Have you ever realized that right now, we’re living in those futuristic times that we only saw on television several years ago? I realized this for the first time a few years ago when iPhonesbecame popular in Romania. I was walking on the street and I suddenly saw a commercial showing this miraculous thing called touch screen. Never before had I imagined that this could be possible. As a kid, I was watching futuristic movies that showed holograms and such, thinking – this will be the future – but, honestly, I never really believed it.
The year 2013 is almost here. It seems like we’re in that kind of future where everything goes wrong. But we’re not. Right now, the future is happening. Right now, scientists explore unimaginable things across the universe.
Let’s look at tablets, for example. Easy to use, it seems that they take up part of our lives for real. It seems that we’ll never turn back to old telephones and writing letters. Laptops are already mainstream, cellphones with buttons are over rated. However, by next year, ”Ultrabooks will finally be available under $1000, bringing a complete computing experience into areas of life which, until now, have only been partially filled by smaller technologies such as tablets and smartphones.”1 Electronic paper will be exchanged with the normal one and trees will be saved. The Memory Cards will all have such big memory that no one will actually need it, since technology in compressing files is getting better. Will a Terabyte be enough storage space for our photos?
Solar cars, solar planes, all smaller and newer models will replace what we already have. Space tourism, pills, lasers and a billion-pixel telescope sent into space – they all sound far far away. But they’re not.
Future is about change and future is about dynamism.
Medicine is nowadays something spectacular. “The paralysed will walk”, said the Maya, and so it happens. “Using a machine-brain interface, researchers are making it possible for otherwise paralysed humans to control neuroprostheses – mechanical limbs that respond to human thought.”1 Machines controlled by thoughts have already been tested and are being used by the military. For us, it’s still unimaginable.
Right now a company named BioNanomatrix is working on developing personal DNA sequencing. In 2014, we will be able to sequence our individual genome for just $100 – even cheaper than a modern-day x-ray.
In 2015 we will be able to print in three dimensions, cheap and fast.
In 2016 we will be able to visit space as tourists, with the help of companies such as Space Island, Galactic Suite and Orbital Technologies.
In 2017 a new gadget will be available for those interested in a portable laser pen that can heal wounds.
Tiny insect-robots spies can become a reality in 2018.
What’s happening right now.
Once upon a time people would wait in lines for their groceries. Going further back in time, people would hunt and gather plants for their evening meals.
Last fall, Tesco Homeplus opened a grocery store in a South Korean subway station. Normally, there would be a man in front of a till who would take your money and pack your groceries. But in this particular subway store, products are just pictures on the walls that have a QR code. If you want anything from the virtual shelve, just take your phone out and scan the code, add anything you want to you virtual shopping cart and the products will arrive right at your door the day after.
Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve last year the North Museum in Lancaster, PA showed the public a demonstration of quantum levitation. Seeming to defy the laws of physics this razor-thin disc magically levitates on a circular track. It is made out of superconducting material sandwiched between layers of gold and sapphire crystal, then dipped in a brew of liquid nitrogen ( -300 degrees Fahrenheit). Now, that really is about futurism.
What about the dark side of the moon?
Lack of jobs, war, despotism, epidemics, overpopulation, climate change, globalism – and the list could go on and on. Is this a part of futurism?
The good parts and the bad parts will always cancel each other out. The poor are allowed to taste a life of dignity, while they are getting poorer. More wars are on their way, as national boundaries are getting weaker and weaker – although futurism means less war deaths than the many from the past. Despotism is present with so many societies under repressive regimes, although more than eighty despotic governments have simply dissolved in the past half century. AIDS hasn’t been cured (as expected), but the epidemics are much more under control. The planet is threatened by us, there so many of us – but the positive side is that we are all contributing to improving living conditions – for example Africa, which we all view as hopeless, has turned into a high-growth economy in recent years.
All in all, in this dynamism, time doesn’t play such an important role any more. From now on, things will flow like we’re all just sitting and watching a Star Trek movie (only it’s playing on a tablet.)