I first heard about Tomorrow Magazine in the summer when it was being funded with a Kickstarter campaign. Back then it described itself as featuring “original articles and essays about what’s on the cusp, plus fresh design, illustrations, and photography” and stood by an ideal that it wouldn’t “be afraid to publish things that are complicated or sexy or weird… the kinds of things that might just get you fired”. I was intrigued, especially knowing the creators of the magazine were formerly working at the once-great GOOD magazine.
The results of the project surpass my expectations. The finished magazine, which is available in print and online, is filled with superb journalism, engaging stories, inventive art and an overall ethos that embraces misfits and possibilities. The tagline “a future now magazine” rings true throughout the publication.
Tomorrow Magazine covers a lot of disparate topics, from health to counter cultures, religion to politics and sex to identity. The spread of concerns in the magazine is exciting and reflects the generalist approach that I am most excited to see in publications.
Here are some of the pieces I found to be highlights:
Patients who have their genes sequenced can receive treatments and therapies tailored to their DNA. From a saliva swab, your care team will map your unique genetic composition to predict and prevent disease even before you experience symptoms. At your option, you’ll learn the conditions for which you’re at risk while receiving treatments designed to maximize effectiveness and minimize side effects. Individualized medicine will allow you to identify and change your unique microbiome—the mix of bacteria that live symbiotically inside you—with probiotics. Health care will no longer be a mass-market business.
Ruidosón is “100 percent internet,” Gallardo says—born of the medium, inspired by its chaos. The proverbial “noise” of the internet can be deafening, and ruidosoneros filter and curate that noise, both literal and figurative. Background noise, like the sound of a radio scanning through the static, becomes a break in the Los Macuanos song “Ritmo de Amor.”
Nairobi Nights was a sort of object, now preserved in amber online. It enabled fevered projections and speculations from alarmed Kenyan theists and amused cosmopolites alike. I can’t imagine a better way to show up the Kenyan culture of sex, or to show off the digital spotlight now shining on Africa. Nairobi Nights was, for a time, the perfect means to give the world something that we didn’t know—or couldn’t admit—we wanted.
The question is: How good were those minutes? Maybe the minutes I’ve lost online are superior to those I’ve spent absently wandering the cereal aisle, knitting, or whatever we all did before Assassin’s Creed. In fact, much of the web trail we write off as online procrastination is actually perfectly constructive—we just don’t recognize it as such because what happens on the internet is assumed to be inferior to what’s going on IRL.
In the future, people won’t talk on phones—phones will talk to each other. Your device will be autonomous, a small, smooth pebble that lives in your pocket or is worn on a thin gold chain. An advanced model will be embedded in a fingertip, an earlobe, a pupil. This machine can understand, translate, illustrate, and animate in any language. It’ll work in tandem with your body, monitoring routines and biometrics to suggest a route change when an ex or best friend is nearby. Driving toward a supermarket, it buys the items on your list for that night’s date—salmon, wine, condoms, pancake mix and orange juice—and has them delivered to a drive-through window. When your heart speeds up, it’ll trigger “record,” capturing audio/video/photos of your exciting moments for later perusal. To stay competitive, hardware makers will find ways to infuse the machines with empathy, make us care for them like a Tamagotchi. We’ll still love our machines, but in the future, they’ll love us back.
Tomorrow is a one-shot magazine about creative destruction. When the eight of us lost our jobs this summer, we hit the reset button on our lives. Then we decided to make one last magazine together about the people around the world who are doing the same: the queer YouTube stars, Kenyan prostitutes, boy-band fan-fic writers, Spanish-language radio hosts, Jewish convert bloggers, and new-wave pop starlets who are tearing the old world down and starting it anew. Tomorrow is the collective vision of thousands of Kickstarter donors and dozens of collaborating writers, editors, illustrators, designers, photo-graphers, fact-checkers, and copy editors. Here’s what our Tomorrow looks like. We can’t wait to see yours.