100 years

-entry for New Gen. Monthly on Macau 100 years in the future

Predictions can easily turn into lists. Lists of all the things we do or don't want to see. The temptation is to try and fit it all in so as to increase our chances of being right. Whether or not we are, it is a privilege to have a place from which to speculate, a place from which to look ahead. This is what it means to have a future.

So one hundred years from now, where will we find ourselves, in something of the same position, with the same preoccupations and problems; surely there will be some new inventions, new media, and new distractions? As an American academic brought here to teach ways of seeing, I can honestly say I don't know. I can't see that far.

 What I do know is that I won't still be here in one hundred years. In the future, Macao will not be like me, it will not look like me, it will not talk like me; but there may be more people like me, people from different places who find themselves here looking for a future. 

 When I first moved here, I used to say Macao felt a bit like science fiction, invitingly foreign and eclectic. After just five years in town, it already feels familiar. Now people ask me why I am still here. I guess my reasoning has something to do with that distant future. That future, with all its uncertainties and potential, gives me, gives us that privileged place from which to speculate, a space in which we might experiment with new ways of seeing, new technologies, and new media. This is what it means for me to consider the privilege of this future.