Why We Live in the Future: A Non-Encyclopaedic List

We live in the future, you guys. I don’t mean in the neurological sense, although that’s true, we humans make plans for the future and then act on them. Sure, that’s true enough. Not what I mean by “We live in the future” though. I mean that we live in the future that we dreamed of as children.

There are no flying cars, I’ll give you that – no hover-boards, although they may not be that far off . And they’ll probably work better on water.

And surely you all heard the announcement from NASA’s skunk-works that “Perhaps a Star Trek experience within our lifetime is not such a remote possibility.”  That’s Dr. Harold White (no relation) who works in Advanced Propulsion research. Seriously, warp drive. We live in the future, you guys.

“But these things aren’t invented yet! “ I hear you shout – calm down, and don’t start sentences with ‘but.’ This is a list. Two things would be a very short list, especially as those things don’t actually exist. And leaving aside both the fact that we can only see reflections of light (or light itself) and light travels at a finite speed ( 299,792,458 metres/second) and therefore everything that we see has actually already happened, and that we may live in the past (it could be the year 1715) here we go –

Why We Live in the Future: A Non-Encyclopaedic List.


 1: The Curiosity Rover

There’s a van-sized, remote-controlled tank on Mars that can use its laser to destroy rocks. And apparently it’s discovered something “earth-shaking” (which is probably hyperbole. I’m sure it discovered something interesting, but unless it’s life (or fossil evidence thereof) I’m not sure humanity will lose its collective shit over some interesting geology.) Forget that – what’s impressive is the low, low price of flinging a robot onto another planet (less than a fifth of the cost of the Olympics.) To the asteroids!

2: The Dragon Module

So a whole bunch of private companies decided to compete to design and build a re-usable space capsule – shuttle style. The Dragon capsule went up and docked with the ISS (side-note: there’s a freaking space station in orbit! And, yes Mir used to be up there too…) And now this same bunch of tech-nerds have gotten their collective billions and brain-power together to come up with a plan to mine the asteroid belt. The whole idea is to extract water (for use on space stations and (hopefully) a moon-base or two (looking for helium 3) and things like platinum, apparently – rare metals used to build computers and therefore practically everything.

3: Computers (and the Internet) are Everywhere! 

“What use is a computer in a fridge?” I can hear you asking – I asked myself the same question. Then I thought, well, it could tell you when you are running low on whatever it is you keep in your fridge (not judging or anything. Weirdo.) You could use it to watch television, I guess…cooking shows! Watch Jamie Oliver make a 15 minute meal online while you ape his every move!

It could be used as a calendar, I guess.

Anyway, stop thinking about your fridge and the fact that it could secretly be recording you, because your mobile phone already tracks you exactly.

It can do almost anything, that pocket sized computer you carry everywhere. The Internet, calculator, video games arcade (remember those?)

Heaven forbid, you can even make phone calls on it!

4: Indoor Clouds

I thought it might be time to move on from all the obvious computery stuff and have the last one be just plain awesome. Like this indoor cloud, brought to you courtesy of Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde (WARNING: Website in Foreign (yes I know it’s Dutch.) I want one, I promise I’ll feed it and walk it and play with it everyday…

5: Cloning


6: Elon Musk is sending us to Mars! 

Well, 8o,ooo of us, anyway. Elon Musk, owner of Space X (the first privately-owned company to deliver cargo to the International Space Station(on Dragon, which was mentioned above)), Tesla Motors (purveyors of fine electric sportscars), and of PayPal. How much does it cost? $500,000 per person. One way. Aaaand he only wants vegetarians.  Damn do I want a ticket.

Via io9

7: China and their Genius Generation

Ok, this one HASN’T happened. Yet. China has been busy buying up the genes of Nobel Prize winners, university Professors and other assorted geniuses (How do you start that conversation? “Hi…I’d like a sample of your genetic material? How much?”) in a bid to identify the genes responsible for high intelligence and to breed them into their population – something that could (apparently) boost that generation’s IQ’s by 5 points. The Chinese government is going to genetically engineer their population? I’m not sure boosting their intelligence would be the only thing they do…

Photo: Sherwin/European Pressphoto Agency

There we go. 7 things does indeed a list make. We live in the future, guys!


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