Arthur C. Clarke’s A Fall of Moondust (1962) impressed me for lot of reasons when I first read it. The book still does – not least because, seven years before the first Moon landings, he predicted (a) that the only life found on the Moon would be bacteria retrieved from human-built probes, and (b) the … More The writers who predicted the future
I never cease to be amazed at the number of ‘predictions’ about some new device or trend that will ‘be our future’, like the cashless society or flying cars. They never are, of course, but we never let go of the fantasy that they will be. They will be. Not this time, but next time. … More Why we can’t predict the future, except a bit
I saw something the other day by Neil de Grasse Tyson, explaining that anybody in the sciences who popularises the field is usually not regarded as a ‘serious’ scientist. He explained that even astrophysics – his field – is at best ‘neutral’ in such attitudes. I recall an episode of The Big Bang Theory where … More So when did popularising science make people bad scientists?
I once knew someone who had to prepare the ‘Your Stars’ column for the local newspaper. It was a serious job that had to be got right. The content arrived from an external service (as a lot of newspaper content of this ilk does) but there was only a certain amount of space for the … More I’m a bit cynical about astrology. No really.
It’s funny how every new gadget, however trivial, comes wrapped in the idea that it is the Way Of The Future. The other week it was smart suitcases that text you from the luggage conveyor in airports. That, I admit, has a pretty good chance of taking off. But what about all the other stuff … More Where’s my flying car, then?
One of New Zealand’s biggest internet service providers had an outage the other day. Big-time. Their answer? They posted a message on their website. You know – the internet’s broken, so to tell people they put a notice on the internet. My own dealings with that company were so bad – so execrably awful – … More Why are all ISP’s total rubbish at customer service?
I miss my future. When I was a kid, 21st-century food was going to be pre-packaged space pap. We would all, inevitably, be eating paste out of tubes. It was futuristic. It was progress. Today? We’re in that future. And I still cook fresh veggies and steak. Some of it from the garden (the veggies, … More I miss my future. It’s been taken from me.