Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Future as seen from 1978

Digging through my memorabilia, I found this essay by me, from about 1978. It wasn't entirely serious, but it seems to be working out alarmingly well anyway...


The future? I'm glad you asked.

It goes something like this; the enormous creativity of Western youth that was spawned by rebellion against the Establishment will continue to decline as society continues to adopt their philosophies, leaving them less and less to rebel against. The majority of our generation will continue to rant and rave about strip mining, pollution, and Madison Avenue propaganda, and will continue to use air conditioners, drive fast cars, and watch TV.

Only a very few will abandon technology and move to primitive farming co-ops, there to confidently await the demise of technological civilization, for which only they will be prepared.

Many will think it's happening when they can't afford cars anymore. Since an empty garage is a sad sight, I suggest (provided you have a good air conditioner) you purchase an IBM 370 computer, which will probably be available at bargain-basement prices, some local gradeschool having scrimped for years on library books so it could replace the thing with a 470.

Pretty soon, like 99% of the human population, you'll be spending all your time playing games with your giant computer and your giant TV screen. The remaining 1% of the population will be on the farm, patiently expecting the demise of technological civilization, for which only they will be prepared.

They will be disappointed to discover that the demise is not forthcoming. Limiting equations to world economic and population growth are based on the limited resources of the planet. However, the resources of the galaxies are not limited. Energy and materials imported from space will prevent the world from turning into a vast Calcutta. Instead, we will be subjected to the lesser evil of a vast, world-spanning New Jersey.

Meanwhile, genetic engineering will be creating more efficient forms of humanity. The beings thus created will be hard-working, effective, very healthy, and insusceptible to stress. They will consider themselves superior to is although they will have no intuition and little imagination.

Eventually theu will decide that homo sapiens are an impediment to the progress of life, and will eliminate us. While various superhuman species will spread out into the stars, genetic engineering will reach its ultimate peak here on earth, which will eventually be inhabited ny a single giant brain (with direct memory access capabilities) and a lot of robot tended farms growing a single crop remotely descended from the turnip.

What remains of humanity will be lovingly raised on a game preserve on one of the moons of Jupiter, built by superior beings as an exact replica of the ancient Fontainebleu Hotel in Miami Beach.

No comments: