Let’s hope so! The future as told through the present has been awfully grim lately. In the US pessimism is fashionable once again (ironically Japanese futurism is enjoying a renaissance of optimism). Plenty of experts are warning us of impending catastrophe. It’s not uncommon these days to hear the average soothsayer predicting we have less than a 50% of making it through the next 100 years. You even have technophiles like Bill Joy keeps saying the future doesn’t need us anymore. History I’m sure will judge it more a symptom of 9/11 pathology than a clear view of the future.
In these “post 9/11 times”, Utopian thinking is considered fanciful, useless, even dangerous. At this point most people are simply afraid to think much of anything else. They are afraid of bogey men like Bin Laden, of the next terrorist strike, or that the future won’t include them. They have forgotten how to imagine a hopeful, positive, life-affirming future. Yet obviously that is exactly what we need. The future does need us, now more than ever!
The more optimistic our outlook is, the more likely we are to be on the lookout for solutions. The future has yet to be created, so I see no reason why we shouldn’t put all our efforts towards creating the most fantastic and hopeful future we can imagine.
I do understand this malaise. For me personally it started during the 80’s when the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded. Exploding along with that shuttle were all my dreams and goals inspired of going into space. Inspired by the Apollo program when I was a kid and later by the Space Colony prospects outlined by Gerald K. O’Neil, I figured I’d be living at L5 by now. Three weeks after the Columbia accident I received my termination notice from NASA, where I was working on a student cooperative, Around this time, the war on some drugs escalated, which was really a war against hippie culture first started by Nixon. So here I was watching both high frontiers (outer and inner) being closed down around me. During the rest of the 80’s we had Reaganomics, dystopian cyberpunk, and just all around bad news. Then in the middle 90’s, things started to pick up again with Wired Magazine and the birth of the World Wide Web. But then by 2001, it all came falling back to earth again with the dot-com crash and 9-11. Well, it’s time for another kick in the pants optimistic visionary quest.
When I dream at night, those wonderfully lucid flying dreams that I have often, I recall all of those wild-eyed, trippy, fantastically fun and pleasure filled dreams of far-out futuristic possibilities. And it got me wondering about bringing those types of visions to reality somehow. A vision to share with others. With everything going on now, I feel an inexorable drive to create more than ever before. It feels almost like a moral imperative. Perhaps if I can network with other sufficiently tuned-in minds on the planet I can least find some kindred spirits who share a vision of a much better future. A future where fun, pleasure, love and peace are pervasive – space colonies, interstellar pleasure cruise ships, orgasmatrons, sexy computers voices and intimate zero-gravity environments. And for those of you who haven’t heard of Ian Banks, I highly suggest you read his books about The Culture, a website I host on this server. Its my hope that this site will evolve into a compelling vision that will inspire people to rebirth the future anew. A refreshing, positive, life-affirming, creatively spirited future we can look forward to again. Remember, we create the future, so lets get started.