Friday, October 3, 2008

Future Imperfect

Part of my "role" as a humorous SF writer is to look at the world or today and see how it will be different tomorrow. By tomorrow I mean ten, twenty, thirty and more years from now.

The way I attempt to do that is by looking back twenty years ago to the 80s (yes the 80s where twenty years ago) and trying to figure out what we didn't have then but we somehow can't live without now. Then I try to semi-extrapolate that into the future. Yes it's not a exact science. Heck it's not even a pseudo science. Still this "guestament of the future" is how I roll.

I also try to tackle SF from the human behavior side... Why we do what we do...

First things that spring to mind while driving my son to school are cell phones. Dang, almost everybody has one and is on it, even when they shouldn't be. Twenty years ago, hardly any of us had cell phones yet we all did just fine. Today though having a cell phone is almost considered a necessity. I'm not really sure why. It's as if we don't want to be alone with our own thoughts. Or who knows maybe cell phones in some cases give us a sense of importance? It's like "I am so vital in what I do I must constantly be in communication with those around me so they can be better informed therefore I better about myself also." I'm not sure if this is the case but why else would be people risk their lives and others by talking or worse texting on cell phone while driving.

Whatever the case it has become increasing clear to me that as the future progresses we're going to want even more ways to communication with more people faster. This dialing a cell phone is going to become too time wasting. Even saying, "call home" takes like two seconds, two seconds the busy me of the future what be able to waste. That means to really make things better we're going to communication devices that either read or minds or based on our current situation or actions make the calls we want to make a split nanosecond before we know we want or need to make them.

Is this scientifically feasible? Without looking it I'd have to say probably. Truth be told, I don't actually think it's my job as a writer to come up with the science itself. It is my job to entertain with that science. When I think about all the possibilities that present themselves with communication devices that anticipate our needs I find that quite entertaining therefore I am going to run it.

Next post I'll talk about this little fad we call the Internet and how it may interact and be a part of our lives in the future. (I am trying to keep my posts small.)

Your thoughts are always appreciated....

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