A futurist shares with us his vision of our future. And, it’s wild.
Jacques Fresco died in 2017. Here, we republish our interview with him, completed before his death.
Jacques Fresco has the rather interesting job title of futurist. That is, he predicts the future, and tries to provide engineering solutions to what he thinks we will need in 15 to 20 years time. And it’s all fantastical stuff.
Due to the sheer amount of work he has produced, Fresco and his assistant Roxanne Meadows have pulled all the information together, and dubbed it The Venus Project. The organisation promotes Jacque Fresco’s visions of the future through a website and via a research centre located in Florida. Fresco’s vision includes sustainable cities, energy efficiency, natural resource management and advanced automation, focusing on the benefits it will bring to society. Says Fresco, “In the very near future there will be better systems available for sustainable living. With high-tech, you can free everyone. So it is a future where humans embrace new technology, have more free time, and live in a completely sustainable manner. A lot of people are going to school today to learn a profession that will probably be obsolete in the next few years. It is often asked by parents what profession their children should prepare for. It will be a profession that you’ve never heard of!”
JACQUE’S FARM OF THE FUTURE
How do you see farming in the future?
Many foods will be produced in labs, some hydroponically, or in salt water and ocean farming systems. Most farms will be automated including hydroponics and sea farming until advances in nanotechnology will overcome the necessity of conventional farming technology. The farms will be located in the most appropriate location in the new cities without high expenditures of energy.
How would farmers get food to the market?
This would be accomplished by enclosed conveyors systems. The farms would be at the outer perimeter of the cities.
Would there still be supermarkets or a different food distribution paradigm?
There would be a different food distribution. The food can move to the dining areas and private homes on conveyors. The doors for food storage and refrigeration are on the outside of the buildings and food is distributed to these areas. This is all pre-planned in the new city system designs for efficiency and sustainability.
How will people be eating in the future?
In the dining areas the food is prepared automatically without waiters or waitresses. When one sits at a table the menu appears on the transparent tabletop. The people are scanned for a certain diet required and if necessary the dishes are altered to meet their needs. For instance if one is diabetic the food is prepared for their requirements. They verbalise or press the touch areas on the menu to indicate the food they desire.
The food is automatically prepared by recipes that were originally designed by nutritionist for taste and health. The food then comes up through the mid section of the table and positioned to their proper places. When people are finished the plates are automatically removed, cleaned and stored. It is very inefficient and wasteful to have every family going through the process of preparing food three times a day in their individual locations. Most people would dine at the many restaurants throughout the city and choose from a wide selection of foods. Prepared foods can also be delivered to individual dwellings as well.
Fresco believes that due to population expansion, many people in the future will be living in sea cities. And, that if we do not maintain a balance between the population and the earth’s carrying capacity we may have to move our cities skyward, seaward and into subterranean areas. He claims that there will be a global system of these structures, which can easily accommodate many millions of people and relieve the land-based population pressures. They can serve as natural sea aquariums without artificially enclosing marine life.
A vital part of sea living is the sea farming and mariculture that would take place alongside it. New structures would be equipped to permit the free flow of water throughout the system. They are designed to be a non-contaminating, integral part of the marine environment. Many of these cities can maintain the ecological balance of marine systems. Other ocean cities will maintain sea farms that will cultivate many forms of marine life. They could also be used as a new resource for mining the relatively untapped resources of the oceans without disturbing its ecology. Still others may monitor and maintain environmental equilibrium and reclaim dangerous radioactive and other pollutant materials that have been dumped into the sea.
After construction, these structures can be towed to various locations where they would be most beneficial, then anchored to the ocean floor. Some structures will be towed in prefabricated segments and then joined together at selected locations. Their internal construction will include floatation chambers which will render them practically unsinkable. They can be self maintained and fully automated.
Offshore apartment buildings of concrete, steel, glass, titanium, and a wide variety of new synthetic materials could be built to relieve the population pressure in areas like Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and New York. The materials used in such projects would be engineered to withstand the corrosive effects of the harsh ocean environment.
So do you think this is realistic? Or just a lovely sci-fi fantasy?
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