2010-11-16 15:38

We live in the future.


Neal Stephenson wrote:

There is something new: A globe about the size of a grapefruit, a perfectly detailed rendition of Planet Earth, hanging in space at arm's length in front of his eyes. Hiro has heard about this but never seen it. It is a piece of CIC software called, simply, Earth. It is the user interface that CIC uses to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns - all the maps, weather data, architectural plans, and satellite surveillance stuff.

Hiro has been thinking that in a few years, if he does really well in the intel biz, maybe he will make enough money to subscribe to Earth and get this thing in his office. Now it is suddenly here, free of charge...

And of course, I have just that very thing installed in my desktop. Not all the mentioned data is hooked into it, but hey, it is free of charge.

Heinlein wrote about private citizens and companies going into space. He thought it was not any government's job. And that is going to happen in my lifetime. I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who went to space paying for it with his own money.

Of course there are no flying cars or rocket backpacks (those were good ideas... not!)

What's the difference between Gibson's Idoru and Gorillaz, except that it's cheaper to pay musicians than it is to build Artificial Intelligences? Can you tell me what's the point in building an AI, anyway? Aren't mechanical turks cheaper and better?

Asimov wrote about a foundation of scholars writing an encyclopedia to be constantly updated, containing the whole of humanity's knowledge (we got wikipedia instead. Good enough!)

Our phones are much nicer than Star Trek's communicators (for example, the loudspeaker is optional)

It's as if most of the ideas of scifi got filtered through a purifier and what made sense came out on the other side. I like living in the future. I want to see the next one.


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