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Behind the Plate

Not impressed by the future, so far

We're just past the halfway point of the first decade of the 21st century and I have to say I'm more than a little disappointed.

This just isn't the future that I had envisioned as a kid.

Growing up watching science fiction movies and TV shows I got the impression that the future would be filled with all these amazing inventions that would make our lives even easier than they are now.

I'm a fan of shows like "Star Trek" and movies like "Star Wars" and the future always looks so fun and easy.

I always looked to the year 2000 as "the future."

Now that year has come and gone, and life hasn't changed that much. Sure, life is a lot easier than it was 50 or 100 years ago. I didn't have to walk 10 miles to school every day, uphill both ways, in the snow.

But now that I'm finished with school (hopefully for good), I still don't get to go to work with a rocket pack strapped to my back, or in a flying car. And I don't have a laser gun to protect myself.

So why am I getting all upset about this stuff now? No flying cars, no jet packs, no laser guns, etc.

I got to thinking about it when I watched "Back to the Future Part II" recently.

For those of you who've never seen the series of movies, the plot involves an inventor, played by Christopher Lloyd, who invents a time machine and uses it to travel backward and forward through time.

In that particular movie, he, and the other main character, played by Michael J. Fox, travel forward to the year 2015.

Think about it. That's just nine short years away. In the movie, cars fly, skateboards hover and you can use your thumb print to pay for things and as identification.

Oh, and energy problems are non-existent thanks to fusion power.

The only one of those things that's even remotely possible at this moment is thumb print identification, and even that is something we've been hearing about off and on as a possibility for the past decade, it seems.

And fusion power...They'll probably be able to cure whatever killed me and reanimate my cryogenicly frozen body by the time that becomes a reality.

It's just depressing to me that the human imagination can dream up all these incredible things, but we're limited by technology in what we can do and what we can turn into reality.

I keep wondering when the big breakthrough is going to come.

I keep waiting for some indication that we're moving toward that future that I've been led to believe is coming.

You could call me a technological optomist, I suppose.

But I guess all I can really do is keep dreaming, hoping and waiting that some day I'll be able to strap on a rocket pack, or whip out my ray gun. I can keep hoping that someday I'll be able to travel to the stars, or at least the day I can get into my flying car and truly fly off into the future.

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