This is the Future?

the-jetsonsjetson 2rosie


So I lived to see the year 2016 and it’s a disappointment. I’d thought the future would be more impressive.

Where are those Jetson backpacks that let you soar about like a butterfly? Where are those robots that do all the housework? Why can’t we flit back and forth in time, vacation on the moon and invite a space creature home for lunch?

Yes, my daughter Grace has an electronic thing that creeps about cleaning up the cat fur but that’s nothing like Rosie (at right).

When I was born, nearly 82 years ago, cars were the latest marvel. My Dad had a Whippet roadster (like the one below) and it was his pride and joy.

roadsterToday’s cars are sadly much like those of 1934 – only uglier.True, I’ve seen them parking themselves in those TV commercials but I haven’t seen one do it in my neighborhood. And you would think that in 82 years the brains in the auto industry would’ve come up with something more spectacular than that.

So you can take pictures  – even videos – with your smart phone. But doesn’t that seem picayune compared with – say – R2-D2?

And those computers. They were going to be so wonderful and what do they do today? Give people a chance to make fools of themselves on Twitter? Give terror groups an outlet to spread hate and recruit idiots? Let kids sit around all day and become obese playing video games?

Yes, I know, you’ll say what about the medical breakthroughs? What about the PC I’m typing this blog on? What about Watson? The IBM super computer is so smart there’s a group promoting it for president of the US.

And you will surely bring up the drones. Now, we can bomb people in far-off lands with unpiloted planes and spy on women sunbathing in their back yards. Wow! How’s that for progress!

You have to admit that these inventions wouldn’t raise any eyebrows in a “Star Wars” movie. Good ol’ 2-1B, for example, would make Watson look positively primitive.

hoverboardWhen the latest, greatest toy this season is the hoverboard (at right), you have to admit human inventiveness has sunk to a pretty low ebb.

The future was such a wonderful place back when I was a kid. But now that it’s here, it’s not so great.

Click for Watson for President.