Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The future ain't what it used to be

The Myth of Technological Progress | Taki’s Magazine

Oh, I wish those delightful Internet billionaires good fortune in their various hobbies designed to get human beings, rather than government bureaucrats, back into space... Watching poor Buzz Aldrin, world bestriding colossus of my youth, jet around the world begging people to take an interest in this sort of thing fills me with intense sadness for what we have lost.
I've been thinking of it this way: The New York World's Fair of 1939-40 was the "World of Tomorrow", and we spent the next 25 years trying to make it come true. By the next New York World's Fair, in 1964-65, we had pretty much succeeded -- but that Fair didn't provide any dramatic visions to push us through the next twenty-five years. That fair was more about tourism than technology, as those that have followed have also been. The last stateside Expo, in New Orleans, has the distinction of being the only one to declare bankruptcy during its run. But they did get Riverwalk out of it.

Welcome to the future.

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