Is The Future Boring?

Science Fiction authors used to predict unimaginable things. Arthur Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Jules Verne and many more have predicted actual technologies that appeared decades later.

But are we in a situation when every prediction has already been imagined, overused and boring? When prof. Michio Kaku makes his predictions about 2030, aren’t they all obvious?

That doesn’t at all mean that when we actually get to have these technologies, they will not be exciting to use, or that they won’t bring any benefit — of course they will. Advancements in medicine, space exploration, quantum computing, alternative energy and whatnot, will certainly benefit humanity hugely.

But we’ve not only imagined it — we have seen them all already in Futurama, Doctor Who, Interstellar and the likes. Many, many times. Teleportation? Space travel? Mind-to-mind communication? They are imaginable, simple, even, although not technologically feasible yet. But it feels that they are known, already and we only have to hack our way to their implementation, rather than thinking of new, unthinkable things.

Could primitive humans imagine the printing press? Could medieval writers imagine airplanes and satellites? Did 18th century authors envision plasma screens or the Internet? Are we, today, anything special, and are we right to believe that we have imagined everything possible?

Where does the frontier of the unknown, unimaginable future lie? Are there things that we, with our current minds and knowledge, cannot possibly imagine? I will probably get the answers to all these questions for myself in thirty years.

But let’s get back to the original question — is the future boring? Is it mundane, because we’ve already imagined it, seen it? That’s the only question I can answer right now— it is not. Because everyone of us could be the person that turns the imaginable into reality. And that’s not one bit boring.