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Old March 14 2012, 09:22 PM   #31
RAMA
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Warped9 wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
I just finished "Marooned in Realtime" by Vernor Vinge. It was written in the mid-80s. In it, the last remaining survivors traveled in stasis through time. The last remaining humans from 2195 to 2210 are called "high techs"...they were the most advanced people, but the weapons and equipment from just 5 years before were obsolete compared to the later equipment, even finally down to the last two survivors: one from 2202, one from 2210, the difference made the last one by far the more powerful. This is what we should be seeing in our SF.
Sounds interesting. Maybe I should look this up.
Mostly the concepts are "off screen" so to speak...we are told their "autons" and equipment are more advanced, but not specified. In one case a simple liferaft of the final survivor includes a construction technique that is unfathomable to the super advanced leader of the group who left Earth only 10 years before. The overall concept of where man disappeared to in the novel has a lot to do with this advance in technology though how it did so is not explored.

Incidentally, the writer, Vernor Vinge popularized the concept and came up with the term for "singularity":

http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vi...ngularity.html
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Old March 14 2012, 09:23 PM   #32
davejames
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

RAMA wrote: View Post
In Star Trek, the advance of tech is hopelessly linear and understated. I'd say by 2050, we won't recognize much of the world around us..much less the 23rd and 24th centuries. I used to feel ST's universe was so advanced and only 2 decades after discovering it, I feel it is already obsolete.
Maybe, but 60 years ago people also thought we'd have moon colonies, flying cars, and robot servants by now. While obviously there HAVE been incredible advances in technology since then, stylisically the world hasn't changed nearly as much as people expected.

And I suspect it'll be the same way 50 or 100 years from now. We might have lots of cooler gadgets by then, but the world as a whole will still look much the way it does now.
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Old March 14 2012, 09:28 PM   #33
Ian Keldon
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

I think, as several have pointed out, that there are too many questions to be asked before that particular question can be answered.
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Old March 14 2012, 09:36 PM   #34
RAMA
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

davejames wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
In Star Trek, the advance of tech is hopelessly linear and understated. I'd say by 2050, we won't recognize much of the world around us..much less the 23rd and 24th centuries. I used to feel ST's universe was so advanced and only 2 decades after discovering it, I feel it is already obsolete.
Maybe, but 60 years ago people also thought we'd have moon colonies, flying cars, and robot servants by now. While obviously there HAVE been incredible advances in technology since then, stylisically the world hasn't changed nearly as much as people expected.

And I suspect it'll be the same way 50 or 100 years from now. We might have lots of cooler gadgets by then, but the world as a whole will still look much the way it does now.
Again though this is linear thinking and not really surprising, "it'll be different but the same"...the whole point is, it really won't be that familiar because the change is hard to imagine in so short a time. In some cases because of the tech I point out in the links earlier. I've tried to impress upon people in the tech forum and elsewhere that the future isn't about flying cars, and the industrail age stuff you see from 50s film shorts, it'll be about the stuff that's really important, info-tech that isn't just a level or two above from a wheeled vehicle to a flying car but processing speed and resulting technologies that are million of times more advanced. Think of how much "smarter" a 2012 model is than a car in 1990 or 1980.
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Old March 14 2012, 09:45 PM   #35
Ian Keldon
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

RAMA wrote: View Post
Again though this is linear thinking and not really surprising, "it'll be different but the same"...the whole point is, it really won't be that familiar because the change is hard to imagine in so short a time.
Form follows function. So things that do the a job 50 years from now will look at least somewhat like things that do that job today. The more basic the function, the less that technological advance will change the form.

Take bluejeans, for example. Simple, rugged, basic pants that have gone basically unchanged for well over a century. Hand tools still look like hand tools. Cars have updated their appearance and capabilities somewhat, but they still consist of a body shell, wheels, seats, a dashboard, etc.
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Old March 14 2012, 09:49 PM   #36
Warped9
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

RAMA, I like your avatar. The cover from Greg Bear's Anvil Of Stars right? I have that book and read it several years ago. A fine read.
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Old March 14 2012, 10:00 PM   #37
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Some technologies that I'm expecting to become important in the next few decades are:
  • Augmented reality (see Vinge's Rainbows End) and communications devices to become much more discrete and eventually be surgically implantable.
  • Smart materials throughout the home, transport, and even in clothing, that have embedded processing power and which tap energy from their environment. General purpose smart dust (see Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky) and eventually utility fog are advanced examples, but they're further up the curve.
These technologies might be that noticeable to a casual observer, but they would both have substantial effects on the way we live our lives.
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Old March 14 2012, 11:16 PM   #38
RJDiogenes
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
I agree with RJDiogenes - I'm sick to death of the grunge look. In addition, the engineering section of the Enterprise should not look like the inside of a brewery. What a travesty.
Yeah, that was pretty ridiculous.

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Another possibility is that one can look at some works as existing in their own universe or continuity, which allows them to have their dated concepts because their history isn't 100% the same as ours.
Exactly. Or even the laws of physics. Clearly, Star Trek, for example, exists in the a completely different universe. They have warp drive, time travel, artificial gravity-- all things that are unlikely in the extreme here-- and also phenomena like moons and asteroids that have Earth-normal gravity and nebulae as thick as pea-soup fog. It's like Steampunk or High Fantasy; you just take the parameters and work within them.

Warped9 wrote:
Sounds interesting. Maybe I should look this up.
"Marooned In Realtime" is a great story. It's a sequel to "The Peace War," which is pretty decent too, and they're both included in a book called Across Realtime.

Mistral wrote:
I wouldn't say pop culture is stagnant-but I will say this. John Birmingham, in his Axis of Time books, has a character from 2021 reflecting that NOTHING in pop media gets thrown away since the advent of electronic recording because everything is important to somebody. So she has the Simpson's theme as her email alert and knows the words to Sympathy For the Devil. Such is the future-a mash-up of the past and present.
That's true to a degree, but still, most of what we see today-- the grungy sets, the leather costumes, the washed-out color palettes, et cetera-- are just the tropes of the 80s taken to the level of self parody.
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Last edited by RJDiogenes; March 15 2012 at 09:51 AM.
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Old March 14 2012, 11:39 PM   #39
Caliburn24
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

I want the future to look lived in. This does not mean it has to be gritty and dirty, but it has to look lived in. Age the props, scuff the shoes, add some graffiti, make it feel like a real place and not a movie set.

Also, any advanced technology needs to be integrated into the setting. If you have transporters like Star Trek think about how such things are going to effect building architecture for example. Or city planning.

And please, please, please include safety features. Don't have bridges and balconies without guard rails. Don't have high speed cars/ships/whatever without some sort of physical restraints.
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Old March 14 2012, 11:40 PM   #40
Mistral
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

For a good feel on what we will look like in, say, 20 years I suggest ol' Vernor Vinge again. His book, Rainbow's End is, IMO, the clearest look at the near future you are liable to find. That, or Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.

As for smart cars-Asimov wrote about that 50+ years ago in the short story "Sally" (1953). The long and short of it is, though, that unless a major breakthru is made in physical designs any personal vehicle from 2050 is going to strongly resemble a car as we know it. Clothes are going to go through fashion changes-but we'll still wear shirts and pants and shoes. Barring an unfortunate chemical/genetic accident causing world-wide baldness we'll still style our hair and probably use a comb to do so. My point is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. People like the comfort of familiarity and even though there may be more circuitry involved everyday objects would still be recognizable to our hypothetical time traveler well into the middle of this century, at least.

If you are interested in examining the ramifications of the other side of the coin, the whirlwind rush of change that is modern society, try reading Spider Robinson's short story "The Time Traveler". Now there's some food for thought.
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Old March 15 2012, 04:25 AM   #41
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

The notion that there hasn't been that much change in the last fifty or hundred years is a little shaky. There are numerous films with outside shots where there's something off about the cars. Lots of filmmakers play around with trying for a timeless look, but mainly they just end up looking like they can't make up there minds about when the story takes place.

As far as furnishings go, there's customarily a lot left out of movies, like televisions, kitchens and bathrooms. Our notions of what the past looked like are strongly affected by bad representations in the movies, that update the look, whether consciously or not.

The same very much applies to fashion. Despite the foolish remark about not wearing metallic spandex, lame is still used in fashion. And spandex can be terrifyingly common. What supposedly futuristic fashions really fail to do is show the variety that you actually find in real people. Firefly and the new BattleStar Galactica fail that test as miserably as most other series.
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Old March 15 2012, 08:09 AM   #42
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
I agree with RJDiogenes - I'm sick to death of the grunge look. In addition, the engineering section of the Enterprise should not look like the inside of a brewery. What a travesty.
Yeah, that was pretty ridiculous.

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
Sounds interesting. Maybe I should look this up.
...
Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
I wouldn't say pop culture is stagnant-but I will say this. John Birmingham, in his Axis of Time books, has a character from 2021 reflecting that NOTHING in pop media gets thrown away since the advent of electronic recording because everything is important to somebody. So she has the Simpson's theme as her email alert and knows the words to Sympathy For the Devil. Such is the future-a mash-up of the past and present.
...
Has something has gone wrong with multiquote? The first quote is mine; the last two are not.
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Old March 15 2012, 08:11 AM   #43
Enterprise is Great
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

The future should be so bright that you gotta wear shades.
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Old March 15 2012, 08:21 AM   #44
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

It's so bright it's actually Orange.
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Old March 15 2012, 09:51 AM   #45
RJDiogenes
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Re: Should the future look "Futuristic?"

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
I agree with RJDiogenes - I'm sick to death of the grunge look. In addition, the engineering section of the Enterprise should not look like the inside of a brewery. What a travesty.
Yeah, that was pretty ridiculous.


...
Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
I wouldn't say pop culture is stagnant-but I will say this. John Birmingham, in his Axis of Time books, has a character from 2021 reflecting that NOTHING in pop media gets thrown away since the advent of electronic recording because everything is important to somebody. So she has the Simpson's theme as her email alert and knows the words to Sympathy For the Devil. Such is the future-a mash-up of the past and present.
...
Has something has gone wrong with multiquote? The first quote is mine; the last two are not.
In the future, multiquote will work fine. Sorry about that-- I have no idea what happened.
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