Where’s My Flying Car?

Now, to business!

As we slowly encroach further into the year of our Lord 2012, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about how we as a society project into the future. Certainly there are some common motifs even if we exclude the whole apocalypse thing that gets predicted every couple of months (although surely that will end on December 21st amirite?), for instance, when we think about the future many people instantly jump to hoverboards and flying cars.

And while we can make hoverboards to a degree, it doesn’t seem like, at the moment, we’d be able to carry around enough fuel on a tiny device like that to make them work past raising two inches above the air, a far cry from the six foot high flaming skateboards that are the popular image a lot of us have stuck in our narrow-minded heads.

The flying car shares this problem along with a few ones of its own, but with how imminent a fuel crisis seems to be these days, its unlikely we’re going to be able to produce enough fuel for our regular cars, never mind the order of magnitude more we’d probably need for flying cars.

Did you spot me slip that in there? That inherently flawed future prediction?

It does go to show how easy it is to slip into that mode, that state of mind where you extrapolate forward and, if you don’t edit yourself, make some pretty bold claims about the future, whether it be near or far.

All of you who noticed that, you win a cookie.

Quite a lot of the things that are different about the world today however, are not the things that people were speculating about 100 years ago.

Did anyone in the first world war predict the rise of the internet and the endless possibilities for information and porn it would bring us?

Please, they’d barely be able to predict playboy coming along.


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