Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Future Suck

The other day I was flipping through the channels and saw that the movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact was on. It was nearly over, so I left it on long enough to see the bit – spoiler alert – when the aliens ignite Jupiter and turn it into a small star.
While I was watching it, I thought about how 2010 is a mere two years away, and yet while in the movie they had computers with artificial intelligence and were sending manned missions to Jupiter, the only area in which we’ve actually progressed to a technological level at all comparable to the movie is in computer graphics, as we have much better visuals than the movie’s protagonists did with their monochrome displays that were state-of-the-art in 1984.
Granted, the intelligent computer is a murderer, but that still beats anything we’ve got – and they already had that all the way back in 2001.
In any case, I was talking to Scott about this today via IM and I noticed a headline stating that the launch of the successor to the space shuttle has been pushed back to 2014.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again now: the future is a total rip-off.
You say that we live in the present, not the future? I say bullshit. It’s 2000 friggin’ 8. If that’s not the future, I don’t know what is. I mean, Robocop was supposed to have taken place in 1997 or something like that. This is the future.
And it sucks.
Or at least it sucks in comparison to how we were told it was going to be.
Here’s a list of a few things we’re supposed to have by now, but which have yet to materialize:

Off-world colonies
Cures for all major diseases
Clean, efficient fuels that don’t necessitate wars
Robot maids/butlers/wives
Totally immersive virtual realities
Soylent Green

Okay, maybe not having that last one isn’t such a bad thing. But the rest? I’m supposed to be able to take a vacation on the moon, after flying there on a spaceship running on fusion power, or hydrogen, or anti-matter, or at least something that isn’t made out of dinosaur remains, spending most of my time while on vacation going at it with my robot wife, or maybe banging some space prostitute with no fear of catching an STD, or at the very least sitting in my living room with a pair of VR goggles that allow me to be completely convinced that I’m on vacation on the moon, doing the nasty with my robot wife and/or a space prostitute.
Do we have any of these things? No, we barely even have the very beginning of any of these things.
You’ll note that I left out the oft-mentioned, non-existent flying car. I’m willing to give this one a pass, given that when they were first thought of people didn’t really have an understanding of the kind of catastrophic malfunctions and accidents that could occur in regular, non-flying cars. Flying cars are maybe not the best idea.
In any case, promises were made, said promises were not kept, and someone needs to be held accountable for this.
Who would that be? The past, and the people in it who failed to live up to the promises they made. I propose that we, the residents of the future, file a class action lawsuit against the past.
Oh, and present? Don’t think you’re off the hook either; you’d better get your ass in gear and start delivering on the future. You have a lot of catching up to do.

Your Regularly-Scheduled Threshold Department:
Okay, now that I’ve gotten my little rant out of the way, we can get back to the usual business of reporting what’s going on in my life.
Oh! I got my Heroic Portraits business cards yesterday. That’s something new.

(Sorry for the crappy picture, but the scan of it turned out even worse.)
Other than that, nothing new or exciting or even new and unexciting is going on.


Merlin T Wizard said...

I second the motion to file a class action suit against the past!

Just as long as we leave soylent green out of it. Yuck. All we need is soylent products, like that classic Hartman sketch on SNL. I wish I could find that online.

Oh, nice job on the business cards. Maybe you should send a few my way and I can start spreading them around too.

M. Simon said...

Here is some history that may interest you:

Fusion Report 13 June 008