A Foolish Discussion of Why Science Hasn’t Delivered What It Never Promised

kuro5hin.org || Sci-Fi Tech Coming to a Reality Near You

Here’s an article that, in sad form, bitches and whines that science has not delivered what sci-fi
(not to be confused with SF) has promised. Why science should deliver such things as flying cars and cold fusion is beyond me, since scientists themselves never suggested that such devices were necessary, or feasible. The flying car, for goodness sakes, is a film trope that first appeared in Fritz Lang’s 1926 sf film Metropolis. It was a damned visual effect that was simply meant to create a startling image of a futuristic cityscape, using available special effects! Who ever said flying cars were actually a good idea? Anyone who thinks so should spend a day at the side of an air traffic controller, and then go home and examine car insurance claim statistics. Transposing your average drivers’ sphere of action from 2 available axes of motion into 3 is just asking for way more trouble than we need, if you ask me.

I also find it ironic that someone self-publishing online can claim that science and technology has not made a significant advance in the last 50 years. I mean, please! Most changes are just so small, so ubiquitous, and so profound that life changes absolutely for most people shortly after their introduction, and their previous absence disappears from living (if not from available)memory even among those who spent half their life or more without those new technologies… like, say, the way it was with soap, or vaccines, or the CD.

(I submit the statement itself as proof of this phenomenon: how could someone claim no major advances have been made in the last 50 years, on the Internet itself… the most profound change to happen in the last hundred years!)

Anyway, it makes as much sense to criticize scientists for failing to produce cold fusion as it does criticizing drug companies for failing to produce magic eggs edible that cure all disease and make one stronger. Nobody in the real field said it was possible, and it’s crazy to ask them to deliver.

As for Wellstone material: given the level of maturity and intelligence that our species constantly demonstrates, one can only hope it’s a few hundred years off into the future. (Though indications seem to be otherwise. I just hope the military is kept the hell away from this.)

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