Our SCENARIOS page is loosely based on ideas Brian Eno talks about in a Whole Earth Review article Unthinkable Futures. On one level it's sort of a playful intellectual game pushing imaginary scenarios to extremes, but based on very real premises. It's also being applied as a serious business reality analysis tool by extrapolating possible futures given a certain business scenarios.
The Global Business Network (GBN), of which Eno is a member, expounds on GBN uses on Scenario Planning as a consulting service and brainstorming methodology they offer to member business clients.
Eno has also used scenarios playfully, in ways that sound a bit vaguely similar John Zorn's game music such as Cobra, assigning roles and scenarios to musicians, often independently, so each player is in effect acting a role in some fantasy and applying that to the context of their musical improvisations.
In the fairly recent recording sessions for the David Bowie Outside 1. release Eno gave each musician game roles to play, using scenario imagery. He was also using similar techniques in the recording sessions he was doing in the early 90's with D'Cuckoo and other bands (as discussed in an article (Mondo 2000) on D'Cuckoo. And it's not far off from the use of Oblique Strategies cards devised by Eno and Peter Schmidt for resolving uncertainty via scenarios in the recording studio creative processes.
So we thought we'd offer a collection point here for scenarios. We hope to bundle a few up and ask Eno to contribute futures to them, or reactions at least, as aprt of an interview of sorts we're aiming for. Please read up a bit on the references above on Scenarios in the context of GBN and Eno's work, then, jump in and add your own scenarios. We're looking for fun, humorous and unusual...
Hints: Since Brian generally doesn't seem that interested in reliving the past or knowing what his fans think about his works I think this would work best if scenarios here have little or nothing to do with Brian Eno. This is more like one of those fiction contests where you get asked to write something in the style of a famous author. So using the sort of imagery Eno uses might be useful, but overall the point here is to create interesting scenarios, with Eno only figuring as a catalyst and potential target to be asked to expand potential futures on some of these scenarios.
Scenarios from our readers
In the future, changing your eyecolor with contacts becomes so commonplace that it dissolves into a religion of sorts, where the only acceptable colors are either black or white and revealing your eyecolor becomes something almost intimate and never something one does in public. Eye color becomes something erotic and takes on the same social stigmata as today nudity has.
The Earth is contacted by aliens who
possess god-like technology. They
tell us that humanity is, by many
orders of magnitude, the most creative,
ethically advanced, morally developed
and peaceful race in the galaxy. They
beg us for spiritual guidance. They
are all rabid Jerry Lewis fans.
The large software company has settled all the lawsuits out of court. the first new product is due out next week. A full length movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe. Also due soon a new album by T-Rex and a new Philip K. Dick novel. The new generation of automated intelligent systems makes the possibilites endless.
The rooftops are full of excitement. People walk to the edge holding hands, breathing heavily. On the count of three, they leap off and smash into the asphalt. - Life after death is scientifically proven; euthanasia is legalized; "End Life With A Bang" family packages being sold at K-Mart.
As a pedestrian, I would have to think the most 'unthinkable future' would be one where we'd have to pay to cross the street. Of course, there would be fareboxes everywhere..and you'd deposit ONLY the correct change, please.
No money? Forget it. There'd be no getting past the army of hired thugs to keep you from crossing. Good luck..!
Large companies in response to govermental pressure about the growing unemployment problem introduce a new scheme. Backed by new laws they now collect bills by sending a person round to your house. This person is legally allowed to stay until you have given them the money that you owe the company. You must also legally feed and keep warm your "money collector".
There is a rebellion of mirrors.
For the first few weeks, they content themselves with causing nervous breakdowns by distorting the reflections of those who look into them too often.
Then they begin to display scenes they have reflected in the past. Rich people will pay large sums for mirrors formerly owned by hospitals, as a kind of "memento mori"...