For centuries man has been fascinated, especially recently, with the future. From the esoteric predictions of Nostradamus and the prophetic ideas of Jules Verne or fantastic stories of H. G. Wells, to the more contemporary social, economic and political musings of either Alvin Toffler or John Naisbitt or the more tangible technological dreams and realities of Bill Gates and Steven Jobs or biting commentary of George Gilder; those and countless others have prognosticated what might happen to us in our world of the ever emerging future.
Science fiction, in both literary and cinematic ways, helps us see what is possible; we are fortunate to experience those many creative minds conjuring up the implications of technological advances and dire warnings in social experimentation with what-if scenarios, many of which are garnered with some pretty wild and bizarre stories of alien worlds and civilizations.
And through all of this, sometimes it appears as if whatever man can think of or imagine, just may be possible, even probable.
But all this begs the real question:
- Where are we going now and where do we really want to be in the future? Is there any plan for this or have we, will we, continue to muddle towards an uncertain future? Since technological, economic, political and social forces inevitably form our future, why is there is no consensus as to such a plan or strategy? Or is that we can’t agree on one? Has our world become so complicated that such a task borders on the impossible? Perhaps this is where the problem lies.
Many believe that the goal of most technological and social advancement is an idealistic ambition to globally improve the human condition: our constant and continuing strive over the centuries to not only survive, but thrive; more explicitly, to extend our lifespan, to deter or eliminate disease, to expand our opportunities to communicate, to grow and learn using advanced technology and to ultimately improve our standard of living...
(Originally published January 1997 - Future Chronciles 1.0)