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Entry written by KaiRo and posted on February 28th, 2009 22:20 | Tags: future, lift09, Mozilla, travel | 2 comments | TrackBack
3 great days at Geneva, I'll try to translate my article about the talks. I've used mozlift09 tag for the photos I've been uploading at Lift:
from Brussels, Belgium
Well, we do have space ships, only they're so expensive that only a few governments can afford them, and for only a handful of people at a time. At least (and contrary to what SF often pictured), they're used only for science, not for war and conquest. Some of them do have their commercial aspects, as when they are used to post telecom satellites, but those are usually unmanned (automatic) IIUC.
We haven't got flying cars, but that means we also haven't got flying car crashes. OTOH everyone, including lower high school pupils hardly (or not yet) out of puberty seems to be talking into a soap bar held against his or her jaw while walking, and, more preoccupying: some parents seem unable to leave their kids in kindergarten without being able to reach them instantly any second, and some prisons are so overfull that more and more prisoners are let into the outside world with ankle bracelets to check that they stay at home or don't move farther out than the judge ordered. "Big Brother is Watching You" indeed.
And then, which SF author could have imagined that instantaneous worldwide mail and chat would mean omnipresent undesired bulk and commercial instant-mail, usually advertising get-rich-quick swindles, porn tools, quack-pharmacy remedies, and the like?
Omnipresent robots haven't got the shape or the intelligence described in SF novels, but they're there too, mostly in the shape of household tools as yet. And just compare the computers sitting on our laps and desks with the mainframes of 40 years ago! In 1969 I started working on a mainframe bigger than my present apartment, with 128k 6-bit characters of memory and a speed of 667 kHz. Only universities could afford significantly bigger and faster ones at the time, at least in my country. Nowadays the 2 gigabyte 1.2 GHz single-core job under my desk is slow, outdated, sitting in too big a box (as measured in centimetres or inches) for its limited capabilities... And I had to staunchly counter the efforts of the phone company who wanted to have me get Internet TV as well. They couldn't understand that TV doesn't interest me, I have an AM/FM radio next to my computer screen, I'm subscribed to a daily newspaper (yes, written on paper, that kind of thing still exists) and I won't take anything more. Call me old-fashioned if you like.
We are indeed living in what used to be the future, and its emergence was so gradual that most people don't even notice it.