It just hit me; I'm living in a science fiction movie

Maybe it’s because I just turned 30 and am now starting to gather perspective on how much the world has changed since I was a kid…

My friend’s car has a computer controlling the brakes, horsepower, torque to specific drive wheels, and gearing all to the point where the vehicle is almost impossible to crash or roll over, unless you happen to be deliberately driving straight at a tree.

I have a Star Trek communicator! Better! It also acts like an organizer, e-mail checker, web browser, and entertainment device. It even comes with a female computer voice who I can talk to and tell it to contact them for me.

In the span of like 10 seconds, I sat down, opened QT3, checked a thread about at which age you would let your kids watch Star Wars movies, saw this posted there, and instantly subjected dozens of unwitting readers to my snarky sense of humour, if we may be so generous as to call it that. The even crazier part is, odds are there’s someone who will read my question, take it seriously (and I do admit to being genuinely curious), and answer it correctly, complete with supporting evidence and explanatory links. This person will also come from a city I have never been to, but I could likely read exhaustive guides about it on the internet, all without leaving my chair.

I am going to fly a distance that would be about a 10 day journey on foot along the highway, in about 1 hour. Fly. Safely. Routinely. So routinely that jokes about airplane food are passe.

My television signals come from space, and I wonder if maybe I shouldn’t go back to the primitive underground copper cable connected to a digital network capable of such bandwidth that in certain cases, it takes less time to download a movie than to go out and see one.

I have satellite images of the entire Earth, complete with both GPS co-ordinates and latitude/longitude information, down to such resolution that you can see individual vehicles, at my beck and call. Two hundred years ago, we were still painstakingly mapping the coastal areas (never mind interiors) of the Earth, a process that had begun thousands of years earlier when the first boats sailed from civilizations that had ink and paper, or some other way to record their findings.

I can sit down at a computer and call, and see anyone else in my family at a computer, complete with live color video. Star Trek, anyone? Certainly better than the ugly, interlaced, giant floating head they had in Star Wars.

They’re making invisible suits! For surgeons, granted, but still.

The flying car has flown.

We’ll be getting the first hydrogen and pure electric vehicles soon.

And yet we still don’t have good sex robots. We are taking way too long on that.

I think the most amazing aspect is that you have an incalculable amount of resources at your fingertips from just about anywhere in the world. With a wireless internet capable PDA like the iPhone you are almost instantly 1000x more knowldgeable then any encyclopedia that ever existed. Any question you can ever come up with will yield detailed answers and discussion within the blink of an eye.

One aspect that hasn’t improved much in the past 40 years or so is travel. The Concord went bust and it still is a pain to fly in general IMO. Cars are safer now but they are more numerous then ever. Someone get working on the teleportation device please.

And we’re also living in the pre-amble to a post-apocalyptic sci-fi world to boot! Blade Runner here we come!

Unless you used to change between the 4 available TV channels with a pair of pliers, get off my lawn!

Interesting post, Jakub.

Yes, but where are the tribbles?

And yet we’re still tethered to one frickin’ planet. I want my colonies on Mars, Ganymede the Moon and L5!


I had to google that. Probably the Chinese have eaten them :P

I’m still disappointed that ‘Ginger’ didn’t turn out to be a hydrogen-powered hovercraft. Stupid Segway…

I did!

They’re already here

You can lease one in S Cal now.

You’re living in a Scifi flick? I opted for a porno!

Until we get a nuclear powered vacuum cleaner we aren’t there yet.

Here’s a hint: If you just turned 30, we had an airline industry when you were born.

Yeah but it was still sexy and for the opulent and well to do in the late 70’s. Now it’s an airbus (har har) with lots of security to boot.

Well, travelling that distance by foot still would take days, even now. He didn’t say people were doing that when he was born; just that it’s amazing what we take for granted. It’s a good point. But I do think about it a lot. I think about how I can head to the next town and get there in about 10 minutes or less. It’s about 8 miles away, which would be a good half day’s travel in a wagon, depending on trails/roads. It is pretty amazing.

We take an awful lot for granted, but if we take a moment to soak it all in, I think we’d stop making fun of our grandparents for not getting it all and start realizing that we really are living in a sci-fi movie.

I was watching my Star Trek IV DVD with Shatner and Nimoy doing commentary. When they got to the part where Kirk is having lunch with the marine biologist and Kirk’s communicator started buzzing and Kirk was hesitant to take out his communicator but finally did. Shatner and Nimoy amusedly commented about how ubiquitous that would have been now.

says the guy living in a first world country ;)

Related video posted in different thread, but still relevant here.

We’re headed toward the look, at least. We already have tons of electronic billboards in Los Angeles now, and the City is losing in its efforts to restrict gigantic “supergraphics” signs on the sides of buildings.

Anyone want to chip in on one urging people to move to the off-world colonies?