I don’t think we are ever going to have the future envisioned by our parents and grandparents. There will never be personal robots and spacecrafts. The Jetson’s are unlikely to happen. I don’t know if this is good or a tragedy. The 50’s future seems very much a thing of the past. I think the apocalyptic visions of the present are just as unlikely. These worlds are the fantasies and nightmares that entertain artists and (possibly) keep society sane. But in spite of the progress of the past 50 years Star Trek seems just as unlikely now as it did when it was created. Our dreams (as is usually true of dreams) are not likely to come to reality. We will have no ray guns and chrome landscapes. We cling to these ideas I think, in spite of their absurdity because we hope the future will make a massive and cataclysmic break with the past. We think of the future as bold and exciting. To some this is a hope of an immensely advanced and better society the result of man’s infinite progress. To to others it may be a horrifying and depersonalizing event with technology growing more powerful and all-encompassing  ala the Matrix or the notion that people can only become more linked and collectivized like the Borg of Star Trek. Some may imagine it more like Blade Runner, with advanced technology that has made our Planet a hell on earth. Some of these are positive visions, others negative, but what they have in common is their excitement.  Perhaps what we need to prepare for is a “boring” future. A future that is a close continuation of our own with perhaps a few minor technological advancements here or there. People worry about the rise of social networking sites, how they may take over, how soon our only interactions will be online. There are certainly risks with some of this technology, but I think the greatest threat this phenomenons has is that it will make us incredibly boring. We will never completely abandon personal interaction, but if we have to large a spike in primarily online interaction it may be that we lose touch with normal interaction somewhat. This is for me the worst we have at risk, a nation of the boring. We must be prepared for incremental changes, not massive ones. This does not mean the absence of excitement in the future or the inevitable dullness of history. We have to recognize that life is interesting and full and exciting now and that it always has been, we need not put our hopes and dreads in the future of the comics, we must live them in the here and now. Captain Future is not going to be a strange looking beast, he’s going to be a   modified  extension of the present.  So if you want an exciting life, work on it now, because I don’t think the hover car future is going to happen.

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