Saturday, May 22, 2010

futurology: brief reflections on popular culture

I'm watching a 1966 "Batman" movie (Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin, Cesar Romero as The Joker, Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Julie Newmar as Catwoman).
... anyway...

... the movie features high-falutin' computers, all with blinking lights.

I am reminded thereby of Star Trek & Lt. Uhura. "Computer, speak to me..."

Voice recognition was widely anticipated.
Hasn't really happened.
... 'tho GPS devices DO talk to us!

BUT: not one of these popular-culture future-looking shows anticipated hand-held devices with more computing power than what was back in the '60s a supercomputer!
iPods? iPhones? iPads? GPS? - nope, not a bit of 'em!
(... tho' I suppose Star Trek's Tricorders came sort of close.)

Nope - computers were all envisaged as huge machines, with blinking lights...
The notions of personal computing & networks weren't even vaguely anticipated, let alone handheld devices linked via a powerful network, supported by communications satellites.

Today's science news?:
A step to artificial life: Manmade DNA powers cell
My bet? Whatever revolutionary devices/inventions are today anticipated as a result of this achievement will bear little resemblance to the reality 10, 20, or 30 years hence!

We're just not that imaginative a species!

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