Esquire (Malaysia) - - THIS WAY IN - sam Cole­man, ed­i­tor-in-chief

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.

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