About the absence of flying cars

8 Oct

I finally got around to tackling the “where’s my flying car” article people were talking about a month ago, though I must admit I couldn’t keep my interest up for many pages. My comments:

It’s pretty obvious this guy is a few years older than me, and was a child in the 1960s. For someone who was a teen in the mid ’80s, the absence of nuclear holocaust more than compensates for the absence of colonies on Mars. In fact, the utopian heavy-engine future peaked at about the same time as the Utopia of the political left: in 1968, the time of Star Trek. The personal spaceships and other standard future gadgets of the time have since grown into jokes, or attributes of childish fantasy stories like Star Wars.

Graeber asks himself if our expectations about the pace of technological change was unrealistic. The pace? Our expectations about the nature of technological change was unrealistic. The problematic role of generating energy hadn’t quite dawned on the people of the ’50s and ’60s.

I find the nature of life today, with our life environment increasingly being shaped by code, much more fantastic than the industrial futures of the industrial age. Not as utopian perhaps, but more fantastic. We are changing our own very existence. People in the ’60s didn’t have sci-fi about that, because they could never have understood it. Not even the people of the ’90s could. In fact, most people still don’t understand it. Graeber certainly seems to be one of the ones that don’t.

I may have missed some interesting points later in the article, but then I think I should be excused for losing track because the premise of the article is wrong.


2 Responses to “About the absence of flying cars”


  1. Times Change « avadeaux - November 19, 2012

    […] may just look like just more of the same technological development that made 1945 into 1969, even disappointingly little of it. But the important changes are in our mental perception of the world, which is also true when […]

  2. Technology or jobs « avadeaux - January 23, 2013

    […] a past phase in our part of the world, and eventually, I am still sufficiently stuck in Star Trek utopianism to believe, it will be past across the globe. There may be a dent in the curve due to reduced use […]

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