OK. So i’m a geek. I’m into death metal and astrophysics, so it was pretty much a given that i’d be into sci-fi as well. I just count my blessings that i’m not into World Of Warcraft or Dungeons And Dragons.
But whenever me and a certain mate put on some sci-fi, her fella (hiya Grenny!) keeps on saying “It’ll never happen”, usually in reference to some of the technology involved.
Oh no? But “Heroes”, “X-Men”, and “The Watchmen” will ey? (I should probably explain at this point that he’s perfectly fine with superhero films.)
Lets take a trip to geek heaven and look at some stats.
Star Trek The Next Generation was made from 1987 until 1994 and was set over 400 years in the future. In it they have what is supposed to be a futuristic hand held touch screen computer that already looks retro compared to what you can by on any high street now only 17 years later. The same is true of their 3D cameras and experts now think we’ll have interactive holographic adverts in a couple of years (God, WHY?), decades before they were predicted in the film Minority Report.
Humans went from inventing the first airplane and going a few yards on to landing on the moon in 50 years. And it’s now common knowledge that there is more processing power in the cheapest modern mobile phone than there was in the whole of N.A.S.A. at the time. Since then we have landed robots on Mars and on asteroids as well as having many other spaceships pass other planets in our solar system.
We also have at least one other that has now completely left our own planetary system as is heading out into deep space at over 39,000 miles an hour. Thats 11 miles per second.
And on the subject of other planets, it was only ten years ago that scientists where still debating if we would ever find planets around other stars. We are now finding them so often it doesn’t even make news anymore and there are over 1700 known already. This stat more than trippled from 500 while i was writing this!
And on top of this any of us will soon be able to travel out of Earth orbit if we can scrape together the price of the ticket.
Until as recently as a decade or so back it was generally agreed that life as we know it needs light to survive. Since then we have found whole ecosystems on the deep sea bed where no light reaches. Even then it was still accepted that life needed water, heat, and a little space to move. Then they found primitive life inside stones, underground. Then it was still said that all life as we know it is at least carbon based. And earlier this year even that was discovered to be no limit to what is possible.
To cap it all in the sci-fi books and films called “2001” and “2010” (made in 1968 and 1984 respectively) it was suggested that if life could exist anywhere else in our own solar system then it might well on be two of Jupiter’s moons called Europa and Io. And now it looks like even that might be true.
Remember, as i have said before that just over a century ago one respected intellectual said that there was nothing left to learn.