Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Blade Runner Was Pretty Good, Though.

I was just watching Minority Report. Well, I should say I was just watching a preview for Minority Report on Starz or something. Two things come to mind about the movie, aside from the insipid final voice-over, being the cool, future-y Lexus he drives and the drug Neuroin to which he, and apparently everyone in the world, is addicted. I've been doing a lot of study about the drug war in America, and the thoughts came bubbling up in full force with a recent, long-ass article in Rolling Stone, How American Lost the War on Drugs.

The Lexus came to mind after hearing about the fall of the Moller Skycar, which got me thinking about cars of the future. And then the recent revealing of the Lamborghini Reventon and the new Nissan Skyline GT-R got me thinking about car design, and how the Lexus was a big point in the behind-the-scenes stuff since they consulted with futurists and car designers as they tried to figure out how cars would look then by tracing car design trajectories. Now, five years into the future, the car looks almost quaint.

But before that, back to the drugs. It's supposed to be the year 2054 and drugs are a major problem. At the time, that prospect was rather depressing for me. I felt that we'd surely wise up by the year 20-friggin-54 and legalize drugs. It looks like we're on that trajectory, thankfully, and that within the next decade, drugs could very well be widely legalized. Marijuana especially. Laws against a friggin' weed are stupid almost beyond description. I really recommend that anyone who disagrees with me to read the Rolling Stone article. Then, if you still disagree with me, you should take a long walk off a short... Actually, if you still disagree, I ask that you really, really think about WHY you disagree.

And back to the cars, that poor Lexus. It looks so silly, now. At least it looks much better than the "futuristic" cars from sci-fi movies in the 80's. Still, I think it shows how futile futurism is, since the acceleration of technology itself accelerates. I also think the greatest leap of futurism in the movie, the personal transit system that goes from building to building, is a hell of a lot farther off than 48 years. I actually think the technology to "record" someone's brain a la The Sixth Day is closer.

Still, I stand in awe of the speed at which we reach the "future." Even affordable cars like the new Mazda 6 looked like CARS OF THE FUTURE not too long ago. And boy howdy have we come a long way in the world of robotics. We already have small robots cleaning our floors, one that cleans your windows is apparently not too far off, and fully articulated models that look like tiny Asimos promise a future of humanoid robots doing things like building houses at high speeds 24/7 for a fraction of the cost of current building. It keeps reminding me that the future really isn't coming, it's here, and as time goes on it just keeps getting here faster and faster.

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