Time Travel and Depictions of the Future

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Re: Time Travel and Depictions of the Future

Postby EagleMan » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:29 pm

It's a matter of gradual change. People have one thing replaced in their lives at a time, so slowly that they never notice anything has even changed. Phones gradually improve. Cars gradually improve. My computer and gaming consoles gradually change.

Also most people aren't rich so they don't get to constantly access the cutting edge. I know some middle class/poor people will buy the newest smartphone, but most people just use something until it breaks and then upgrade. So by the time people get something, they've already heard about it for years. I generally don't upgrade my phone until it breaks, so I had a dumbphone for a while as all my peers got smartphones. People tend to notice change only in kind, not degree. Self driving cars is a cool, big change. No one really cares about the latest million improvements that cars undergo every year.
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Re: Time Travel and Depictions of the Future

Postby Whatis6times9 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:25 pm

Because most of it's evolutionary technological steps, convenience/toys for adults tech, still a while from their potential or far flung into military uses that we may never see a practical use for. Smart phones didn't really catch me as a surprise because of Moore's law, cloud storage isn't surprising because they're servers, cloud computing is still a little further off from it's top end use. That's also not getting into the fact that parts of this country still lack fast, stable, high datacapped and reasonably priced highspeed internet or decent cellular service. 3D printing has an amazing ceiling but it's still a while off before it's being used for anything more than making toys.

I love some of the stuff the military is doing but I doubt I'll see if manifest itself into a practical use. In particular I'd love to see railgun tech modified to do the hyperloop, but as a country we have always underdesigned our infrastructure and we can't even find the money to maintain and repair what we already have, so my hope for seeing that isn't high. I'd love to see designs like the flying wing used for commercial flying but they'd never fit in a modern airport.

I love technology, I hope to see great things accomplished. But I have to temper my enthusiasm with the reality that we might never have the infrastructure or government funding to support these ideas and make them a reality or that they might be an idea that might not filter down to a level affordable to the average consumer.
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Re: Time Travel and Depictions of the Future

Postby Mercen-X » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:08 pm

True very true. Because most people lack the funds to benefit directly from advances in technology, no one pays particular attention to it. It may be mentioned in passing, but people generally don't hold onto knowledge of things they will never experience firsthand especially when they've got so much other shit to stress out about. We would likely be closer to acknowledging these things if we could afford to partake in them which would have been possible if the government hadn't shoved its greasy fingers up our derriere.

Suffice to say, all these technological advances are pretty on paper, but don't do anyone any good in the now. People like me who can't afford these advancements tend more to appreciate what we can get our hands on. But that isn't much. It's the reason I get so angry when a new game console's coming out every three years. By the time I'm finally able to afford a PlayStation3 or XBOX360, the PlayStation4 and XBOXOne will be released the very next week. That's assuming I ever am able to afford the former. I only got my smartphone just last year after my flipphone broke in my pocket. We still don't have TIVO and can't afford satellite or cable or whatever other niceties. We hardly even buy DVDs anymore now that our local library has started stocking them (which one could argue was an advancement in and of itself, though, well, I mean... come on). Perhaps my favorite "advancement" is the Redbox system of stocking an entire "video store" in a vending machine sans personal service. The drawback to this is the possibility (like any vending machine) of vandalism which would result in more than hundreds of dollars in losses if the merchandise available within were stolen or damaged. But that's a whole other issue.
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Re: Time Travel and Depictions of the Future

Postby Vegedus » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:23 pm

Whatis6times9 wrote:3D printing has an amazing ceiling but it's still a while off before it's being used for anything more than making toys.

3D printing has been an industry main-stay for many years. It's how most prototyping is done. The technology in itself is old, it's just recently been used for commercial products and organ printing.
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Re: Time Travel and Depictions of the Future

Postby Whatis6times9 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:52 pm

I know 3D printing isn't exactly new, but the main use is for (rapid) prototyping in industry. The only real consumer use is making your own toys currently, the problem is the extrusion style printers aren't very high res. And and underlying problem for all 3d printing is that they aren't as strong as their traditionally manufactured counterparts, so they're best left in the realm of prototyping, even the versions that work in metal aren't as strong as their forged or machined counterparts.
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Re: Time Travel and Depictions of the Future

Postby Sentios » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:03 pm

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Re: Time Travel and Depictions of the Future

Postby Mr. Froggy » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:52 pm

Affordability and practicality are the final steps in technological advancement. Just like the computer started with huge machines that only large companies could afford, and now everyone has one in their pocket 40 years later. Even then, most of the benefits from technology come from the large companies that have access to the new technologies in the first place. Sure, we might not be able to afford 3D printing and use it for building complex machines, but hospitals will start making 3D printed organs pretty soon and we'll all be able to benefit from it. How can you not be exited for that? Same thing goes for cloud computing and mini nuclear reactors and laser systems that can see around the corner and all that other awesome stuff; large companies who can afford such technology are already using it, and they are passing their own advancements to us. It's just a matter of time, and that's what gets me excited. It's just a matter of time before I'm playing with all those sweet toys. It's not impossible anymore.

The government doesn't restrict the new technologies they help develop either, the government is usually in the funding side of RnD. The companies that actually work in development won't just sit there not trying to sell their tech to the civilian world.
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Re: Time Travel and Depictions of the Future

Postby Krest » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:19 pm

Vegedus wrote:b) Most of it is stupid and/or unworkable in practice (see Flying Cars).

c) There's lots of technological breakthroughs that weren't predicted that DID happen and they're just as interesting when you think about it. I got access to pretty much all the world's knowledge in my pocket. My pocket! 30 years ago a computer was a glorified typewriter and now I could teach myself theoretical physics from my phone if I wanted to. The real life future comes as a transition, so we don't notice it as much, but the technology around us have changed how we live our lives so much. Currently we have Google glass which might potentially change our sense of identity and notions of privacy and fuck me if I know what they'll do with nano-technology, quantum computers and genetic engineering. Cybernetics? We can already give a blind person sight, it's just at a bad resolution.

I don't want no fucking hoverboard, the world of back to the future is just an aesthetic dress up of the present in which it was filmed. Different clothes, different toys, different hairstyles, same society. Meanwhile, we're in the midst of a goddamn revolution, some of the biggest changes in the human condition ever, it's just not obvious when you're living through it. Who cares about holoprojectors, when wars are being fought with drones in the real world?


b) Anything is possible. We just haven't figured out exactly how to do it yet. Tons of people dissed the idea of talking homes in fiction yet we created Siri, which was a major leap forward.

c) Nanos could enter our bodies to constantly regulate our health and combat viruses that even our white blood cells aren't privy to. Nawlz, a webcomic I've mentioned many times on this forum, has the concept of attaching a machine to the back of your brain that will do the exact same thing and also insert any vitamins and other things that our bodies are low on. Quantum Computers could allow virtual reality - even in the sense of uploading an avatar into the entire internet like with Ghost in the Shell and Code Lyoko. Fiction may not be accurate but it inspires inventions that very well may occur in the future, period. Just because we haven't gotten those things yet, that doesn't mean we won't eventually.

d) It looks to me like the world is going to have revolutions like when democracy became popular - but now with new forms of government, just because everyone's getting fed up with representative rule.

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I like the way things are going with the shoe industry + the current Parkour Renaissance. Who knows? Maybe the skating industry will join in and create something like Air Trecks. Ah, the future...
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