Saturday, 25 October 2014

Hell is Other People

No, not really, he says desperately trying not to come across as some kind of sociopath, but we do have visitors at the moment...

Visitors who nicely illustrate a cultural divide between non-digital natives and others.  Evening entertainment seems to revolve around plonking themselves in front of the TV, regardless of what's on.  I do remember a time when I would have been happy to sit and absorb whatever happened to be on telly, but since adopting the PVR I either watch what I want without the adverts, trailers and having to place my arse on the sofa at the whim of a scheduler, or I go and do something more valuable if it's somebody else's turn with the remote.  I won't just sit and veg in front of whatever just happens to be on.  (I should be working on my novel, but I'm in that endless wasteland of act 2 and the blog seems easier.)

One effect of the digital revolution, all of which would have been science fiction just a few years ago, is that we losing our enslavement to other people's timetables.  I suppose it started long before - your first car freed you from bus and train timetables, greenhouses and herbicides freed you from the growing seasons.  Email and computers frees your employer from expecting you to leave at 5pm...  My point is about those things specifically, but that I don't think anybody saw any of this coming as a sci-fi future prediction from times past - but now it's here the behaviour change feels entirely natural.

It’s normally hard to work in a reference to the National Trust into a sci-fi blog, but we went to the Killerton Apple Day last weekend - thought the cider a touch sour, but admire their commitment to 'keeping it real' - where the site includes a preserved 1950s Post Office.  On 'sale' was a 1957 (I think) Dan Dare comic, the cover story of which was set in 1997 dealing with issues concerning ray guns, or possibly death rays.  Rays of some sort, anyway.  (The Post Office also had a pack of suet pudding in a ‘utility jacket’.  Not sure what a suet pudding would need with all those pockets, but I digress.)

Whatever it was about, 1997 wasn't big on ray guns and flying cars or anything else from 1950s era sci-fi.  Those guys predicted the future about as well as one of those laughable animals they roll out every World Cup to predict the winner.

But we're not any different - my guess is that the future is going to be way, way different to whatever we're writing about now...

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