Changing so fast
“Things are changing so fast that what we once called ‘science fiction’ we now call ‘current events.’ “ — Ashleigh Brilliant
Ashleigh penned that thought in the late 60’s, before humans ever walked on the moon. Yet now his words are more true than ever, which paradoxically demonstrates that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
But really, have you ever stopped to wonder what your ten-year-old self would have thought if someone had come to visit you from the future, and told you all about now? Could you have imagined the internet, digital photography, smart phones, or the availability of hundreds of TV channels, shows, and movies on demand, viewable on a variety of portable devices? What about medical advances such as fully functional artificial limbs, or robotic heart surgery? Dick Tracy’s radio watch and Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone would have seemed unimpressive in comparison.
On the other hand, not all of the news from the future would have sounded appealing. Drones. Terrorists. Environmental disasters. Ebola. Identity theft. The Kardashians.
The good old days weren’t always good for everyone, and not good at all for some of us. But some of the trade-offs of progress seem dubious at best. Those of us who remember reading 1984 or Brave New World in high school have lived to see some features of those dystopic nightmares coming true, or at least close enough to be worrisome.
Still, I wouldn’t go back, even if I could. Would you? What technology would you miss most if you were suddenly transported back to the world of your childhood? What “current events” of today remind you of “science fiction” of years past? And what futuristic notions that now seem impossible might be commonplace in our grandchildren’s world? Beam us up!
This post was first published seven years ago on May 28. The date was adjusted to allow the Memorial Day post of 2015 to appear this weekend.
Reading over this post again, I’m struck by the fact that much of what has transpired in the past three years alone would not have seemed possible to me when I first wrote this post only seven years ago. It’s quite a sobering thought, since most of the events I would never have believed have not been good ones.
The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.