Friday, July 8, 2011


In the 1980s and 90s, movies showed what many people at the time thought the future would be like.  Films like Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Back to the Future Part II, gave us flying cars and other technological advancements.  Also, Back to the Future taught me that if I go to the future in a time-traveling DeLorean, I should get a small booklet that has the results of every sports game ever played.  Then, I just go back to the past and use the book to win tons of money betting on games!

I was not really in the movie since I was 18 months old when it was made.

These types of science fiction films often depicted problems with the government/a big corporation (having too much power/being generally evil).  For example, The Running Man starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (set in 2019), is about convicts who have to run for their lives on a game show.  (Actually, this sounds like a reality show that would appeal to people today.  The show would be on ABC after Wipeout.)  Then, there’s Demolition Man, where we’ve got a crimeless future with tons of restrictions.  (Things sure get bad when Wesley Snipes, a prisoner who’d been frozen in time, escapes!  Do not rent this movie.)

Wesley Snipes went to prison in real life, too.

The 6th Day (more recent, 2000) predicts that in the year 2015, people will be able to clone their deceased pets.  This is silly because there are too many animals in the world already.  The movie also incorrectly predicts that the XFL will replace the NFL, but it correctly depicts TVs in taxicabs.

People who are older probably thought the world now would be how it was in Blade Runner (with organic robots, flying cars, and bad Harrison Ford voice-over to their lives).  Or, they might’ve thought the world would be destroyed because of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, or war with Skynet.

Essential reading during the Cold War.

Instead, these old people have to cope with (and often complain about) how the world really is in 2011.  It seems like some journalist is always writing an article about how kids these days aren’t connected with reality and don’t know how to interact with other people.  Skype, facebook, and twitter are just a few advances in communication since the 80s (when people had to use the telegraph to send messages).  Still, in my experience, kids do not have any trouble communicating in person and this is just old people being ornery (and jealous since their childhood was less fun because they only had marbles to play with).

Dumb logo.

The good ol' days

What do you think of when you picture the future?  Do you imagine people taking trips to space?  What about flying cars?  Do you foresee humans having an incredibly long lifespan?  The future is coming, my friends.  Now, I know that the future is always getting closer; I am not a buffoon.  What I mean is that the vision people had of the future twenty years ago is starting to become a reality…

*TRIPS TO SPACE: Do you want to take a trip to space?  Well, too bad!  Chances are that you are not wealthy enough to afford one!  But if you are rich, you can spend $200,000 to venture into space with Virgin Galactic, a spaceflight company.

There I go.

Personally, I have no interest in going to space (despite the above image).  I would rather visit somewhere on Earth where there is no chance of me having an Apollo 13-like experience and I will not get nauseous.  Please do not get me space tickets as a birthday/holiday gift.

Hopefully, the price for space trips will go down over time and normal people, like carpenters and screenwriters, will be able to blast off if they want to.

Here’s the site if you’re interested:

*FLYING CARS: A company named Terrafugia is set to put flying cars on the market in 2012.  Soar over traffic in your flying car and be the envy of all your friends!  When you land, the cars have a button that you can press so that the wings fold in, and BOOM—you’ve got a normal car to park in your driveway. 

I got a car with this angry midget.

The Transition (what a clever name they’ve thought up for their flying car) will cost around $250,000.  Reserve yours today for just $10,000!

*LONG LIFESPAN: What age do you think you are going to die?  30?  60?  150?

Steve Austad, a respected researcher told a BBC program that he believes humans have a lifespan that’s much longer than everyone (except me) thought possible.
Some scientists have determined that, in the natural world, human beings would live to somewhere between 30 and 40 years.  Because of our cunning, though, we have been able to shape our environment and are aging at a slower rate.

Dr. Steve Austad, age 135.

Dr. Austad is certain that someone alive today will live to see 2150.  This person will probably be me since I am in peak physical condition.

What I'll look like in 100 years.  I will live at a waterfall.

So what’s next?  We will probably colonize Mars soon and it’s only a matter of time before we start having even more sophisticated robots, and eventually Cylons.  (That is a Battlestar Galactica reference—you should watch Battlestar Galactica.)

So, is the future bright, dear reader?  What does it hold for you?  Where will you go?  What will you build or discover? 

Only time will tell.

But as for me, well, I’ve got $450,000 to waste and another 130 years to plan out.