THE FU­TURE IMAG­INED FROM THE PAST

Time is only the fourth di­men­sion.

HWM (Singapore) - - Think - By Koh Wanzi

It’s easy to imag­ine the fu­ture in 2017. Or even from any point in the 20th cen­tury, when au­to­ma­tion and the space race gave breath to truly glo­ri­ous ights of imag­i­na­tion.

But what if some­one was writ­ing from 1895 Vic­to­rian Eng­land? It may also have been a pe­riod of great tech­no­log­i­cal progress, but things were still rather prim­i­tive by to­day’s stan­dards, which is why H.G. Wells’ The Time

Ma­chine stands out as one of the sem­i­nal works of sci­ence ction.

Its spec­u­la­tive leap 800,000 years into the fu­ture is im­bued with both won­der and dread, where a frail and in­ef­fec­tual race called the Eloi live in a seem­ing par­adise above ground, while the ape-like and bru­tal Mor­locks live un­der­ground.

The time trav­eler also ven­tures 30 mil­lion years into the dis­tant fu­ture, a time where even the Earth is dy­ing and the en­tire planet is a waste­land.

The land­scapes Wells de­picts are haunt­ing, beau­ti­ful, and also ter­ri­fy­ing. We may think of time as just a way to take stock of the changes around us, but Wells drives home the re­al­iza­tion that the pas­sage of time can also con­jure up en­tirely new worlds.

When then, does the fu­ture hold?

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