How Do You Talk about the Future When Our Languages Have Not Yet Assigned Terms for Its Description?

This is going to be a ramble.

My chosen name comes from Nova,

which you are now assigned to read if you have not yet done so. Katin is the crew member with the tarot cards and a writer’s itch. We’re alike in that sense, but sadly not many other senses. (If only I were so tall!)

But Nova’s author, the perfect Samuel R. Delany — and I do mean perfect|I own several copies, editions, printings of almost every of his works as they form such a crux of my identity and existence now, perhaps in similar manner to the importance you perceive of your use of electricity — found terms for not only explaining this story set in a future, but also terms for explaining to you your own understanding of whether you are reading art, life, or, well, what’s the difference?

I’d like to have the same clarity of perspective about our future, but the terms elude me. The efficiencies created by automation continue to surprise us all. There will be no end to it, I have no doubt.

Let’s talk about food

I started to eat an exclusively vegetarian diet for the past few weeks. I just like vegetables. Can’t wait to be one one day. But I’m not an especially talented cook, and I’m frugal. If you saw where I live you’d be very confused about the inside of the place. I can make a pretty good root curry (maybe the subject of a future story) and some seitan, that’s it.

The Automated Solution to Nutrient Scarcity in a Society Willfully Ignorant as to How One Cares for Oneself

I found this company seemingly randomly, but through what was I’m sure a carefully, purposely placed ad, called Hungryroot, and I couldn’t be happier that I received the ad. It’s cheaper than my previous diet and ideal for me. The box shows up every week full of everything I need for that week. And it knows what I need even when I do not.

Recently Hungryroot suggested some dishes I didn’t feel good about, so I changed the items to just pick some grocery items on my own.

I don’t eat cheese and I was too stupid to look at the ingredient list like any normal person would do to verify that it doesn’t have cheese in it. That’s the problem when someone on the verge of Gen X but only barely of Millennial age uses automation: results may vary.vary.sometimes. See what I did there? I really did that.

When I updated my order to groceries, the site showed me — I kid you not — every single item that I had intended to buy, and no other item, in its suggested items menu. Did Hungryroot know me so well as to understand that I like to binge eat pasta when Jupiter enters Aquarius? I actually think so. I really do, and I’m not kidding.

Anyway, I cook fresh food most days for a whopping five minutes of my time — all Hungryroot meals require only minimal preparation time — and eat like a peasant who knows how to fuckineat instead of the near-invalid I undoubtedly am. But, with this thing that tells me what to do with myself, specifically my mouth and stomach, I’m don’t feel as thought I’m existing within the Autumnal City.

Photo by Katin

It’s feeding me. I’m basically not feeding myself anymore. That’s how little I’m now invested in making my own food choices. Each choice is delicious and far more healthy than anything I consumed before 2020, so I’ve simply removed personal choice from the equation. Without doubt I’m eating more healthy meals through Hungryroot than I ever have at any time in my life. My mother agrees; I checked.

In other words, automation doesn’t just take care of me: It causes me to thrive in areas of my life that I’m “just not good at” on my own. And it can do the same to you if you want.




My sobriquet here derives from a character from Nova, a novel by Samuel R. Delany. I’m a musician; I have backgrounds in Japanese linguistics and law.

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Chris Pullman

Chris Pullman

My sobriquet here derives from a character from Nova, a novel by Samuel R. Delany. I’m a musician; I have backgrounds in Japanese linguistics and law.

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