able to assist if not take over a number of human projects including science, design,
administration, and diplomacy. And streamlines and improves each area respectively,
and radically raises the general global standard of human living for all-
and no Skynet shit.
There's also scientific utopia: aging is treated as an illness and cured. Disease has also been eradicated
Death has become voluntary, particle physics is finished, and a successful theory of everything unites general relativity and quantum mechanics
(called string theory). The origin of biology is understood. Toast no longer falls butter side down
Consciousnesses explained scientifically.
The mechanisms of reality itself are now out in the open, and your race is no longer a bumbling pack of confused idiots.
No offense.
Then there's ecological utopia: your species begins living in harmony with nature,
Stops being dicks to the planet, and returns to a subsistence way of living in conjunction with high technology.
Industry still exists but is entirely sustainable,
And Mother Nature is allowed to reassert her sovereignty over the planet.
Everything is kind of organic
But not shit and hipstery, just... nice
Political utopia: political conflict is rendered pointless and citizens never have to worry about their offspring ending up in Wars
Governments are able to put their energy and influence into improving the welfare of their own citizens and the world goes full-on Scandinavian
Oh, yeah
Cake is free all the time and also there are dogs.
And finally the main prize,
Galactic utopia.
You begin colonizing other planets in the solar system
And maybe even perfect faster-than-light travel and colonize other star systems, too.
Even if there's an extinction event on your home planet, your race will now survive indefinitely
Up until all cosmic resources run out or you reverse cosmic entropy itself.
The golden age of trade and cooperation dawns,
As well as exploration of the known and unknown universe, and humanity is unified into a single great empire.
Humans finally take their rightful place in the heavens,
utilizing entire galaxies for energy to fuel their godlike projects.
Knowledge and wisdom guide your civilization forever more,
Petty squabbles are a thing of the past, the very cosmos itself revels in your success.
It goes without saying that there's free cake and dogs and stuff.
But, for every utopia there is of course a dystopia
And if you bollocks up the future you might instead get
Technological dystopia: technology is instead used for controlling populations including constant surveillance and mass misinformation.
No, one is considered an authority on anything anymore.
Possibly humans are genetically engineered in such a way that they cease to be human or most of their functions are outperformed by machines.
Humans are obsolete and miserable and technology serves to enslave rather than liberate your species.
AI dystopia: Artificial intelligence either commandeers or subverts human history and does not have the species best interests at heart,
Or is too powerful with not enough safety parameters. In short, everything is either miserable or thermonuclear and game over for the entire species.
Ecological dystopia: you mess up the planet to the point of no return, over fish the oceans, ruin the atmosphere, etc.
Earth is no longer capable of supporting mammalian life, and extinction ensues for your entire species.
Political dystopia: either earth becomes united by a single tyrannical government or most governments turn tyrannical.
But in any case, it's horrific, and politicking has been perfected to such an extent that no one can effectively rise up against it.
Possible lasting famine, enslavement, utter depravity and ruin for the species with no hope of recovery.
Or the non galactic scenario:
Humans never bothered with reaching other planets let alone the rest of the galaxy.
A single mass extinction means total obliteration for silly petrol monkeys,
and a human space Empire is never constructed.
Mankind goes gentle into that good night.
Wild animals reclaim the cities,
Satellites fall back to earth, and within a few thousand years,
Passing extraterrestrials wouldn't even have an inkling your species ever existed, let alone flourished for a time.
And there are a few other scenarios of course.
Maybe you merge with technology to become a cyber species
Or there's a Nickleback revival tour,
Or political collapse returning you to the dark ages and never recovering,
Or you use genetics to elevate other species to the level of human sentience and immediately regret that decision,
(Dolphins fucking hate you by the way.)
Or you create simulated reality that's so convincing and malleable, humans mostly lose interest in actual reality
Assuming this is actual reality.
Or you reach the end of Technology and find out the lots of stuff just isn't possible,
And instead stay content with free cake, and dogs and stuff,
Which is alright.
Or one of 10 million other disaster scenarios. Economic, political, technological, whatever.
Meaning the obliteration of your species.
And that is the wheeeeeel of future history.
And those are the rules.
So how do you go about winning, then?
Well, that's a bit more complicated.
If you can wield technology your ancestors never dreamt of and use that power in a way they would be proud;
If you can utilize your birth planet without destroying it, yet still take all that you need;
If you can kill labor without killing ambition;
If you can create administrations without giving birth to tyranny;
If you can think as a collective without losing individuality;
If you can expand your reach without diminishing your integrity;
If you can unravel nature without thinking yourself smarter than her;
If you contain the elements without subverting them;
If you can build your homes on distant worlds while still taking care of the home you evolved on;
If you can safeguard for future generations without forgetting those who came before;
If you can accept your violent pasts while still fostering your galactic future;
If you can spread across the Stars without your empire spreading too thin;
If you can take to the Galactic stage without forgetting your lines;
Then yours is the cosmos, and everything that's in it.
And more than that,
Then you'll be a mankind my son.
Then you'll be a mankind.
Well, it's time.
Marjorie, spin the wheel please.
So good luck. It's been an absolute pleasure watching you develop as a species, I guess.
And you know petrol monkeys,
You've done some pretty stupid shit over the years, but there is cause for optimism. Because despite all of your idiocy,
you've still somehow managed to find the time for...
the arts,
persistence, and rationality.
Look, you've survived hundreds of thousands of generations, yeah?
Famine, drought, and war. And you've got a global civilization now.
You might be living on other planets in no time, or cracking the really big secrets of nature,
Or just getting over all your monkey rubbish and having a good time.
You're gonna feel mighty silly if you screw it all up because you got too clever, or too fighty, or too apathetic.
What do you think those are? They're not window dressing, they're an invitation.
But you have to behave yourself until you get there, all right?
For the sake of everyone who came before and everyone who will come after, there may not be another chance now.
Don't fuck it up, monkeys.
Not before you conquer your primitive tendencies,
Not before you spread out into space,
Or at the very least,
Not before all your great ambitions have finally run dry.
And speaking of dryness, Wheel of Future History is proudly sponsored by octo-moi-
*cuts off*