A Dictionary of the Near Future

I am supposed to be working, but I then I an op-ed, by Doublas Coupland in The New York Times, caught my attention: A Dictionary of the Near Future:

The thing about the future is that it never feels the way we thought it would. New sensations require new terms; below are a few such terms to encapsulate our present moment.

I regcognize myself in a lot of the terms, Airport-Induced Identity Dysphoria, for example:

AIRPORT-INDUCED IDENTITY DYSPHORIA Describes the extent to which modern travel strips the traveler of just enough sense of identity so as to create a need to purchase stickers and gift knick-knacks that bolster their sense of slightly eroded personhood: flags of the world, family crests, school and university merchandise.

It goes deep, wonder what economists have to say about this:

CRYSTALLOGRAPHIC MONEY THEORY The hypothesis that money is a crystallization or condensation of time and free will, the two characteristics that separate humans from other species.

I am dimanchophobic every now and then, approximately once a week:

DIMANCHOPHOBIA Fear of Sundays, a condition that reflects fear of unstructured time. Also known as acalendrical anxiety. Not to be confused with didominicaphobia or kyriakephobia, fear of the Lord’s Day.

So not true:

INTRAVINCULAR FAMILIAL SILENCE We need to be around our families not because we have so many shared experiences to talk about, but because they know precisely which subjects to avoid.

Fair enough, true, but is it a real problem, or just the manifestation of deeper problems regarding attention spans or commitments, or both?

KARAOKEAL AMNESIA Most people don’t know the complete lyrics to almost any song, particularly the ones they hold most dear. (See also Lyrical Putty)


PROCELERATION The acceleration of acceleration.

Mere word play:

PSEUDOALIENATION The inability of humans to create genuinely alienating situations. Anything made by humans is a de facto expression of humanity. Technology cannot be alienating because humans created it. Genuinely alien technologies can be created only by aliens. Technically, a situation one might describe as alienating is, in fact, “humanating.”

So that’s what standard deviation means, I hear it all the time:

STANDARD DEVIATION Feeling unique is no indication of uniqueness, and yet it is the feeling of uniqueness that convinces us we have souls.


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