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June 18, 2013
News - Whatever Happened to The …
about 7 years ago
I spent a large part of my childhood in one of the epicenters of The Future. My father worked on the Apollo program at the Cape, and we used to watch Gemini launches from our backyard; when a launch happened during the school day, classes at my grade school stopped and we watched the launch from the soccer field).
I used to devour books by Heinlein, Norton, Asimov, and all the "golden age" pulp I could find. I went to college with the specific goal of becoming an astronaut; I remember being worried when I entered college that I'd be too late to be on the first Mars mission.
Beleive me, I've been quite aware of the passing of The Future. I think of The Future as a close friend, one that I miss dearly. For years, I've been astonished at how much things have changed. My generation was excited about The Future, my kids generation was terrified of it. We were going to go out into space and eliminate poverty, crime, war and disease; my kids are going to see the world die from everything ranging from nuclear winter to global warming.
In my opinion, The Future didn't just die, it was an act of deliberate murder. The Future had to be done in because (a) the entertainment/media complex realized that scared people generate better ratings than optimistic people, and (b) the politicians realized that a frightened population was easier to control than an optimistic one. Add to this mix a multi-billion-dollar environmental industry that survives only by scaring the bejebus out of people and an "alternative" energy industry that seems to exist only to transport taxpayer money into the pockets of the politically well-connected (with a reasonable portion going back into political contributions)
What we have in place of The Future today is a self-sustaining system that transforms fear into money and power and then back into fear. And the people who profit from it aren't going to let it go away anytime soon.
No public wish lists :(