When in 1982, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner hit cinemas depicting a dystopian, neo-noir Los Angeles of November 2019 – a rain-drenched, shadowy city of skyscrapers and hover cars, populated by murderous androids – it was a distant enough future for it to remain just the right side of conceivable.
When the film’s 37th anniversary rolled around late last year, social media went into overdrive making tongue-in-cheek comparisons with the not-so-dystopian, but still bleak aspects of contemporary LA. But with California’s beach bum scene going strong, grid-locked traffic, and (relatively) benign robot population, few would argue Scott’s vision came to fruition.
Blade Runner was perhaps guilty of being overly ambitious in his prophesying, but this is a problem Phnom Penh-based think-tank Future Forum considered when settling upon two decades time for their Cambodia 2040 project – a collection of essays hypothesising about the Kingdom’s fortunes across key areas in the years to come.
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