Science fiction writers have mysteriously predicted many advancements in science, technology and government. Fictional explorations into space, the human body and under the sea were years ahead of the technology that today oddly mirrors what these writers imagined in great detail.
With over 60 books to his credit including the classic “2001, A Space Odyssey,” Arthur C. Clarke is the consummate science fiction writer. Here’s how he described what he does: “The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.”
How could these writers foresee the future? Did they just get lucky? Did they tap into a source that already knew the future? Did they shape the future by writing about it? All of these possibilities could be true. And there is another explanation: the future itself called forth its own story.
I believe that it is not the past that defines us, but the future. It is not the present that we are in, but the future. We are so inexorably in the future, that we can’t escape it. We can’t resist time’s forward advance no matter how much we dwell on the past. There is nothing that can stop the rolling away of the past as the future leads us toward herself.
One of the aspects of the future that I see coming is physical immortality. Science is bringing us closer and closer to the end of disease, the end of aging and more medical miracles that save lives, organs and limbs. Some computers today direct its cursor based on the will of the operator. Not too long in the future, computer chip implants will help us regulate bodily functions, balance hormones and enhance performance.
By imagining a future without limits, we connect with who we are now in embryo. It is the future that we gravitate toward. I hope to see more than just 60, 70 or 100 years of it. It is calling me. Now. And you?