Welcome to the Future. Again.
Earlier, I wrote about how technology was advancing, and because of that advance, we were well and truly in the future. Now, I want to write about something much more pedantic:
Now that we’re in the year 2013, we are officially in the future.
I know it sounds really silly, but think about it. In science fiction, particularly television shows, the 21st century was always “the future.” It was always 20XX (some older shows were based in 2001, 2006, 2010, or even 2012, but it usually it was around 2020 or later.) For some reason, that first “20″ was both insulatingly distant and yet tantalizingly close. The 22nd century of the original Star Trek, or the 4th millennium (so, 3000-4000 if my math is right) were just a bit too distant for the same feeling.
The feeling that this was going to be us soon. It wasn’t going to be some fictional land. It was going to be us.
Naturally, most of those visions never panned out, and thank goodness for that. Many science fiction writers were small-minded, pessimistic eco-socialists, and so penned many a story with giant megacorporations pillaging the common man and ruining the Earth. Fortunately, though, the future has turned out to be far better; even with the cronyism run amok in the country’s financial industry, which led to a catastrophic and disastrous recession, we now have iPhones which contain the entirety of human knowledge in the palms of our hands; our economic liberties–while having taken a beating–are not out of the fight; our planet is actually as beautiful as ever (thanks to rapidly developing recycling, cleaning, and energy technologies); and though I am deeply disturbed about our personal and civil liberties taking one shellacking after another by consecutive Republican and Democratic administrations, I am still optimistic in the long run they will be fine.
And here we are, in 2013, a realm of limitless possibilities. We’re in the Future. All those science fiction stories you read when you were younger are us today. Make the most of it.
Seems to be the comment system over at BHL is eating up my comments. Ah well. Here is what I’ve been trying to say on this post:
Original comment got eaten. Aaargghhh….
1 – I’m not sure if science and theistic religion are really all that compatible. Theism, in all its myriad ways, purports that there is an omniscient deity that not only created the universe, but gets involved in humanity on a daily basis (or some other time interval.) As the intelligent design argument has shown, science has effectively ruled this out completely. You can’t really talk about physics and biology and then say there is some deity pulling all the strings so we look exactly how we are now.
2 – *Deism*, on the other hand, may be a different matter, because all deism is about is that there is a god, who created the natural laws that lead to the universe, and then was never seen again. Although there are problems with this view too (Austin Cline notes that the universe appears much more dynamic and chaotic than one would suppose it would be if it were designed) I think deism and science are fairly compatible, and indeed, deism could easily become the new religion of the US as trends continue.
3 – As for the social status of scientists, I don’t really think that’s the basis for the problems we face today. Leaving aside the matter of if we have a great stagnation or not, it seems clear to me that the problems really stem from cronyism, fiat monetary systems, and special interests gaming the market to the point where it is more like participatory fascism, as Randall Holscomb puts it. While there are certainly problems with science today–namely how it has been politicized over climate change and environmentalism, to the point where it has sustained serious damage to its credibility–I don’t think the lack of “Likes” on scientists’ Facebook fan pages is the reason for the problems and difficulties we’re facing today. I mean, we’re churning out new products and technologies all the time. Hell, in 20 years, we might even have an outpost on Mars, for all we know.
EDIT: Aha! And now the comment system is back, meaning my original comment is up there, but this one, which retrospectively feels superior, is not. Blast it, Zwolinski, are you trying to confound me?
We should be able to divorce relatives.We can call it “unrelated”.”Him? No, he’s not my uncle anymore. We got unrelated two years ago.”
— Aristotles (@AristotlesNZ) December 18, 2012
From my friend Sean Malone. Required reading for everybody.
Beyond Castro churchs drag-queen fuss, Aug. 16, Bay Area, C1 C.W. Nevius column about Most Holy Redeemer banning drag queen performers incorrectly stated that entertainer Peaches Christ appeared at an event at the churchs hall with a dildo shaped like a crucifix.
Man, pulling that assignment out of a hat must have been the best game in the bullpen ever.
The same thing could be said about editing. Always go back and read through at least once, and if you have the time, at least twice. Otherwise, you’ll end up with embarrassing stuff like this:
Then again, there is the argument that you can look at something a dozen times and not catch it. That’s why you always have at least two or three people to check it.
Unless you’re in Missouri, apparently. They need to ask the fine folks in Lousiana for help.