Wine Bricks – The Perfect Doomsday Prepping Product

How Henry Discovered that Wine Bricks are the Perfect Product to sell to Doomsday Preppers

A fake long print advert for Vino-Sano targetted at the doomsday prepper market, featuring heads on pikes, machine guns, a skull, a utility knife, two glasses of wine and a wine brick covered with packaging
A long-form copy advert made for printing in The Prepper to convince Doomsday Preppers that Wine Bricks are an important addition to their arsenal. If you manage to make one, feel free to use it, or why not try calling the number at the top to see what happens?

Buy or die.

No, this isn’t the tagline for Martin Shkreli’s AIDs medication, it’s a neat way of expressing how high impending apocalypses have raised consumer stakes. 

Welcome to the niche form of kleptomania-come-stupid-fantasy-realisation of Doomsday Prepping. It’s a burgeoning market in the United States, uplifting demand for AK47s, chastity belts and cable ties. But I’ve figured something out – it’s a really immature market (in at least three ways – can you guess them?).

This market consists of millions of ‘well-informed consumers‘ (gullible idiots) panic buying canned wieners and toilet paper (no, they think the bidet is a fancy urinal). Spending their evenings pinning all the local hotties’ houses onto paper maps. Well, what else are they going to do when peak paranoia hits? Slink down into their bunkers?

While less inspired people would call this lunacy, I call it opportunity. Survival Sullian (a crazy person named after Warner Bros’ cartoon characters) claims there are 3.6 million REAL gullible Americans preparing for the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s a lot of money diverted from Taylor Swift Real Dolls & Only Fans subscriptions.

That’s exactly why I have a fantastic business proposal for you. It’s time to start selling wine bricks to doomsday preppers.

Why It Matters To You

This great idea’s free. Why? Because if you’re thinking about starting your own private label coffee brand, or want to import cheap personal fitness products from China, you need all the help you can get.

That’s right. I’m trying to save the British economy by encouraging you to start a proper business instead of giving your money to the sellers of snake oil. More, I’m fed up of private label businesses tricking me into buying absolute shit on Amazon. (No, you can’t start a nonsense writing agency, I’ve already established impenetrable market dominance).

So let’s get to the product.

What The Hell Is A Wine Brick?

Wine bricks *were* cuboids of grape concentrate, developed and pushed by Fruit Industries Ltd in the first half of the Twentieth Century. They allowed buyers to home brew their own multiple gallon vats of ‘wine’, while circumventing nationwide bans on the sale of alcohol during the Prohibition (1920-1933).

They were really easy to use. So easy that someone with absolutely no survival training who thinks they’re going to star in a real life version of First Blood, could probably manage to not kill themselves while using them. Here’s how they work:

  • Step 1 – Drop the wine brick into 5-10 gallons of water
  • Step 2 – Let the brick dissolve and ferment for two weeks (without any supervision)
  • Step 3 – Say “Lizard People”
  • Step 4 – BAM! You’ve got a fermented liquid to pair with boiled shoes (this was Great Depression era America)

Great concept. Here’s the clincher – Fruit Industries Ltd don’t make Vino-Glo anymore. I’ve found absolutely no evidence that anyone does. 

The wine brick market is begging, nay, whimpering to be seized.

What Is A Doomsday Prepper?

But who would buy a wine brick when you could buy a perfectly good £3.99 bottle of shiraz instead?

Crazy people with cult fetishes, obsessed with recreating the final hours of the Seventh Day Adventists’ 1993 Siege. Aka, Doomsday Preppers.

Our prospective customers live in a universe where they’re so enamoured with unrealistic fantasies, they’ve convinced their spouses that Cybergedden is imminent. 

Meteor strikes, alien invasions, zombie apocalypses, whatever.

They’re planning to exploit humanity’s downfall by hoarding a load of weapons, food and other crap. Driven mad by the dream that they could finally become the type of cult leaders that they didn’t have the charisma to become in the real world.

The thing that distinguishes them from normal people, beyond the crazy, is that they’re so arrogant, they actually think they’d survive and thrive in this kind of situation. When in reality, they’d die.

Has there ever been a better customer than a ‘delusional customer‘?

Doomsday Prepping Market ‘Essentials’

Even better, let’s take a look at the state of the actual market. What do Doomsday Preppers consider to be essential bunker companions?

Tactical watches? Roller Skates? Bin Liners?

According to Inverse, a crapshoot website I just discovered, these are Doomsday Prepping essentials. However, as a non-doomsday prepper, I can tell you that these are not what you will need during the apocalypse. You’re going to need a strong stomach, thick rope and a belief that there will still be enough trees with branches that can support your bodyweight.

Take the tactical watch. I understand the importance of accessorising your Doomsday getups, while communicating to the surviving women that you’re really well endowed, but is anyone really going to be arranging apocalypse appointments? Do cannibals only prowl between 3:00 & 7:49 am? Are you worried that you’re going to miss the latest episode of Strictly Come Dancing with the Dead?

Or Roller Skates? Have you skated on unmaintained pavement? Have you cycled on a well maintained road? I’ve done both and fallen over a lot. Now imagine that there aren’t any refuse collectors, or Rod Stewarts to fill the potholes. Unless your Doomsday fantasy is to break your ankle and lie helplessly on the ground while dogs ravish you, roller skates aren’t a great idea.

Bin liners? Ok, I understand that. Clothes will obviously be scarce. You know. Everyone won’t be dead and not wearing their own clothes.

Like Shooting Zombies In A Swimming Pool

These items are obviously not essentials. So, through little to no research I’ve established that Doomsday Preppers base their assumptions on Zombieland: Double Tap, which is cliche-ridden crap.

Great, we understand the audience – No class. No taste. No imagination.

If they’re sold something that’s actually marketed by someone willing to do a very basic amount of research, they will buy it.

Why Doomsday Preppers Need Wine Bricks

Ok, it’s time to get the propeller on your expert marketer hat spinning. What are the main things Doomsday Preppers are worried about? How can wine bricks solve their problems?

1. Wine Bricks are MADE for stashing, stacking and living in the bottom of your bag

Carrying a bottle of wine in your rucksack? It glugs, throws balance off centre and hogs way too much space. Worse, a normal rucksack can only fit two to three bottles. 

Imagine – a mutant, cannibal, or your ex husband is chasing you:

Glug, glug, clank, moan, “Tasty morsel,” “Cindy, you bitch, I’m going to fucking flay your leather hide.

The last memory you have of your pride

What’s that sinking feeling in your stomach? Is it knowing that three bottles of wine isn’t going to be enough to forget about your lost humanity, foot or pride? Or is it all the sloshing around that’s holding you back?

A single wine brick makes a gallon of wine (6 bottles!), it’s a third of the size of a bottle and they apparently come in eight disgusting flavours. 

Carry more, faster, better, while living to actually drink your investment.

2. Wine Bricks Don’t Break (meaningfully) 

Glass is designed to break. What does normal wine come in? Glass. You’re going to break it and have a bad time. 

But like fingers, wine bricks can break and remain completely usable. What are you going to stick your fingers into?

3. Six Months Into The Apocalypse, Wine Becomes A Reproductive Necessity

In the midst of a real apocalypse, modern life probably looks comparatively great. Most of us remain reasonably attractive until our late thirties. 

But the hard living of the apocalypse is made to break you. Within the first year, you’ll barely recognise the women / men you kidnapped and keep chained to your now very cold radiator. 

The only way you’re going to manage to have relations with any of these captives is if you’re blind drunk. And how are you going to keep that up? That wine cellar and whiskey cabinet you carefully built in your bunker is already running dry. Damn, if only you’d bought wine bricks instead. 

You can store five gallons worth of wine bricks in the same space as a bottle. That’s 30 bottles of wine! 30x more booze that you could have otherwise had.

It’s literally the only way to delay the inevitable decline of your supplies. It’s also the only way of avoiding the embarrassment of all the people you now socially engage with knowing that you can no longer physically get it up.

4. Call Yourself A Professional Vintner

Grapes no longer grow. The process of plopping your wine bricks into a jug of water you collected as runoff from a former refuse site is the only way people can now remember that wine was made. 

You’re a master craftsperson. All of your favourite sexes and animals love you. 

Finally, your parents are smiling down from heaven, proud, knowing that their child achieved more than collecting useless junk for an imaginary apocalypse. Because you’re the master vintner. 

Pre-fermented wine never offered that kind of class.

5. Operation Dry Heave – “There’s A Secret Government Conspiracy To Confiscate All Of The Alcohol Before The Apocalypse.”

Right – we know Doomsday Preppers are morons who probably believe in Pizza Hut Paedophile Rings

What does that mean to us as the sellers of Wine Bricks?

Making up a stupid rumour about how *the Man* is going to steal all the alcohol will encourage Doomsday Preppers to buy wine bricks.

I mean, they’re not alcoholic until you drop them in water, so, the Government can’t confiscate them during Operation Dry Heave.

Why Wine Bricks Make Sense To Sellers

Right, so there are four pretty exceptional reasons why Wine Bricks are probably a great product to sell:

  1. Wine Bricks Are Easy To Post. Wine Bricks are bricks. You can post them to people in little boxes. They can be stacked economically and stuck in the back of a lorry. This makes them ideal for a direct to order business.
  2. Wine Bricks Don’t Incur Duty. The average bottle of wine incurs 297.57 pence per litre duty in the UK. In real person money, that’s a markup of almost £2.20 per bottle. So, if someone can sell a bottle of wine for £3.99 and still make a profit (even though they’re putting it into a super expensive glass bottle), if you’re not paying any duty on Wine Bricks you could totally sell each one for like, £2.00 and still make money.
  3. Wine Bricks Don’t Need Quality Control. Each year, winemakers are estimated to produce 11 million tonnes of pomace. That’s grape waste. It’s a mixture of seeds, stalks, grape skin and bits of fish (because it’s not wine unless it has gills). Nothing happens to this junk. It just gets thrown away. What if you were to take this waste and sculpt it into a brick? It’ll smell like wine and be the right colour. Real winemakers will probably pay you to take the stuff.
  4. Unless It’s The Apocalypse, Wine Bricks Don’t Need To Work. Think about it. Do you believe in the apocalypse? If it did happen, what’s going to happen to you if your wine bricks don’t work? Nothing, that’s what. Return policies don’t cover post-civilization scenarios. And no one’s going to ferment their precious wine bricks before the apocalypse. That’d be stupid.

What Are You Waiting For?

So, now you know your life’s calling – making and selling wine bricks to idiots. 

Start calling up vineyards and see if you can produce a modern wine brick. 

I’ve pretty much sorted out the marketing strategy for you though, so if it works, send me a few so I can show my friends how great I am at encouraging people to do stupid things. I’m sure we can all agree to raise a glass to that.

Audio Messages – Uncovering An Evil Conspiracy

How Henry Discovered That Audio Messages Are A Satanic Conspiracy

Satanic baphoment on a pentagram above a drawing of an answering machine. Blood red background.
“Leave the message after the tone.” Beep. “Hello, is that Satan? I’d like to reclaim the damned soul of the answering machine, and use it to possess Whatsapp to bring about Hell On Earth. Call me back when you get a moment.”

Tighten your chastity belt and smother your children. A nefarious occult group has summoned Satan to help them reanimate the answering machine.

Why? Because they’re demon spawn.

Today’s topic is audio messages and how they will single handedly destroy society.

You know, those cute snippets of audio you record on Whatsapp and iMessage and send to your vapid friends. Obligingly holding your phone horizontally to your mouth while pretending that you only drink bubble tea ironically.

While audio messages have featured on Whatsapp & iMessage since 2013 & 2014, they only started infiltrating my personal sphere recently. And I’m incensed. Why bring back the answering machine (because, yes, audio messages are virtual answering machines without the etiquette)? 

There’s loads of obsolete stuff that would be less torturous. How about the brazen bull or pear of anguish?

Sure, they’re an important assistive technology. But none of my friends are partially sighted, thumbless and or have forgotten how to write.

So here’s why my response to the next person who sends me an audio message is going to be a sympathetic, “Who performed your orbital lobotomy? Do they offer referral commissions?” Because if I don’t, who will?

Audio Messages Are Unjustified Voicemails

When did you last check your voicemail? It was 2013, wasn’t it? Why? Because the only people who leave voicemails are HMRC scammers claiming you’ve got a £50,000 underpayment, and time bending insurance companies with offers to transport you into last week’s most brutal car crash.

Still, they only leave a voicemail if you don’t pick up. And that’s the difference between audio messages and voicemails. The audio message is the voicemail without the justification. 

Try calling someone and they don’t pick up – leave them a voicemail as punishment. That’s fair. It’s justified. 

Don’t try to call someone, but send an audio message instead? Well, what are you punishing them for? Why should they listen to someone who hasn’t made the effort?

With this in mind, it’s obvious that people who leave audio messages are worse than HMRC scammers and rogue no claims agents.

Unstructured Thoughts & The Vice of Sloth

Sloths are evil. Does any other animal spend all of its time hanging upside down, with big, nasty claws? They’re also very lazy and live unstructured lives; key characteristics of being evil.

Audio messages are the same. They’re unstructured and quicker to send than emails, text messages and telegrams. Why? Because you don’t need to spend three seconds constructing an intro, summarising your issue and articulating a concise request.

My biggest gripe with them is when they’re used for communicating work assignments. Ten minutes of crap that I’m forced to listen to twice. Just to figure out what someone wants ME to do. Shouldn’t that emphasis be on them?!

Audio messages shift responsibility for structuring sent messages onto the receiver. How rich is that? You’re already asking someone to engage with your message. Surely there’s an unwritten social contract that effective communication is the responsibility of the person communicating?

What gives audio message senders the right to shift the blame for their blathering?

Continue using audio messages and you’re accepting stealing food from another’s mouth. Plundering their intellectual reserves. Audio messages are robbery.

Audio Messages Are Opaque

Want to know the gist of a message before you deign to read it? No chance with an audio message. There’s no way to determine what’s contained until you listen to it. 

Modern communication carries the clear expectation to come with a summary, or at least the ability to read the first line of a message before deciding whether you’re going to read the whole thing.

With audio messages, you can’t blank people.

Also, have you thought about the nefarious things people could do with this opacity? Someone could send you passages from the Necronomicon, forcing you to unwittingly summon the Kandarian Demon into your front room with a tap of the play button.

Audio messages are a platform of the occult.

Broadcasting Sexual Exploits Over Bluetooth


You’re listening to Joan Jett’s version of Season of the Witch on your little Bluetooth speaker because you don’t like Donovan. The room is filled with friends. Tipsy, you check your Whatsapp messages and press play on an audio message from Bernard, your bit on the side. Holding the phone to your ear, you hope he’s recorded something dirty. Maybe a bathroom escapade. Suddenly, your face drops. The music’s stopped and you can hear Bernard’s nasal voice, explaining that while he’s had fun sharing you with your boyfriend, he’s met someone else and they’re getting serious. Previously unaware, your boyfriend picks up a fork, pushes it into a plug socket and fries himself. Thus commences the Season of the Bitch.

Pop quiz, who was the worst person in that scenario? 


No. It was Bernard for sending that damned audio message.

Audio messages ruin relationships, kill spouses and completely invade your privacy.

It’s A Non-Interactive Phone Call

What’s my favourite thing about pizza? Watching someone eating it? Of course not. I like touching all the slices and playing with the melted cheese.

How about phone calls? I like making animal sounds in response to legitimate questions.

“When are you going to have that report finished?”

“Neymoo.” (It’s the sound of a deer – a mix between a horse and a cow)

As non-interactive phone calls, audio messages remove my right to respond with these, important, constructive points at the perfect opportunity. They disempower me from my god given right to shut down conversations.

Clearly, audio messages are disenfranchising recipients of the right to respond. By extension, they’re a form of censorship.

Why Audio Messages Must Die

Do you want to live in a world of surprise demonic summonings? Boyfriends, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, fathers and sons forced to kill themselves? Do you support mass censorship? Forced engagement? All while sloths amble about junctions, blocking traffic and economic progress?


Well there’s only one solution. Stop sending me audio messages.

A World Without Travel Time

Thoughts on ‘The Stars My Destination’ and parallels between metaverses and the consequences of instantaneous travel

An ink drawing of Scotty from Star Trek (fat version) with a teleporter effect and speech bubble reading "Jaunte me into Ms Bellatrix's Private Virtual Boudoir with your strongest bottle of synthetic whiskey!"
Star Trek’s Scotty’s favourite past time when the cameras weren’t rolling

My sister gave me a copy of Alfred Bester’s ‘The Stars My Destination‘ for Christmas. I belatedly thanked her by sending her a download code for Disco Elysium. Having read the book, I’ll admit that my gift to her was less inspired – no disrespect, Disco Elysium.

The Stars My Destination‘, previously titled ‘Tiger! Tiger!‘, is a work of science fiction by Alfred Bester, published in 1956. It’s a story of revenge, set against the backdrop of a world where almost everyone can jaunte – teleport hundreds to thousands of miles at will without technological assistance. Thankfully, there’s no room for Star Trek inspired arguments on whether that means life or death.

While there’s plenty to say about the book’s Count of Monte Cristo-esque plot, its structure and Bester’s choice of protagonist, I was taken by the treatment of teleportation and its consequences. It seems weirdly relevant against the impending arrival of metaverses and the slow erosion of distinctions between the physical and virtual world.

Not that I’m suggesting physical teleportation will happen. But the ability to access virtual locations, people and their possessions instantly will. Given that, perhaps some of Bester’s speculations are relevant to our future.

What Is The Stars My Destination?

It’s a science fiction novel set in the Twenty Fifth Century, where eleven million million people occupy all of the habitable planets in our solar system. All but a very few can jaunte, so vehicles are only required to traverse space (you can’t jaunte through space). The book’s protagonist is Gulliver (Gully) Foyle, an abnormally typical man with a dead-end future job as a crewman on a cargo ship.

The story begins with Gully as the lone survivor on a wrecked spaceship – the Nomad – stranded in space with no chance of survival. Luck guides another spaceship – the Vorga – to his location. Distress signal spotted, Gully’s salvation seems guaranteed, but at the last moment the ship deserts him.

Abandonment awakens dormant talents in Gully. He stops waiting for rescue and miraculously saves himself. The sole driving force – to enact vengeance on the ship and its crew.

The story is about Gully seeking out the Vorga. As a character, his main characteristic is an unpleasant drive for revenge. The book’s brutal and unsentimental, but maintains a clear theme throughout – everyone can determine their own fate and shouldn’t be treated as children (that was my reading, anyway). Very democratic and individualistic.

An Overview of Bester’s Treatment of Teleportation

Surprisingly, the book’s pinnacle is the introduction. It starts with a seven page pop essay that explains how teleportation was discovered, taught to the masses and then explores the consequences of instantaneous travel.

Beginning with the chance discovery of teleportation, it focuses on the scientific community’s murderous efforts to harness the phenomenon. Initially, jaunting is only sparked by an absolute fear of death – i.e. drowning or burning alive. Suicide subjects are placed in fatal scenarios, with chemical reactions duly recorded against successful and unsuccessful jauntes.

Eventually teleportation can be taught. Disseminated to the masses, long thought extinct viruses cause pandemics, geographic borders no longer restrain invading species, while the geographically disenfranchised suddenly relocate at will. Enormous societal changes ensue. New hierarchies are established based on an individual’s ability to jaunte and drastic measures have to be taken to guard possessions and bodies from pillage.

There are a couple of areas that aren’t explicitly explored; how mass instantaneous transit could destroy natural geographic barriers and the fundamental concept of the nation state. Still, they’re alluded to through the implied collective unity across single planets and satellites.

What Does Teleportation Have To Do With Metaverses?

Teleportation and entering a virtual reality are different mechanisms with similar ends, depending on how the latter is implemented (ideally not as a closed garden). Realised, both share certain consequences.

Sure, it’s difficult to imagine how metaverses would compare to teleportation right now. There’s nothing inspiring about Meta’s most recent demos of Texas Hold’em and quarterly earning Powerpoint slides broadcast through VR headsets.

However, fully expanded metaverses could act as the platform to a world where pseudo-teleportation was realised.

The promise is vast. 

Instantly visit a virtual location, talk to someone face-to-face instead of sending an email, engage in virtual hookups with complete strangers, invest money in a completely new frontier, forget reality and start a new cult based on this whacked out Twitch stream

Both teleportation and immersive virtual worlds have the potential to turn long established social norms upside down.

But Aren’t The Physical & Virtual World Distinct?

Most people’s current conception of metaverses still supports a clear distinction between the physical and virtual world. But in the future, I think it’s a safe bet that the virtual and physical will be indistinguishable – a single entity.

I can think of three basic arguments for this:

1. Virtualised Services are Already Invading the Physical World 

At an extreme, imagine personalised adverts viewed through smart glasses. Or how about keeping an empty seat at the bar for your friend’s avatars to join you? 

Unlocking certain physical services already requires the use of digital platforms; from vaccine passports to using your phone to pay for shopping. This will increase, making individual interaction with a virtual world a non-optional necessity. When launching a metaverse, basic services will have to be integrated; payment systems, chat, video, encryption. The dominant platform is likely to dictate how these services eventually interact with the physical world.

2. Reduced Importance of the Physical World 

Activities that previously required us to step outside, handle goods and talk to people are being replaced with virtual alternatives. Have you ordered groceries from Gorillas or Getir? (Have you also wondered what the hell their business model is? I assume its based on Uber’s and doesn’t require profit)

With enough services moving into a virtual space, basic tasks in the physical world will become more abstracted and less obviously physical. Without clear differences, or at least differences you or I care to explore, the need for the unique aspects of the physical world will decrease.

3. Economic and Social Incentives Abound 

Bird flu, covid, climate change, waste. The ability for companies and Governments to track you more. How about selling virtual real-estate or crappy pixel art? 

Investors & companies are driven by profits. Governments by efficiency. And everyone likes big data. It’s in a lot of peoples’ interests to develop an alternative to the physical world and to force you to use it over the physical world.

But That’s Horrible


The critical point here is the second – reduced importance of the physical world. Likely, you’re horrified by the prospect of a virtual world akin to JG Ballard’s ‘Intensive Care Unit’, a short story about a man who’s never met his wife or children and views the world through a screen. However, future generations probably won’t be, because the merits of the physical world won’t be the same as they are now.

I think the horror Ballard’s story inspires is generationally subjective. We don’t like the idea because we’re not used to it; we associate freedom of movement with freedom, but freedom is a complex concept. It doesn’t necessarily have to include physical freedom.

Imagine telling someone in the 14th Century that in the future humanity would spend most days staring at illuminated panes of glass. It would spark revulsion.

How’s It Linked To The Consequences of Teleportation?

While reading Bester’s piece, I felt three immediate consequences of teleportation jumped out as relevant to a mixed virtual / physical world.

1. Redefining Privacy

Right now, I’m writing in my room. The door’s closed. For someone to get in, I’d have to invite them or they’d have to force their way in. Physical action is required.

In ‘The Stars My Destination’, an interesting consequence of universal access to teleportation is how completely private and restricted locations are unlocked. Rape, theft, murder, arson, exhibitionism – they all ensue. The rich devise ways to create teleportation-free rooms, using complex physical mazes. While many apply Victorian constraints on the movement of women to ‘protect them’.

While virtual environments are typically secured with a combination of encryption and physical devices (take Microsoft’s Pluton security chip), data that would have been stored locally is now either duplicated or completely held on remote servers that thousands of users plug into for services. 

Programs will always have vulnerabilities. When more of your life is moved onto a virtual platform, either virtual property in Second Life, assets in the form of NFTs or explicit pictures for ‘your fans only’, it becomes more integrated. The distinction between the private and public sphere blurs. In these situations it’s highly possible that a short term reaction by some will be forcibly excluded from virtual platforms, for their own protection.

2. Death of the Nation State

Globalisation may be in full swing, but we’re all still connected to a specific geographic region through citizenship. This limits where we can travel, work and access public services.

In ‘The Stars My Destination’, instantaneous travel to any location is possible, leaving border control in tatters.

Already, you can work certain jobs remotely, transcending geographic boundaries without too many complications. As more and more necessary activities are moved from the physical world to a virtual one, the relevance of a geographic mother state will become questionable. 

While there will still be a need for Governments to provide certain basic services and infrastructure, the importance of said infrastructure is probably going to be rebalanced. Further, it will beg the question of how you can apply national jurisdiction and law across a stateless (virtual) world.

At present, if the development of metaverses continues to be led by private enterprises, where IP investment is largely in software, it won’t be long before people start questioning the relevance of national Governments and the arguments against devolution or some form of Anarcho-syndicalism.

3. Ownership of Physical Objects Will Become A Luxury

There’s an ongoing debate about whether in the future, objects will be rented or owned. The continued mass production of cheap goods in China says the latter, while a western drive for sustainability would suggest the former.

In ‘The Stars My Destination’, antique petrol powered vehicles are only accessible by the ultra-rich. Combine harvesters become status symbols.

Depending on how much resources start to dwindle, perhaps that’s foreseeable. From people paying ridiculous amounts for Pokemon cards, to trainers that were probably manufactured in a Vietnamese industrial free trade zone, the accepted value of many physical items is already highly abstracted. 

Moving to a world where physical items are less fundamental to existence though, will probably drive a similar impulse to peacock with ancient artefacts. So maybe don’t scrap that 1992 Nissan Prairie; leave it to your great grandchildren instead.

The End of Travel Time

Ultimately, the advent of metaverses won’t run train, bus or uber drivers out of jobs. Automation will get there first. Still, while there are plenty of nice moments for contemplation while sitting on the top deck of the No. 38, personally, I don’t think losing travel time is actually a loss.

Still, my thoughts here are purely speculative. However, I do think it’s pretty impressive that in the 1950s, Alfred Bester managed to write a pulp science fiction story that still appears to have synergies with the not-too-distant-future we’re staring at today.

NB: He even anticipated Doom’s Telefrag, a video game mechanic that allows players to kill enemies and other players by teleporting or respawning directly onto the same map coordinates. Funny, isn’t it?