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Future of the Week: Independence Day

January 5, 2009 Future No Comments

Source: The Future of the Week comes from the mediocre ’90s sci-fi disaster film Independence Day. The film was released July 2, 1996 and depicts the events of July 2nd through 4th 1996, therefore counting as a prediction of the future.

Premise: July 2, 1996 dawns, and strange alien craft appear over Earth’s major cities. Once the aliens have settled into position, they launch a simultaneous world-wide attack, devastating much of the human population of Earth. A number of stragglers in the United States manage to stay alive and come together to save the world. Will Smith punches an alien in the face, Jeff Goldblum defeats the aliens using a computer virus he creates on his Mac, and Bill Pullman inspires the planet with a speech based on American flag-waving.

Utopia or Dystopia: Brent Spiner’s description to the President of the United States of his excitement over the many discoveries he’s been able to make with regards to the aliens due to their invasion of Earth mirrors my own excitement over the possibility of Earth being destroyed. This is a utopia.

Prescience: Having personally lived through 1996, I can assure you that these events did not occur. In the event of any actual alien invasion, Will Smith will be powerless to resist.

Future of the Week: Alien

December 29, 2008 Future No Comments

Source: This future of the week comes from the classic sci-fi horror film Alien.

Premise: In the year 2122, incredible technologies will be available. People will be put into stasis for long interstellar voyages on ships filled with a wondrous amount of flashing lights, and androids will be nearly indistinguishable from humans. All of this will be accomplished with computers approximately as powerful as they were in 1979. Also, there will be horrible aliens.

Utopia or Dystopia: This has got to be a dystopia. Dealing with the vast distances of space so that rescue is impossible would be rough, especially with the looming threat of murderous, face-hugging, chest-ripping, acid-bleeding aliens.

Prescience: We’ve still got over 100 years to go, so it’s hard to say how close we are to this future. Faster than light travel still seems pretty implausible even that far out, but we already have computers much better than those of 1979. In 100 years we could also easily have Bilbo-looking androids.

Future of the Week: Super Baseball 2020

December 22, 2008 Future No Comments

Source: This Future of the Week comes from the SNES version of Super Baseball 2020. It’s one of only a few good sports games ever made.

Premise: In the year 2020, the rules of baseball will have changed. Smaller home run and foul ball zones will be introduced, as well as gravity-altering “stop” and “jump” zones. Robots will play along side armored humans (both men and women). No one will need steroids as infusions of pure cash will be able to juice them up.

Utopia or Dystopia: Baseball made exciting? Hot cleavage-showing female baseball players? Easily utopia.

Prescience: Not even close. There is no way that in just 12 years we will even have robots capable of playing baseball as well as humans, let alone a single massive baseball stadium in which an infinitely large crowd watches on. Then again, anime-inspired robots will soon roam the Earth.

Future of the Week: Super Smash TV

December 15, 2008 Future No Comments

Source: The inaugural Future of the Week is brought to us by Super Smash TV, the SNES port of the arcade game Smash TV.

Premise: In 1999, the world’s most violent game show will allow us to compete for prizes like toasters and VCRs by gunning down waves of people equipped with little more than baseball bats.

Utopia or Dystopia: Utopia, for sure. Just imagine winning all of that big money and those big prizes, I would love it.

Prescience: Obviously, this didn’t come true by the predicted date of 1999, but it could still happen. The ratings are there, Survivor and its reality TV ilk have been dominating television since the dawn of the 21st century. Paris Hilton’s My New BFF shows us that people are willing to do anything to win prizes even less alluring than a new VCR. All that’s needed is for TV to adapt to the more violent nature of man.

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