Look, government has been failing us lately, and a reasonable person could want science to run wild and free to save us. I feel this all the time these days, and lament what happened to the future that was changing so fast no one could keep up.

These days, the world isn't changing fast enough.

A huge influence on what we envision about a radically different future comes from things like Cyberpunk 2020, and let me tell you, that is not the 2020 we see today. We see a meek and scared world, with no crowds, and weak biotech.

I want the cyberpunk future, I think – a world where it's dense, strange, and technology is so powerful you could reasonably ignore any natural threats – but while the tech of the cyberpunk future could crush any puny natural threat, it has dangers of its own. Life isn't perfect, but if you see this as the best choice for the future – a land of freedom, technology, change, ambition, and humankind finally conquering not just the planet, but ourselves – then here are some general rules of thumb to help you get by:

1) Buyer Beware

No one but you will protect you. That's the consumer protection law: you must do it yourself. Be savvy, be skeptical. Do business with people you know and trust.

2) Have Good Taste

Nostalgia is the strangest form of bad taste I can imagine, and there's no place for it in the cyberpunk future. Be able to tell the difference between what you actually want and some simpler substitution.

3) Want More

Complacency is the bear trap of the cyberpunk future. If you don't push for more, you'll get left behind by those that want to be more deeply fulfilled. Want things strongly, and follow your instincts to satisfy those preferences. You'll have to help others, and make sure you keep some margin for yourself. There's no way a complacent life will let you achieve your strange ambitions.

4) Work Together

For such a crowded world, you can be quite lonely. But in a world this complex, very little can be done alone. Team up with others, people who produce excellent work and push you to do the same. Good teams are better than pure skill – you can start optimizing for the entire process of getting results, and that's what people want anyway.