For quite a while it's seemed that the Government have been running out of ideas, but they have really excelled themselves today. The BBC are reporting that Peter Mandelson's BIS Department have commissioned a report which imagines a list of "jobs of the future" - at least one of which seems to have been pillaged from Channel 4's excellent comedy series Brass Eye.
Brass Eye, as you may well recall, was a perfect, needling spoof of authoritative TV current affairs broadcasting. At one time, Government Ministers were apparently considering banning it but they had to admit they'd never watched it. Now it seems they have watched it and have taken it a bit too seriously.
Today's new report is, quite frankly, nonsense. I'm sure the consultants who produced it had a lot of fun making up imaginary jobs for the year 2030, but it is of no really practical use. Here are some of their ideas:
- Spaceship pilot
- Memory augmentation surgeon
- Human body part grower
- Terraformer of the Moon
- Robot counsellor
- Unobtainium miner (ok I made that one up)
All fair enough as guesses, but not really much more informative than the answer you'd get if you asked a 14 year old sci fi geek - a process that would cost you a lot less, as you could pay him in Magic Cards rather than the large amount of money that BIS presumably handed over to the Fast Future consultancy.
But the job which really caught my idea was the idea of a "vertical farmer", growing plants on rising buildings rather than space-consuming farmland. Brass Eye fans among you will know that this was in fact used by that series as one of the absurd ideas they tricked celebrities into proposing. In fact, pictured below is the relevant victim, minor TV celeb Tania Bryer, standing next to a vertical farm:
So, we know that Fast Future's researchers are big fans of Chris Morris's comedy, and we know that they have an impressive talent for getting money out of Government departments, but what else do we know about them?
Well presumably the two skills in the (actually quite widespread) futurology industry are:
1) being really good at foreseeing upcoming events
2) having a strong understanding of technology
Well, I'm afraid I can't tell you, because I went to their website only to be met with the message: