But that is not my point. (I just can't talk about anything without talking about Spock these days.) My point is that I realized, watching that movie, that it seemed totally reasonable to the makers of it that by 1996 we would have:
- Genetic engineering of complex traits in humans
- Long-term cryogenics from which you could reliably be, you know, unfrozen
- Prolonged deep space trips featuring (frozen) humans
This, taken in conjunction with a recent post on my friends list, made me think about the future. Are we in it?
(For extra credit, please list your favorite Signs of the Future (either realized or not) in the comments.)
Is it the future yet?
Yes. It's 2010. LOOK at that year! Obviously it's the future!
Yes. I can respond to this poll while I'm climbing Denali. It's the future.
No. No future without flying cars.
No. I refuse to believe that the future could look like this.
Actually, it's your future, but it's my past. It's... complicated.
Do we have robots yet?
Why, yes! How else do you get your floors clean?
It doesn't count as a robot if you don't have to get into a complex ethical debate about its consciousness.
It doesn't count as a robot unless it's trying to take over and kill us all.
Do we have cloning yet?
It isn't cloning until I can order up two dozen copies of myself in a drunken shopping spree.
It isn't cloning until there's the distinct possibility of clone wars.
Do we have miraculous reproductive science yet?
Yes. IVF! 24-week preemies who grow up hale and healthy!
It's not a reproductive miracle until I can opt to grow my offspring in a uterine replicator.
It's not a reproductive miracle until I can program my offspring and bypass all this disgusting meat.
Do we have spaceflight yet?
Yes. Spirit Rover!
We don't have spaceflight until I can get the fuck off this rock.
We don't have spaceflight until there's Saturn's rings eco-tourism.
Do we have genetic engineering yet?
Yes! Genetically modified foods! Glowing things that don't traditionally glow!
It isn't genetic engineering until I can pick my offspring's traits off a menu, like a delicious enchilada combo.
It isn't genetic engineering until someone has a superpower and is preparing to take over the earth.