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50 years ago today...
Beep.... beep... beep... beep... beep...

October 4, 1957 - Sputnik I.

It is 2007. Where's my jet pack?

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From: dirkcjelli Date: October 5th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
It is 2007. Where's my jet pack?

Futuristic notions based on extrapolation of the present circa 1950 technology are not -actually- futurism.

"Things are going to be exactly like these trends today... except [smaller, faster, bigger, cheaper, shinier]!"

Real change is being able to speak to someone in Bangalore real time, with realtime translation of words and lips-- not being able to fly there yourself.

Real change is never getting stuck in another traffic jam again-- not because we have flying cars or 10-lane highways, but because half of people telecomute or walk to work and deliveries are along optimized routes that run in off-peak times.
z_gryphon From: z_gryphon Date: October 5th, 2007 02:39 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yes, I believe Zoner's entire point is that real change is far duller.
From: dirkcjelli Date: October 5th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Well, I don't really want to crack heads on this one, but I'm criticizing viewing progress as dull. The present always seems dull-- and would if we had jetpacks... but I'm saying what we have, and what we could have, is much more exciting and desirable than the fantasies of the 1950s.
z_gryphon From: z_gryphon Date: October 5th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
"The present... would be [dull] if we had jetpacks" is complete nonsense.

The present would be full of interesting fractures if we had jetpacks. Orthopedists, especially, would find it anything but dull. :)
From: dirkcjelli Date: October 5th, 2007 06:59 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
We'd have art deco tombstones, not fracture wards :-)
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: October 5th, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Soaring ziggurats!
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: October 5th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
It was a tongue-in-cheek statement. :-)

I very much agree about what real futurism is. My Treo is real futurism. A jet pack is wish fulfillment.
mephron From: mephron Date: October 5th, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Considering I watched someone trip walking through the train station this morning because they were too busy talking on their cellphone...

...I am GLAD there are no jetpacks. Some idiot would HAVE to take a call while flying at 3,000 feet, take his hand off the throttle, and die in a particularly autodarwinating way. And then they'd ban them because some people were too stupid to pay attention.

I note that this is based on the concept of what happens with people driving.
reddragdiva From: reddragdiva Date: October 5th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Progress: "Fuck! Even in the future nothing works!"
duane_kc From: duane_kc Date: October 5th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: October 5th, 2007 09:29 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Moller? C'mon, I've been reading about Moller and his flying car that is 'coming soon' for over 20 years now - literally. I'm a pack-rat, I probably still have an issue of Popular Science (or maybe Popular Mechanics) with an article on him from the early 80s. :-)