futurism

A Glimpse Ahead to Yesterday

Detail of 'This Modern World' by Tom Tomorrow, 24 November 2014, via Daily Kos Comics.Every once in a while, it occurs to me to wonder about what seems a recurring fault in futurist speculation, and that is the tendency to translate what other people might think or feel in terms of what we see. It works the same way when looking at history; we can rest assured the Founding Fathers were not consciously calculating just how evil they could be while taking the piss in the form of a Three-Fifths “compromise”.

And then I remind myself that, in the end, the consideration is of setups and punch lines in comic strips, which takes some of the sting out of it.

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal' by Zach Weiner, 24 November 2014.But then one might point out that it is the twenty-first century, and our social mores often seem tethered to the 1950s. You know, in the glorious world of the future, will there really be a journalistic cottage industry dedicated to exposing the sex lives of celebrities? Of course there will.

And so on.

It is easy enough to talk oneself out of hope.

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Tomorrow, Tom. This Modern World. Daily Kos Comics. 24 November 2014.

Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 24 November 2014.

A Glimpse Into the 1920s

“One can’t help but imagine the nightmare scenario where an unfortunate passerby gets sprayed with buckshot when Little Johnny discovers the telegraph key his dumbass father installed in the nursery.”

Matt Novak

Detail of image from May, 1922 issue of 'Science and Invention' magazine.The obvious joke brings a chuckle, to be certain, but at the same time one cannot help but wonder if maybe, just maybe, putting the button within the reach of children is a later development. Or maybe it was something about the days in which a father could beat the hell out of his children if they were stupid … and not get shot in the process.

No, seriously. I am not a spanking parent, but it seems to me that the moment one puts a gun in a child’s hands, the thrashings are finished.

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Novak, Matt. “Even Hunting Was Supposed To Become Automatic in the Future”. Paleofuture. 17 November 2014.