Hofstra University Honors College's Blog

Why are people so concerned about flying cars? Everything else seems to have arrived. That future isn’t even in style anymore. What I’m talking about is that old-fashioned future that people envisioned all those decades ago. Our vision has changed drastically.

In the old days, the future was a shiny place made out of  chrome. People ate food in pill form, talked on videophones and drove flying cars. Presently, we don’t have pill-food, but there is a pill for almost anything else. Also, freeze-dried food is close enough. Ever get astronaut ice-cream from the Museum of Natural History? That stuff is delicious! We also currently have videophone. It started with webcams, which evolved to Skype and other programs that you can now use on your phones. That’s not all we have today. Have you seen a computer? You’re reading this blog so I assume you have. The internet: a digital program that can connect you to anyone in the world with the press on a button. You can hold the world in the palm of your hand. Literally. That cell-phone you have, it’s a computer. It has internet access. It can call and text and video-message anyone in the world. It’s the world in your hand. You can hold thousands of songs, and all the information in the world on something that fits in the palm of your hand. The technology available today, not counting the science-fiction style technology not available to everyone at the mall, is mind-blowing. People, the future got here decades ago. We were just too busy to notice.

But you can see it. Not just in the fact that we have virtually everything that had been imagined (sans the chrome (unless Google chrome counts)), but also in that the way we picture the future has changed. When we think of how the world will look at the end of the next century, no one pictures the Jetsons. Usually, if the earth is still inhabitable, it looks relatively the same as the world we live in now, only less nature and more buildings, and technology has advanced a bit. If earth isn’t habitable, people are pictured living on spaceship or deforesting some other planet. Something I’ve noticed about today’s idea of the future: there aren’t flying cars. For our generation, the flying car has been replaced by robots. A population of humanoid robots that walk among us. Usually as servants until a glitch in the system causes a robot revolution. Except for that one robot who has a soul and captures the hearts of all the humans he interacts with.

People who were growing up in the days when they were promised flying cars are still really upset that we don’t have them. And that’s silly! Come to think of it, most of the technological advancements that people are so concerned with are silly. I’d gladly give up the ability to text people if we could have an alternate source of fuel/energy that’s available to everyone. I’d give up having iPods and iPhones if they could fix the environment and get every animal off of the endangered species list. And I’d give up flying cars and robots if the brilliant minds of the world could find a cure for HIV, cancer, and other major diseases. I don’t know about you, but somehow those things seem a bit more important than flying cars.

Comments on: "Old Fashioned Future" (3)

  1. The future is not what it used to be. I still want a flying car and a better robot.

  2. Seen I Robot recently? Have you read any Asimov? Your robot prediction reminded me of that.

    • cdreamer said:

      I have seen I Robot a few times (good movie in my opinion but that’s mostly because of the Will-Smith-factor) but no I haven’t read any Asimov…nor have I ever heard of it before now *short laugh*.

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