Some things did come true in weird ways. Satellite dishes do dot the city-scape, though they are tiny. We all have communicators and computers are pretty smart. We do talk to computers and they talk back, but usually just on the phone.
Laser and other energy weapons supposedly exist, but only in the military and they haven't seen widespread use…yet.
The world is surprisingly normal in many ways. Still, I often wonder what I'd think if my self from 40 years ago could be transported here to the present.
The out-of-the-park, surprise twist in the development of human technology, during my life's span, is the information age and the Internet. In the science fiction stories of my youth, computers and communication were minor elements against the main motif of the space age. The reality, of course, is that it's the other way around! I didn't expect to be living in the information age and I'm sure that my 40-year-ago self wouldn't even understand the web or the Internet, at least initially.
Still, every now and then, I experience an unmistakeable “21st century moment.”
- A campus police officer glides past me on a Segway.
- Everytime I read something (which is nearly everything) on-line, including books, news articles (which would have been in papers or magazines).
- When I use my Blackberry.
- When I experience wall-sized video displays at work, which are usually created with projectors.
- When I use my cell phone to call a family member in a different part of the house.
- When I play chess against the Chessmaster program on my cell phone.
- Driving past digital LED billboards.
- Watching HD TV, including programs recorded on the DVR.
- Every time I look at one of our laptops.