Yet another weird SF fan


I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

This Was Supposed to Be Which Future?

Seen on a t-shirt:


they lied to us

this was supposed to be the future

where is my jetpack,

where is my robotic companion,
where is my dinner in pill form,
where is my hydrogen-fueled automobile,
where is my nuclear-powered levitating house,

where is my cure for this disease
“They” lied to you about the other future as well, when nuclear-winter, the incipient Ice Age, resource shortages, the devolution of the human race, and the heat death of the universe were going to wipe out Civilization as We Know It. Come to think of it it, “they” lied to you about the psychedelic future (when everybody would get stoned) as well …

Of course, in this universe we have robotic vaccum cleaners, a computer as chess grandmaster, dental implants (teeth bonded to the bone were only seen in Isaac Asimov's science fiction a few decades ago), and even a decline in the total number of deaths. We're getting there.

By the way, where did the meme of “they predicted dinner in pill form” come from? Lileks also mentioned it:

When Aunt Debra was 22, she was told she'd be commuting to work on the moon and eating a pill for lunch in 30 years, so perhaps we should take this with a grain of salt. But only one -- otherwise your toilet will tell the insurance company, which will increase your co-pay for your high-blood-pressure medicine.
The meme has been around for a while. In the 1970s, I recall reading an Archie comic book in which Jughead is appalled at the prediction that food would become obsolete. What was its origin? (The similar meme of “they predicted nuclear energy would be too cheap to meter” came from an after-dinner speech, apparently by somebody who had overindulged.)

3 Comments:

Anonymous Dave Munger said...

We do NOT have dental implants; all advances in dentistry are lies, you never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever meet someone who's had lasers used on them or anything. Been reading the same articles about new kinds of fillings and anesthesia my whole life. Dental technology will be exactly as it is now through eterntity.

Not sure how pertinent this is, but a bit of a hobbyhorse of mine that may have come up here or at Life At The Frontier: Those old stories about atomic rocket pilots that never have to sweat launch windows are actually scientifically accurate, since nuclear rockets would be so fast and efficient. What those authors didn't predict was damn hippies setting our space policies.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Yes I do know somebody who had an actual tooth pulled and a new tooth screwed in.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Dave Munger said...

Liar! Poltroon! Strumpet!

9:08 PM  

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