Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 wasn't like Back to the Future promised

(backfilling some content I posted on Facebook at the time)

As I look at the state the world is in on Back to the Future day, it makes me a little melancholy. No flying cars, no hydrated pizzas, no ubiquitous hoverboards. I truly enjoyed the fundamentally optimistic view of the future presented in Back to the Future 2. Rather than taking the easy route and making the future into a fallen dystopia, they decided the world would continue to advance and get better in fantastic ways. I'm a little sad we no longer have that goal to shoot for. We missed our chance to make that world real.

We've changed the world in ways Marty McFly would still have been surprised by, we have ubiquitous access to information compared to his future where there was a fax machine on every street corner. Conquering physics is just a lot harder than we thought.

There's still a silver lining though. At the end of Back to the Future III, it's made clear the future Marty sees isn't going to happen, it's a blank slate for him to fill in. That future was never out there waiting for us to be carried into it. Our future is still whatever we make it into.

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