Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rant: Sci-Fi Lifestyle

"You are never going into space.
You will never own a jet pack.
Your car will never fly.
HIV will not be cured in your lifetime.
Cancer will not be cured in your lifetime.
The common cold will not be cured in your lifetime.
Don't these things bother you?

Suicide is the third biggest killer of teenagers in the United States.
In 1999 more people in America died from suicide than from homicide.
Do you think about this?

As anyone who ever read for any period of time know, the leading cause of death in America is automobile accident. This is generally interpolated into a number placed under the heading "accidental death." When the operation of cars is the leading cause of loss of life I'm not entirely sure how it comes under the term "accidental death." It wasn't a fucking accident, it was done by someone with a car. It's 2007 and we don't know how to operate cars without killing people. It's not a fucking accident if it was caused by someone getting into a one-ton metal bullet that cannot be operated with complete control at all times.

In Europe in 2004, 13000 kids – persons under the age of fourteen -- died due to poor water. It’s 2007 and the society does not yet understand how to operate water.

Are you thinking about this now?

People keep asking me what DOKTOR SLEEPLESS is about. This is what it's about.

Someone stole your future. Don't you ever wonder who?"

-Warren Ellis

Those ideas are what prompted Ellis to begin Doktor Sleepless, an ongoing comic that will shortly get the "Best Books You Aren't Reading" post.

But, despite the cause for that particular introduction to the post, that's not what it's about. And despite the heading, this isn't that much of a rant - more of a question, really.

What do you think the future will hold?

I mean, it's easy to throw out the vision of the future we all have from our childhood - the jet packs, the space ships, the machine-enhanced superstrength - but more and more, even if those are real, don't they seem...obsolete, almost? Worn out.

I mean, yeah, I wouldn't turn down any of that, and it is really freakin' cool to see all these things slowly coming into being. But how long until those are really feasible? What are the odds that, in my lifetime, I'd be able to buy any of those? And, I mean, as cool as any of it is, how long would it take for them to become commonplace? I mean, when I was born, what the hell was the Internet? A decade ago, who would believe that I can connect to the Internet while in a car? Think about things like twitter-feeds, RSS, and all that.

Think about how sci-fi the concept of RFID-tagging a VIP really is. Think about Second Life for a second. Hell, think about something as simple as sending a video you just took on your cell phone to your friend three states over.

The future is coming. Hell, the future is here. But, I still can't escape this niggling little feeling that we're all a little too cavalier about it. Maybe it's just me and the crowd I hang out with, but apathy seems to hold sway. Apathy's awesome for the things that don't matter, but for things like this...?

Don't worry - this isn't a drastic change in the blog's structure or purpose. This is more just something that I felt I had to share. I'll make other posts on this topic, directing you to sites like...

...where people with more time and skill are tracking outbreaks of the future in our modern society. But, the more I read, the more I realize that we can't wade through life as a culture proud of our illiteracy and apathy. So whenever I find something in my research that I find particularly interesting, I'll probably put it up - and I urge you to do the same, in comments here, on your own blogs, wherever. I know that it may be incongruous to place philosophy side by side with VS decks, but who really cares?

Now, it seems like there should be a message to end this, and I'm sure a cleverer writer would've found one. But...oh, well. This post was more an expression of recent thoughts than any sort of coherent, structured message to you. Still, if I can urge you to any sort of action, it's this: really think, sometime, about the future. About what you want the future to be like, and how you can help get it there.

Good night.


m1k3y said...

Hell, the future is here. But, I still can't escape this niggling little feeling that we're all a little too cavalier about it.

damn straight! it's life in Future Present man, stand up and tell everyone just how amazing it is.

that's pretty much what Warren's saying. most of the world of DoktorSleepless is just one step beyond current tech; Clatter for instance doesn't (so far anyway) have anything that isn't already in your average futurephone, if you push it's limits.

but goddamnit i'm dying for HUD to arrive..

so, now that i've come over and said hi, you have to start commenting on Grinding, yeah?! :D

The Seventh Soldier said...

I tend to comment very little at first, but I'll definitely be over there pretty frequently.