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Y2K dreams ~~~~zzz

If you read science fiction from the 70s and the 80s you will find that writers had imagined the year 2000 and beyond to be much different from what it actually is. Androids, Space Travel, Space cities and ability to transmit humans from one place to other, are few of the fantasies that they imagined would be reality between 2000 and 2050. But as many would agree – hardly any of these fantasies seem to be coming true by 2050.

Conversely many of the present day innovations and lifestyle components like mobile phones and the internet were never imagined in past by scientists or fiction writers. However there is a parallel between what was imagined and what we have today. For example though we cannot transmit humans from one place to the other but communication technologies have marked the death of distance. By 2050 we may not require to transmit people even if the technology for such a phenomenon is available. Already ‘net-meetings’, telecons and forums have become a part of our day to day business activities. WiFi is further transforming the way we work – soon location may become totally redundant and we may find ourselves ‘completely online’ anywhere on the earth. Even today – with a PDA you can communicate in text as well as voice, while a laptop is all that is required to set up a complete office even under a tree in a park (if wireless conectivity is available).

And think of computers – except for physical mobility the modern day PC is intelligent enough to rival the intelligence of the fictional Androids. Again since the need to ‘move’ is eliminated by communication technology hence even if it becomes technologically feasible in future for computers to ‘walk’ – we may not need them to do so.

Space however is an area where we may not have matched fictional expectations in any form. We have an international space station in place but that I believe is a far cry from a space city and the days of Star Trek do not seem close enough.

But in conclusion I have a feeling that we have achieved what we dreamt about in the 60s to a great extent though in a totally different way than what was imagined then. Also, in all cases the progress has ensured that we remain in control and machines or gadgets serve as mere tools. In other words we have progressed in a manner conservative enough to avoid becoming slaves to machines or to empower them enough to threaten our existence.

Mankind has a long way ahead and lots of technological progress and innovation is on its way – but I feel that human intellect will in all times be powerful enough to command supremacy over artificial intelligence.


  1. An article with views contrarian to the post above ... by the legendary Peter Thiel


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