Old 7th May 2006, 06:26   #1
Phyltre
Forum King
 
Phyltre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,751
Ghost In The Shell

I'm one of those people who is constantly trying to catch a glimpse of the direction of our future. I'm not an activist, though--I'm slightly more despicable and doubtlessly far lazier. I'm just watching.

Science fiction has always had a very unique role in historymaking. Science fiction is almost by definition an expression of potential future--an application of motive directions evident in our current world to a future world that does not yet exist as presented. It was always my favorite genre, always what I went to when I wanted something engaging to read. Of course, rarely can science fiction catch an accurate snapshot of the future...and it's rarely the author's fault, per se. Developments are unpredictable, and history is full of singular inventors. What if even one of them had been denied us? How long would it have taken us to connect the dots?

I am writing this because I am trying to figure out some kind of logic to apply to the future--nothing distant, but MY future. Inventions seem to come almost at random--at times, the necessary tools for a particular innovation might be lying around for decades before they are applied to the obvious-in-hidsight application that significantly changes our lives.

The real question I have is one of exponential growth. Watching the technology of the past several decades, it is evident that we have undergone vast advancements in technology and understanding--much more in theory, though, than in actual practice. The Space Shuttle is just a famous example of this; a chronic design that is doing the same job in 2006 it was doing years back (although this will likely change soon.)

But back to exponential growth. I am defining it as the initial increases in core technology that in turn spur myriad applications that in turn enable new advancements in technology in general. In this manner we might experience a reverb of technological growth as the result of a relatively limited development. The transistor is an example of this, although it almost seemed to come before its time in that it was not widely applied initially because it was so novel. In other words, it took a long time to go from an ENIAC to a Conroe--two iterations of processors.

Maybe a little explanation as to why I'm writing this is in order (to anyone who might still be listening!); I decided I wanted to write this after watching Ghost In The Shell SAC 2nd Gig. I realized that the content of the show was at most parallel to the reality of its production--it's an example of advanced animation digitalization (there are others) trying its hardest to look like traditional Japanese animation styles. This was significant to me because it exemplified the exponentiality principle; graphical art was certainly not one of the goals of the transistor at its creation. What struck me, then, was the irony of a futuristic science fiction program itself existing as an expression of the future of our media.

Many words for few thoughts. But where I think I'm going with this--just how exponential will things get in the next 30 years? Obviously it takes time to apply technology, and some technologies turn out to have greater detriments than benefits and as such are unsuitable.

I submit that there are two possible answers. On one hand, we have the possibility that advancements in technology will continue to be peripheral to humans--communication, ease of living/manufacture, food quality--in other words, predictable evolution rather than revolution. With a few exceptions, this is the present of our civilization.

However, there is a second answer. It is possible that given advancements in new technologies, our life 30 years hence could be incredibly different. But why is this fundamentally different NOW from the often over-optimistic science-fiction of yesterday? Well, we're finally making giant strides in several areas. We are finally blurring the lines between synthetic organs and organic ones, and making improvements upon the originals looks more like an eventuality now than a fictive. Second, we are making steady progress into nanotech, with new enabling developments (potentially exponential) coming every few months. The applications of this are, essentially, infinite. Third, we are doing something never before done; we are networking all of our information, concrete and social. In the past ten years the cell phone has become ubiquitous, on parallel with the wallet or purse. This is equal parts technology and society--and has all the hallmarks of exponentiality in progress. Right now cellphones are connecting through audio and video; we are in the process of making them viable portables to the internet. If these trends keep up, the network will probably reach Matrix proportions (minus the controlling machines, of course.)

Taken together, at its current stand, we're headed directly towards a future where we have no consumer hardware at all. We'll BE consumer hardware. With a digital connection to our analog minds, it'll amount to a cascade of all our comsumer goods into ourselves. Organic will be an outdated term.

I see this as an eventuality, not a potentiality. The variables are the exponentiality of our future advancements and how they can be applied to each other. And of course, society has to accept it along the way, which might take months or decades as easily as it might take years. But the writing's absolutely on the wall, at least to me.

After that, who knows. Maybe we'll be a hivemind. Maybe we'll exist in our own worlds. Maybe we'll opt out of humanity entirely and just die out. That's still science fiction.
Phyltre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2006, 06:49   #2
Omega X
Forum King
 
Omega X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: A Parallel Dimension
Posts: 2,253
Send a message via AIM to Omega X Send a message via Yahoo to Omega X
Bored were we?

The future is what we make of it. If we all want to head in that particular direction as in GitS, then it will happen no doubt.

But many people fear technology enough as it is for there to be any kind of major change in a very short amount of time. GitS could be the year 3000 or more for all we know.
Omega X is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2006, 08:44   #3
S-uper_T-oast
Forum King
 
S-uper_T-oast's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Fnord?!
Posts: 2,657
Times will change, but people will be as stupid and ignorant as they have always been.

Soon enough, whammo! Get some good massive extinction on the planet. Soon enough... Comet, volcano, solar flare, global warming, WMD, super virus, Ross Perot... The list of potentional canidates for the next massive extinction is quite large. As long as some semblance of the planet is left, we humans will leech by though. Our big brains would prolly come in handy for most circumstances.

2012. The end!
S-uper_T-oast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2006, 15:02   #4
SSJ4 Gogitta
Followed by Gnomes
(Forum King)
 
SSJ4 Gogitta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: West Virginia Googolplex: 10^10¹°° FB:/SSJ4.DominusDeus DeviantArt: DominusDeus XboX GT: A Wild Meeseeks Playstation 4: DominusDeus
Posts: 7,162
Quote:
Originally posted by Omega X
Bored were we?

The future is what we make of it. If we all want to head in that particular direction as in GitS, then it will happen no doubt.

But many people fear technology enough as it is for there to be any kind of major change in a very short amount of time. GitS could be the year 3000 or more for all we know.
GitS SAC 2nd Gig takes place in the year 2032 (more info here )

I'm almost done watching the 2nd gig only now. I'm up to episode 21. Poor Batou; Kuzo is one slick sonofabitch.

SSJ4 Gogitta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2006, 20:59   #5
Omega X
Forum King
 
Omega X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: A Parallel Dimension
Posts: 2,253
Send a message via AIM to Omega X Send a message via Yahoo to Omega X
Quote:
Originally posted by SSJ4 Gogitta
GitS SAC 2nd Gig takes place in the year 2032 (more info here )

I'm almost done watching the 2nd gig only now. I'm up to episode 21. Poor Batou; Kuzo is one slick sonofabitch.
I was talking about in relation to our current area of technology. Sorry if I omitted that.
Omega X is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2006, 21:14   #6
InvisableMan
Ninja Master!
(Forum King)
 
InvisableMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Hotel California
Posts: 4,333
One month. June 6th, 2006. The end of the world.
InvisableMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2006, 22:29   #7
S-uper_T-oast
Forum King
 
S-uper_T-oast's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Fnord?!
Posts: 2,657
Nah, 2012 man.

Every single doomsday show I have watched has had crackpots saying that the world is ending in 2012.

Torah code, super volcano, comets, bible code, various prophecies, earthquakes. To name a few.
S-uper_T-oast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2006, 22:38   #8
Lewis Holt
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 194
Quote:
Originally posted by InvisableMan
One month. June 6th, 2006. The end of the world.
That's what they said on 6/6/1906, 6/6/1806, 6/6/1706, etc. and what they will say on 6/6/2106, 6/6/2206...
Lewis Holt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2006, 23:30   #9
InvisableMan
Ninja Master!
(Forum King)
 
InvisableMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Hotel California
Posts: 4,333
I remember my Grandfather saying that 10 years ago in '96 :\
InvisableMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th May 2006, 00:02   #10
Phyltre
Forum King
 
Phyltre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,751
Quote:
Originally posted by S-uper_T-oast
Times will change, but people will be as stupid and ignorant as they have always been.

Soon enough, whammo! Get some good massive extinction on the planet. Soon enough... Comet, volcano, solar flare, global warming, WMD, super virus, Ross Perot... The list of potentional canidates for the next massive extinction is quite large. As long as some semblance of the planet is left, we humans will leech by though. Our big brains would prolly come in handy for most circumstances.

2012. The end!
In my opinion, we are in a race. Either we will remain primal enough to kill ourselves off in great numbers, or existing in a networked society where information really IS as easy as a download will change the limited perspective of the average person.
Phyltre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th May 2006, 00:05   #11
InvisableMan
Ninja Master!
(Forum King)
 
InvisableMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Hotel California
Posts: 4,333
The only thing preventing us from blowing our massive green seed of life into the rest of the poor unsuspecting universe and insuring the effective immortality of the Human race is bureaucracy.
InvisableMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th May 2006, 00:16   #12
dlichterman
Forum King
 
dlichterman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Where Hell Froze Over
Posts: 2,466
<Reservation blues>
the man-who-was-probably-lakota:The end of the world is near
</Reservation blues>

Software is like sex: It's better when it's free.-*-If at first you don't succeed; call it version 1.0-*-Guess the band from pics game
dlichterman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th May 2006, 00:18   #13
InvisableMan
Ninja Master!
(Forum King)
 
InvisableMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Hotel California
Posts: 4,333
InvisableMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th May 2006, 14:41   #14
Bilbo Baggins
Wind Chime of the Apocalypse
 
Bilbo Baggins's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: The Forest
Posts: 17,228
Our future is in hazmats and nuclear landscapes.
Bilbo Baggins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th May 2006, 19:17   #15
Mattress
Forum King
 
Mattress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 4,577
My Wife and I just started the first gig. I found the episodes about the Laughing Man pretty intriguing.
Mattress is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th May 2006, 01:19   #16
MidnightViper88
Made In The USA
(Forum King)
 
MidnightViper88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The 502
Posts: 9,100
Send a message via AIM to MidnightViper88 Send a message via Yahoo to MidnightViper88
Quote:
Originally posted by S-uper_T-oast
Nah, 2012 man.

Every single doomsday show I have watched has had crackpots saying that the world is ending in 2012.

Torah code, super volcano, comets, bible code, various prophecies, earthquakes. To name a few.
2015's also a magic number...

Either the world turns to clay, or the Third Impact is initiated...

Yay!

"I just want to lie in my own crusty filth, eating rancid egg sandwiches, until some unfortunate paramedic has to blow down my door to find my bloated and pasty corpse wedged between the nightstand and mattress stained with Bengay and Robitussin DM." - Greg Gutfeld on sex and seniors
"Syphilis does not stay in Vegas. Debt collectors do not stay in Vegas. Dead hookers stay in Vegas, but the guilt stays with you forever." - Bill Schultz
MidnightViper88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th May 2006, 14:00   #17
S-uper_T-oast
Forum King
 
S-uper_T-oast's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Fnord?!
Posts: 2,657
I like the sound of clay, but I'm personally looking for a jello future.
S-uper_T-oast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th May 2006, 22:45   #18
Mattress
Forum King
 
Mattress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 4,577
Third Impact, nice reference...
Mattress is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2006, 00:46   #19
InvisableMan
Ninja Master!
(Forum King)
 
InvisableMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Hotel California
Posts: 4,333
Weren't we supposed to have flying cars right now?
InvisableMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th May 2006, 05:30   #20
Sandman2012
<3 foobar2k
(Forum King)
 
Sandman2012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 3,203
Quote:
Originally posted by InvisableMan
Weren't we supposed to have flying cars right now?
Or at least Watchmen-style airships.
Sandman2012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Go Back   Winamp & Shoutcast Forums > Community Center > General Discussions

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump