Tuesday, January 21, 2014

We Live in the Future

As many of you know, over the past year I've spent a lot of time on my treadmill.  It's the most fabulous thing ever, because I just watch movies or TV shows while walking hundreds of miles and reducing my girth in the process.

Recently I discovered a show on the Science Channel.  I don't know when it originally aired, but I was able to DVR an entire season in 1 day, and I've been enjoying it on the treadmill for the past few weeks.  It's called Prophets of Science Fiction, and it goes over various works of Science Fiction literature, and what predictions were made that eventually came true.

This show is awesome for 2 reasons.  The first is that I get to relive a large portion of my adolescence.  My teenage years were the years that I was introduced to Isaac Asimov, H.G. Wells, Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke.

This is a picture I took of the Isaac Asimov plaque in the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in Seattle.

When I was a teenager and could only grow 4 hairs in my sideburns, I grew those hairs like 4 inches long so I could be like Asimov.  Luckily, before I had too many hairs, I realized that  Isaac Asimov was not a trend setter when it came to style.
The second reason for the awesomeness of this show is that it made me realize that we live in the future.  We may not have robots that follow the three laws of robotics, but this show made me realize how much of science fiction's predictions have come true.  We have orbiting satellites (predicted by Arthur C. Clarke), we have prosthetic limbs (predicted by Isaac Asimov), and even the stories about colonizing space are coming true.

As I thought about this, I started thinking about the things that weren't predicted, at least not exactly the way they were implemented.  One particular thing that comes to mind is the iPhone.  A few months ago, I was with my brother in Brigham City, Utah.  We stopped at a Burger King and my brother bought me something to eat.  I wanted to remind myself to pay him back, so I pulled out my phone and said, "Remind me when I get home that I owe Zack 2 dollars."

My phone that responded, "Okay, I'll remind you."

I didn't think anything of it, but the girl working the cash register was flabbergasted, "Your phone just talked back to you."

It hadn't occurred to me that this would be a spectacle that others would be excited to view.  I told her that I chat with Siri all the time.  She looked at me like I was some sort of sorcerer.  It didn't even occur to her that the sorcery extended beyond a device that talks.  It's a device that knows where I live, and can tell when I arrive at my home.

We totally live in the future.  To people living in the ancient past (or in Brigham City) the technology we have today is indistinguishable from magic.

I'm a tech geek.  This realization has caused me to geek out to no end.  To think that we can track blood sugar by putting something in our eyes, or have a pizza delivered by a robotic drone is mind blowing.

We live in the future, and the future is awesome.  I can't wait to see what tomorrow (the double future) brings.

1 comment:

  1. I want the future when we can travel by light and replicate any food that we want instead of cooking it. I don't want the future that we are always having to conquer aliens or they are trying to conquer us.


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