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Thread: Do you have "future fatigue" that makes you not care about having a flying car?

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    Do you have "future fatigue" that makes you not care about having a flying car?

    SF author William Gibson, an inventor of the cyberpunk genre, says we have "future fatigue" and don't care what is coming in times to come. It's all "meh".

    https://phys.org/news/2020-01-sci-fi...on-future.html

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    Seems like a sampling error. Gibson seems to be considering his generation then and his generation now. Few of us retain our youthful enthusiasms and dreads with the same intensity into late adulthood. Gibson may not be particularly engaged with the future, but I know many young people who are.
    In my youth, the main thing I knew about the future was that we were all going to die in a nuclear holocaust; young folks now have a different preoccupation, but I think the same intensity of feeling.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    SF author William Gibson, an inventor of the cyberpunk genre, says we have "future fatigue" and don't care what is coming in times to come. It's all "meh".
    I may be an anomaly, but I do care. I like to think about the future and as I mentioned in another thread, I am annoyed by all the apocalyptic and dystopian science fiction going around today. My favorite science fiction stories were near term interplanetary adventures, preferably scientifically accurate as then understood, and hopefully tickling my sense of wonder. Occasionally I would read apocalyptic stories (usually involving nuclear war) but it wasn’t something I wanted to dwell on.

    Generally, I am an optimist about humanity’s future, though I acknowledge issues we face, and am more aware that technological advance can have both positive and negative aspects than I was when I was young.

    I have what I think of as “science fiction moments” where it feels almost like I wandered into a science fiction story. These are usually enjoyable, but not always. It always makes me realize I live in the future.

    In some cases, I am a little disappointed that things haven’t moved fast enough. I was hoping nanotechnology would develop faster, for instance. It’s obvious I am going to miss some things I wanted to see.


    It is odd, I'm not as excited about space travel as I was when I was a kid in the 1960s, when the Mercury and Gemini programs were on.
    I am just a little younger, I don’t remember much specifically before Apollo 11. I still get excited, but I was resigned to the idea that not much would happen to crewed space flight in my lifetime.
    I love the robot exploration missions, but they’re not the same.

    SpaceX has rekindled my hope that something may finally be changing and I am feeling more excitement than I have in years regarding space travel. I was on the edge of my seat watching (for instance) the first Falcon Heavy. I am not ashamed to say that my eyes got wet when I watched the twin first stage boosters land together and had a second science fiction moment the same day watching Starman. I was on cloud nine the rest of the day. You can keep your flying car, this is the future I want to see.

    Now I am hoping Starship will work out. If it does, that could be truly revolutionary. If it flies, you can bet I’ll be extremely excited.
    Last edited by Van Rijn; 2020-Jan-25 at 12:03 AM.

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    As I have gotten older, even just looking at the time I have been on CQ, ages 14-26, I have become more aware of the challenges we may face as a civilization in our future, and that some of the most impressive new technologies also come with unpleasant consequences and side effects (AI assistants spying on you, Internet satellites causing problems for astronomers). But I am also aware that there are many people working for good causes and to use new technologies in beneficial ways, and those continue to excite me.
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    My Future Fatigue is about 20 years away. Just like commercial fusion, truly cheap access to space, Mars colonies, cheap hypersonic passenger transport, the end of poverty and war and hunger, a total cure for cancer and some other things are.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    My Future Fatigue is about 20 years away. Just like commercial fusion, truly cheap access to space, Mars colonies, cheap hypersonic passenger transport, the end of poverty and war and hunger, a total cure for cancer and some other things are.
    Ditto. You can only get cry-wolfed so many times before Tease Fatigue sets in.
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    I've been driving a car for over 40 years and I have 40 years experience watching idiots navigate in two dimensions. The idea of letting them loose in three dimensions is so horrifying that I dread flying cars, not look forward to them (I'm only partially kidding).

    I am otherwise excited about the future.

    I think, as others have said, that age gives you experience in how likely change is and how quickly change happens. I'm still excited about the future, I've just tempered my views as to how quickly it will happen.

    The other thing is that humans have proven to be pretty bad about predicting what changes will come, and how easy or hard some things are to accomplish. 50 or 100 years ago, the predictions were full of mechanical wonders - rocket ships and flying cars and a robot in every house. In reality, still no flying cars (thank goodness), our rocket ships are only now just starting to look and work like Buck Rogers' (thanks SpaceX) and our robots don't look like Rosie or Robbie Robot, but are Alexa and Roomba. Look at Star Trek's 1960s predictions about communication devices and computers in the 23rd century, and we are in many ways ahead of their predictions.
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    If flying cars happen, they'll be autonomous. Tell it where you want to go and it takes you there. Lots of work being done on that for the 2D ones as well.
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    There are people transport drones in Dubai already.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I am otherwise excited about the future.

    I think, as others have said, that age gives you experience in how likely change is and how quickly change happens. I'm still excited about the future, I've just tempered my views as to how quickly it will happen.
    Yes. I am disappointed about some things I wanted to see but haven’t happened yet, and probably aren’t in the next few decades. On the other hand, I have been pleasantly surprised at things I didn’t expect at all or thought wouldn’t occur in my lifetime, hence my “science fiction” moments.

    I never have cared much about flying cars, though it now looks like drones will have some very interesting uses. I have known about the issues around fusion, so am not surprised it still needs development. But I am a bit surprised at how networked, intelligent devices have come along.

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    My future fatigue comes in the form of cynicism.

    While I optimistically hope for the things I read about in sci-fi, their real-life fruition is usually overtaken by commercialism.

    My favorite example is the Personal AI Assistant. I would love to have a personal AI that could probe the news and bring me the most unbiased stuff that I want. Ideally, it would be a task-specific reflection of "me" and would know what I like.

    But we already see that - in the form of personalized content delivery - and none of it is what I like, it is what the content publishers want me to like (which is usually something "for sale").

    I think that will simply get worse as commercialism and AI evolve hand-in-hand.

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    Yeah. Whenever I disable "preference tracking" options, I receive a message telling me that I will still receive advertisements, but not ones specifically targeted at me; or that my search results will not be tuned to my particular preferences - and they say that as if it's a bad thing.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    ...In my youth, the main thing I knew about the future was that we were all going to die in a nuclear holocaust; young folks now have a different preoccupation....
    Yeah, likely mass school shootings.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Yeah. Whenever I disable "preference tracking" options, I receive a message telling me that I will still receive advertisements, but not ones specifically targeted at me; or that my search results will not be tuned to my particular preferences - and they say that as if it's a bad thing.

    Grant Hutchison
    Advertising "AI" is so intelligent that it still tries to selling washing machines to people who have bought a washing machine 1 day ago. Preferably the exact same model.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    It could be that "future fatigue" first started when we got 9/11 instead of a space odyssey.

    It seems that the year 2001 was what we were all aiming for--and sci-fi spoiled us with ideas of anti-gravity and such.

    Now that Space-X has things dialed in--space seems more "1950s-ish" and people have lost interest.

    We are actually moving forward--but it doesn't feel "as scripted" if that makes any sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    It could be that "future fatigue" first started when we got 9/11 instead of a space odyssey.
    That's one of the problems with future sight. Just like past sight, it tends to romanticize the world.

    There was strife and acrimony in the 2001 universe, we just didn't see it. At least, not at first.

    2010 had some plot-defining moments that made it clear that's "there's something rotten in the state of Denmark".

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    My future fatigue comes in the form of cynicism.
    Mine, too. But I feel it's well supported cynicism, which really bothers me.

    But we already see that - in the form of personalized content delivery -
    I have Windows 10. When I boot up or restart, the OS offers me a splash screen and asks if I like it. I then get a message saying my answer will be used to select screens I really, really like.

    It doesn't work that well. I "not a fan" more screens than I like. It seems the AI isn't I enough.

    Rather than trying to guess my preferences, why can't they just ask me to complete a short survey?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Rather than trying to guess my preferences, why can't they just ask me to complete a short survey?
    Well, because their user research will certainly show that no user is going to take a survey - no matter how short - about their wallpaper preferences.


    Actually, I lie. That's exactly what you're getting. A one-question survey. Here's a pic. Do you like it or not? It'll take max one second of your time (min zero time because you can simply skip it) .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I have Windows 10. When I boot up or restart, the OS offers me a splash screen and asks if I like it. I then get a message saying my answer will be used to select screens I really, really like.
    You can turn that off. When I eventually was forced to use Windows 10, I invested quite a few hours in turning off a whole load of intrusive and annoying stuff. Some were simple on-off switches hidden away in the various settings menus; a couple involved editing the registry; one involved using the command-line to strip out all the preinstalled apps. I can't now recall how I managed to ditch both the splash screen and the idiotic associated survey, but I haven't seen them since the first day. I'm sure a web search will turn up the solution, because that's how I found it at the time.

    Grant Hutchison

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