AH, THE DAYS OF CHILDHOOD, when we used to play with toys that spoke of futurism, of fantastic possibilities when we got older. Rockets? Yeah, I had one, as well as a small Millennium Falcon that—little did I know—i should have kept in better shape. It was all so cool. The future was going to be awesome.
Well, that future is now and I guess some things turned out better than expected (I think if I’d been told I would have this super communication device that connects me to the world of information and fits in my pocket, I’d been pretty impressed). But Planet of the Apes didn’t happen, which sucks because (dating myself here) I really wanted to be the cool guy that befriends Caesar, right before the revolution breaks out (Ricardo Montalban in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, 1972, or James Franco in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 2011; take your pick). So, on balance, futurism is always a tricky escapade at best.
Yet—against the evidence of our own experience—we still insist on believing that tomorrow is better than today, that we’ll find solutions to our self-created problems, that science and progress will deliver. It didn’t use to be that way: the history of the world is pretty fatalistic and downright pessimistic; picking up any religious tome will tell you that. But the new us seems to like looking into the nebulas of time not revealed and speculating for the better, and frankly, I like that new aspect to our consciousness. The old doom-and-gloom could get pretty heavy duty with all that “The End of the World is Nigh” stuff: I like that we think, (and often do) come together and get stuff done. And it implies that we’re not satisfied with the now. Instead, a continual restlessness demands that we peer out onto the singularity of time and leap into the great unknown with a wry, hesitant yet anticipating smile. Future, here we come.