Sunday, September 17, 2006

Getting back to the future can't buy happiness

a piece by robot doomsday guru DANIEL H. WILSON as featured in New York Newsday... real interesting..

September 13, 2006

The future was supposed to be a fully automated, atomic-powered, germ-free utopia - a place where a grown man could wear a spandex unitard and not be laughed at. Where are the servant robots, the flying cars and the hover boards we expected?

Oh, and that reminds me, where's my flippin' jet pack? Visionaries such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells long ago spun wild tales of space flight and underwater adventure. In 1926, Hugo Gernsback introduced the first science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, with the motto: "Extravagant Fiction Today: Cold Fact Tomorrow."

By the 1960s and '70s, the Apollo moon missions made a lunar landing look like a trip to the beach. And don't even get me started on "Star Trek" (celebrating its 40th anniversary) with its tantalizing holodecks, transporters and universal translators.

Every pulp sci-fi tale was a promise of a better tomorrow, yet today zeppelins the size of ocean liners do not hover over fully enclosed skyscraper cities. Despite every World's Fair prediction, every futuristic ride at Disneyland and the advertisements on the last page of every comic book, we are not living in a techno-utopia. Or are we? (click Here)

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