1 August 2011 (Monday) - Future Imperfect

I must admit I’ve been feeling somewhat depressed today. As a child aged seven I can remember the moon buggy’s first outing. Only two years after the first moon landing, we now had a car which could take astronauts for miles over the lunar surface.
And then with the space-going super-powers rendezvousing in orbit a few years after that, Star Trek didn’t seem to be so much of a fantasy as a certainty. Moon bases, and trips to Mars were clearly only a few years away.
And down here on Earth we’d have an ever increasingly more intelligent and well educated humanity to support such an ambitious program. Mankind was on the brink of a Golden Age of expansion.

(Almost) exactly forty years to the day later we do not have a world that anyone at the time would have imagined. Call up Google News and what do we see?

  • We have a world wracked with bloodshed because of silly people’s even sillier superstitions.
  • We have a world obsessed with the mundane triviality of so-called celebrities.
  • We have a world still worshipping money for money’s own sake.
  • We have a world whose number one priority is randomly selected favourite sports teams.
I don’t really know what that seven year old boy was expecting of the future, but whatever he was expecting would have been better than what he actually got….

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