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.