I know I was kind of harsh on Singulitarianism some posts ago but it’s turning out that maybe they’re less in left field and more like ready to steal home plate. They’re not mentioned by name in this 10 predictions that might actually come true article, but let’s look at what is:
Invisibility cloaks. There’s something called optical camouflage and it’s hardly a new idea. The article links to How Stuff Works for more information.
Downloading brains into computers. You know, they did that on Red Dwarf in 1990 in the episode Bodyswap. Due to the everyday stupidity of Dave Lister, the last human being alive, he accidentally sets off the self-destruct sequence on the ship. Kryton the Mechanoid decides that the only way to turn it off is to take Lister’s mind out and put a professional’s in. Only a few people had the security codes and they’ve all been dead for three million years (it’s a long story but a funny one). Fortunately, everyone on ship had their personalities and memories burned into hologramatic discs for just such an emergency.
Rise of a global machine dictator. British Telecom thinks it’s possible by 2021. Insert obvious joke about needing to find Sarah Connor. I just watched the first season of that recently. It was incredibly good. Big capital Wow for Summer Glau, as usual. I love finding Whedon alumni in other shows. That’s half of what I enjoyed when watching CSI – who am I going to recognize next?
Brain chips. I like the idea of informational chips being inserted as an aid to memory or something, but it sounds like other people have more insidious dreams in mind for them.
By 2035, an implantable “information chip” could be wired directly to the brain. A growing pervasiveness of information communications technology will enable states, terrorists or criminals, to mobilise “flashmobs”, challenging security forces to match this potential agility coupled with an ability to concentrate forces quickly in a small area.
Genetically engineered teddy bears. Well, there was that grow your own leather coat story from a while back. Can I just say the BTplc website is completely ghastly? I can’t even figure out where to look for the GETB’s on there. I did a search for GM “toys” but I don’t know how Glofish qualify. I guess GenPets might, but they’re more than a little creepifying and I would run from one should I see one.
Sweet Robot Loving, Batman! Fembots are the wave of the future? I can’t compete now. I’m totally (un)screwed. Joss used a Buffybot to great effect in season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Oh, perfect comedy moments. It all started in I Was Made To Love You when Warren ran away from his homemade “perfect girl” because he actually met a real woman worth loving. April doesn’t understand rejection and winds up attacking the new girlfriend. Buffy does some day saving and has a chat with her afterward.
BUFFY: Can you cry? Sometimes I feel better when I cry. But … there might be rust issues.
APRIL: Crying is blackmail. Good girlfriends don’t cry.
APRIL: I rechecked everything. I did everything I was supposed to do. I was a good girlfriend.
BUFFY: I’m sure you were.
APRIL: I’m only supposed to love him. If I can’t do that, what am I for? What do I exist for?
Buffy winds up providing her with some comforting lies and waits for her battery to die befor leaving.
And later, Spike finds Warren and commissions the Buffybot because he’s a sad sack of a vampire who knows he’ll never get to have the real thing…
Another prediction in the list is that aliens will save us from disaster. Well, that’s thinking positive. There’s a short story I read once and I really wish I’d been more alert as to who wrote it or what it was called. Aliens arrive on earth and give humans the gift of intergalactic flight. It was ridiculously simple and humans should have been able to figure out how to do it but were so involved in wars and skirmishes, they didn’t focus properly. And now these aliens feel like idiots because they had no idea what violence was and now they’ve given the Earthers the ability to take over the universe by force.
Second-last topic on the list is interesting – the human species might divide. Well, that’s possible, I suppose. Even now you can read about Indigo children and parents who refuse to believe their kids are normal humans. Skepdic provides a good rundown on this, too. Go easy on my child at school, Mr. Teacher. He’s an advanced kind of human being and wasn’t meant to listen and sit still…
Last topic, time travel. Oh, how I love the idea of time travel. It would be amazing if it was actually possible, even if it only worked on a microscopic level. Time travel is one of my favourite fictional genres. Tunnel through Time by Lester Del Rey is an old fave. I own every episode of Quantum Leap and thought many of the time travel episodes in Star Trek were the best ones. There’s another book that’s grand but might be hard to come by called The Man who Folded Himself by David Gerrold. In that, the main character meets himself from a future or dimension or some damned thing, and they go gambling. The narrator gets given a belt (turns out from an “uncle” who’s really his future self) and he uses that belt to travel back and repeat the experience he just had on a version of himself the day before and him as the traveler. More bouncing around goes on and he meets many versions of himself, some of them female (and all of them he has sex with, I think), and some that are vindictive and cruel (and might have had sex with some of those kinky boys too, I forget). He starts to lose his sense of who he is and the time he should be in, and spends a ridiculous amount of time (however he can measure it) trying to recapture a failed romance, each time trying to meet the girl earlier than he did before, trying to figure out what went wrong. Eventually he’s way too old and she’s way too young and he has to give it up. It’s a fascinating book, actually. It’s been some years since I read it and I’m pleased I didn’t lose the plot, such as it was.