Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wrong future.

Uh, waiter? I ordered the cool Star Trek future and you seem to have brought me the dystopian one from Heinlein's Crazy Years instead...

Seriously, here's a random sampling of headlines for you to email to yourself in the past. Imagine reading any of this stuff on a monochrome monitor, circa 1987 or so:

If I'm remembering my Future History right, this is the part where we elect Nehemiah Scudder and then the colonies on Mars and Venus secede. Except that, while we seem to have created computers beyond the wildest dreams of any vintage science fiction author, we're lagging noticeably on the whole rocketships-and-extraplanetary-colonies front.

37 comments:

Bob said...

OK, your first paragraph is going to be my Quote of the Day.

And if we're going to live in a dystope, given the recent outrage in Afghanistan over the burning of some books, how about we pick Genghis Tom Krautman's Caliphate and choose "Pat Buckman" as our President, and start the bombs raining down? I am getting a little more than fed up with the Religion of Perpetual Outrage's antics.

Shermlock Shomes said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTFCwKvlKZo

fast richard said...

So, which presidential candidate most closly resembles Nehemiah Scudder? Which group more closely resembles Scudder's followers, the Tea Party or the Occupy Movement? The scary part is that those answers are not obvious. I've thought we were in the crazy years for most of my adult life.

Tam said...

Bob,

"how about we pick Genghis Tom Krautman's Caliphate and choose "Pat Buckman" as our President"

Because that's when I'd start shooting.

Marja said...

In Star Trek they seem to think that killing animals for meat is bad, and somehow I doubt those people who are not in starfleet can carry hand phasers, or anything else for that matter, so sorry, even if we are in the middle of the crazy years now I think I'd prefer Heinlein's future. Starfleet looks cool, but not everybody can serve in it.

But having to live through the crazy years does suck, doesn't it?

JB Miller said...

Where are my flying cars, dammit?

Tam said...

Marja,

Don't read too much into the opening analogy. ;)

Darrell said...

"God schmod, I want my monkey man!"
Bart Simpson

Marja said...

Hey, I'm a nerd. Of course I will start to extrapolate.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Told ya!

Joel said...

Tam likes Star Trek! Tam's a Socialist!

When did you stop violating the Prime Directive for fun and profit, Tam?

(It's as inevitable as Godwin's Law.)

Able said...

Whilst Star Trek was watched, of course, it was always Blakes 7 for me (hey, Liberator was way cooler than Enterprise, not withstanding you nicked the name off our ship as per usual, Jeez, think up your own names will you).

Another dytopian future (only one where they spoke English instead of M'rican) and unlike Star Trek (with it's wimpy one-piece lycra and ankle boots in pastel shades) the good guys got to wear leather (instead of the norm where the bad guys get the cool duds).

I suspect neither will reflect what actually happens, is it me or does Blade Runner/Firefly look more of a possibility. We Anglos seem to have 'lost the plot' a little :-(

Buzz said...

It more closely resembles Mike Judge's Idiocracy...

Anonymous said...

Hell... I'll accept any future that gets me and mine off this particular rock.

Rooney

The Old Man said...

Hope I live long enough to strap a blaster onto my thigh under my kilt like Lazarus in "Methuselah's Children". But I fear for my grandchildren's freedoms in a future I won't reach.
But I plan for the present and very near future to soften the blow on those I leave behind. 'Tis what I do.

global village idiot said...

Is there anything in the English language more unintentionally oxymoronic than "Relationship Scientist"?

gvi

fast richard said...

Able,

Are you really upset that we copied a ship name from the British in 1775, after the British had copied it from the French in 1705?

azmountaintroll said...

If you'll remember, in the Star Trek universe they had to endure the "Post-Atomic Horror" before they got to the starships and other good stuff. Barack Obama's bad, but Khan Noonian Singh would be worse.

Anonymous said...

Where's my jetpack?!?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1SCu9yiBlo

Shootin' Buddy

Vaarok said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgdIE2t8QkM

There?

Anyways, yeah, we're in the Disorders.

global village idiot said...

I don't need the Star Trek world. I'll simply be happy with the Jetsons'.

gvi

Kristopher said...

Ehhh ... I think Asimov got the computer power curve correct.

But he assumed we'd make them do actual work, instead of turning them into 24/7 porn/political screed machines.

Able said...

fast richard

Upset? Moi? Maybe just a little, after all there aren't that many really cool starship names to be had are there? (not that there'll ever likely be an HMS starship of any name unfortunately. And before any jokes about the British motor industry, yes it would probably need to be either towed or completely rebuilt after the first three parsecs, but it would look 'classy' - leather upholstery, walnut trim, maybe a comet hood ornament, none of that flashy chrome and bling - how uncouth! ;-p )

Ted N said...

Still hoping for a ticket to Grainne...

fast richard said...

If we can build starships, I'm sure we can come up with good names. even if they don't use HMS, the age of British naval exploration will probably be one source: Endeavor, Discovery, Endurance.

Tam said...

Able,

I have a cube of teak from the orlop deck of HMS Victory. It may not have any of Nelson's blood soaked into it, but I'd like to pretend it does. When I build my starship, it will be incorporated into the bridge fixtures, and the ship will be named Thunderer. Join me, and we'll go terrifying galactic wogs together. :D

Anonymous said...

"Which group more closely resembles Scudder's followers, the Tea Party or the Occupy Movement?"

Compare the recorded felonies committed by TEA party types, with that of Occupy, and think about it a little more.

Mike James

Kristopher said...

Mike:

Yep.

I'm an atheist, and have had no probs with TEA party folks at the last WY straw poll we conducted.

The god subject came up, I revealed that I was an atheist, and they failed to ostracize me. I had no probs working with them, in fact they pretty much dragged me into their local group.

Try admitting to being a libertarian or a conservative at an Occupy rally, and see what happens. Something a lot like N. Scudder confronting heretics.

Will said...

Personally, I would feel better if we had colonies on Venus and on Mars. That would at least give some chance for a secession movement to give free men a home again if things continue to degrade.

fast richard said...

I've hung out with Tea Partiers enough to have met the tiny minority who seem like Scudderites. Almost everyone I've met from the OWS movement could fit right in with Scudders followers. Any political movement has the potential to develop fanatics, but I do agree with those who see the Occupy Movement as being the scary one.

Mark Alger said...

Anent Heinlein: From the prophet's perspective something like the Crazy Years is a pretty good bet to make. Little Known Fact: from the participants' perspectives, ALL years are Crazy.

M

BTW: Not liking the new captcha. Guessing it wasn't your pick, either.

Able said...

insubjoTam

Aye, Aye Captain!

Begging the Captains pardon, but I must say that I found a visit to HMS Victory most wearing on the forehead (being 6' 5" - ouch!).

As to HMS Thunderer, I'm afraid "terrifying galactic wogs" will have to come a poor second to 'giving the galactic krauts what for!' and hoping to avoid another 'Jutland' or 'Basilisk' for that matter.

Will the Captains feline companion be joining us on this journey, and riding his usual position on the Captains shoulder? If so I will instruct the purser to lay in an extra supply of celery.

Yes Ma'am, as you say "let's be about it!"


(Hey, as comparisons go, I can't think of a better one, including firearms!)

Grayson said...

I'm in agreement with Able on this one.
If I ever get to a distant habitable star system in my lifetime, it's going to be named, "Manticore."

Able said...

Grayson

Ah, begging the Testers Forgiveness, but shouldn't a Grayson be calling their planet Grayson? Or are you hoping for less heavy metals this time?

I'm with Ted N, when is the damn shuttle to Grainne leaving?

Grayson said...

Uh, Able?

It. Is. My. Name.
Not my homeworld.
Got it? :)

TWForeman said...

I have been saying that we are at the beginning of the crazy years for a while now.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees it.

Windy Wilson said...

"Relationship Scientist" is a BS degree, and I do mean BS.

As for analogies, they all fall apart the more you extrapolate them. But these are the crazy years, and the Tea Party people seem more like the secret society than Scudder's government.

The WV is "otionte questbi".
Is that something Seneca or Caesar said? Or Harry Potter?