Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hugo Gernsback And The Future That Might Have Been


Hugo Gernsback And The Future That Might Have Been


One of my favorite short stories is The Gernsback Continuum, by William Gibson. It's about a future envisioned in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, a future filled with flying cars and robot maids (think: The Jetsons).

That future never materialized, but it's fun to think, "What if ..." What if you had your very own jet pack and could fly to work? (Just imagine that traffic jam). What if we could have robots clean the house, cook our food and manage our social media?

Hugo Gernsback embodied this future that almost was. He published the first science fiction magazine. In fact ...
[Hugo Gernsback's] contributions to the genre as publisher were so significant that, along with H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, he is sometimes popularly called "The Father of Science Fiction". In his honor, the annual Science Fiction Achievement awards are named the "Hugos". (Hugo Gernsback)
Today I had wanted to publish the third installment of my monomyth series but life intervened. Thankfully, Arthur sent me an Infographic on predictions about the future. Apparently us writerly types have done fairly well when it came to predicting the future! Take a look.

Future Predictions Timeline

6 comments:

  1. Great post. I didn't know the origin of the Hugo Award. (loved the link)

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  2. I find it amusing that one of the two premier sf awards is named for an editor who was notorious for not paying writers.

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    1. Good point. What did he pay? I heard it was 1/4 of a cent per word.

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    2. I don't know his pay rate. Don't think he did either. Whatever it was, he frequently did not pay his writers. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Nil.

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  3. Time travel is one of the most tragic of myths; simply because it's being talked about by those so-called scientists, who think it's possible just because their magical math says so. (math which has no basis in actual physical reality) Just because theoretical physicists can create at will 8, 10, or 12 dimensions, just to get the math to work, that doesn't mean that the universe has more than 3.
    Let's get one thing straight, right off the bat. Time doesn't exist. We made it up. Time is not a physical dimension. It's solely a necessary abstraction. Time does not exist independently of action. Xeno's paradoxes will teach anyone far more than any physicists with a lab coat on, drawing arbitrary equations on boards, or watching computers run statistics about this and that.
    That said about time. Something else must be said about space, cause people are using the construction space-time, without actually knowing what space is. Space cannot have kinetic, structural, or angular properties, else it's not space, but a medium - like air is for sound.
    There's no such thing as time travel. There's no such thing as an infinity of parallel universes, which are automatically created and destroyed whenever a time traveler travels. The theory of relativity is not the theory of how thing are, it's the theory of how things appear to be.
    In order for movement to be possible, space and time have to be continuous. When we talk about time, we're simply talking about physical activity/movement. Time doesn't slow or speed up, the motion, the activity does. Time doesn't exist. It's purely an abstract concept, which we use to measure movement, activity, or change.
    And I also want to give this quote of Nikolai Tesla; Actually, I'm gonna paraphrase it. To say that space is curved because gravity bends/curves matter, is like saying that something can have an effect upon nothing.

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