Technology and the Future: A Tale of Fatigue

For some unknown reason the other day I started thinking about the cartoon series, The Jetson’s and how differently the concept of the future was depicted sixty years ago.

Looking at the highly styled, bright, technology based future that was ubiquitously trumpeted back in the late 50’s, early 60’s made me sad.  Not because of the advancements not yet achieved, but because, in comparison, our current outlook on the future seems so bleak.

Recent depictions of the future have at least a slight sinister edge, with many showing pure desolation.  Notably, for the past two years, depictions of the future have been painted as particularity dark.  Looking to movies specifically, you’d be hard pressed to find a single movie depicting a positive future.

What is it about us, as people, that has caused this fundamental shift in how we view our own future?  There are many who would argue that the this shift is due to the dark events of our world today.  This argument is incomplete.  Yes, there are some aspects of the word today which are dark and terrifying – but the world has always been full of horrible things.

We have come so far so fast in our advancements.  We are now jaded to the amelioration of technology.  In the blink of an eye, our day to day tech move forward, and what we have is outdated.  News is delivered instantly to the palm of our hand.  Every possible definition of “update” surrounds us constantly – news updates, app updates, technology updates, feed updates.  We are update fatigued.

Great things are coming, but their arrival feels common place in world that changes a dozen times a second.  Self driving cars and colonies on Mars no longer feel like huge leaps for mankind, but one small step for man.  The next logical step.

There will come a day again where humans are titillated by the wonders the future holds.  Magnificent advancements beyond our imagination will occur and people will once again be seeing the future with rose colored glasses.  I, for one, look forward to this day.


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