Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The future is (more or less) now!

The future has always been now, in the sense that time never stands still. Once someone gets an idea for a better way to do something—and starts to work on it—things starts to change. What's different now is how much the pace of change has accelerated.  When my daughter was much younger, she asked me if I fought with my siblings over what videotapes to rent at the video store (because she and her brother could never agree). I explained that we didn't have videotape or VCRs when I was a kid. Now, of course, it's either DVD's from a vending machine or downloads from Amazon or Netflix. Baring some kind of freaky time reboot, her generation will be the only one to rent videotapes as kids.

There's a science fiction blog called i09 that has a wonderful post about predictions from science fiction that came true in 2012. They're all pretty cool, but the three I found most intriguing were these:
  • Dawn of the Cyborgs:  South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius is a double amputee who raced in the Olympics wearing blade-shaped prosthetic legs. His nickname is (naturally) Blade Runner. 
  • Flowers for Five Unnamed Rhesus Monkeys: Scientists were able to improve the cognitive ability of monkeys by implanting a chip in their brains. And unlike poor Algernon the mouse, this effect didn't wear off.
  • Warp Factor One: NASA has begun working on a design for a faster-than-light drive! It's all very theoretical, but still, it is so cool that NASA is trying to "Make it so!"

This is one reason it's so hard to write science fiction! Reality keeps catching up!

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